Thirteen: Spatial inequalities

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This chapter examines inequalities in economic and social outcomes between English regions, and between richer and poorer neighbourhoods, in the period following the financial crisis. It also looks at the policies of Labour and Coalition governments towards spatial inequalities. It finds that despite the finance-led recession, London continued to pull further ahead of other regions economically, and on some social indicators including education and some health outcomes. A new political consensus appeared to emerge around the need for regional economic rebalancing and a new debate about what form a new ‘regional policy’ should take. However, at the same time, there was less focus on the problems of disadvantaged neighbourhoods and the arguments for spatially redistributive social policies for reasons of equity and social justice. In some respects, the distribution of spending also became more disconnected from levels of need in local areas, a move that may lead to greater spatial disparities in the short term

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