Warwickshire groups and organisations can help to level up our communities, councillors say

Groups and organisations should be encouraged to play their part in the levelling up of Warwickshire according to one county councillor.

Shire Hall, file image.
Shire Hall, file image.

Cllr Justin Kerridge (Con, Studley) made the call during this week’s (June 14) children and young persons overview and scrutiny committee at Warwickshire County Council in the hope of resolving a problem that councillors admitted had been around for many years.

Following a report outlining measures to ‘level up’ the county in terms of opportunities and restoring a sense of pride, he said: “This has been going on for decades with probably the same places in the county not doing as well as they might and I’m sure over those decades, the councillors and officers were trying to level up.

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“Groups and organisations can do an immense amount. Business groups, social groups, sports groups, school groups - local people who can turn a place around including the High Street.

“So if this council could invest in those communities and people on the ground then they might be able to do more than they currently do.”

Cllr Yousef Dahmash (Con, Hillmorton), who chaired the meeting, added: “It is worrying that people in this room from Nuneaton and Bedworth would have been having these conversations five, ten, 15 years ago and it is concerning that we are still having them now.

“Whether you are growing up in Camp Hill or Dunchurch you have the same chance to make the best of your abilities irrespective of where you were born, what school you went to or what your parents did. “

Council leader Cllr Izzi Seccombe (Con, Stour and the Vale) added that although there had been improvements, there was still some way to go.

She said: “This is about lighting a light for people and making sure that it is available for all. We can say that we have not changed but I hope that we have changed and reduced inequalities and built opportunities - but there is always more to be done.”

The presentation to councillors, one of a number being made to the overview and scrutiny communities at Shire Hall, came from the council’s strategic director for people Nigel Minns.

He said: “What we really need is a coherent concerted effort around some of this to bring some of those communities together.”