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Six cities in East Anglia have revealed how they intend to adapt the concept of city regions to boost employment an...
Six cities in East Anglia have revealed how they intend to adapt the concept of city regions to boost employment and solve housing shortages.

Regional Cities East (RCE) has submitted a case to the government claiming improved co-operation between councils will help create 140,000 jobs and provide 160,000 homes.

It is hoped the alliance of Peterborough, Luton, Ipswich, Norwich, Colchester and Southend will ensure East Anglia does not get left behind this autumn when the local government white paper is expected to encourage the development of city regions.

It had been feared the region would suffer because it is not dominated by any large city around which co-operation could be focused.

Richard Atkins (Lib Dem), the newly-elected chair of RCE, said: 'There's a tremendous amount in common between the cities and towns involved. In some ways we are the city region because the east of England doesn't have a major city.

'Together, we give the region strength - it's strength in numbers.'

It is hoped a legal agreement, based on an extended local area agreement, will cement the relationship between the participants. The New Local Government Network think tank is about to begin researching how such an arrangement could work across such a wide area.

It is expected that the government will respond in October to the RCE's submission, which also calls for a team of regeneration troubleshooters and greater powers to fast-track infrastructure improvements.

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