North-south divide widening, warns MP

SARAH Champion warned that the north-south divide will widen if the government does not urgently rethink its Levelling Up approach.

The second round of funding saw Yorkshire projects receive £120 million but those in London and the south-east awarded more than £210 million.

MP Ms Champion said figures show Rotherham received £12,543 per person in government funding during 2021/22 — an increased deficit on London of 3.9 per cent compared with the year before.

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Ms Champion, who has written to Levelling Up secretary Michael Gove about the disparity, said it was “bizarre” to see London receive vastly more cash.

“Levelling Up is nothing more than a buzzword,” she added. “The government has shown all to clearly that, whatever, it claims, it is simply entrenching existing inequalities.

“If it is serious about developing the northern economy and investing in our communities, it should put its money where its mouth is.

“This is simply more of the same from a government that neither understands, nor cares about the north.”