Leading article: A man for all suburbia

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The Independent Online

Easy to sneer; more rewarding to live there. The suburbs may be the object of youth's rage against respectability. We may mock them as the setting for desperate housewives and conspicuous displays of car washing.

Who, then, will rise to the challenge of celebrating the jewels of suburban architecture? Who will praise the sublime balance between seclusion and neighbourliness embodied in the semi-detached house? Who will speak up for leafy low-density sprawl as a haven for wildlife and creative industries that start up in garages?

Step forward, Demos. Suburbanites may think it is an aftershave, but it is a think-tank and it is on their side. In a study which we report on page 27, it says that ministers spend too much time worrying about the countryside and the inner cities and not nearly enough on the best of both worlds in between, where most of us live. How true. What is needed is a minister for the suburbs. We nominate Geoff Hoon.

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