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Call to depopulate northern England

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August 13 2008

A controversial report from the Policy Exchange has called for a mass migration of citizens in the north of England to the south in a radical policy of depopulation.

'Cities Unlimited' calls for cities such as Liverpool, Sunderland and Bradford, deemed “beyond revival”, to be surrendered to market forces.  Those living in poorer districts would be offered homes in cities of high income and employment around London, Cambridge and Oxford.

The reports author Dr Leunig of the London School of Economics, said he couldn’t remember the last time he visited Merseyside, but advised a moratorium on building homes in the region. saying: “People aren’t starving, but you’re quite a lot poorer than the rest of the UK and you’re not closing the gap and that’s with a lot of regeneration funding.”

Land earmarked for industrial use in the south would be released for 3 million new homes, displacing industry to the north.  It is estimated that such a move would entail a collapse in population of up to a half in affected cities.

Irrespective of the logistical challenge in relocating millions of people to an already overburdened region, the reports sobriety should perhaps be called into question by Dr Leunig himself, who admits that it may be construed as “barmy”.  Quite.


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