Unconscious Bias 2.0

‘Unconscious bias’ has become very much part of the conscious process that many organisations try to bring to bear on their decision-making, be it with regard to promotions or appointments. However, what do they mean by it and how do they go about it? Often the advisory notes (or equivalent) don’t go beyond reminding everyone they should think about the issues and be aware they may impact on outcomes if each and every member of the panel doesn’t focus on it. The trouble is, unconscious bias turns up not just in the individuals involved in the decisions, but also in many of the component parts of the paperwork that need to be deconstructed if a panel is to recognize how hidden influences may play a part. I was reminded of this as I was putting together my submission to the recent call for evidence from the Commons Science and Technology Select Committee on Diversity in STEM, while simultaneously observing various committees engaged in decision-making.

One of the more comprehensive videos I’ve seen, in that it highlights a number of different but specific traps we may all fall into, is this one the ERC uses to make its panel members aware (I believe it is still current for them; it is certainly still on their Working Group for Gender Issues webpages ). When I first watched it, I realised that ‘affinity bias’ was not a form of unconscious bias I had myself previously taken on board. Finding something in common with an applicant for a job had previously only meant to me that it was easier to get someone talking, not that having a shared mutual interest or background experiences in common might influence my decision. I should have realised; we hear enough about old Etonians ending up with Government jobs, but I had not extended it to someone sharing a common taste in music or something more obscure. The link I give above to affinity bias refers to five sorts of bias. Googling the topic, however, points to sites describing variously three to sixteen different types of bias. There are plenty of pitfalls in recruitment.

However, I want to remind people of the biases that other people will be introducing into the paperwork, which don’t get discussed enough in these situations.  These may turn up in different parts of an application, ranging from the publication list to letters of reference – as well as to other figures of merit which a panel may choose to search out. The danger of letters of reference being gendered is becoming much more widely appreciated, with sites devoted to helping you identify where words may subtly be conveying things other than what you intended. I’ve discussed this topic previously on this blog. This website from Arizona State University highlights the importance of emphasising accomplishments not effort. Hard-working is not exactly praise if applying for an academic position, even though it could hardly be described as inherently negative. Tom Forth, a data scientist, has produced a site where you can even insert your draft letter and see just what kinds of words you’ve introduced – to check if the implications are what you meant.

This topic, as I say, is by now quite well known (although that doesn’t mean it’s always dealt with appropriately). I am increasingly worried by the less obvious concerns. Let me start with double standards (neatly summed up in the Goethe quote I wrote about before

‘Girls we love for what they are; young men for what they promise to be.’).

It isn’t always obvious unless you’re concentrating really hard. I watched a committee debate whether a senior woman who had many last author placements in author lists was little more than the purse holder, the implication being she should have been first-named author. This seemed bizarre, as the first author place is usually reserved for the PhD student/postdoc who’s done the actual experiments much more than the initiator of experiments. I didn’t hear the same comment raised about any of the men under consideration. Was that bias? I fear it was, but cannot prove it.

What about the fact that women’s papers are less cited? Many committee members will delve into Web of Science or Google Scholar to analyse citations (‘this person has even fewer than me’, was an unhelpful comment I heard recently). Leaving aside the fact that sub(-)disciplines vary hugely in their practices of both publication and citation, there are well-recognized gender differences in citation. A recent study of citations of papers published in elite Medical journals found a very significant difference. As the Nature commentary on the paper said

‘papers with women as primary authors had one-third fewer median citations than did those with men as primary authors, and that papers with women as senior authors received about one-quarter fewer citations than did those with men as senior authors. And papers whose primary and senior authors were both female received just half as many citations as did papers whose primary and senior authors were both male.’

This indicates that checking on citations is not the objective metric evaluators may imagine. (Women are also less likely to cite their own papers than men.)

Then there is the problem women face in even getting their papers published in the first instance. Melinda Duer and I highlighted this as a potential issue a few years back, based on the experience of women we knew and work analysing practice in other non-scientific disciplines (notably economics). The work of the Royal Society of Chemistry analysing their own publications, in part stimulated by our article, demonstrated that at every stage from submission on, women were indeed disadvantaged. As the report put it

‘Biases exist at each step of the publishing profile. Many of these biases appear minor in isolation, yet their combined effect puts women at a significant disadvantage.’

