Levelling Up

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:43 pm on 20 November 2023.

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Photo of Kevan Jones Kevan Jones Labour, North Durham 3:43, 20 November 2023

I am not sure whether the Minister lives in some parallel universe, but he came to the Dispatch Box today to talk about the simplification of the process—a process that both he and the Secretary of State have been implementing—as though it is nothing to do with them.

County Durham had one successful bid in the first round, which happened to be in Bishop Auckland—surprise, surprise—the constituency of the former levelling-up Minister. In round 2, Durham County Council was asked to put in bids and spent hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money doing so. Once the bids were in, it was told that they would not be considered because it had had a successful one in round 1. Will the Minister compensate Durham County Council for the money it has wasted, not through its own inefficiency but because he seems to chip, chop and change the rules when he likes?