The Prime Minister is planning on pledging £5 billion in a bid to create jobs, skills and infrastructure for the UK post-coronavirus.
Tonight, Mr Johnson is expected to deliver a speech in the West Midlands where he will outline the government’s post-covid ‘build build build’ plan.
Part of the plan sees a £5bn ‘New Deal’ pledge, which promises to deliver jobs, skills and infrastructure to the UK.
The UK has been the hardest hit of the G7 major industrialised nations by the virus, with the economy shrinking by 20.4% in April.
It is expected there will be £1.5bn set aside for hospital maintenance, eradicating mental health dormitories, enabling hospital building, and improving A&E capacity.
According to the BBC, Boris Johnson is set to use the coronavirus ‘crisis to tackle the country’s great unresolved challenges of the last three decades’.
The PM added: ‘To build the homes, to fix the NHS, to tackle the skills crisis, to mend the indefensible gap in opportunity and productivity and connectivity between the regions of the UK.
“Too many parts of this country have felt left behind, neglected, unloved, as though someone had taken a strategic decision that their fate did not matter as much as the metropolis.
“And so I want you to know that this government not only has a vision to change this country for the better, we have a mission to unite and level up.”
Some of the projects expected to be outlined include:
- £560m and £200m for repairs and upgrades to schools and colleges
- £1bn will be set aside for funding of ten-year school rebuilding that will start 2020-21 with work beginning September 2021
- 101 selected towns will be given deals of between £500k and £1m to spend on projects such as park, high street and transport improvements
- £142m will be spent on upgrading around 100 courts and £83m will be set aside for prison maintenance and youth offender facilities.
- £900m for ‘shovel ready’ local growth projects and £96m investments in town centres and high streets
In terms of investment in the environment, Boris Johnson has called for a ‘build back greener’ approach, however, environmentalists have considered the response of his pre-released summary as inadequate.
Boris claims he will plant 75,000 acres of trees every single year by 2025.
Furthermore, he is expected to promise £40m to boost local conservation projects which in turn will create 3,000 jobs such as Conservation Rangers and safeguard a further 2,000.
According to reports, Boris is expected to say: “Too many parts of this country have felt left behind, neglected, unloved, as though someone had taken a strategic decision that their fate did not matter as much as the metropolis.
“And so I want you to know that this government not only has a vision to change this country for the better, we have a mission to unite and level up- the mission on which we were elected last year.”
Director of Northern Powerhouse Partnership, Henri Murison, said: “The Prime Minister in his speech tomorrow will join those of us including his Chancellor, our Metro Mayors and Northern business leaders who believe it is vital to put front and centre the work to level up and unite the country in the recovery.
“The scale of ambition of this ‘Roosevelt’s New Deal’ cannot merely be rhetoric, but must also be met by the full commitment of necessary public and private resources.
“The £10m towards completing the Northern Hub in Manchester will help curtail delays for trains crossing West to East as far as Newcastle and Hull.
“But there is a need to accelerate projects like the TransPennine Route Upgrade electrification and start building HS2 from Leeds to the Midlands, including related upgrades and the new Northern Powerhouse Rail line through Bradford.
“£900m for shovel-ready projects is not enough for the number of jobs which could be generated by accelerating delivery in our cities and wider regions across the North alone, which is why releasing local investment capacity of up to £5bn at the local level is so necessary.
“History teaches us that the New Deal only worked because the scale of its aspiration was met by spending on the ground to match.
“If this is a start in that direction and not the limit of what is to be built then it is to be welcomed.
“Otherwise, the Deal will not meet the promises made of closing the North-South divide made previously by the Prime Minister when he first took up his office.”
Boris Johnson is expected to make the speech today, June 30th.
Boris Johnson issues warning to anyone planning on going to the pub this weekend
Urging the public to be ‘safe’.
Boris Johnson has issued a warning to pub-goers this weekend at this Friday’s Downing Street press conference.
It comes as this weekend sees the biggest easing of lockdown, with the reopening of the hospitality industry such as pubs, restaurants, bars and cafes.
The Prime Minister addressed the country on Friday’s Downing Street press conference urging the public to act safely.
