06 Oct The Thames Estuary welcome Rishi Sunak’s levelling-up plans
Chancellor Rishi Sunak yesterday unveiled his vision for the country’s post-Covid recovery at the Conservative Party Conference, confirming that the Government will focus on “good work, better skills and higher wages” as part of their levelling-up agenda for those at less advantage. He said “[There is an alternative to Labour] An approach focused on good work better skills and higher wages. An approach that says ‘Yes we believe in you. We will help you and you will succeed.”
The Thames Estuary has some of the poorest communities in the country, though this is often overlooked as London’s wealthier parts distract from the areas in need. Kate Willard OBE, Estuary Envoy and Chair of the Thames Estuary Growth Board (TEGB) are helping to fulfil the potential of this region (east London, south Essex and north Kent), by working with local authorities to discern what is needed and lobbying government accordingly.
Reacting to this news, Kate Willard OBE, Estuary Envoy and Chair of the Thames Estuary Growth Board said “I am delighted to hear Rishi Sunak confirm the Government will focus on “good work, better skills and higher wages” as part of its levelling-up agenda. This is music to our ears, as addressing social inequalities and imbalances is at the heart of what the Thames Estuary Growth Board is trying to achieve. To do this, we first set out to understand what the social inequalities and imbalances are: who they affect, where they are most prominent, how severe the issue is. Understanding at each stage the people at the heart of these issues. Then, we can address these inequalities and come up with practical solutions that truly work for all the people of the Estuary. Our Thames Estuary Levelling Up Data Atlas began this work by mapping deprivation across the Thames Estuary, and our workplan outlines what we will do to deliver the ‘Green Blue’ vision for transforming the Estuary and how we will measure our impact. We are particularly interested to track the impact of ‘Levelling Up’ policies and how they affect Estuary communities.”