Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #levellingup

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#THREAD

Under the Tories, the proportion of pupils eligible for free school meals has risen again, & now stands at 22.5%.

Nearly 2 MILLION schoolchildren in English schools were eligible for free school meals at the start of this year, government data shows.

#SunlitUplands Image
22.5% of pupils in English schools were eligible for free school meals (FSM) in January - an increase of 160,000 on last year's figure - described as "shocking" by headteachers' leaders.

This thread is based on this article:

tes.com/magazine/news/…
School leaders' Unions warned that these pupils' circumstances could become even "more severe" due to the #CostOfLivingCrisis & called for additional funding "for both educational & pastoral support".

No doubt the Mail & Tory MPs will ramp up their anti-union rhetoric, as usual. ImageImage
Read 16 tweets
#ThoughtForTheDay

Bonuses in the financial & insurance sector have hit a record high, growing by 27.9% over the last year, while average wages in the same period grew by just 4.2% - nearly £6BILLION was paid out in City bonuses in March alone.

#LevellingUp #CostOfLivingCrisis
“There is no justification for such obscene City bonuses at the best of times – let alone during a #CostOfLivingCrisis. While City executives rake it in, millions are struggling to keep their heads above water.” - Frances O’Grady, TUC general secretary.

theguardian.com/business/2022/…
“Working people are at breaking point, having been left badly exposed to soaring bills after a decade of standstill wages & universal credit cuts. Ministers have no hesitation in calling for public sector pay restraint, but turn a blind eye to shocking City excess.”

#JoinaUnion
Read 5 tweets
#THREAD

Tony Blair's son, Euan, who started his career in investment banking & now has a £22 MILLION London home, founded an apprenticeship training BUSINESS now valued at £700 MILLION, & has been awarded an MBE for "services to education".

In the UK, social mobility is dead.
Last year it was reported that Euan Blair's start-up – Multiverse – had been valued at £639 million, making him worth around £160 million.

I'm sure it's just a coincidence his dad is Tony Blair.

But did he really benefit from an accident of birth?

tatler.com/gallery/tony-b…
Nothing against Euan Blair, & I don't know much about his Multiverse business, but imho his life trajectory highlights unequal Britain's absence of true meritocracy & the abject failure of successive Govt's to break the elite stranglehold on top jobs & improve social mobility.
Read 60 tweets
#THREAD

A new research report from colleagues at Sheffield Hallam University shows that for the bits of Britain most in need of “levelling up”, full employment is simply a myth.

#CostOfLivingCrisis

shura.shu.ac.uk/30252/1/real-l…
The report - the sixth in a series that has been published every five years since 1997 - reveals the real level of unemployment in Britain by adding in the hidden unemployed – people who are on incapacity benefits but who would be working in a truly full employment economy.
The real unemployment total is around 2.34 million – a million higher than the Govt claims.

Official measures fail to adjust for distortions arising from the operation of the benefits system - how very large numbers of incapacity-related claimants hide substantial unemployment.
Read 14 tweets
Listened to the Institute for Government event on #LevellingUp this morning, which provoked three thoughts. A short thread:
The first is I think addressing short-term priorities is often mischaracterised as a cosmetic second order priority. The position most often taken is that we should focus on long-term systems change instead.
I agree that short-term priorities shouldn't be pursued at the expense of long-term priorities, but I think the former can create the conditions to support the latter.
Read 8 tweets
Having just caught up with the Queen's Speech, some thoughts:

- Enshrining the #LevellingUp missions in law is the right approach, but that's one thing and ensuring that the conditions are in place to embed them is another. Legislation is only one piece of the puzzle.
- It's not entirely clear whether banning authorities from adopting strategies that involve boycotting, as Lancaster has done to Israeli goods, will have an impact on council action in relation to Russian services. I suspect it won't but authorities may need clarity.
- Giving communities a say over street names is a third order priority, but names are symbolic signifiers of place in my view. They tell stories and provide a 'spatial membership'. I quite like the idea but it's going to do zilch for the cost of living crisis or #LevellingUp.
Read 6 tweets
Earlier on my #WalkForPlunkett I tweeted a pic of a former bus shelter converted into a library service. It made me look out for so many village assets no longer in use which once provided essential services, housed key workers, created employment & brought #communities together
I didn't come across any village services, businesses, or even people for over 10miles until I reached the amazing @westburyshop which was a busy and thriving #communityhub and testament to the resourcefulness of rural communities to take action themselves
The only new services or investment in the countryside I came across was the construction of HS2 - but of course this doesn't benefit the communities it cuts thru- only the urban centres at either end...
Read 7 tweets
1/4 Let's play storm overflows spot the difference!

