It was a pleasure to speak at the Community Wealth Fund's parliamentary reception this week.
Before I became an MP, as part of my work on regeneration at the Centre for Social Justice, I spent time in deprived neighbourhoods which had somehow been forgotten.
Sometimes these neighbourhoods were part of an otherwise generally affluent area.
What I found to be missing was a sense of agency and local leadership, as so often there were programmes, projects and plans being done to them rather than by them.
I believe that the best decisions for communities are usually made by communities themselves, not for them.
And that part of levelling up is levelling up power - making sure people in deprived communities can unleash the energy, ambition and passion for their areas by recognising them as the legitimate decision-makers they are.