Cambridgeshire and Peterborough - A BBC East Debate A Mayor for...


Cambridgeshire and Peterborough - A BBC East Debate

Janine Machin hosts a debate in which an audience questions the prospective candidates for the new role of mayor for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.


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Transcript


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On May 4th, the first elected mayor for Cambridgeshire

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and Peterborough will be chosen.

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They will have wide ranging powers over transport and schools

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and they will have a multi-million pound budget.

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APPLAUSE

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Hello, and welcome to the Kingsgate Conference

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Centre in Peterborough.

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Tonight, our audience gets to put their questions

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to these mayoral candidates.

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If you want to join in the conversation at home,

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the hashtag to use is #cpmayor.

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But the big question is what will be the biggest challenges facing

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the winner as they take charge of the first combined

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authority in the region?

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Cambridge, a technology giant.

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Napp Pharmaceuticals is at the centre of the country's

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oldest science park.

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5,000 people work here in computer companies and in health care.

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So can devolution provide an opening to help this whole region prosper?

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The city is internationally renowned and will dominate the landscape

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of the new combined authority, which is unique.

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This is the only devolution deal in the country which is not a city

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only region, so connecting the surrounding

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communities is crucial.

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The real challenge is looking at how we can utilise the new money

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and make sure it is used on the priority projects.

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The gap between the highest and lowest earners here is greater

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than in any other devolved area.

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Bridging that gap will be the greatest challenge

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for the new elected mayor.

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Skills are the key.

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We hear frequently from companies who simply cannot find

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staff for key posts.

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On the surface, this region looks very attractive.

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Employment here is high.

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78% of people are in work.

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Life expectancy is high.

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Productivity is high.

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But house prices in Cambridge are sky-high.

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A flat in Cambridge is more expensive than a whole

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house in The Fens.

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It is just 12 miles up the road but the economy

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in Fenland is very different.

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The average weekly wage there is ?456.

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Here it is ?633.

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I should be able to afford a flat of my own with

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being on a decent salary.

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You just can't.

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So the big challenge for this new combined authority

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with an elected mayor at its head, is to make sure the opportunities,

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the development and the cash cascade right from the top to the bottom,

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refreshing this entire region.

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But who can we count on to deliver that devolution promise?

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Well, it is one of these seven people.

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Let's meet the candidates.

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Here with me tonight, Independent Peter Dawe.

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Stephen Goldspink for the English Democrats.

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James Palmer for the Conservatives.

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Paul Bullen for Ukip.

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Julie Howell for the Green Party.

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Kevin Price for Labour and Rod Cantrill the Lib Dems.

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Ladies and gentlemen, our panel.

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And so let's take our first question for the evening.

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My question is, Peterborough and Cambridge have very

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different needs.

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How are you going to make sure that the needs of this

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area are met?

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What are you going to do to make sure there is consistency

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and fairness?

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Consistency and fairness across the board.

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Let's start than with Kevin Price.

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Yes, you are quite right.

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They are very different and the idea is what the

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mayor needs to do is ensure the growth and the wealth that is

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created in Cambridge is spread out and is shared out.

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One of the things I will want to be doing is looking

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at a fairness commission to ensure that everybody gets a really, really

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good share of this wealth.

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Housing, for instance, is going to be

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a vital, vital part.

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You heard on that film today the disparity in house prices

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and there is a distinct lack of affordable housing for rent across

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the whole area, particularly Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire

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and spreading out.

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It is that.

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We really, really need to be ensuring

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that the cake is sliced fairly.

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James Palmer, let's come to you on this one.

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You need a mayor who cares equally for Cambridge

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and Peterborough.

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Someone who cares about the two.

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I live in the middle of the two of them.

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I am committed to bringing wealth from Cambridge to

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the north of Cambridgeshire and I will be committed

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to bringing fairness to Peterborough

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and the rest of the county.

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This was your question.

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Can I ask, are you from Peterborough?

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I am inbetween Peterborough and Huntingdon.

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What do you think they need is for that region

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that you are missing out on?

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I am just looking at some different area

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and sometimes people make complaints and say,

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we do not have enough services in our area.

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If you look at some other area in Cambridge or Peterborough,

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you cannot tell - there is a big difference in between these areas.

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Julie Howell, you are nodding.

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Let's come to you.

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Absolutely right.

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There has never been such a big divide as I have seen here

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between people who have it all and people who seem

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to have very little.

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Firstly, I would like to say that in the Green

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Party we are against the establishment of this mayor.

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What a chronic waste of public money.

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What is the obsession of having an election every time

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there is something the Tories cannot cope with?

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Let me just put that out there for you.

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Let me just say, migrant workers, EU nationals and

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refugees, what a wonderful contribution they make

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to Cambridgeshire.

