It’S, win win for the whole united kingdom, and, and so this is the plan, and i i will believe uh that we’ve made progress on leveling up when we’ve begun to raise living standards, spread opportunity, improved our public services and restored people’s sense of pride in their Community across the whole of the uk, you’ve got to begin by getting the basics right and we’ve got to begin by fighting crime, because we will never level up across our country. While some kids kids face the the mis, the the misery of of dealing with the uh, the county lines, drugs gangs and some kids do not and that’s. Why we’re putting rings of steel around towns that are plagued with these gangs and steadily driving them out? And so far, we’ve squeezed more than a thousand county lines: drugs gangs out of business and that’s. Why uh we’re? We want tough sentences, we’re imposing tough sentences and we’re recruiting 20 000. More police and we’ll be we’ll, be ruthless in fighting crime because it is the poorest and most vulnerable who suffer the most and obviously to give kids alternatives to these gangs. We’Ll, invest in all sorts of things, but particularly grassroots sports, and i can today announce another 50 million pounds, for instance, for football pitches, so that we give new opportunities to the the football stars of the future and that, ultimately, you are never more than 15 minutes Away from a high quality football pitch, and we won’t succeed in leveling up when so many people are off work because they’re, sick or stressed uh, or because they suffer from obesity or problems with their mental health and that’s.
Why we are tackling those problems, tackling the problem of junk food, we’re, rewarding exercise and we’re investing colossally more than ever before in our national health service building 40 new hospitals recruiting 50 000 more nurses we’re going to deal with the backlog of those waiting for elective Surgeries and the single biggest thing we can do, of course, in addition to investing in in public service, to change, people’s lives and to give them the confidence and the serotonin that everybody needs to deal with the the day is to give people the chance of a Good job on decent pay – and that means the private sector has to invest to create those jobs and we must create the conditions for business confidence and when people look at the west midlands here where we we are today, the birthplace of the industrial revolution, place that Changed the world they remember – and you remember this unbelievably uh – the number of private sector jobs actually fell, uh three percent under the last labour government in the west midlands, and they know one of the the reasons for that lack of productivity. One of the things that was holding the west midlands back has been the lack of mass transit, the lack of public transport, the basic difficulty of getting from your home to your place of work and that’s. Why? I support your vision, andy for putting in those new metro lines and that’s. Why today i’m fulfilling my promise to give eight city regions like the west midlands, the funding to start making their bus and train networks as good as london by launching our city region’s sustainable transport fund 4.
2 billion pounds that local leadership can spend on projects like contactless Ticketing new tram lines, bike lanes and i speak of somebody who’s – put in more bike lanes, probably than anybody else in this country uh. They are they’re deeply resisted by some people, but overall they are massively popular and i thoroughly recommend them, and this is part of the biggest infrastructure investment in the history of our countries, 640 billion pounds on roads on rail, on housing, clean power generation. We will use the findings of sir peter hendy’s union connectivity review to see how we can strengthen the sinews of the whole united kingdom, getting hs2 trains to scotland, giving new impetus to projects that benefit the whole country, the a1, the link, scotland and england, the a75, That links uh northern ireland and scotland and england uh the links into wales along the m4 corridor uh the the a55 dozens of other crucial projects, long overdue, like the a303 to the greater southwest and we’ve, made huge progress by the way in rolling out gigabit broadband. Throughout the uk, when i became prime minister almost exactly two years ago, seven percent of the country, as i never tired of saying at the time seven percent of the country had gigabit connection by the end of this year. We will be hitting 60 percent, and that has the potential to revolutionize our patterns of work and provide a tailwind for leveling up and no matter how frustrating we may find life on zoom.
We can see how this technology and its successors will allow the places that have been left behind or felt left behind, to become places that retain their talent and professionals will be able to stay and bring up their families and enjoy a higher quality of life. Without the need to move to a supposedly fashionable conurbation and we’re, also helping young people to fulfill their dream of owning the home, they, whether in a place where they want to live with our 95 mortgage guarantee, as well as reserving a portion of homes in some New developments for first time, buyers at a discount of at least 30 percent, and this government is backing the improvement of the lives of people growing up in these areas. With the leveling up fund 4.8 billion pounds spent to be spent across the whole of britain, england, scotland and wales, and with town deals with another 15 of them, announced today helping local people to renew the places they live from the civic square in tilbury to the Hippodrome theater in modern, removing chewing gum graffiti breathing new life into town centers through our high street strategy, which is also published today and though the overall uh that each change may be individually. Small. The overall effect can be transformative in making that environment attractive as a place to live and to bring up a family and to invest. And, of course, what is the key question that people ask themselves. Young families ask themselves about a neighborhood it’s, not just whether it’s, safe and all has a good transport it’s, whether the schools are good and we need to give all our children the guarantee of a great education with safe and well disciplined classes, fantastic teachers.
So we are literally leveling up funding for primary and secondary education with a higher level of funding per pupil, so that every teacher starts on a salary of thirty thousand pounds and we must face the reality that in loss of learning and loss of life chances, some Children have been hit harder by this pandemic than others, and so we’ve put in place the biggest tutoring program anywhere in the world to help them catch up a catch up program by the way that is already worth 3 billion on top of the 14 billion pounds That we invested as soon as this government came in, but it is in post 16 education, post 16, where the differences across our society are starkist. It cannot be right that bath has 78 percent of its population with a level 3 or equivalent qualification. Bradford has only 42 and that’s why this government is so obsessed. Uh, the chancellor, everybody uh rob generic. We are all obsessed with skilling up our population. We love our universities, we believe they’re, one of the great glories of this country, but we need to escalate the value of practical and vocational education with its power to transform people’s lives and that’s. Why we’re rolling out t levels and apprenticeships? Because we know that higher level apprentices can earn more than the average graduate five years after graduation that’s.