For all the discussion there has been about ‘levelling up’ and the problem of regional inequality in the UK, little energy has been expended in finding out how people feel about their areas, what could and should be done to improve them, and who they trust to actually do it. The following report aims to fill this gap.
UK in a Changing Europe partnered with YouGov to carry out a survey of over 20,000 people from across England. This was the first survey of its kind on levelling up and regional inequality, and the first to assess the impact of changes to how England is governed, including the effect of the introduction of Metro Mayors. This survey was accompanied by a series of focus groups conducted by NatCen and King’s College London’s Policy Institute in Barking and Dagenham, Blackpool, Nottingham, Blyth and Barnsley – designed to capture the views of metropolitan boroughs, rural towns and coastal communities.
The aim was to find out how people in England feel about their local communities, what policies they feel would be most effective when it comes to ‘levelling up’ the country, how they would like these policies to be delivered, and who they trust to deliver them.
The survey, focus groups and final report were put together by Suzanne Hall (Policy Institute), Will Jennings (University of Southampton), Lawrence McKay (University of Southampton), Sophie Stowers (UKICE), Paula Surridge (UKICE) and Alan Wager (UKICE).