Reasons why #sewage💩pollution is a problem are varied and need a cross-govt / system-wide solution. How much has changed between past-present-future @pow_rebecca @Dunne4Ludlow @PutneyFleur? Here's how sewers started off:
2/4 Now here's our rather dismal present:

ill-conceived development / highway infrastructure doesn't properly consider water, nature or people.
Poor maintenance, bad practice all over the place and climate change exacerbating.
3/4 But! Here's an entirely possible future:

- Water-smart
- Climate resilient
- Green, healthy and nature-rich
- People-centric
- Vibrant and productive
- Minimal storm overflows
Read 4 tweets
1/ New Paper bit.ly/3M2gZNv @bmj_latest showing overlooked potential of “Availability Interventions” to cut consumption of energy-dense foods, meat and alcohol, for leaner greener diets @OHID @OHA @Alc-UK @CCC_UK @WWF @BIT @NESTA @GJHollands @J_P_Reynolds @LEAP_Oxford
2/ Suboptimal diets are one of the largest contributors to premature death and preventable diseases worldwide, contributing also to health inequalities and environmental harm.
3/ Interventions that alter the assortment of available food or drink – “Availability Interventions” - show consistent and often large effects on selection and consumption with no evidence of adverse effects, particularly on inequalities.
Read 9 tweets
Looking forward to an august panel discussion on how the economy can be reshaped to help better deliver on our #NetZero and #LevellingUp agendas #NEFBriefing
.@Miatsf opens the panel by welcoming the progress that has been made to date in getting finance more interested in #NetZero & #LevellingUp, but there is still progress to be made - for example, low levels of investment in #SMEs despite them being drivers of growth #NEFBriefing
First speaker @JosephEStiglitz discusses how to use the credit system to accelerate a green transition. Says historically financial institutions have made "strong statements" about wanting a green portfolio, but critics fear this may just be "greenwashing" #NEFBriefing
Read 59 tweets
Looking forward to what should be an insightful conversation about how the government can make the #LevellingUp agenda work in practise #IfGLevellingUp
.@bronwenmaddox opens by asking Haldane if the #LevellingUpWhitePaper provides a description as to what #LevellingUp is. Haldane says the 12 Missions were designed to "provide clarity" around what successful levelling up would look like #IfGLevellingUp
Haldane stresses that "Missions" are not government targets, but are "loftier goals" that have actions that governments, private sector, VCSE, etc can all contribute towards to #IfGLevellingUp
Read 41 tweets
Updating my obesity lecture notes with the most recent data from England's National Child Measurement Programme. The data are so shockingly upsetting I have to share. 1/8

First off is the clear covid effect, both in reception (ages 4-5 for non-UK tweeps)... Image
...and in Year 6 (11-12 years old)

FYI on definitions, for better or worse, these based on BMI centile above/below reference population; here the British 1990 growth reference (UK90)

BMI centile >=85 and <95: Overweight
BMI centile >=95: Obese
BMI centile >=99.6 Severely obese Image
What is most upsetting though is the dramatic increase in the deprivation gap. Looking at Reception data, can see gap was already widening from 4.5% in 2006/7 to 6.3% in 2019/20....

But look at jump to 10.7% gap in 2020/21😭 Image
Read 11 tweets
Be afraid, be VERY afraid. Today's #Expreshit JRM article: Supply Side Reforms

NHS privatisation, remove worker rights, bash unions further, reduce unemployment benefits EVEN FURTHER, deregulate the banks - they've already had a £1 BILLION tax cut, whilst the rest of us suffer.. ImageImage
ELECTIONS BILL: VoterID disenfranchises MILLIONS of Labour voters, MILLIONS, let that sink in
Read 18 tweets
Looking forward to what should be an interesting discussion on how the aspirations of the #LevellingUpWhitePaper can be translated into meaningful change #WhatNextForLevellingUp
First panelist @KatieSchmuecker looks at the White Paper from the issue of #Poverty - says this is "not a White Paper for Poverty". The word only mentioned 9 times, mostly in the context of #FuelPoverty & international comparisons #WhatNextForLevellingUp
Schmuecker says #LevellingUp will not be achieved unless we meaningfully improve prospects of those at the bottom. Is sceptical that high productivity automatically means higher wages. Cites London which is the most productive, but most unequal, region #WhatNextForLevellingUp
Read 46 tweets
Boris Johnson: "As Saudi Arabia is to oil, the UK is to wind..."

"In the trial running from Friday, 1.4m customers of Octopus Energy ..."

