The APPG for 'left behind' neighbourhoods was active between June 2020 and March 2024. This website will no longer be updated.

Ahead of the Budget and Spending Review on 27 October, parliamentarians from the APPG for ‘left behind’ neighbourhoods and the APPG on inclusive growth have joined with the economics think tank the Centre for Progressive Policy (CPP) to call on the Government to commit to ambitious action to Build Back Better after COVID-19.

Read the statement 

Key recommendations include:

  • Expanding the Pupil Premium to provide more funding for disadvantaged pupils, helping to tackle the impact of the pandemic on their educational attainment and breaking the link between low attainment and poor employment prospects. Signatories are calling on eligibility to be expanded to include children living in households earning less than £24,400 (representing the bottom 40% of the UK income distribution, and half of households with children). In the North East for instance, 62% of families with children have a household income below £24,440 and the new policies would bring in an additional spend of £432 per primary school child in the region. By comparison, in London 44.8% of families have a household income below the threshold, bringing in an additional spend of £278 per primary school child
  • Using the additional funding made available for the NHS to not just clear the current backlog but also safeguard community public health budgets, helping to improve the health resilience of communities and tackle the underlying causes of ill health
  • As we approach COP26, ensuring that there is a ‘just transition’ to a low carbon economy by establishing a Just Transition Fund for local authorities to help alleviate the financial impact on people least able to bear the costs of reaching net zero. Also introducing a Net Zero Retraining Scheme to assist people who’ve been displaced by decarbonisation into new, quality jobs
  • Establishing a £2bn Community Wealth Fund using the next wave of dormant assets (e.g. bonds, stocks, shares, securities, insurance and pension policies) to ensure targeted, neighbourhood-level, long-term, community-led investment in the social infrastructure of the most disadvantaged and ‘left behind’ places

The two APPGs and CPP are joining together to make this statement in light of their common commitment to addressing the social and economic barriers holding back people and places across the United Kingdom. They also recognise that addressing these long-term challenges requires a cross-party commitment to doing so, with a plan to span successive parliaments. The full statement issued today can be read below.

Paul Howell MP, co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for ‘left behind’ neighbourhoods, said:

“We strongly endorse the recommendations in this joint statement and hope that they are reflected by the Government – in the Spending Review and beyond.

“The recommendations form the basis of the transformative change that ‘left behind’ neighbourhoods require to tackle disparities in health and education, whilst ensuring that we meet our obligations to the planet. ‘Left behind’ neighbourhoods really are at risk of being hit harder in the long term by the pandemic and the impacts of climate change, and now is the time to ensure they don’t fall further behind and that we Build Back Better right across the country.”

Dame Diana Johnson MP, co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for ‘left behind’ neighbourhoods, said:

“We welcome this joint initiative alongside our colleagues from across Parliament, providing a vision for a better, more equal and sustainable future for our country. 

“We know that ‘left behind’ neighbourhoods suffer worse outcomes across a range of indicators such as education, health and employment. Expanding the eligibility for the Pupil Premium and establishing a Community Wealth Fund would certainly help these neighbourhoods to gain a more equal footing with better-off areas. If the Government really wants to make a change to the lives of people in ‘left behind’ neighbourhoods, targeted investment and support like the measures suggested by these recommendations are what is needed to overcome inequalities once and for all.”

In addition to tackling the challenges exacerbated by the pandemic, the policy recommendations outlined in the statement pioneer a new approach to investing in the most deprived or ‘left behind’ neighbourhoods, which trusts local people with spending decisions. This new approach will not only help to boost the UK’s long-term productivity potential but also to develop a strengthened, shared national identity by enabling more people to contribute to, and benefit from, the UK’s prosperity.

These themes will also be discussed at CPP’s Inclusive Growth Conference 2021, which takes place today (20th October). Speakers include Vice Chair of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership and former Treasury Minister Lord Jim O’Neill, the author and economist Dambisa Moyo, former Cabinet Minister Rt Hon Liam Byrne MP and Conservative MPs Paul Howell and John Stevenson.

Register for the event