Another nail in the coffin of using publication metrics as a valid quantitative criterion in making decisions. But how many panels actually bear this in mind as they compare Dr Joe Smith and Dr Jo Smith?

I worry that these additional hurdles introduced due to bias creeping into the development of a career are not yet feeding into decision-making committees. And this is just about gender. Studies on how CVs are read have demonstrated just how much the name at the top affects how people read it, and this has been shown to be true for ethnic minority ‘names’ in the same way as for female ‘names’, although there are variations according to the precise apparent heritage (see this paper for instance, or here). How the other sorts of disadvantage impact I describe here on ethnicity will need further study. However, in the UK there is no doubt that ethnic minorities do worse in grant allocation, compounded by intersectionality, as UKRI statistics make plain.

There is still a long way to go in ensuring grant-awarding panels and appointment and promotion committees really do make the best decisions, and that all members are sensitive to a multitude of possible sources of bias. Let us hope these wider aspects filter through as fast as possible if equity is to be achieved.


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Cynical and Irritable

‘This is not an era in which good things are taken at face value. We are cynical, irritable and tired, and if there is a bad intention to be read into anything, someone will scratch away at it until they decide that they have found it.’

These evocative sentences seem, to me at least, to sum up so much of our current daily lives. They are written by Guardian journalist Rebecca Nicholson as counterpoint to the author’s praise of the Wordle (see here if you haven’t yet succumbed to this distraction). Like a rare beam of sunshine in these wintry, grey January days, Nicholson sees the Wordle as simple, unalloyed joy. I can agree that a Wordle usually gives a few minutes satisfaction amongst whatever trials or chores one is facing (tax return, for instance, or are you all so virtuous you did yours last summer?), although it is hardly sufficient to overcome pandemic-induced exhaustion. I suspect everyone would agree the endless saga of the pandemic has long since passed its sell by date, but might not choose the Wordle as their procrastination method of choice.

At the start of this plague, I wrote superficially wise words about being kind to oneself, not expecting too much, not immediately planning on learning a new language or otherwise improving oneself, but simply doing as much as one could under what felt like extraordinarily difficult circumstances. Watching fellow committee members get to grips with Zoom was amusing in those early days, producing a wry smile when someone forgot to unmute themselves again. Or, equally, when they had never muted themselves in the first place and an invisible dog let its annoyance heard when the Amazon delivery arrived, we were just able to smile and move on. No more. As Nicholson says we are ‘cynical, irritable and tired’. All of the above all of the time, or so it feels. Remembering to be kind to others, let alone oneself, seems a task in itself.

Committee meetings with people one has never had the opportunity to meet in real life are much, much harder than when you’ve met each other before as well as had a chance for a natter beforehand over coffee. Body language cannot (readily) be read on Zoom, so it’s impossible to see if your pal up in the top left-hand corner shares your irritation when third from the left in the middle row drones on and on. (I don’t trust sending private messages in the chat to remain private; perhaps others get their laughs through that medium.) But, more importantly, as a Chair it is so much harder to read who is getting irritated and is about to explode when they’re only a couple of inches across, or spot who would love to make a comment but doesn’t quite have the confidence (or can’t find the electronic hand in time).  How do you know when consensus is within grasp when you can’t see the whites of members’ eyes? And so on. To chair meetings like this is exceptionally hard work, and the outcomes are not as good as they might be, as often as not.  Circumstances are against everyone in that room, although we all have to live with the consequences. Irritability and cynicism follow from the tiredness that Nicholson identifies.

Unfortunately, the business of the day does not go away. Patience is a virtue that we all need to practice under these circumstances, as well as that kindness to oneself and everyone around. After almost two years, that has become an increasingly tall order. All the more reason for finding the nuggets of gold in the day, be it a Wordle or (as an example in my case) a long-tailed tit – indeed a family of them – finding their way to the bird feeder in front of the window as I eat my breakfast. I have not yet resorted to a gratitude diary to try to record these brief nuggets, but I can see how the act of identifying some pleasant occurrences might improve internal resilience, as yet another day of Zoom and disembodied conversation approaches.

