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'WE MUST TACKLE LIFE'S LOTTERY OF LOCATION' - BYERS

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Stephen Byers, the secretary of state for transport, local government ...
Stephen Byers, the secretary of state for transport, local government

and the regions, today said that one of the major challenges facing

the government was to tackle 'life's lottery of location - which

determines an individual's future on the basis of where they were

born.'

Stephen Byers today published a table of comparisons between towns

and cities.

Commenting on the figures at the Core Cities conference in

Manchester, Stephen Byers said:

'These figures make stark reading. They show in the clearest

possible way the impact of life's lottery of location - which

determines an individual's future on the basis of where they were

born.

'In Manchester, on average, men die eight years younger than their

counterparts in Bath.

'In Liverpool, women die nearly four years younger than women in

Reading.

'Infant mortality rates are twice as high in Birmingham, Manchester

and Nottingham than in Newcastle or Swindon.

'Business start-ups are nearly twice as high in Bristol than in

Sheffield, Newcastle and Liverpool.

'The staying-on rate in education post-16 is 91% in Bath compared to

57% in Sheffield.

'In my view, the challenge for government is to eradicate these acute

differences. Not by holding back the successful but by putting in

place the measures necessary to lift all to the level of the best.

'To achieve this, we need a comprehensive approach which addresses

the social, economic and environmental aspects of town and city life.

'This will not happen unless we recognise that the market left to its

own devices will not and cannot resolve the difficulties faced by

many communities in our towns and cities.

'In order to end social exclusion and inequity, and to provide social

justice and opportunity for all, we need a government which is active

in putting in place measures for urban regeneration and social

renewal.'

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