White Paper is unfocussed and lacks the funds needed to truly level up

Lee Bloomfield, MHA Chief Executive

The Government’s Levelling Up White Paper contains blurred aspirations and little real investment for left behind communities, the chief executive of Bradford-based Manningham Housing Association has said.

In a statement issued after Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove presented the 332-page document to MPs earlier today, Lee Bloomfield said: “The present Government was propelled to power off the back of a promise to make swift progress in improving the quality of life of people living in the most deprived neighbourhoods in the country.

“Whilst I accept that Covid-19 has got in the way of progress, it did buy Ministers more time to transform their campaign slogans into a carefully considered and detailed plan for major investment in left behind communities.

“Instead, we have a long-winded, unfocussed document with blurred ambitions that lacks the level of new funds required to make a real difference in the short, medium and long-terms.

“Bradford district has been at the sharp end of an endless stream of broken promises over many years, most recently when commitments to build a new Northern Powerhouse Rail link between Leeds and Manchester – including a through station in Bradford city centre – were found to be empty.

“Young people from Bradford and Keighley, including large numbers from BAME communities, want the chance to achieve their potential through greater access to educational opportunities, more good jobs and many more affordable homes.

“There is so much talent in the district and we want these aspiring individuals to stay, benefit the economy and lead fulfilling lives.

“I fear that they have been let down yet again.”