The government says the 11 new enterprise zones to be set up around the country will create 30,000 new jobs in England over the next four years. The zones will have super-fast broadband, tax breaks for business and more relaxed planning rules. But critics say they will end up being a waste of money.
But the Communities Secretary Eric Pickles insisted the zones will help the economic recovery in all areas of the country, adding that the north of England needs to become "a place, again, where we make stuff".
And Mr Pickles welcomed tough prison sentences handed down for attempting to organise riots. "We need to understand that people for a while thought that this was a crime without consequence," he told Today presenter James Naughtie.
"We cannot have people being frightened in their beds, frightened in their own homes, for their public safety. That's why these kind of exemplary sentences are necessary and I think the public would be rightly alarmed if that incitement to riot got off with just a slap on the wrist."
Get in touch with Today via
or text us on 84844.