From a correspondent:
Once again the South West has missed out, in spite of Grant Shapps on Spotlight, a couple of days ago, telling us to “wait and see”.
The North and Midlands are shouting and screaming, despite receiving money from the transport swag bag. It is not enough. They need more to get their economy going.
Why is it that politicians in the South West are not “shouting and screaming” that our economy needs to get going and better transport might possibly help? Yes, we have had the Restoring Your Railway Fund, launched in January 2020 of £300 million. This is peanuts – just think of the billions being sunk on HS2 and London’s Cross rail.
Or perhaps they think that the London Waterloo to Exeter SINGLE TRACK is not a deterrent to economic growth. Are they happy with rail movement west of Exeter along the peninsula?
So what was Grant Shapps surprise present? Well, a letter from Boris endorsing the “Great South West has the raw materials to supply the rest of the UK with low carbon green power”.
What are these raw materials? Land for Solar Farms? Land for Wind Farms? I, amongst many others, had thought the “Great South West” was one of the prime agricultural areas of the Country.
Or does this refer to exploitation of the “Golden Opportunity” we are supposed to be enjoying from Hinkley C which seems to have had little or no economic impact on Devon and Cornwall?
It looks suspiciously like that this will be a very inexpensive option for the government, a bit of Magic Sauce and Catchup Ketchup.
Until we all stop voting for anything wearing a blue rosette it seems that the South West will always be the last in the line for government handouts. Just look at the 2019/20 funding per pupil in Devon. It was £4,395 compared to the national average of £4,689, a difference of £294. This gap has widened from £268 per pupil below the national average in 2018/19.