Build Back Better

Build Back Better

    Since the outset of COVID-19 crisis our focus as Liverpool City Region’s LEP, working closely with the Combined Authority through Growth Platform, has been to support the many thousands of our local businesses so severely affected by this global pandemic.

    We remain fully committed to that cause, focussed on supporting the significant and immediate needs of those impacted most by the situation and we will not waver from that commitment.

    As the country starts to consider how we emerge from lockdown safely and effectively, we too as the City Region’s business community must also consider how we do this, to protect our businesses and jobs and the lives of our residents.

    And as we do this, we have an opportunity to consider how we build a stronger, better, more inclusive and resilient local economy going forward. In short, how do we build back better?

    As we set out during our most recent LEP Annual Conference in November 2019, despite a decade of outstanding growth, far too many of the our City Region’s residents remained in poverty, on low incomes, with poor health and life expectancy, in some of the most deprived areas in the country, here on our doorstop.

    We committed then to addressing that inequality as an integral approach to the support and growth of our economy. And that commitment is even more important today as we consider how to plan for our recovery and the future.

    Over the last few difficult weeks we have seen how vital our businesses are to the economic wellbeing of our community.

    We have also seen that many of the people who play a vital role in protecting the most vulnerable in our society are working in challenging conditions often on low pay.

    And we have seen just how intrinsically interconnected the health and wellbeing of our people and our economy are.

    Which leads us to ask the question: “How do we build back better?”

    In the throes of this devastating crisis that has taken so many lives and so many livelihoods, can we imagine a better way, a stronger, more resilient future?

    • A future where business can be profitable and sustainable, but not at any cost.
    • Where the people who provide our food, clean our workplaces, empty our bins, deliver our parcels and look after us when we are ill – the services we too often take for granted – are treated and paid at a level that reflects the valuable roles they perform.
    • Where budding entrepreneurs of any age, stage and postcode can grasp the new business opportunities presented by the changing needs and behaviours that we will see emerging.
    • Where people can be employed in meaningful jobs and pursue their dream careers, but still have time left in their day to spend with family and friends.
    • Where young people can fulfil their true potential and where being digitally enabled means more fulfilling and better paid work.

    In a recent survey, only 9% of people wanted to return to life just as it was pre COVID-19. Clearly, we haven’t got things right.

    So, can we possibly use the Covid 19 crisis to redesign our future?

    Can we work together – business, public sector, third sector and citizens – to build an economy that’s better for everyone in Liverpool City Region, and for our northern neighbours?

    We think the answer to these questions is a resounding YES!

    In this emerging new world, the pillars of our Local Industrial Strategy, which as a LEP we fully endorse – clean growth, digital, health innovation and advanced materials & manufacturing – will be more pertinent than ever, providing us with a strong strategic framework on which to begin building back.

    And so will the insight and expertise of business.

    Build Back Better is a movement of people and organisations who want to explore the opportunity to take stock, re-think and set a new course.

    As Liverpool City Region LEP we support the ambition of Build Back Better and would ask any business that is interested in shaping and informing this vision to get in touch with your thoughts on what better looks like and how you can get involved to help to build a better future.

    Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership
    Building Better with Business

    Build Back Better

     

    “The COVID-19 crisis has tested us on every level and exposed weaknesses and divides in our economy and society. But it could allow us to make this a re-set moment if we so choose. This is a chance to change to a better path; to capture the benefits of this time we have been living through.

    Working hand in hand with business, we believe we should:

    Re-think the way we work so that work is better for everyone and lifts productivity: more home-working for those who want it; a more flexible working day; and, crucially, fairly-paid, secure work for everyone.

    Re-think the way we care for people and the way we support those who provide care: accelerating the long-overdue reform of social care so that it creates an adequately-resourced system that can work to NHS standards; creating a new deal for social care workers; and giving the country a health and care system that supports all people in the same way, whether they have cancer or dementia.

    Re-think the way we move around so that we cut congestion, air pollution and keep people active: more road space for cycling and walking; speeding up the reform of public transport systems; and funding for small businesses and the self-employed to switch to cleaner vehicles.

    Re-think the way our economy works with more investment in future-facing industries and a new, devolved skills system to support it: accelerating the delivery of digital infrastructure in the more deprived areas; stimulating the green economy by kick-starting a major retrofitting programme of domestic properties; and refocusing and funding local industrial strategies.

    Re-think the way we provide housing in this country, recognising how it has been much easier for some than others to “stay at home” and also how the virus has spread the most in areas where housing is poorest and most over-crowded, by: accelerating efforts to end the housing crisis, and stimulating the economy in the process, by freeing up councils to build new homes for social rent; requiring higher standards of homes with the private-rented sector; and ending the need for rough sleeping by helping people who have been accommodated in recent weeks to make a permanent break from life on the streets.

    Re-think the way the country works so that cities, towns can define Build Back Better for themselves: much greater devolution of power and funding; and the Government’s “levelling-up” agenda not delayed but accelerated.

    If you support the call for a national movement and effort to capture these benefits, please sign up to help us Build Back Better.

    Recovering from Covid will be a massive challenge but in recent weeks we’ve seen how quickly we can drive change when we turn our minds to it. But by building something better than we had before, it will give our country the hope it needs.”

    Steve Rotheram
    Metro Mayor, Liverpool City Region