At the briefing, Mr Johnson urged the public to act responsibly as lockdown restrictions are lifted this weekend.
He said: “I know everyone will be looking forward to the relaxation of national restrictions. Businesses have put in a heroic effect to prepare their venues for this reopening, to work out a way to trade which keeps customers safe. “
“The success of these businesses and economic health of the country is dependent on every single one of us acting responsibly.
“We must not let them down. Lockdown only succeeded in controlling the virus because everyone worked together. We will only succeed in reopening if everyone works together again.
“We are not out of the woods yet.”
Venues will be monitoring and limiting numbers with many opening up new areas outside. Most places are also operating with a pre-booking system and in some cases, ordering via apps and paying contactless.
You can see a list of the restaurants opening in Manchester this weekend here.
The Prime Minister warned that if the public don’t adhere to social distancing guidelines sensibly, then the government ‘won’t hesitate’ to reintroduce strict measures.
He said: “If it starts running out of control again – this Government will not hesitate in putting on the breaks and reimposing restrictions.
“Anyone who flouts social distancing is not only putting us all at risk but letting down businesses and workers.
“As we take this next step – our biggest step on our road to recovery – I urge the British people to do so safely.”
Pubs can reopen from 6am tomorrow morning, the government confirms
Pubs can officially open their doors from 6am tomorrow morning, the government has confirmed.
Pubs and bars can finally reopen after lockdown tomorrow, Saturday July 4th, and they can get started very early.
According to Downing Street, this has been put in place to stop pubs from ‘opening at midnight’.
While some police forces, like Devon and Cornwall, have said that there will be a two hour limit on staying in a pub, Number 10 has said this rule wouldn’t be implemented across the country.
They said that it would be up to different forces to implement their own rules, adding that coronavirus regulations won’t limit the amount of time people can spend in pubs and restaurants.
Talking about the new rules, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “What [the regulations] do is put in place the 30-person limit on gatherings in private dwellings and outdoor spaces where not in a Covid 19-secure environment.
“The regulations also keep in place a list of premises that must remain closed and that includes nightclubs, nail bars and salons, indoor play areas, gyms, conference centres and exhibition halls.
“Those regulations mostly come into force at 12.01am on Saturday July 4th.
“The reopening of pubs and bars specifically comes into force at 6am. That would just be in the event anybody would attempt to try to open at midnight.”
Gyms can finally reopen ‘in a couple of weeks’, Boris Johnson announces
Boris Johnson has said that gyms will be able to reopen in the next few weeks.
Speaking on LBC this morning, the Prime Minister said: “We are going to reopen gyms as soon as we can do it in a Covid-secure way and I think that the date for reopening gyms at the moment, if we can do it, is in just a couple of weeks’ time.
“The best way forward for the country is to get the economy moving again. We want to get every part of our industry, including theatres, that are so vital.”
During the interview, Boris was asked why people can go to pubs and restaurants but not the gym. He replied: “People, I think, listening to this debate do know the answer to that, and that is to stop the spread of the disease.”
The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden, wrote on Twitter that: “Many people keen to hit the gym & keeping Britain fit is key in Covid battle.
“We’ve made lots of progress & I know steps businesses have taken to make their spaces & equipment safe. Subject to public health, our aspiration is to reopen gyms & leisure facilities in mid-July.”
Huw Edwards, the chief executive of UK Active, which represents thousands of gyms and leisure centres, said: “Many people will be understandably frustrated by the decision not to reopen the fitness and leisure sector from 4 July”.
He added: “Our sector’s safety standards are among the highest in Europe, where other nations have already reopened their gyms and leisure facilities safely.
“We have invited Government and health officials to visit any of the hundreds of gym and leisure centre show sites across the country, and witness how facilities would operate with thorough social distancing measures and hygiene standards in place.
“Any further delay to our reopening will threaten our nation’s recovery from Covid-19. With obesity the second largest cause of hospitalisation from this virus, gyms and leisure centres are equipped to not only combat Covid-19, but to support rehabilitation for those recovering from the virus.”
In lockdown personal trainers have been able to provide one-on-one training with clients outside and at a distance.
Many gyms have issued statements that they are ready to open, including PureGym, The Gym and David Lloyd.