Core Cities and regional titles

Letter to the Birmingham Post, 9/7/2006
Dear Editor,
I was present at the Core Cities Conference when it was held in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 2003-4 as Cabinet Member for Transportation and Street Services. I felt at the time that there was good will towards Birmingham and that people were naturally drawn to it as the hub of the region.
Birmingham is at the centre of the region – and, as I argued at the time, at the heart of the nation. Nobody suggested then that there should be any other association – for the reasons given, that no one would know where a “Heart of England” region would be. It would be disastrous to pretend otherwise. What I did regret at the time was that Coventry had not been properly involved. I don’t know if that to bad feeling and contributed to the determination to go ahead with a separate airport. (Again I argued then that any plans would have to be put together with Birmingham because of shared flight paths and the consequent potential for long-term conflict).
It is deeply saddening that the well-being of the region is put as second to fighting over the name of the region. Manchetsr, Newcastle, Bristol, Liverpool Leeds et al don’t seem to have that problem. For goodness sake let’s get on with the business and pull alongside Britain’s Second City!
Yours sincerely,
John Tyrrell,
Handsworth

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