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Let's answer some of those questions with them.

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We need their workforce.

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We should embrace them as part of our community.

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Let's get back to the question that was posed.

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There are different needs in different places.

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How do we change that?

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It is all right saying we need to spread the wealth.

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How do we do that?

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We build communities where people want to live there and

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have workplaces near where people are.

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We need to stop building dormitory towns, which we seem to be doing

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very effectively.

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I live in one myself and it is horrid.

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Build communities where people are near where they work.

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Lovely houses where they feel safe and know their neighbours.

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It is not about transport and housing as separate things.

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It is about communities.

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I want to move on for now and then we will

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come back to this.

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I want to take the next question.

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Given how much county councils are having their funding cut,

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which is affecting front line services, how will you make your

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role and your budget worth it?

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How do you make the budget worth it?

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Rod Cantrill, let's start with you.

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Firstly, I want to be the mayor for everyone.

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I believe that we need to do politics differently.

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I think local politicians have failed you over a number of years

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and you see that in terms of some of the steps that the county

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council have made.

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I think, as mayor, what I want to do is I want to deliver

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for the people of the region.

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I think to do that one needs to do in terms of spending the money

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on an efficient basis.

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I have a background in business.

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I know how to run things efficiently.

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I want to use the social capital that the mayor has to hands,

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so that you can ensure people have the right skills

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in business to succeed.

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So we can drive through the delivery of all social

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and affordable housing.

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Homes that are part of communities, not just bricks and mortar.

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More importantly, to set out an integrated transport plan

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for the whole region.

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So that people feel collected and not isolated.

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I believe that sustainable communities are based

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on all of those things.

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We should not be of them prioritised.

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A round of applause for that.

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Housing will be something that we return to.

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Going back to the question about how you make your role

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and your budget worth it.

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Stephen Goldspink, let's continue.

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I have seen local authority money cut on a regular basis since 2010.

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I work closely with local authorities.

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I have seen how that affects them.

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The beauty of this role is that it brings in additional funding

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that was previously handed out by central government and puts it

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in the hands of local politicians.

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I note Rod said that politicians had failed.

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For the last generation we have had Liberal Democrats,

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Labour and Conservatives running all of the districts and major

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authorities in this county and they have failed to integrate.

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How is putting another one about all of those

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going to make any difference?

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We need a change in the way that we work and we need to bring

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people together through this mayorship and bring

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the authorities working together.

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Ladies and gentlemen, any points to raise on this?

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Yes, sir?

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I believe the questioner came from the village of Sawtry,

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that has an hourly bus in the daytime only.

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I believe I am right in saying you do not

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have a bus service on Sundays, or an evening bus service.

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I know that because I use the bus between Cambridge and Huntingdon.

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Really what is needed is for this mayor to stand up to the likes

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of Stagecoach and say we are democratically elected,

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you run the service that we want.

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I know it is going to be difficult because I know they threaten

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to withdraw all services in the north east.

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Somebody has to take them on.

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You have got to be clear that the guys in charge,

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the big shareholders, making millions out of it.

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To run it as public monopoly, and economic theory says you run

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more public services.

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Your point has been heard.

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Transport is a subject that we will come back to.

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He raises a valid point.

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One in five households do not have access to a car.

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Against that backdrop, there have been major cuts

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in terms of bus subsidies by the county council.

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We are in a crisis, both in times in the ability for people to get

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around on public transport and their sense of isolation.

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Over 10,000 people feel isolated and that was

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a survey done by Age UK.

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One of the great roles that the mayor has is bus franchising.

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We can change that in a material way as part as an integrated

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strategic transport plan...

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That delivers to the people of the region.

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I must stop you there.

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Transport is something we will get back to in more detail,

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providing we have the time.

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I want to go to the third question.

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Why should I be bothered to vote for a mayor?

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What difference will an elected mayor make for Peterborough people?

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Paul Bullen, let's bring you in on this one.

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The one thing that the mayor will have is the ears

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of whoever is in government.

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We have a general election coming up as well

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so we do not know who that will be.

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The mayor will have those ears and will

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be able to represent.

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I do not think that the directly elected mayor is needed.

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I do not believe this devolution deal is the right one

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for Cambridgeshire.

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It is a start towards a unitary authority.

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I want a yes or no answer from you.

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You do not believe in this but you are standing for mayor.

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Much the same as Julie is.

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Yes or no, are you here to sabotage the system?

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No, I am here to change the system.

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The priority I will have if I'm elected mayor is to get

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rid of at least one, and if not two tiers

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of local government.

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At the moment we have three tiers.

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In my opinion, too many.

