Coronavirus independent retailers call for government support

The government has outlined its plans to tackle crime in communities and boost connectivity and access in rural areas.

Outlined in the government’s levelling up white paper released today, the main focus is on improving standards of living and working in disadvantaged areas across the UK through the delivery of 12 ‘missions’ by 2030.

The document highlights a shift, with more mayors instated in areas like York and North Yorkshire and commitments to begin working on a ‘London style’ devolution deal to be granted by 2030.

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The ‘London style’ devolution plan includes the support towards 20 towns and city centres, undertaking King’s Cross-style regeneration projects, starting off with Wolverhampton and Sheffield.

ACS chief executive James Lowman stressed that the rhetoric to tackle crime must be backed up with action. “This rhetoric needs to be backed with resources and powers for Police and Crime commissioners and Neighbourhood Policing Teams to improve their response to crime in shops and elsewhere in communities,” he said.

Rural communities continue to fall behind with access to broadband with, “connectivity now an essential to running a business effectively and legally,” he added. “Rural shops in particular are being held back by poor connectivity and these retailers will be holding the government account on their pledge today.”

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The ACS continues to advocate for the right policy environment to support business investment, productivity and growth, “starting with long overdue reform of the business rates system.”

68 more local authorities were revealed to be supported by the High Streets Task Force to transform their town centers, Lowman added: “We are encouraged that the High Streets Task Force is specifically identitied to play a role in promoting the best use of funds to support town center developments,

“I am excited to see them help shape effective investment in those place.”

Government missions announced
  • By 2030, pay, employment and productivity will have risen in every area of the UK, with each containing a globally competitive city, with the gap between the top performing and other areas closing.
  • By 2030, the UK will have nationwide gigabit-capable broadband and 4G coverage, with 5G coverage for the majority of the population.
  • By 2030, the gap in Healthy Life Expectancy (HLE) between local areas where it is highest and lowest will have narrowed, and by 2035 HLE will rise by 5 years.
  • By 2030, pride in place, such as people’s satisfaction with their town centre and engagement in local culture and community, will have risen in every area of the UK, with the gap between the top performing and other areas closing.
  • By 2030, homicide, serious violence, and neighbourhood crime will have fallen, focused on the worst-affected areas.

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