On its Inside Track pages, The Financial Times(p16) looks at hopes that a scheme trumpeting city enterprise will also get everyone involved to march in step. Inner cities are usually portrayed in terms of social problems and economic blight, but a new, government-backed initiative - City Growth Strategies - aims to highlight the competitive benefits that accrue to businesses in urban settings, and make enterprise and business activity the core of inner-city regeneration. Alongside the laudable aims of this 'tool for change', which will be launched in English urban areas, there are strong hopes that the scheme will tackle more mundane but equally challenging problems - such as getting the numerous bodies involved in economic development to march in step.
Birmingham declared zero tolerance on aggressive beggars yesterday after it became the first city in Britain to win a court order banning an aggressive troublemaker from streets and shops. In a landmark move, Birmingham City Council obtained a five-year anti-social behaviour order against Curtis Braxton and pledged it would not hesitate to take similar action against other offenders, reports The Birmingham Post(p1).
IN DEPTH: EDINBURGH'S A POPULATION MAGNET, WHILE ENGLISH HOME COUNTIES LOSE RESIDENTS
A survey published yesterday by the EU's statistical office in Luxembourg found that the area around Edinburgh had the highest 'positive migration' figure in the union, with more people moving there than to anywhere else in the EU, while Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire were identified as losing the most residents. The survey also found that for every 1,000 residents, eastern Scotland is gaining 37 immigrants from the United Kingdom and elsewhere. The three counties in southern England, long been associated with wealth and tranquility, lost 76 per thousand. Edinburgh City Council claimed that the booming financial sector, increased investments in neighbouring Silicon Glen industries and a tourist scene thriving in the wake of the 11 September atrocities, combined with the quality of life in the area, were sucking in newcomers. The leader of Edinburgh City Council, Donald Anderson, is quoted in The Independent(p15) as saying: 'We presently have a population of 453,430 people and that is predicted to increase to 472,121 within the next 15 years. The surrounding area of Lothian, which has a population of 783,600 is also expecting a rise in numbers, to 830,595, in the same period. 'We have one of the best employment records in the country. Unemployment in Edinburgh had fallen from about 17,000 in 1995 to less than 7,000 this year and there were only 12 people aged between 16 and 25 who had been out of work for more than a year. Mr Anderson described Edinburgh as 'one of the world's most beautiful cities' and said incomers were attracted the range of jobs and high standard of living. 'We don't yet have the same problems that many places in the south east England have, such a traffic congestion,' he said. 'We have a mixed economy of education, a higher proportion of restaurants and theatres per head of population than anywhere else, and some of the most scenic countryside on our doorstep.'
by assistant editor Neil Watson