Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Northerners Urged To Move South

Source:SKY NEWS 13/08/2008
6:25am UK, Wednesday August 13, 2008

Northerners should move to the South East if they want to improve their quality of life because regeneration policies in the North are doomed, a radical report has claimed.

Regeneration policies in cities including Manchester 'are failing'

Think tank Policy Exchange said a mass internal migration was the only solution to a decade of failed efforts to revive cities such as Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle.

Admitting that their findings might be seen as "plain barmy", the report authors said that coastal cities like Liverpool and Sunderland had "lost much of their raison d'etre" with the decline of shipping.

These places had "little prospect of offering their residents the standard of living to which they aspire", the report added.

"No one is suggesting that residents should be forced to move, but we do argue that they should be told the reality of the position: regeneration, in the sense of convergence, will not happen, because it is not possible," it concluded.

It also argued that the university cities of Oxford and Cambridge were well placed to become the economic power-houses of the 21st century and should be expanded dramatically, like Liverpool and Manchester expanded in the 19th century.

The authors included Tim Leunig, a lecturer in economic history at the London School of Economics, who said: "No doubt some people will claim that these proposals are unworkable, unreasonable and perhaps plain barmy.

"But the issue is clear: current regeneration policies are failing the very people they are supposed to be helping and there is no evidence that the trend will be reversed without radical changes. Internal migration has always been an important part of a dynamic economy."

Report urges move south

He went on: "For the last decade British politics has been dominated by ministers who represent poorer urban areas and the New Labour government has invested heavily in urban regeneration.

"A future Conservative administration more representative of suburbs and the South would most probably have a very different set of priorities."

The Government rejected the findings of the report.

"No Government has done more to turn around decades of neglect, and since 1997 cities like Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle have benefited from thousands of new jobs, lower crime rates and better living standards thanks to our sustained
commitment to regeneration, and investment in public services," said a Communities and Local Government spokesperson.

"It's alarming that this 'think tank' is labelling our great cities as 'beyond revival' and arguing that we should target less effort on them, when those areas that have received regeneration funding have shown the greatest improvements."

The Conservatives said the report did not reflect party policy.

Source/ Sky NEWS

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