Liam Byrne, Labour’s Shadow Mayor for the West Midlands, has expressed his “profound disappointment” in the Government’s allocation to the West Midlands from its ‘Getting Building Fund’ which is worth just £21 per person in the region.
Liam said: “We all agree that to build back better from the Covid19 crisis, we will need huge investment that will allow us to kickstart green manufacturing, protect livelihoods while preparing ourselves for the jobs of the future. If we were getting our fair share of the existing funding, the West Midlands would be in line for billions of pounds of investment. Instead, we are getting just £74.1million – that’s just £21 per person.”
“The disappointing allocation from the Conservative Government in Westminster shows the weakness of our own local Tory Mayor in failing to deliver for the West Midlands.”
Liam added: “Our Tory Mayor asked for £3.2 billion for a plan which didn't go nearly far enough. Yet, even on this inadequate ask, his Conservative pals in Westminster took a look at him and said no to 98% of it. That is a colossal failure of leadership by the Tory Mayor and absolute failure to back our region by the Tory Government.”
“This is not nearly enough to stop mass unemployment in the West Midlands”
Liam Byrne has been calling for a Green New Deal for the West Midlands –amounting to £3.1 billion of capital investment alone, to ensure that the West Midlands is at the heart of the Green Manufacturing. Byrne has also called for several existing funds to be brought together to provide a ‘Right to Work’ and ‘Right to Train’ schemes to help keep people in work and provide training opportunities for those who want to get into work.
Previously, Byrne has warned that the Bank of England is forecasting unemployment in the West Midlands could rise to 324,800 if action is not taken.