Leeds and Sheffield 'to get extra powers'

Reports that Leeds and Sheffield are to get 'greater control of spending on transport, housebuilding and skills' feature in today's newspaper round-up.

The Financial Times (subscription required) reports that chancellor George Osborne is expected to announce the move in next week’s Autumn Statement. "But the two cities will not be compelled to accept elected mayors as part of their deals, in contrast to a recent devolution settlement with Greater Manchester", the newspaper adds.

The Guardian reports that deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, will announce today that "more than £200 million will be spent on encouraging cycling in an attempt to make Britain a nation that loves its bicycles like Denmark and the Netherlands". The newspaper says the Liberal Democrat leader "will reveal the fund at a cycling summit in Bristol in a move he will hope appeals to his party’s natural support base, many of whom have switched to Labour or the Green party since 2010".

The Financial Times (subscription required) reports that Scotland’s new First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, "has taken aim at big landowners, calling for the power to intervene if they stand in the way of sustainable development". The newspaper quotes Sturgeon saying: "Scotland’s land must be an asset that benefits the many, not the few".

The Telegraph reports that protest group the Open Spaces Society has said that author Thomas Hardy would "turn in his grave" at proposals for a housing development near his old home. The newspaper says that Kingston Maurward College wants to build 70 houses on parkland at Lower Bockhampton, near Stinsford, Dorset which is Hardy’s "native hamlet".

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