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City Regions Programme

Volume 448: debated on Wednesday 28 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the likely effects of the city regions project on (a) Herefordshire and (b) other low wage economies. (80188)

Cities and city regions are often the economic drivers of economic growth within the wider region. Economic growth within the cities and city regions will often provide knock on benefits to the wider region. We are conscious, however, that no one size fits all and in considering the business case proposals from the core cities we are giving careful thought as to their impact on smaller towns and rural areas outside the city region.

My officials are working with DEFRA who are looking into the impact of city regions on rural areas both within and outside city regions. This research includes a number of case studies, one of which concentrates on the Birmingham city region and its impact on South Shropshire, the rural district with the highest proportion of employees earning less than two-thirds of the English median.