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CABE backs move for more mayors

CABE is backing a government drive for stronger leadership in England's cities.

It emerged yesterday that the design watchdog is supporting Labour plans for changes to local government, which include the introduction of a directly elected mayors in Birmingham and Manchester.

This position would be similar in status to that of London mayor Ken Livingstone, who has significant influence on the planning system.

However, CABE added that Britain's cities were still lagging behind the best in Europe.

CABE chief executive Richard Simmons said: 'The test will be whether the success of our core cities can be extended to the suburbs and to less-successful towns.

'Our challenge for the next 10 years is for these places to enjoy the same design-led regeneration as Manchester and Birmingham; to keep up the momentum in the leading cities; and for all our city-regions to move ahead of their international competitors.'

CABE's support comes in the wake of the government's launch on Monday of a report into the 'state of British cities'.

This was commissioned by ODPM and local government minister David Miliband in 2000.

by Rob Sharp

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