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South East needs a million extra homes to give opportunity to all, says cities report

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A million more homes should be built in London, Oxford and Cambridge to give new opportunities for people who want to move from failing northern cities, argues a report published today.

Photograph of Tim LeunigGovernment should accept that attempts to regenerate many cities in the North (including Liverpool and Sunderland) have failed, says Cities Unlimited whose co-author is Tim Leunig|, lecturer in economic history at LSE.

The economic inequality between different parts of the country means that people should be helped to move to more prosperous parts of the country.

The report adds: 'We need to accept above all that we cannot guarantee to regenerate every town and every city in Britain that has fallen behind. Just as we can't buck the market, so we can't buck economic geography either.

'There is, however, a very real prospect of encouraging significant numbers of people to move from those towns to London and the South East. We know that the capital and its region are economic powerhouses that can grow and create new high-skilled, high-wage service sector hubs.'

It makes three key recommendations:

  • Increase the size of London by allowing the conversion of industrial to residential land in areas of high employment, creating space for half a million more people
  • Expand Oxford and Cambridge dramatically to recognise the fact their highly-skilled workforces make them the most attractive centres for growth.
  • Government should stop funding regeneration and give the money to local authorities to spend as they see fit in response to local people's priorities.

Photograph of a punt on a riverWhile the report, for the think-tank Policy Exchange|, recognises the strength of several northern cities, including Manchester, Newcastle and Leeds, it argues that they do not have the power to revitalise the economies of surrounding town and communities. As a result, children growing up in these communities suffer from a lack of opportunity compared to their counterparts in London and the South East.

Dr Leunig said: 'No doubt some people will claim 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.'

Policy Exchange logoThe report's joint author is James Swaffield, Research Fellow at Policy Exchange and it is edited by Dr Oliver Marc Hartwich.

Ends

For more information contact:

Tim Leunig 020 7955 7857
Dylan Sharpe iNHouse PR 07989 690844

13 August 2008

Press Cuttings

Independent, 15-Aug-2008, page 21
Tories dismiss 'Lib Dem Boy'
David Cameron has dismissed the latest report from the Conservative think-tank Policy Exchange, which unhelpfully branded Bradford, Sunderland and Liverpool as "beyond saving". His Tory colleagues were also quick to distance themselves from the report's author, Tim Leunig, and accused him of being a supporter of the Liberal Democrats.

Daily Mail, 15-Aug-2008, page 28,29
Tim Leunig is the kind
Comments on Tim Leunig following the Policy Exchange report on North/South divide.

Also in

  • Financial Times, 15-Aug-2008, page 11
  • Guardian, 15-Aug-2008, page 17

Guardian, 15-Aug-2008, page 37
We didn't say people should leave Leeds
Letter from Dr Oliver Marc Hartwich Chief economist, Policy Exchange. "While we are delighted at having six pages of G2 devoted to our report Cities Unlimited (In praise of the north, August 14) we feel that the essential arguments of our report were misrepresented, and we have not, as your subheading suggested, "written off many northern cities as worthless failures and advised their inhabitants to move south at once".

The Herald 15.08.2008
Academic urged to visit city he rubbished
An academic behind the report telling northerners to ditch cities such as Liverpool for the south, yesterday accepted an invitation to the city - if he has the time. Dr Tim Leunig, a lecturer at the London School of Economics, was behind a report for the think tank Policy Exchange which dismissed the Capital of Culture's £4bn revival.

This Is Lincolnshire 14.08.2008
'GIVE UP ON LINCOLNSHIRE AND MOVE SOUTH'
Development plans for Lincolnshire should be scrapped and investment poured into London instead, says a controversial new report. Tim Leunig, a lecturer in economic history at the London School of Economics and co-author of the report, said deprived areas are failing to catch up under current regeneration policies.

This Is Business East Midlands 14.08.2008
'Forget building homes here and move south'
Plans to build thousands of new homes in Lincolnshire over the next decade should be scrapped and extra homes built nearer London instead, say authors of a new report. The controversial claim is made in a publication which says that attempts to regenerate poor towns and cities in the North have failed. Tim Leunig, a lecturer in economic history at the London School of Economics and co-author of the report called Cities Unlimited, 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." 

Local Government News 14.08.2008
Tory think tank says: 'Forget regenerating the north - only build homes in the south'
may wish to delay his tour of the north west of England after one of the Conservative party's leading think tanks says even regenerated northern towns and cities have 'little prospect of offering their residents the standard of living to which they aspire'. 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.

Chester Standard 14.08.2008
'Ditch Liverpool' lecturer may visit
Dr Tim Leunig, a lecturer at the London School of Economics, was behind a report for the think tank Policy Exchange which dismissed the Capital of Culture's £4 billion revival. Dr Tim Leunig, a lecturer at the London School of Economics, was behind a report for the think tank Policy Exchange which dismissed the Capital of Culture's £4 billion revival.

