Money being made out of so-called 'levelling up' agenda - Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Peter Brown, Shadwell, Leeds

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps visits Leeds Station. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA.

YOUR story on Saturday (November 13) about local councils using expensive consultants to bid for “levelling up” money reinforces suspicions raised by another front-page story a couple of months ago (Levelling up chance ‘must be seized on’, September 3).

Then you reported Tory “elections guru” Sir Lynton Crosby setting up a Northern outpost to, in his words, “(help councils) that want assistance in getting their case more effectively advocated in Westminster”. For a pretty penny or two, no doubt.

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Even then it looked like another example of a wealthy Conservative Party backer benefitting from public funds going into his company’s coffers. It looks even more prevalent, now, given your report at the weekend and all the latest sleaze and lobbying allegations to beset Boris Johnson and his party colleagues.

Whilst not wishing to belittle the importance of any of the projects that are being funded under the “levelling up” label, to what extent are they being used as just window-dressing by the Conservative Party for its next general election campaign?

It has already been well reported that regions are only getting a fraction of the economic development money from this Government that they received from the European Union before Brexit.

You again ran a column last week (November 9) by Grant Shapps – the Transport Secretary – in which he again talked about the importance of rail links…but yet again neglected to mention the Eastern leg of HS2.

There’ll be no clearer proof of how hollow and deceitful “levelling up” truly is if, as feared, that’s “delayed” or abandoned.

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Boris Johnson handed huge levelling up warning as axe looms for HS2 leg to Leeds

An absolute disgrace that HS2 isn’t going to reach Yorkshire.

Why has the western leg not been stopped at Crewe where the Parliamentary Bill has been approved to? I do believe we here east of the Pennines pay the same taxes!

Yes, the figures to build it are astronomical but it isn’t all spent in one go, it’s divisible by the span of building and works out at perhaps £5bn per year. A drop in the ocean in relation to overall Government spending.