Working from home is no problem for me. I am spoilt by living in a substantial ‘tied cottage’ (viz, the Master’s Lodge) on the College site. Space is not the issue (albeit tidiness is and always has been. No clear desk policy ever worked for me.). Many who thought during the autumn they had just escaped back to the office from their square metre of space perched on a stool in the kitchen, will be demoralised by the return to their confinement and unsatisfactory working conditions (probably non-ergonomic ones too, if they haven’t thought hard about this). I have green grass outside, not an urban roofscape and dirty pavements. In that too I am fortunate. Nevertheless, like most of my readers I suspect, it is tempting to want to shout from the roof tops ‘I’ve had enough!’.

Will we all become hedonists when this is past, wanting to spend long hours in the exciting surroundings of a Costa or a pub where someone else has done the cooking? No doubt we would be amused to read, in years to come, our top ten guesses of how the world will have changed by the end of the pandemic if placed in a sealed envelope now. Like watching a TV programme many years later which predicted the widgets and gizmos of tomorrow (older readers will remember the joys of BBC Tomorrow’s World which used to do this), no doubt our predictions would be found to be wildly astray. However, first, we have to reach the end of the pandemic, or at least the end of this acute phase, whatever the longer-term chronic situation may be.


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Scientists Who Stand Up to be Counted

In the UK the pandemic is rushing towards its second anniversary, changing, but no less dangerous for the life we used to think was ‘normal’, and indeed our very lives. During this time, as a scientist I have had confidence that there are other scientists out there who are doing their best to make sense of the data and doing their utmost to pass on this knowledge to the government and the public. I don’t assume that these people are out there, peddling lies or in the pay of some mega-corporation, but others seem determined to believe such ideas. Consequently, these scientists, who are willing to speak out, have become the target of many – from the political classes to journalists and pundits, right on down to Jo(e) down the pub (almost certainly without a mask or vaccine passport in their pocket).

I am glad to see the Guardian highlighting the sorts of abuse these individuals – and many others who have been providing advice to the Government – are facing from both concerted and individual attacks (see for instance a specific example here). I have the pleasure of knowing David Spiegelhalter (not least as a Fellow of Churchill College), whom I greatly respect. He is an eminent statistician who has spent much of the pandemic trying to put facts out into the public domain. Jointly with his fellow statistician Anthony Masters, he has been writing weekly articles in the Observer about how the data can be interpreted, how it can be misinterpreted, and when it doesn’t exist in a form that is usable. This week they describe how they have been accused of ‘genocide’ and referred to as ‘Nazi collaborators’ and other similar terms of abuse.

David has always taken great pains only to deal with those facts in which he has confidence . During a Zoom talk he gave to the Churchill College Fellowship in the summer of 2020, when he was analysing the early data on deaths and highlighting the extreme dependence of these on age, he would not be drawn on other aspects of the pandemic even to that closed audience. Deaths were things he had hard data on, infections were not, nor variations by country and so on. He would not stray beyond the facts he had to hand, nor speculate about how the pandemic might unfold. David is also a very modest man, who is always willing to hold his hand up when he makes a mistake, but he also has the confidence (and platforms) to challenge those who use the data incorrectly.

Another prominent figure trying to dispense sensible advice based on the data is Devi Sridhar, Professor of global public health at the University of Edinburgh and an advisor to Nicola Sturgeon over the handling of the pandemic in Scotland. I’ve not (yet) met her, but am looking forward to hosting a public conversation with her here at Churchill College in May, in person or not only time will tell. This date will be around the time her book about the pandemic is published. Devi too has written about the attacks and lies of which she has been the target. It perhaps should come as no surprise, however dispiriting it is, to realise that as a woman of colour her expertise is regularly dismissed. That she is a professor in an ancient university seems to count for nothing when people decide to spread untruths about her scientific credibility. Jo(e) down the pub knows better than her own university about the worth of her research and can spread misinformation rapidly so that it becomes its own trope. She writes sadly about how clickbait and social media can completely drown out the facts.

Michael Gove, in his infamous remark about this country ‘having had enough of experts’, may have been referring to economists specifically but – if you’ve never met an expert in any discipline – it may be easy enough to think that everyone’s point of view is equally valid. Whereas that may be true when it comes to debating whether you prefer one Strictly contestant over another, or a particular hunk in one of the apparently endless reality TV shows, it hardly applies when dealing with the horrid reality that is a pandemic. The Prime Minister may talk cheerfully about following the science, but not all his actions align with that sensible statement. The media can, in too many instances, propagate misinformation, as Devi despairingly points out in her recent article; too many in the public may swallow it whole, without even realising that’s what they’re doing.

