APPG hosts Parliamentary reception with Liz Truss

2 July 2019

Business and political leaders met in Parliament on Tuesday 25th June to launch a joint East of England plan to make the region a powerhouse for the UK economy. Already a net contributor to the Exchequer, the submission claims the region could do more if it were better supported – for example, if transport spend per head of population was raised to the national average.

The East of England All-Party Parliamentary Group, working jointly with the East of England Local Government Association, delivered its submission to the Government’s Autumn Budget and Spending Review. It showcases the region’s potential for prosperity, productivity and inclusivity, as well as six challenges where it looks for Government support to overcome.

The Rt Hon Liz Truss, Chief Secretary to the Treasury and MP for South West Norfolk, formally received the report, which was presented to her by APPG Co-Chairs, Peter Aldous, MP for Waveney, and Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge, as well as Cllr David Finch, Chair of the East of England Local Government Association and Leader of Essex County Council.

The report came to six hard hitting conclusions about the East of England, including the urgent need for investment in transport schemes and increase transport spend per head – currently £402 – to the UK average which is £483, 20% higher. By way of comparison, Government figures compiled by IPPR show that in London the figure is £1,019 per person.

Other recommendations from the report include:

  • Prioritise support for the delivery of housing including more affordable housing.
  • Make the East of England a leader in digital connectivity, including action to eradicate mobile “not spots,” and to increase full fibre networks for business.
  • Boost apprenticeships and skills provision so it is fit for purpose in the post-Brexit economy of the future.
  • Ensure the region has the funds to be able to meet the impact of climate change, given the region is low lying and receives less rainfall than parts of the Middle East, and help maximise opportunities to be leaders in the drive towards a low carbon economy.
  • Devolve decision making and finance to Local Authorities and local partnerships such as LEPs and Sub-National Transport Bodies, including a sustainable, long term financial settlement for local government.

The report is available to read here.