The Centre for Cities has warned Mr Osborne that he should restrict devolution deals to cities in the forthcoming budget.
The devolution revolution will move from the cities to the countryside next week, when at least one group of English counties is handed new powers in Wednesday’s Budget.
An “Eastern powerhouse” of Norfolk, Suffolk, rural Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is likely to be unveiled, the Financial Times understands. Cambridge city is, however, unlikely to participate in the new arrangement, according to people familiar with the discussions.
However, the Centre for Cities has warned Mr Osborne that he should restrict devolution deals to big cities. “If the primary aim of devolution is to improve the economic performance of the national economy as rapidly as possible then the ever-growing importance of cities means that the devolution agenda must retain an urban focus,” Alexandra Jones, its chief executive, wrote in a letter to Mr Osborne seen by the FT.
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