The Levelling Up agenda has been a staple feature of British politics since the Conservative’s 2019 general election victory, with the release of the Levelling Up White Paper in February 2022 pinpointing the need to improve living standards and spread opportunity more evenly particularly in ‘left behind’ places. However, the UK is one of the most spatially imbalanced countries in the developed world, meaning the problems in ‘left behind’ locales are long running, deeply embedded and cannot be solved overnight.
In this webinar, Dr Luke Telford and Dr Jonathan Wistow expose the challenges to Levelling Up ‘left behind’ places. Drawing upon interviews with residents of a ‘left behind’ locale and Directors of Regeneration (N=30), we illuminate how these structural obstacles include deindustrialisation, insecure work, degeneration of the local community and criminal activity. Given the scale and nature of these problems combined with ongoing social and political crises, we conclude by suggesting only transformative change will serve to resurrect the UK’s ‘left behind’ places.
About the speakers
Dr Luke Telford
Dr Luke Telford is a Lecturer in Criminal Justice & Social Policy at the University of York. Luke’s main interests include working-class culture, political economy, structural problems in ‘left behind’ communities, politics, and social harm. He is the author/co-author of four books including the recent monograph entitled English Nationalism and its Ghost Towns.
Dr Jonathan Wistow
Dr Jonathan Wistow is an Associate Professor at Durham University. Jonathan’s main interests include place-based social policy, governance systems, political economy and health inequalities. He is the author/co-author of three books including the recent book entitled Social Policy, Political Economy and the Social Contract.