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'BURDENS ON LONDON WILL ONLY EASE WHEN PROVINCIAL CITIES REGAIN THEIR ONCE GREAT STATUS'

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Tristram Hunt, an historian at Queen Mary College, London University, argues that the chronic burdens on the infras...
Tristram Hunt, an historian at Queen Mary College, London University, argues that the chronic burdens on the infrastructure and people of London - and the wider south east - will only stop growing when other cities accelerate their regeneration, in a feature in The Observer (p24).

When the current problems of poverty, unemployment and transport are considered, the attractions of London start to pale. When Glasgow, Leeds and Newcastle are able to attract the best and brightest and retain them, then the lure of London might diminish.

Slowly, he says, it is beginning to happen: city centre inhabitancy is increasing in Manchester and Liverpool. Birmingham's facelift is reviving business and investment. But only if they can reclaim their commercial and cultural mantle as great cities will there be any hope that the all-consuming London William Cobbett's 'Great Wen', an unnatural, ungovernable tunmour sucking the nation dry - might at last be lanced.
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