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House and garden

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Actually John Prescott likes Terry F's ideas, possibly because he hasn't entirely understood that they represent something of an alternative to his gateway strategy.The deputy prime minister gave a spirited rant at MIPIM, during which he hilariously referred to Ebenezer Howard's Letchworth Garden Centre, in the course of a speech which was almost impossible to decipher in policy terms. Except that the problems down south are different to those up north. In the former we have housing shortage, mainly due to lack of affordable and key worker house building since 1979; the northern cities have too much social housing, large chunks of which need to be demolished to re-establish a viable market. Hull, Prescott's home town, is a case in point.Whether his new regional assemblies will solve the problem seems unlikely - it was regional policy which created the problems in the first place.

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