The Argus 14.08.2008
8:30am Thursday 14th August 2008
Brighton and Hove should be expanded to attract more jobs and boost the Sussex coastline, an influential academic has said. Tim Leunig, of the London School of Economics, told The Argus the "greater Brighton and Hove area" had the potential to become a new "hub city" - growing by 50,000 homes over the next 20 years. This is more than four times as many as the 12,400 proposed by the Government.

Sunderland Echo 14.08.2008
Sunderland-bashing author admits he's never visited city
The author of a report claiming there is no "bright future" for Sunderland has admitted he has never even been to the city. But the academic, who works for the London School of Economics, caused further outrage when he went on to admit that he had not visited Sunderland when carrying out his research.

BBC Radio Merseyside (14 August)
Roger Phillips
A caller on the show referred to the Cities Unlimited report, co-authored by Dr Tim Leunig, LSE.

BBC 1 North West (13 August)
North West News
Dr Tim Leunig was interviewed on the programme about the Cities Unlimited report, of which he is a co-author.

He also appeared on

  • ITV 1 Tyne Tees (North), North East News (13 August)
  • Channel 4, Channel 4 (13 August)

Guardian, 14-Aug-2008
In praise of the north
A rightwing thinktank has written off many northern cities as worthless failures and advised their inhabitants to move south at once. In fact, everything about life in the north of England - from the people and the food, to the politics and the fashion - is the best in Britain. Here, 10 writers explain why. Introduction by an outraged Stuart Maconie

Also in

  • Guardian
    Geographic folly
  • Cameron condemns 'insane' report on northern cities
  • Evening Standard
    Cameron blasts Tory think tank's call to abandon poverty-stricken north for the south as 'insane'
  • Cameron: Insane to move northerners to London

Guardian (G2), 14-Aug-2008, page 10
Simon Hattenstone
Comment: "Would Tim Leunig, of the London School of Economics, a much esteemed southern institution, be willing to tell Hull City's legendary forward and ex-brickie Dean "Deano" Windass that coastal cities such as Hull are "almost always at the end of the line"?
(no online version found)

Evening Standard, 13-Aug-2008, page 21, 1st
Expand London to house a million northerners, says Tory think tank
One million northerners will arrive in London looking for work and the capital should be made bigger to house them, a report by David Cameron's favourite think tank, the Policy Exchange, said today.

The Birmingham Post 14.08.2008
Birmingham 'not strong enough' to support region's economy
Tim Leunig, of the London School of Economics, was speaking to The Birmingham Post after his report suggesting the Government give up on regeneration in the North caused major embarrassment for Conservative leader David Cameron.

In The News 14.08.2008
Cameron pours scorn on Policy Exchange report
Conservative leader David Cameron has described a report written by favoured centre-right thinktank Policy Exchange as "rubbish from start to finish". "No doubt some people will claim that these proposals are unworkable, unreasonable and perhaps plain barmy," admitted co-author Tim Leunig of the London School of Economics.

Sueddeutsche 13.08.2008
Schließt Liverpool!
Kulturschock: Eine Studie empfiehlt, marode nordenglische Städte aufzugeben. Genannt wird darin auch Liverpool - dabei ist die Metropole am Mersey gerade Europas Kulturhauptstadt. Eine Aussage des Reports freilich fand die Zustimmung des Nordens. Tim Leunig, der an der London School of Economics Wirtschaftsgeschichte lehrt und an dem Bericht mitarbeitete, konstatierte mit einem Anflug von Selbstzweifel: "Einige werden zweifellos behaupten, dass unsere Vorschläge nicht funktionieren, dass sie unvernünftig, ja vielleicht ganz einfach blödsinnig sind." Dies sei, so Warren Bradley, Stadtrats-Vorsitzender von Liverpool, "das einzig wahre Wort" der ganzen Studie.

Crain's Manchester Business 13.08.2008
Manchester can't rescue Rochdale, says report
The relative success of Manchester is not enough to rescue surrounding areas from deprivation, according to a controversial new report out today. Tim Leunig, a London School of Economics lecturer and one of the report's authors, 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."

The London Paper 13.08.2008
London News: Residents of Northern cities 'beyond revival' should move to London instead, think tank reports
Northern cities such as Liverpool are beyond revival and millions of their residents should move to London and the South East instead, a think tank said today. 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.

Liverpool Echo 13.08.2008
Meet the boffin who says 'abandon Liverpool'
The author of a report branding Liverpool beyond help today said its regeneration cash would be better spent on plasma TVs. Dr Tim Leunig is a lecturer in economic history at the London School of Economics. t.leunig@lse.ac.uk|

Herald Series 13.08.2008
Oxford could be 'city of 1m people'
Massive new house-building should take place in Oxford to help the city become an economic power-house of the 21st century, an academic report says today. 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.

