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Osborne's 'big city' vision could travel nationwide

George Osborne's vision of handing power over to big cities could be rolled out nationwide if it is successful.

The Chancellor plans to hand power over to big English cities to deal with their own transport, housing and healthcare if they are governed by an elected mayor.

Starting in Manchester, it could be rolled out across England but in an era of painful period of cuts, the radical experiment here cannot afford to fail.

ITV News Correspondent Romilly Weeks reports:

Osborne outlines 'radical new model of city government'

Chancellor George Osborne has outlined "a radical new model of city government" for major English cities to take control of their own affairs if they agree to be governed by a directly elected mayor.

Speaking in Manchester, he said: "We will hand power from the centre to cities to give you greater control over your local transport, your housing, your schools, your healthcare and we'll give you the levers you need to grow your local economy and make sure local people keep the rewards.

"With these new powers for cities must come new city-wide elected mayors who work with local councils.....I will not impose a mayor on anyone but nor will I settle for less. My door is open to any other major city who wants to take this bold step into the future".

"This is a revolution in the way we govern England", Mr Osborne added.


Osborne: Mayors needed for regional devolution

It is time for major cities in England to take control of their own affairs, the Chancellor will declare later today, but they will need to accept Mayors to do so.

George Osborne will explain that cities will be given power over local transport, housing, planning, policing and public health.

Manchester. Credit: Dave Thompson/PA

Mr Osborne has previously said devolution must go hand-in-hand with the establishment of an elected mayor.

Today he is expected to reiterate that, saying people must have a "single pointy of accountability."

Manchester is the first city set to benefit from extra powers, with plans for an elected "metro mayor" for the whole of the Greater Manchester region.

Describing the new law as a "bold step", Mr Osborne will say he is open to approaches from other cities wishing to follow the same route.

Osborne to outline devolution plans for English cities

George Osborne will promise new powers for major English cities in a speech in Manchester Credit: PA

George Osborne will today outline plans to hand major English cities new powers over policing, planning, transport and housing if they agree to directly elect a "metro-mayor".

In his first post-election speech, the Chancellor will say "the old model of trying to run everything in our country from the centre is broken" and will invite cities to follow Greater Manchester, which will elect a mayor in 2017.

Speaking in Manchester, Mr Osborne will say that Manchester should become a blueprint for the rest of the country.

We will go much further and deliver radical devolution to the great cities of England. I say to these cities: it is time for you to take control of your own affairs.

...My door now is open to any other major city who? wants to take this bold step into the future. This is a revolution in the way we govern England.

– Chancellor George Osborne

A Cities Devolution Bill will be in the Queen's Speech on May 27.


Hales keen to show what he can do for England

Hales has nine England caps to date. Credit: PA

Alex Hales claims he is still waiting for a "proper crack" at one-day international cricket.

The big-hitting top-order batsman has nine England caps to date, since his debut against India last August.

But after opening alongside Alastair Cook four times in that series defeat, Hales has played in only five of England's subsequent 18 matches - including at the World Cup - and has batted instead at number three on three occasions.

The 26-year-old is hoping for more continuity when England resume their ODI schedule this summer.

Asked if he thinks he has had little of that so far, he told The Guardian: "Honestly, yes I do.

"I don't feel like I've had a proper crack at it yet.

"I played the back-end of last summer against India, did okay without setting the world alight - and since then, it has been the odd game, coming in, dropping out again."

Strauss interested in England cricket director post

Strauss said he would be keen to help move English cricket forward Credit: PA

Andrew Strauss has said he would be interested in the newly created England cricket director post.

The former England captain has been heavily linked with the role, along with Alec Stewart and Michael Vaughan, following the dismissal of Paul Downton as managing director this week.

With more of a focus directly on the England team, the new role does seem more suitable for a recent ex-cricketer than the previous version.

To anyone who is passionate about cricket in this country, the allure of such a job is undeniable. I am certainly interested in any role that might help English cricket move forward.

The question, however, is: what exactly is the new job?

The devil is in the detail and until I know, alongside the other very good candidates, what the exact roles and responsibilities of the new job are, it is impossible to nail my colours to the mast.

– Andrew Strauss

England's U19 ladies qualify after 19 second drama

England's U19 ladies have qualified for the Euro Finals thanks to a late goal with just seconds to go, after a dramatic order by Uefa meant the last 18 seconds of the match had to be replayed.

England's Leah Williamson in Belfast. Credit: PA

With Norway winning 2-1 on Saturday, England were handed a lifeline in the sixth minute of stoppage time when they won a penalty.

Leah Williamson scored the spot-kick, but German referee Marija Kurtes disallowed the goal because one England player entered the box before she struck the ball.

Rules state she should have been given a re-take, but Kurtes ordered that the match play out - a decision which was overruled by Uefa.

Read: England game to restart from the penalty spot in 96th minute

In an unprecedented move, UEFA ordered for the last minute of injury-time of the clash with Norway to be replayed, starting with a retaken spot-kick, five days after the original game ended in controversy.

And Williamson managed to repeat the trick, netting the ball with a penalty kick to put the English side through.

"I have experienced every single emotion over the past 24 hours," the 18-year-old said.

"But it wasn't about me, it was about the team. I know everyone says that, but it really was, and I have never felt calmer than when she blew that whistle."

She added: "We had a job to do, we did the job and we took our opportunity that I would never have dreamed to be gifted."

Watch the moment she scored:

Both Norway and England had played their final group matches earlier on Thursday.

England beat Switzerland 3-1, with Williamson scoring a penalty, and Norway defeated Northern Ireland 8-1.

The results left the sides level on six points in qualifying group four but with England holding the edge on goal difference ahead of the replayed final minutes on Thursday.

The action lasted 65 seconds on Thursday from the point the whistle was blown to take the penalty to full-time.

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