Level with us... we need more! - PCC blog

PCC Emily Spurrell overlooking the strand

There’s been a lot of talk about ‘levelling up’ in the news recently. But what does it actually mean, and what does it have to do with the police?

Levelling up is the Government’s plan to ensure everyone gets the same opportunities regardless of where they live. For areas like Merseyside, this should mean tackling the long-standing structural inequalities that exist between North and South.

It should mean investment in infrastructure across the region including in areas like transport and housing.

But it runs even deeper.

Poverty and inequality are huge factors in crime rates and the safety of our communities.

We know that addressing these deep-rooted issues is the best way to cut crime, keep people safe and give young people a brighter future. It’s also the best way to build community resilience so people feel secure and empowered to grasp new opportunities and thrive within our region.

Sadly, this clearly doesn’t seem to have translated to ministers, as evidenced by last week’s levelling up white paper.

Take Knowsley.

It’s the third most deprived local authority in the country. There’s no doubt it’s an area of great need and it’s been identified as a ‘cold spot’ where young people are not getting the same opportunities young people in other parts of the country are getting.

Yet it hasn’t received a penny. 

The Prime Minister and Michael Gove may use the rhetoric of leaving no community behind.

But their actions speak far louder than their words.

Policing, community safety, social care, youth services - these are essential services which cannot and should not be delivered on the cheap.

When I was elected I promised to fight for our region and do everything I could to generate more investment in Merseyside, not just to cut crime but to prevent it from happening in the first place and support the victims and communities who have suffered.

Since taking office, I’m proud to have secured an extra £4million of much-needed funding for our region. Vital funds which have gone to the areas of greatest need.

But it’s not enough.

Our region deserves an equal share of investment and our kids deserve equal opportunities in life.

It’s essential if we are to build a safer, stronger Merseyside where everyone can succeed.