First of all, I would like to wish everyone a happy new year. Last year, I received thousands of emails, letters, and phone-calls from local people across Wolverhampton South West. I also received over a thousand replies to my surveys on local issues such as crime, the environment, and the economy. I value each connection that has been made. It has helped to inform my work locally and in Parliament.
As we look to the year ahead, I want to double down on my consultation work. I want to hear from as many constituents as possible and continue to champion the issues that matter to local people. Over the last few months, I have been running a new survey on my website. This survey is designed to provide me with information on priorities for our COVID-19 recovery plan. I am thrilled that over six hundred people have already replied. The first set of responses informed my submission to the Chancellor’s Spending Review which saw, amongst other things, £20 million for the City Learning Quarter, £500 million for a UK-wide Household Support Fund, and record investment in our vital public services.
As part of these plans, we are providing local government with the largest increase in core funding for over a decade. I recently wrote in favour of spending plans set out in the Provisional Local Government Finance Settlement, which makes available an additional £3.5 billion to councils to deliver key services, including £111 million grant funding for those responsible for services such as homelessness, planning, recycling and refuse collection and leisure services. I am particularly pleased it would see core spending power available to the City of Wolverhampton Council grow by 7.7% to £264.8 million in 2022/23.
Last month, my annual report detailed the significant level of Government investment that we have already secured for Wolverhampton in recent years – now standing at over £1 billion since my election in December 2019. I know that this funding will help to transform our city’s prospect as we build back better from the pandemic. Levelling up means ensuring that people’s opportunities are not constrained by where they live. It is the fundamental mission of this Government, and I look forward to working even more with my Ministerial colleagues and key partners to deliver on our ambitious plans in 2022. As I do so, I would be extremely grateful for your feedback via the survey below. You are also always very welcome to contact me. My contact details can be found at www.stuartanderson.org.uk/contact.