It was your mistake, not ours

There is more of a difference between Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Newcastle-under-Lyme than 200 miles and a few letters of the alphabet. Both are in England, but the former is an industrial center of 260,000 people, while the latter is a market town with roughly one-quarter of the population. What's more, its website makes the point that it is "not to be confused" with the larger Newcastle. So you wouldn't think that the British government could confuse the two, right? Nevertheless, it happens. The Department for Communities and Local Government in London awarded $5.25 million in development grants over a two-year period to "under Lyme" that were supposed to go to "upon Tyne." And now the recipient is loath to give the money back. It was accepted in good faith, said one local politician, adding: "We assumed it was in recognition of the work we've done to encourage business." In the other Newcastle, folks appear more upset at the bureaucrats in London than they are at the city that reaped the windfall. Council leader John Shipley called the error "gross" and huffed that he doesn't want to hear any more talk about how it's local governments that are "inefficient." As for the Department for Communities and Local Government, it concedes that the mistake is "regrettable" and says it's taking steps "to ensure that this does not happen again."

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