City-regions policy murkier than ever

When they launched the Northern Way strategy two years ago, its eight key city-regions were illustrated by a psychedelic-looking map soon known in the trade as the Purple Haze diagram. There was an explanation: the authors didn't want everyone arguing about boundary details, hence the diagram wouldn't have any. But since the long-awaited, appearance of the local government white paper (R&R, 3 November, p1), the purple haze seems to have turned into a dense grey Pennine fog, in which the city-regions have all but disappeared.

by Sir Peter Hall

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