The Leader and Deputy Leader of Essex County Council, Cllr Kevin Bentley and Cllr Louise McKinlay were at the forefront of discussions and leading on the ‘levelling up’ agenda at Conservative Party Conference this week.
‘Levelling up’ is at the very heart of the Government’s vision, with Prime Minister, Boris Johnson describing it as "the greatest project that any government can embark on.” In his closing speech to Conference, the Prime Minister said that the Conservatives nationally will deliver on their ambition to unleash the potential of the whole nation as they work to build back better post-pandemic. The Government will work alongside local government to make their ambitious plans a reality.
The optimistic national agenda ties together with the work that Essex Conservatives are doing to level up locally, working to deliver an ‘Essex for Everyone’. Party Conference was an opportunity to showcase the work already being done to ensure opportunity for all as we renew our economy, promote equality for all and drive ambition. Whilst, setting out plans to make Essex an even better place to live and work.
Speaking at a British Future’s panel at Conference, Leader of Essex County Council, Councillor Kevin Bentley said
“I see society as a big jigsaw. There are good pieces and difficult pieces. I view levelling up as joining the pieces at national and local government.”
Kevin explained that on a local level there is a need to recognise the different starting points of different people and places. Everyone should have the ability to take them where their talents allow regardless of where they come from. Education, jobs, and skills are the key to achieving this. As well as vital services the county provides including Social Care and Children Services. He stressed that Essex Conservatives will work closely with Government to drive the best outcomes for our great county.
Deputy Leader of Essex County Council, Cllr Louise McKinlay was a panellist at several events engaging on the topic of ‘levelling up’ and talking about the steps already been taken across Essex and the vision for the year ahead. Louise said,
“We are working hard at Essex County Council to strengthen communities and share opportunities across the county.”
At a Conservative Home Panel on Social Care, she noted that increasing opportunity must benefit every section of society, for example Essex County Council recognise the importance of increasing opportunities for people with Learning Disabilities.
The action being taken in Essex shows the important role local authorities must play in rebuilding our nation post-pandemic. Essex County Council will continue to lead the charge on levelling up, tackling specific challenges for individual communities, igniting aspiration, providing opportunities, and making sure no one in Essex is left behind.