Another Fellow of Churchill College, Sander van der Linden, has been working hard at ways to counter misinformation. Apparently nicknamed as Cambridge’s defence against the dark arts” teacher, his own recent article in the Guardian proposes ways to handle the determined disbeliever in the vaccination programme, trying to counter the misinformation speeding around the web. While many of us may be irritated by those who believe in conspiracy theories, and understand the science well enough to have confidence, just saying ‘you’re wrong’ will not get us far in changing minds.  It is important also to remember, as John Harris has pointed out, there are many people whose lives are so disadvantaged and/or chaotic, that much of the information – positive or negative – floats around them without ever touching. They may have legitimate fears and utterly insufficient routes to access accurate information which they feel confident enough to trust.

Trust sits at the heart of so much of this debate. Who do you trust? The answer apparently is, for too many, social media not established scientists. The position is of course complicated because not all scientists say exactly the same thing. Analysing the data around mortality, as David Spiegelhalter does, is one thing. Predicting how omicron will spread as soon as it touches our shores quite another. Believing herd immunity is the solution, as those scientists who signed the Great Barrington agreement did, another thing again. How the JCVI weigh up evidence around vaccination for children, without factoring the damage (mental as well as physical) that their ill health might cause to their families and hence indirectly themselves, different again. Scientists are used to critical thinking; to weighing up the evidence and to assessing who to trust versus those actors may who have underlying motives not simply related to evidence. It is part of our daily bread and butter.  In some senses this awareness is our privilege. Not everyone is so fortunate. It is to the immense credit of those scientists who try to tackle the misinformation head on, for the good of all regardless of the hostility that is meted out to them. More power to their elbows.

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Self Confidence Amidst a Pandemic

I am sure readers share my gloom at the necessity of re-introducing tighter restrictions in our lives as Omicron spreads. It’s almost two years since the virus first swam into public view in the UK, twenty-one months since academics rapidly learned the joys of Zoom and Teams and ‘pivoted’ to online lectures. As for now, although pretty irrelevant in a university such as mine where teaching term is already over, the Department for Education wants teaching in person to continue. Who knows what the situation will be in the New Year, despite the wonders that vaccination may have done for our immune systems? Will that be enough to protect not only us as individuals, but also the NHS (and the economy)?

Whatever the details of the infectivity of Omicron, I fear there is no way we are not condemned to a continuing parade of cries of ‘you’re muted’, ‘you’re still muted’ and ‘I’m sorry, my camera doesn’t seem to be working’ in the months ahead. Even if some, possibly most, teaching is in person, I fear committee meetings will continue through the screen. The impossibility of reading body language or catching someone in the coffee break will persist, surely to the detriment of effectiveness, not to mention comradeship. I will not be alone in finding this ongoing prospect deeply depressing, just when it had seemed there was a glimmer of light at the end of the virus tunnel.

Holding a committee meeting by Zoom is bad enough, but one thing I probably find even more perturbing, disorienting even, is to give a webinar, speaking to a screen which only displays my own set of slides.  In other words, no audience is visible as you talk over your slidepack. Even if multiple screens are set up so there is a gallery of tiny faces visible somewhere within one’s field of vision, it is impossible to make much sense of reactions. It is as bad as talking to oneself, except you aren’t and you know there is an audience responding out there, but you have no idea how. In the early days of this blog I wrote about how essentially the same talk can be received in substantially different ways (for instance as judged by the percentage of the audience who appear to go to sleep or, conversely, who nod sagely). I can’t always work out why a talk does or doesn’t go down well, but in this remote world of Zoom, I often don’t even know which has happened. Sometimes the very fact that no (virtual) hands go up at the end is an indicator the talk hasn’t landed well, but at other times you get a smattering of questions and you’re still none the wiser.

At this (late) stage of my career this may not matter too much, but I feel for those starting out who have to try to find out what works solely in this virtual world. Without audience reactions, how is one supposed to learn the tricks of the trade? I do not think this is good for self-confidence. The ultra-confident will no doubt believe, correctly or not, that their brilliance has gone down a storm. The less confident will, on the other hand, have nothing to go on to build up their confidence, to convince them that their arguments were coherent and their conclusions received rapturously.

