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Downturn fuels urban divide

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The recession is widening the gap between the poor and rich regions of the UK, according to a report published today

Think-tank Centre for Cities claims the difference between cities with the highest levels of unemployment and those with the lowest has nearly doubled in the past year.

Regions already suffering from post-industrial decline were hit worst, with Barnsley and Stoke affected the most – according to the report.

Brighton, Milton Keynes, Reading, Cambridge and Edinburgh are all marked out as cities likely to succeed following a recovery from the recession.

Dermot Finch, Chief Executive of the Centre for Cities said: ‘The national economy may be emerging from recession but cities like Brighton are likely to recover more strongly than the likes of Barnsley. 

‘Party leaders need to wake up to the reality that some cities will still feel in the middle of a recession until well after the election. 

‘The next Government needs to help these struggling cities fix the basics –like improving schools and public transport so they can attract new business and jobs. 

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