In lieu of a Spending Review? Levelling up in the long run

How can we emerge out of a decade of austerity and into a post-Covid future?

18 November 2020
Zoom and live stream

Watch the full video on Youtube or listen to the podcast below.

With confirmation that the forthcoming spending review will cover just a single year, CPP will be asking questions about longer-term investment to level up. A sound foundation of social infrastructure will be crucial to creating a fairer society where everyone can contribute to and benefit from economic growth, but how do we get there? We will be asking what the priorities should be, and how to reboot the spending review away from a top-down technocratic exercise into an opportunity to frame a shared vision for building back better.


  • Charlotte Alldritt, Director, Centre for Progressive Policy
  • Dominic Campbell, CEO of Futuregov
  • Professor Francesca Gains, Co-Director of Policy@Manchester, University of Manchester
  • Mark Gregory, incoming director of the Centre for Towns


  • Heather Jameson, Editor of The MJ

The debate includes contributions from Rt Hon Lord David Willetts, Caroline Slocock of Civil Exchange and Tony Smith of the West Midlands Combined Authority.

Join the debate on twitter by using #CPPLevelup

You can join the discussion on Zoom by registering below or follow the conversation on our Youtube channel, twitter or on Facebook.

Charlotte Alldritt

Director, Centre for Progressive Policy

Charlotte was Director of Public Services and Communities at the RSA, where she also ran the Inclusive Growth Commission – chaired by Stephanie Flanders – and City Growth Commission – chaired by Lord Jim O’Neill. Before joining the RSA, Charlotte was a Senior Policy Advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister, Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP, working on immigration, energy and housing. She is an advisor to Power to Change, New Philanthropy Capital, the Civic University Network and an external member of the APPG for Left Behind Neighbourhoods. Charlotte also advises the OECD on Inclusive Growth Financing and is a member of the SIPHER Inclusive Economy Advisory Group at the University of Sheffield.

Dominic Campbell

CEO, Futuregov

Dominic Campbell is a social technology innovator helping public service professionals serve their clients more effectively and efficiently. He has extensive experience with professional collaboration and organisational change, particularly in local government. FutureGov helps to build 21st-century health and public sector organisations, supporting them with digital transformation, service design and community development. In recent months FutureGov has helped local authorities and NHS partners with their immediate response to the COVID-19 crisis and has brought together a group of leaders in local government to examine options for the design of scalable, publicly owned ventures that are better than current services and that cost less.

Professor Francesca Gains

Co-Director of Policy@Manchester, University of Manchester

Francesca is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and on the editorial board of the Journal of Public Policy, Local Government Studies and the International Review of Administrative Sciences. Her research explores the relationship between political management arrangements and policy outcomes, with current projects on the devolution agenda and the changing use of impact assessment across Whitehall. Previous projects include a review of constitutional reform in English local government, research for the Standards Board for England, the Lyons Inquiry into Local Government and the Roberts Commission on the Role of Councillors, and the introduction of new political management arrangements in central government through the establishment of executive agencies. She was the recipient of the Herbert Kaufman Award for the Best Paper in Public Administration at the 2007 American Political Science Association Conference

Mark Gregory

Incoming Director, Centre for Towns

Mark Gregory, Chief Economist at EY (UK) and member of the UK Government’s Trade Advisory Group on Investment, is the fourth Director of the Centre For Towns alongside Lisa Nandy MP, Professor Will Jennings and Ian Warren. Mark is also Chair of the newly established Centre For Towns Advisory Board. Mark Gregory joins the Centre For Towns with over 30 years’ experience as a business economist in over 40 countries, advising governments and industry on economics, policy and regulation, including working with the government of Argentina and the World Bank to develop solutions to the debt and economic crisis in 1989 and 1990.

Heather Jameson (Chair)

Editor of The MJ

Heather Jameson is editor of The MJ, the leading weekly local government title for chief executives and senior managers, and of Her career started more than 20 years ago, alongside the birth of the Local Government Association and the beginnings of the Blair government, and she has been a prominent reporter and commentator in the sector ever since. Heather joined The MJ in 1999 as news editor and rose to her current post of editor. The MJ has gone from strength to strength within the past 20 years, expanding news, views and opinions in the sector and dominating the recruitment market. She is a regular speaker at both local government events and The MJ’s own events, including The MJ Future Forum, The Future Forum North and The MJ Achievement Awards. Heather was a member of the Councillors’ Commission, chaired by Professor Colin Copus of De Montfort University, and a passionate advocate of local government.