Self-confidence is such a tricky beast in academia. We spend our lives putting out ideas, waiting for them to be shot down.  Indeed, scientific progress is only made via that process. Throughout our careers, the worry that a new pet theory has some gaping hole in it which will only be manifest after giving a presentation, may be ever present. In my experience, talking to a bunch of familiar people (one’s former supervisor or boss, for instance) may be even more nerve-wracking than talking to a bunch of strangers. I can remember various occasions when nerves felt much worse because my late mentor Ed Kramer was in the audience. On one of those occasions, at a major international conference – at a time when I was no greenhorn – my hand shook so much when using the laser pointer I realised I needed to hold it in both hands to steady the beam, to make sure it hit the slide where I wanted it. (Of course, Zoom removes that particular problem, but it’s a minor recompense.)

I guess one take-home message is that, when attending a webinar given by an ECR, kind words by email (if appropriate) might be appreciated to provide reassurance from the otherwise empty feedback. Self-confidence needs to be nurtured in those for whom it’s in short supply. However, it isn’t always easy to tell whose does need bolstering. Those obnoxious characters who appear to ooze it, may just be good at covering up. My own experience is that students/postdocs who, in one-to-one situations appear to be very timid, may nevertheless come across forcefully. Less commonly, those who seem in private totally on top of things, may end up mumbling to their shoes (although I’m not quite sure how that might manifest itself on Zoom, since eye contact is not something easily done in the best of circumstances through a screen).

Thinking back to my own early research career, when a research fellow and a young lecturer, I remember just how much my confidence was dented by others who appeared to know it all, have it all, even if they were actually more or less my contemporaries and didn’t particularly go on to the stellar careers they no doubt envisaged. In my case it was less criticising my presentations, more in criticising the somewhat eclectic materials I chose to study. Was it physics, was the implication? I took that message to heart, worrying for years I should have stayed put in the materials science departments in which I’d done my postdocs. I shouldn’t have worried. Straying into food physics back in the 1980s and 1990s was an uncomfortable thing to do, when physicists didn’t relish such a topic. Now it’s become rather fashionable, a point I noted several years ago, but – as ever – at the start of a career it is so much harder to be sure one is on a good track, not somehow going down a pointless blind alley. I can look back now and realise I was essentially ahead of the game, but it didn’t stop the anxiety at the time.

The advent of yet further delays in normal meetings due to Omicron, may make the anxious more anxious – about their science as well as their daily lives – and may prevent the healthy interactions with peers and gurus that help further scientific discoveries. It is not surprising, whether lacking self-confidence or not, the winter feels a little greyer for – I would guess – all of us, as the news about infections gets grimmer.

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Level Up and Multiply

As we await the delayed Levelling Up White paper, to my mind it is encouraging that Michael Gove (Secretary of State for Levelling up, Housing and Communities) is drawing together a cabinet committee to focus on these matters, drawing membership from across different Government Departments. If regional inequalities are to be reduced, it obviously cannot be done by one department alone, as so many different facets of life and the economy are involved. Integration matters.

In the arena of research and innovation, a key paragraph in the October 2021 Comprehensive Spending Review stated that

“the government will ensure that an increased share of the record increase in government spending on R&D over the SR21 period is invested outside the Greater South East”.

All eyes will be on UKRI to see how this may be achieved, and particularly so when it comes to the significant and ring-fenced uplift in funds directed towards Innovate UK. How will they bring place into their decision-making, and how will they ensure it is the ‘right’ place in this context, i.e. outside the Greater South East?

Another relevant statement in the CSR document, albeit not one that has had as much publicity as maybe it should have done, refers to a new programme called Multiply. This is described as

“a new UK-wide programme to equip hundreds of thousands of adults with functional numeracy skills to improve their employment prospects.”

This statement does not specify the actual skills level that is being referred to, but presumably this is more likely to be at level 2 than anything higher. There are, after all, large numbers of adults who never passed their GCSE in maths. Improving their functional numeracy will help them both in their job prospects and in managing their personal (not least financial) affairs more effectively.  It is with regard to programmes like this that it becomes clear why Gove is right to bring different ministers together to work out how levelling up can be supported as an overarching agenda. Both the Department for Education and BEIS should be interested, as well as Gove’s own Department and, one assumes, the Treasury, in the Multiply programme.

