We need to make sure we get our fair share of funding and investment if we're to truly 'level up' and improve things for local people. That means banging on the doors of Ministers and making sure we have the best possible bids for key projects and services.
We've got tens-of-millions of pounds in Levelling Up investment heading our way for our town centre, and I'm pleased Mansfield regularly benefits from uplifts in funding and major investment into our schools too.
At the Spring Budget this year, a Levelling Up Partnership with Government was announced that will bring a further £20 million to the constituency and be used to improve local services.
Along with towns across the East Midlands, much of this funding comes on top of major regional projects that will benefit Mansfield too, like the 1000 jobs in clean energy that are coming through the STEP Fusion project just down the road.
As Nottinghamshire County Council's leader, it's a huge opportunity to join together local priorities with national funding and opportunities. Over the last few years we've secured hundreds of millions of additional investment on top of the usual funds and services, for things like town centre improvements, environmental measures, new road and rail investment, education and leisure facilities too.
Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire is the first area in the country to benefit from a new Devolution Deal with the government on key priorities like housing, adult education, green energy, transport, economic development and skills.
We will have much more control over our own area, with more cooperation between each council within the region. Rather than many major decisions being made for us in London, as happens now, local people would have a say in the region’s priorities, with a directly elected mayor in charge of the entire region who can be held accountable.
The current formulas as they stand mean the East Midlands is the most underfunded region in the country across a number of services, from local government to police. Our devolution deal will allow us to take charge and change that historical problem, ensuring we can put money into things that are a priority for the East Midlands and not Whitehall.
Along with 9 other Conservative East Midlands MPs I've continued to urge the government to speed up the Levelling Up bill to make Devolution a reality by May 2024. I am also lobbying the government to ensure our deal gives the East Midlands the same powers that the West Midlands and Manchester currently have over things like employment support and even trade.
It's also really important that Levelling up is defined by conservative principles; innovation, enterprise, and offering more opportunity, not by the left-wing versions in Manchester and London, with congestion charges and anti-car policies that limit choice and make lives harder.