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If we set the cities free, what do we with the towns?

By Jonathan Derbyshire  

Osborne's commitments to a "Northern powerhouse" and other spending commitments may be the real reason for economic success

This time last year, I spoke to the former Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill, shortly after he’d launched the independent City Growth Commission, of which he was chair, and which publishes its final report today. “If you look at some of the most successful economies in the world,” he said, “where many cities play a critical role, they enjoy some degree of independence over their finances and policy choices.”

Cities, O’Neill argued, are the engines of economic growth the world over,…

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