There is, needless to say, little detail about how Multiply will operate. Who will deliver Level 2 qualifications in maths? It isn’t likely to be schools and the obvious candidates will be the Further Education Colleges. However, that leads us straight to the absence of the long-awaited response to the Augar Review. Maybe this will turn up soon, as promised, but that promise has been on the cards for a very long time. Unless the issues associated with funding of FE colleges get resolved, such a large-scale programme aimed at ‘hundreds of thousands’ of adults will be hard to get off the ground. Of course, if the money is separately available as of now, perhaps some tweaking round the edges along with this injection of cash will suffice, but it won’t solve the bigger picture of all the additional Level 3 and 4 qualifications needed or renewed focus on adult upskilling in areas other than numeracy. And such upskilling is of course vital to the levelling up agenda, as repeated announcements make clear, even if there is less clarity about how and what this means.

According to a House of Commons Library briefing released last week, money is committed to the new programme, stating that Multiply

‘will be funded with £560 million from the UKSPF’,

in which UKSPF is the United Kingdom Shared Prosperity Fund, whose shape is still ill-defined. This briefing makes for very interesting reading regarding UKSPF, not least spelling out how long it has been in gestation and how little is still known about it. Yet it must have a crucial role to play in the levelling up agenda, not least in acting as a quasi-replacement for European Structural Funds.  This is what it was badged to do way back in 2017 when it was first announced in the Conservative Party Manifesto and restated in that year’s (now rather forgotten after Greg Clark’s departure) Industrial Strategy White Paper.

Over the past years, Structural Funds, amounting to around £2bn pa predominantly came from two separate funds: the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF). (There were two other smaller funds which contributed relatively little to the UK.)  ERDF funding mainly went to research and innovation, enhancing the competitiveness of SMEs and, to a lesser degree, supporting the shift towards a low carbon economy in all sectors, whereas the ESF was directed towards getting people into the workforce or helping them to improve their skills. Under EU rules, this money went to regions according (inversely) to the level of their economic development, as measured by GDP per person. Regions which were classified as less developed received proportionally more funding, so that – in terms of funds received per capita – Wales received the highest level of funding of the UK regions. How – and by whom – will money be distributed from UKSPF in the future remains unclear, since it certainly does not need to follow this pattern?

The House of Commons Library briefing makes for illuminating, if distinctly depressing reading about the UKSPF, as to how things have, or rather have not, progressed since the early announcements in 2017. Consultations about the shape of the Fund have been repeatedly promised ‘soon’, but have not yet materialised. In the 2020 Spending Review it was stated that

‘the total amount of funding made available will “ramp up” until it at least matches “current EU receipts”.’

Finally, in this autumn’s Comprehensive Spending Review, the details of the funding profile were released: £0.4 billion allocated for 2022/23, £0.7 billion for 2023/24, and £1.5 billion for 2024/25. This review also confirmed that

‘that the Fund would “at a minimum match the size of EU Funds in each nation” of the UK’

as well as making the same promise for Cornwall. However, there is clearly something of a shift towards skills development with less emphasis on wider economic factors compared with ESIF.

Having chaired a recent Royal Society roundtable in Coventry on investing in regional research and innovation with key local leaders in the West Midlands, one relevant message that came through clearly was the importance of not segregating funding for skills and infrastructure, but to think about the innovation landscape as a coherent ecosystem. Other clear messages were the crucial need to reduce bureaucracy and not impose artificial geographical boundaries that work against clusters of firms getting together to innovate. This approach to thinking about the criteria for the UKSPF in terms of integrated actions and not piecemeal, in order to deliver the most bang-for-their-buck I hope is a message those designing criteria for the fund bear in mind.

So, a long gestation and still no certainty about how most of this money will be distributed and on what. In the meantime, there has been an interim allocation of £220M to the UK Community Renewal Fund, controlled by Gove and his Department. This allocation has not been entirely smooth sailing, with the regions selected to bid for funds not necessarily being those regarded as the most deprived and with the outcomes of the bids not released until the start of November, yet with the money meant to be spent as soon as March 2022; a tall order for many of the projects. However, this pot of money clearly as yet nowhere near approaches the sorts of funds that the Structural Funds used to do or, that one hopes, the UKSPF will in due course.

Many questions. So few answers as yet forthcoming.




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