Less than a quarter of people surveyed believe their local high streets are improving, despite the government's commitment of £13 billion to the levelling-up agenda. While support for levelling up is strong, many associate the word "broken" with Britain, raising concerns about trust in political promises.
Delays and challenges have plagued levelling-up projects aimed at reducing regional inequality, as reported by the National Audit Office. Some experts and business owners argue that more urgent actions, such as reforming business rates, are needed to revive high streets.
The report suggests that to restore public faith in levelling up, the government must improve public services and carry out local regeneration projects.
With a general election expected, the Labour Party criticizes the government's levelling-up efforts and proposes devolving power to communities through a "Take Back Control Act." The government defends its levelling-up agenda, describing it as a long-term program aimed at revitalizing communities and boosting regional economies.