Parliament in Manchester?

Some readers may have heard me on BBC Radio Manchester’s Breakfast Show earlier discussing with Alan Beswick the suggestion put forward by the Member of Parliament for Manchester Blackley that Parliament could be moved to Manchester in order to help close what some perceive as a North South divide. Last year the Labour Peer Lord Adonis suggested moving the House of Lords to Manchester.

It seems this issue has risen up the agenda again following the publication of the 2014 Cities Outlook by the charity Centre for Cities.

The report contains lots of interesting facts and figures but as with all these reports it is worth delving behind the headlines. For example although it is called the 2014 report many of the figures and statistics are based on the period 2010 to 2012. This was when the Government were still putting in place the long term plan to turn round the British economy and the position then should not be confused with the progressing situation now.

Also, the report compares dozens of what are referred to as cities. It is not surprising to find Manchester in the list but it is more difficult to explain why it is that of the ten local authorities in Greater Manchester Bury for example is lumped in with the City of Manchester (as are Oldham, Stockport, Salford, Tameside and Trafford ) but Wigan , Bolton and Rochdale are all given individual billing and treated as separate ‘cities’. Strange but true.

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