North 'facing rapidly declining population'

Reports that the north is 'facing a rapidly declining population' feature in today's newspaper round-up.

The Times (subscription required) reports that a study produced by the Office for National Statistics shows "the north has lost almost a quarter of its share of the English population in the past 100 years as London and the southeast draw those looking for well-paid jobs". The newspaper also says that in the north "income, economic activity, life expectancy and even happiness are lower than anywhere else in England". A leader column in the newspaper says "the north of England now needs its post-industrial revolution and the government should help it come into being".

Guardian columnist, John Harris, says chancellor George Osborne’s push for more devolution for northern cities "is indicative of metropolitan arrogance, falls way short of powers for which the leaders of English cities have been pushing (over railways, benefit spending and more), and does nothing to address councils’ parlous financial position. But what the government has signed up to, and the Labour party is belatedly starting to push, shows that England’s woefully centralised system of government may at least be changing".

The Financial Times (subscription required) reports that the London Borough of Southwark "has given the go-ahead to plans for a 26-storey residential tower next to the Shard". The newspaper says the scheme "is the latest luxury residential property development to move forward in the capital, despite signs of a slowing market".

The Telegraph reports that "two steel bolts the size of a human arm" have broken on the 47-storey Leadenhall Building in the City of London, with part of one falling to the ground. The newspaper says the steel bolts "have broken on British Land's 737ft Cheesegrater skyscraper, forcing the 47-storey landmark building to be cordoned off from pedestrians".

The Guardian reports that the mayor of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, has hit back at claims made by the communities secretary that he has "behaved like a ‘medieval monarch’ dispensing funds to favoured ethnic minority groups, saying the attacks are fuelled by a political class embarrassed by the success of his brand of community politics". Rahman faced calls to resign on Tuesday after a report commissioned by Eric Pickles, found the borough was not delivering best value for the taxpayer.

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