Birkenhead and Liverpool among UK's top 20 economically struggling towns and cities.

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BIRKENHEAD and Liverpool are among the UK's top 20 economically struggling cities, according to research.

A new report shows ten of the UKs 12 towns and cities in greatest economic decline are in the North.

Not a single town from the South of England is among the worst 24 listed. The far-reaching review says civic leaders must use their new powers given under chancellor George Osborne's "devolution" agenda to redress the balance.

Wirral signed up to the Northern Powerhouse devolution initiative last November.

It came with the proviso an elected "metro mayor" of Merseyside must be in place to oversee the transfer of powers from Westminster.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation research group's study Uneven growth: tackling city decline - shows Rochdale, Burnley, Bolton, Blackburn and Hull lead the list of places caught in a downward spiral of low employment and population growth.

Birkenhead is ranked 18th and Liverpool is in 19th place.
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