Oxford Mail 13.08.2008
Oxford 'should get million new homes'
One million new homes should be built in Oxford to help the city become an economic power-house of the 21st century, a thinktank report says today. 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.

Oxford Mail 13.08.2008
advertisement
Instead, according to Policy Exchange, millions of their residents should move to the South East and Government policy should be focused on building on areas that already show potential for growth - like Oxford, Cambridge and London. 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.

Sunderland Echo 13.08.2008
Go south? No thanks!
Wearsiders have reacted with fury at suggestions they give up on Sunderland and move south because the city can never have "a bright future." Tim Leunig from the London School of Economics, who co-authored the report, said: "No doubt some people will claim that these proposals are unworkable, unreasonable and perhaps plain barmy.

Evening Times 13.08.2008
Northerners told: Move south!
Northern cities such as Liverpool are beyond revival and millions of their residents should move to London and the South East instead, a think tank said today. 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.

Daily Mail 13.08.2008
Abandon poverty-stricken north and make people move to the south, says Tory think-tank
Deprived Northern cities are beyond revival and the millions who live there should migrate to the prosperous South East, according to one of the Tories' favourite think-tanks. Author Tim Leunig, a lecturer in economic history at the London School of Economics, said: 'No doubt some will claim that these proposals are unworkable, unreasonable and perhaps plain barmy.

Daily Mail 13.08.2008
People living in northern cities should migrate to the south as they are beyond repair, says Tory think-tank
Deprived Northern cities are beyond revival and the millions who live there should migrate to the prosperous South East, according to one of the Tories' favourite think-tanks. Author Tim Leunig, a lecturer in economic history at the London School of Economics, said: 'No doubt some will claim that these proposals are unworkable, unreasonable and perhaps plain barmy.

Liverpool Daily Post 13.08.2008
Fury as think tank advocates scrapping regeneration of Liverpool
Tory leader David Cameron's favourite think tank advocates scrapping Liverpool's renewal. Ben Schofield reports. Dr Tim Leunig is lecturer in economic history at the London School of Economics.

BBC Radio Merseyside (13 August)
Breakfast
Dr Timothy Leunig, lecturer in Economic History at LSE, appeared on the show discussing the report Cities Unlimited, of which he is a co-author.

He also appeared on

  • BBC Radio Wales, Good Morning Wales
  • BBC London 94.9 FM, News
  • BBC 1 North West, North West Today
  • ITV 1 Tyne Tees (South), North East News

Guardian, 13-Aug-2008, page 15
Tories' favourite thinktank brands northern cities failures
The Policy Exchange thinktank, which enjoys strong links with the Tory leadership, called on the government to accept the "uncomfortable truth" that many northern towns, which grew up in the industrial revolution, have no hope of being regenerated in the 21st century. Tim Leunig, an economist from the London School of Economics who co-wrote the report, admitted that some people will see his ideas as "unworkable, unreasonable and perhaps plain barmy".

Also in

  • Financial Times, 13-Aug-2008, page 2
  • Daily Telegraph 13-Aug-2008
  • Independent, 13-Aug-2008, page 4, Late
  • Daily Mail, 13-Aug-2008, page 9
  • Sun, 13-Aug-2008, page 13
  • Daily Mirror, 13-Aug-2008, page 3, 10, 15
  • Daily Star, 13-Aug-2008, page 2, Second
  • Evening Standard, 13-Aug-2008
  • Yorkshire Evening Post

Yahoo UK 13.08.2008
Northerners Urged To Move South
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. 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. 

Shropshire Star 13.08.2008
'Make London bigger' to tackle inequality
London must be massively increased in size to tackle national inequalities, a centre-right think tank has suggested. "No doubt some people will claim that these proposals are unworkable, unreasonable and perhaps plain barmy," admitted co-author Tim Leunig of the London School of Economics.

ePolitix 13.08.2008
New homes 'should be focused in the South'
The government has not done enough to reduce inequality between the north and south of England, according to a new report. Co-author, Tim Leunig, a lecturer in economic history at the London School of Economics acknowledged that some people would "claim that these proposals are unworkable, unreasonable and perhaps plain barmy".

In The News 13.08.2008
'Make London bigger' to tackle inequality
London must be massively increased in size to tackle national inequalities, a centre-right think tank has suggested. "No doubt some people will claim that these proposals are unworkable, unreasonable and perhaps plain barmy," admitted co-author Tim Leunig of the London School of Economics.

Scotsman 13.08.2008
Move south, it's too grim up north, says Tory think tank
A leading Tory think tank is urging people from cities in the north of England to move south if they want a better life. The authors included Tim Leunig, a lecturer in economic history at the London School of Economics, who says:

BBC
Northern cities 'beyond revival'
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.

Politics.co.uk
'Make London bigger' to tackle inequality
"No doubt some people will claim that these proposals are unworkable, unreasonable and perhaps plain barmy," admitted co-author Tim Leunig of the London School of Economics.

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