Published: 23rd Jan 2012

This year’s Cities Outlook report from Centre for Cities paints a picture of growing disparities across the UK with some cities untouched by recession and cutbacks while others have seen deep-seated problems compounded. Austin Macauley talks to co-author Paul Swinney about the findings Q. Did this year’s Cities Outlook throw up any surprises? In general it tends to confirm things that you know intuitively but this puts numbers to it and identifies the magnitude. But a couple of places have done better than we would have expected, for example Burnley and Birkenhead. There’s been only a small increase in claimant counts despite their industrial nature suggesting they might have been hardest hit. Birkenhead’s large public sector economy has sheltered it but continued cuts may mean it won’t be as sheltered in the future.