Read 4 tweets
Looking forward to hearing what should be an interesting debate from an illustrious panel on what contents of the #LevellingUpWhitePaper will really mean for local & regional policymakers #PolExEvents
First speaker Mayor @BenHouchen opens his talk saying that the #LevellingUpWhite Paper was never going to please everyone due to "different people wanting different things". However, welcomes the fact we now have definition for #LevellingUp & list of govt priorities #PolExEvents
Houchen says we now need to see a delivery plan ASAP. Gives his priority as the future of #Devolution - which now has a "sliding scale" between County Deals & creation of more Combined Authorities. Says we need to see clarity around devolution in rural areas #PolExEvents
Read 37 tweets
Looking forward to what should be a very timely discussion on the IFS's latest research geographic inequalities in labour market outcomes & how this may present challenges for the Govt's #LevellingUp agenda #IFSEvents
First @PJTheEconomist and the @NuffieldFound's @markfranks give a brief overview of the IFS #DeatonReview into inequalities, and why the Nuffield Foundation gave the review its financial support #IFSEvents
Franks recognises that #LevellingUp will only be delivered if we focus on multiple factors of #inequalities - age, gender, education, public services, jobs - not just place #IFSEvents
Read 35 tweets
Covid-19 has exposed the limits of the public health status quo – but what should come next?
Delighted to host this #RSPHSparksDebates event #ReimaginingPublicHealth alongside
@davidnabarro
@AlisonDDCox
@cthomasippr
@JonAshworth
@JyotsnaVohra
5 key learnings from the pandemic are:
✔️The virus continues to circulate
✔️It impacts on all sectors
✔️Decisions require explicit trade offs
✔️Collective responses are powerful and needed
✔️Public health vital for societies and economies
says @davidnabarro #RSPHSparksDebates
We need bold system leadership to meet the demands to address the public health challenges today and in the future says @davidnabarro #RSPHSparksDebates #ReimaginingPublicHealth
Read 13 tweets
A few quick thoughts on R&D aspects of the #LevellingUp white paper: #thread 1/
Overall, much to admire & digest. It’s a serious piece of work—& represents a welcome attempt to synthesise the evidence base on regional inequality & opportunity across the UK. 2/
On R&D aspects, the thrust of its conclusions seem sensible. Whether the recommendations will do much to shift the balance of R&D funding distribution is far more debatable…3/
Read 19 tweets
THREAD 🧵 | Initial thoughts on the #LevellingUp White Paper.

First, it’s promising to see the government starting to devolve funding and decision making out of Whitehall. But to succeed, it must go further and empower people at a neighbourhood level.
We welcome the review of neighbourhood governance and the commitment to pilot new models for community partnership, such as Community Covenants.

These measures can help devolve power and funding to the neighbourhood level, as championed by @right_hereUK:
right-here.org/asks/
To date, the Community Ownership Fund has not delivered for all communities, particularly those in areas of higher deprivation.

We welcome the government’s commitment to bring forward a Strategy for Community Spaces and Relationships and to ‘enhance’ the fund.
Read 9 tweets
Today’s #LevellingUp White Paper shows the government understands the problem.

⬇️ Poor housing quality, overcrowding and a reliance on tempora
Here’s a quick run-down of what we know and what we don’t know 👇

What we know: the government is going to build more social homes 🏡

What we don’t know: how many, when or how 🤷‍♀️
What we know: there’s been yet another promise to give social tenants the regulatory protections they need ✅

What we don’t know: When! Social renters have been waiting years for this legislation ⏳
Read 6 tweets
With the publication of the #LevellingUpWhitePaper, today, I'm looking forward to what should be a timely discussion on how Govts could work with the Private Sector to deliver on the #LevellingUp agenda #IfGlevellingup
First speaker @SCCI_Sara says there is an "extreme appetite" from businesses to work with the Government. Notes that in #Stafordshire in particular, there is a sense of relief that spatial strategy & local economies are "on the agenda at last" #IfGLevellingUp
.@greatermcr's John Wrathmell agrees. Says that the #CombinedAuthority has been concerned about #LevellingUp the region "before the government invented the phrase" & says that wanting to increase opportunity for all should be a "clear goal" of any Govt #IfGLevellingUp
Read 41 tweets
Great to see protections for private renters prioritised in the #LevellingUp White Paper today. Quick thread on what we’ve heard from tenants about why changes like ending Section 21 and improving standards are important - and long overdue🧵
We’ve been talking for years about renters facing disrepair in their homes, and how hard it can be to get problems fixed by landlords. Lockdowns threw light on this - @CitizensAdvice saw 64% more renters with disrepair problems last year than before the pandemic
But we also know that many renters don’t report issues at all. With funding from @NationwideFdtn we’ve set up the Tenants Voice panel - a group of private renters who’ve told us they often don’t complain because they’re worried it could cause more problems
Read 7 tweets
Thread 🧵
Two months from today, I’ll be walking solo along the 26 miles of the London Marathon course to help @TrussellTrust in its #RaceAgainstHunger. Talk of #LevellingUp today, so I’ve been reflecting on links between food insecurity and health. 1/4
trusselltrust.enthuse.com/pf/neil-tester…
2/4 The UK Poverty 2022 report by @jrf_uk sets out the size and consequences of this problem. Strong resonance for me with the things I’ve worked on at @RichmondGroup14 in relation to health inequity and multiple long-term conditions.
jrf.org.uk/report/uk-pove…
3/4 The @jrf_uk report sets out really clearly what food insecurity does to people’s health and how it links to wider economic causes and effects. Food insecurity Why is this important? Food security is not Understanding Society data (Bramley et al, 2021) collected d
Read 5 tweets

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