Small towns are the key to a stronger economy and a more cohesive nation

Subtly, in recent decades Britain has transformed. Our towns and cities have become, as the academics Will Jennings and Gerry Stoker put it, two Englands, with increasingly different views and priorities. This widening gulf was most starkly illustrated by Brexit, but the differences go much wider and cover social attitudes on issues from immigration to civil rights and political differences.

The roots of this lie in changing demographics. As our cities have grown younger over the last 25 years, our towns and villages have grown older. Between 1981 and 2011 our towns and villages lost more than a million people under the age of 25. In contrast the core cities gained 300,000. Over the same period the number of over 65s in our towns grew by more than two million.

Read more from Lisa Nandy at The Times here: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/small-towns-are-the-key-to-a-stronger-economy-and-a-more-cohesive-nation-5mmtvs6bj