You know there are people – bad, mean people – who’ve been known to accuse CityMetric of being a bit London-centric. As the world’s leading purveyor of news about minor changes to the tube map, we can’t understand this at all.
Anyway. In an attempt to balance things out a bit, we’re dedicating the whole of this week’s episode to the world on the other side of the north/south divide.
I talk about my recent trip to Liverpool, and what I made of that great city (which is, I’m sure, dying to know what another bloody Londoner thinks of it). Then Stephanie, an actual northerner, tells me about the relationship between Liverpool and her home town of Manchester. While we’re at it, we also discuss why it is that, in Lancashire, local identity comes from cities while, across the Pennines, the Yorkshire identity still dominates Leeds and Sheffield.
Next two staffers from the Centre for Cities – Newcastle’s Ben Harrison and Sunderland’s Paul Swinney – talk about their relationship between their two cities and why Sunderland is definitely not just a part of Newcastle. We also discuss how England’s city region and devolution deals are coming along, and why the whole process has turned into a bit of a mess.
(In another life, incidentally, Paul is the author of The Mackem Dictionary, a guide to his city’s dialect. He was also the lead researcher on the Centre’s Centre of Cities report. Our write up is here.)
Last but not least, Stephanie and I discuss one of the key questions of our age. Labour should, by rights, storm next year’s Manchester metro mayor election – so how will Andy Burnham mess it up this time?
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