Good local shops ‘the most important issue facing East Yorkshire residents’

More than a fifth of people believe improving local shops is the most urgent issue in East Yorkshire, according to a survey.

Thursday, 13th May 2021, 9:50 am
Improving local shops is the most urgent issue in East Yorkshire, according to a survey.

It comes as the Government is set to outline its plan to ‘level up’ the country, though anti-poverty charity the Joseph Rowntree Foundation said it must improve on its “piecemeal” attempts so far.

A survey by the think tank Demos asked 20,000 adults in parliamentary constituencies across Great Britain to choose which one of nine issues most urgently needs improving in their local area.

In East Yorkshire, 22% of residents chose good local shops.

This was followed by good transport services (17%), and premises to support local jobs (14%).

This mirrored the national picture, with the same three issues also the most pressing across Britain.

Demos said prioritising retailers was particularly prevalent in more built-up areas, while rural communities were more likely to see a lack of quality transport as a problem.

The think-tank has urged the Government to reflect on its research as it considers how best to spend the £4.8 billion earmarked for a levelling-up fund to reduce inequality across the UK.

The survey also asked people how happy they are with what is currently on offer in their area.

In this area, an estimated 27% of residents think that the provision of facilities they consider most important is nearer to ‘bad’ than ‘good’ – compared to the national average of 25%.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised a levelling-up White Paper in the recent Queen’s Speech – to be unveiled later this year – saying it would “turbocharge” economic recovery nationwide.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said the Levelling Up Fund will regenerate high streets, upgrade local transport and invest in cultural assets.

A spokeswoman added: “Our Plan for Jobs will create opportunities for people of all ages wherever they live by boosting skills and giving them the best possible chance of getting a job.”