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Monday, March 06, 2006
The return of Heseltine
The man who invented the modern use of the word 'regeneration', and the idea of the Thames Gateway is back. He's been asked by David Cameron to head up a new "task force to look at the problems of the inner cities" - only ten years behind the original Urban Task Force then.

All fine and good, and trying to pre-empt the State of the Cities report due out tomorrow. But how much new thinking can the Tories really inject into this debate, to make them stand out significantly from the Labour position? Yes, our inner cities still need help. Yes, the next challenge is not city centres but the first ring of housing and estates between the centre and the suburbs. But the Guardian reports:

The Heseltine task force is expected to examine plans to back affordable housing for first-time buyers in urban areas, how to improve the quality of education in inner city schools, and a new approach to tackling crime and anti-social behaviour on council estates.

Sorry, but I really can't see the difference between this and New Labour's policies just yet.


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