Campaign set to encourage regional votes

A campaign aimed at stimulating debate on plans for regional assemblies in the north of England was launched this week.

The "Your Say" campaign explains what regional government would mean for the North West, North East and Yorkshire and Humber areas so that voters can make an informed choice in the referenda next autumn.

Under the government's plans, assemblies would be responsible for jobs, business, skills, housing, planning, culture and tourism. Deputy prime minister John Prescott said the government will also be looking at how existing regional institutions can be strengthened.

Prescott insisted that existing institutions "will continue to ensure that there is a distinctive regional voice from each region heard in Whitehall and elsewhere".

- See Editorial, page 11.

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