The UK Local Government Minister, James Brokenshire MP, came to the House of Commons this week to announce a £1billion fund for English towns.
There was no announcement as yet for any such funding for Scottish or Welsh towns which he insisted would be announced “in due course”. There was no commitment that proportionately Scotland and Wales would receive the same level of funding for towns.
This is a mere distraction from the fact that Scotland is set to lose huge sums of EU Structural Funding from 2020 as the Government refuses to commit to replacing the £840m we are set to lose from 2020 to 2027.
The Prime Minister assured me on 5th December that EU Structural Funding, to be replaced by a UK Prosperity Fund and a consultation on that would begin “by the end of the year” in 2018. We still have no detail on this at all.
So when/if Stronger Towns Funds are announced for Scotland, it will be a poor substitute indeed for this huge loss to Scotland post-Brexit which funded employability services, social mobility projects and a range of other services to our communities.