MHCLG renamed ‘Department for Levelling Up’

Michael Gove (Dreamstime/Kubajunek)

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) is to be renamed the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), after Michael Gove’s appointment as secretary of state in a cabinet reshuffle.

Gove will drive cross-Whitehall efforts to help the UK to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

As part of the change, former Bank of England chief economist Andy Haldane has been appointed as the new head of a Levelling Up Taskforce.

Gove will be assisted in the department by new minister of state Kemi Badenoch and Neil O’Brien, who has been appointed parliamentary under-secretary of state. Reappointed to the department are ministers of state Christopher Pincher and Lord Greenhalgh, and parliamentary under-secretary of state Eddie Hughes.

Prime minister Boris Johnson said: “This government is committed to uniting and levelling up every part of the UK and I am determined that as we build back better from the pandemic we are geared up with the teams and expertise to deliver on that promise.

“Andy is uniquely qualified to lead our efforts to raise living standards, spread opportunity, improve our public services and restore people’s sense of pride in their communities. I look forward to working with him, and with my new ministerial team, to deliver the opportunities this country needs.”

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  1. Re-naming and different personnel, all well and good but are they going to deliver in what in my humble opinion in simple terms what Levelling Up should be about:
    Making left behind places easier to get to / from
    Making left behind areas better places to live, work and invest in
    Education and skills, training and re-training – for life

    Something I think is pretty much guaranteed, however, is that, in the minds of residents, levelling up is about free market regeneration and employment opportunities. It isn’t about council subsidies and more public services.

    But is it also about:
    National and regional infrastructure.
    Community and neighbourhood investment.
    Lifelong Learning accounts and the means to use them.

    Lifelong Learning accounts will be the most challenging to deliver in any sort of timescale but government is right to resist issuing masses of temporary visas to mitigate current labour shortages. Seasonal shortages such as in fruit-picking are different.
    Generally, though, British businesses need to step up and invest in training again, like they used to, instead of relying on cheaper overseas labour.
    New and higher paid employment opportunities will make a major contribution to levelling up.
    People want opportunities – we don’t expect to be handed anything on a plate

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