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nigel_dyerPIans to give English cities powers over housing, transport, planning and policing will be set out in George Osborne’s first post-election speech

Plans to give English cities powers over housing, transport, planning and policing will be set out in George Osborne’s first post-election speech.
Greater Manchester – which will elect a mayor in two years and take on such powers – should become a blueprint for other large cities, he will say.

A Cities Devolution Bill will be in the Queen’s Speech later this month.

Labour said the government’s “piecemeal approach” would have implications for many areas.

BBC assistant political editor Norman Smith said the chancellor hoped the move would “reignite” areas such as Manchester, not just economically but also to renew a sense of civic pride.

But it is also designed to “wrong foot” Labour in their northern heartlands, and to “re-present” the Tories in the north where they have traditionally been “on the back foot”, he added.