How to ‘build back better’

“I’m glad to see the government make innovation its north star for recovery and growth.”

National government should “take a ‘golden opportunity’ and empower councils to lead the levelling up agenda in England, and fundamentally ‘rethink’ their councils’ in society.”

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Last week, the Prime Minister chaired a meeting of the Build Back Better Business Council:

As part of discussing the importance of getting the economy moving, he welcomed action to accelerate the development of British made electric vehicles and the Innovation Strategy published last week.

He also highlighted that progress could be co-delivered by mobilising local leadership on levelling up, investing in research and development, and tackling skills gaps in emerging sectors such as green jobs, construction and digital:

Rural Related Politics – An RSN weekly review – Rural Services Network

Build Back Better Business Council meeting: 29 July 2021 – GOV.UK

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There’s been considerable interest in the development of British made electric vehicles and the Innovation Strategy:

Seven British companies pledge to electrify fleets by 2030 – electrive.com

Major British businesses join forces to accelerate EV uptake | Current News

Major British players come together to electrify transport in the UK

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As for the UK being “on the verge of an innovation revolution”, here’s the take from Dr Clive Hickman, chief executive of the Manufacturing Technology Centre:

In last week’s Innovation Strategy, the government unveiled a roadmap for how it will deliver this. Among the announcements made was an increase in annual public investment in research and development to a record £22bn, an overhaul of government procurement for innovative products, and a commitment to consult on how policy and regulation can best set innovators up for success.

I’m glad to see the government make innovation its north star for recovery and growth. At the Manufacturing Technology Centre, we see innovation as essential. Essential for achieving strategic ambitions like net zero, but also as a vital catalyst for reclaiming the UK’s position as a manufacturing powerhouse. We believe that early-stage investment in tomorrow’s technologies, like robotics, advanced materials, and new methods of manufacturing, will help make the UK a world leader in manufacturing, matching its successes as a science superpower.

Setting out a path to the UK’s innovation revolution | The Engineer The Engineer

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As for this happening “by mobilising local leadership on levelling up” – this is something being pushed for by local authorities:

Last week, the PM promised to ‘rewrite’ the rulebook on devolution, offering the same powers to county areas as those given to city regions in devolution deals in previous years. Currently, only three counties have secured a devolution deal.

The County Councils Network (CCN) has written to the PM welcoming the commitment and saying that county leaders are ready to deliver the Government’s agenda ‘through substantive devolved powers that until now have only been available to mayors in the city regions.’

However, the letter urges ministers to ensure that county councils and unitary authorities lead negotiations with government to secure powers in areas such as transport, infrastructure, and skills, which could have a major impact on rebuilding communities.

The letter comes as new report from PwC urges national Government to take a ‘golden opportunity’ and empower councils to lead the levelling up agenda in England, and fundamentally ‘rethink’ their councils’ in society…

LocalGov.co.uk – Your authority on UK local government – Empowering county councils ‘game-changer’ for levelling-up

   
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