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We have added the combined authority and the mayoral office on

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to that from the 4th of May.

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I think we do not need five tiers.

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I think two would be enough.

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I would concentrate on getting rid of those

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extra tiers of local government and the extra expense.

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Peter Dawe.

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The local government has failed and several of the councillors

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here are agreeing with that.

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It needs to change.

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My experience of change is that it is only done by someone from

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the outside.

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Asking councillors to change how the behave when they have

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always worked in council is incredibly difficult.

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It needs someone from the outside to make

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those changes and that is why I am standing.

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as

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as a

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If I as a can ask you, because you

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posed this question.

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Would you rather there was not an elected mayor?

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Will you voting at all?

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I usually vote in all elections.

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Good.

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On this occasion, I am not sure what it

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does for Peterborough.

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If you do not vote, you let the Tories in.

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Forgive me.

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Unless she votes Conservative.

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Please, vote.

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I would rather that than not voting.

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Can I just come in?

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If I could reply to your question, I think this is an

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opportunity for the whole of the region.

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We need somebody in charge who can take the reins of what we have

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got, speak to government, work on behalf the people and connect the

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county north to south and east to west and deliver for the people

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and spread the wealth from the south

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to the north.

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That is what is in it for Peterborough and in it for you.

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I hope you do vote and I hope you vote Conservative.

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I ensure you with the right person in charge, the mayor

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can be a real success, not just for one part of the county

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but for the entire county.

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I am so sorry, but we will not get through all of the

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issues that I know people want to raise unless we do move on.

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One of the key issues in this area is housing.

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We have acknowledged that, particularly in Cambridge where the

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average house price are some of the highest in the country.

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There is a housing shortage.

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135,000 new homes are needed in the Cambridgeshire

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and Peterborough area.

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That is over the next 20 years.

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On average, that is over 6,500 a year.

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Last year, fewer than 3500 were built and that

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shortfall is growing.

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It is frustrating knowing that you've spent so much money on rent.

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I have spent tens of thousands of pounds on rent.

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And knowing that some of that money could have been paying off

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a mortage on your own place.

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As well, not knowing how long you can stay somewhere.

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The landlord could evict you with two months notice.

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So not having that stability that you have when you own your own

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home is frustrating as well.

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Those are the two things you want to get

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when you become a first-time buyer.

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When it is so unaffordable, it is difficult, really.

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Let's pick up on some of those points.

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Our next question comes from John Knowles.

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How will you supply urgently needed, affordable

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rented homes with security of tenure for families and individuals already

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living in Peterborough?

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This is not about future demand.

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This is about the people who are already here.

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Julie, let's start with you.

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We have a huge problem here that is not being

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acknowledged and that is how our lives change as we get older and

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have families and our families grow up and move out and we get older

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and different housing needs.

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This needs to be addressed here.

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I worry when other candidates talk and we

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are thinking about chucking new houses down and not thinking about

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the problems we already have with people on waiting lists.

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With respect, we have seen that there is

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an issue here.

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How do you solve it.

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What is the solution?

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We need to look carefully at what we have now

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and how we can address it and talk to people about what their housing

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needs are.

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As a parish councillor, I am contacted by people who are in

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housing and it is unsuitable for them.

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We need a proper audit to know what people need and what not they

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want.

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It is not just about the roof over your head, it is about feeling

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safe and secure.

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There are so many disabled people stuck in houses as

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if they are prisons and they have done nothing wrong.

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We are not meeting their needs.

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We do know this area has some of the best secure

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tenancies in the country.

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A lifetime or minimum of five years.

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We face a housing crisis.

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I do not think my children or their friends will be

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able to afford a house anywhere in the Cambridgeshire area.

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I am a trustee of a homeless charity.

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I see what it is like for people who do

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not have a home.

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One of the mayor's top priorities is to address that issue.

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I believe that in Peterborough there is amazing

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growth that is taking place.

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We need to address that issue by looking at

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the level of affordable housing provided.

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I am keen to support a 50% ratio of affordable housing on key

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sites.

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I am keen to explore what is known as the local living rent.

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That is something where, instead of charging

0:17:360:17:40

the market rate minus the

0:17:400:17:42

discount, you actually charge one third of someone's income.

0:17:420:17:47

That is what Shelter, the UK charity, says

0:17:470:17:49

the amount of money anybody should pay for their rent.

0:17:490:17:51

Even in Peterborough, we talk about Cambridge,

0:17:510:17:53

but in Peterborough the

0:17:530:17:54

average house price is 8.8 times the average income.

0:17:540:17:56

We need to address that.

0:17:560:17:57

It is a fundamental issue for the whole region.

0:17:570:17:59

If I can, very quickly.

0:17:590:18:03

You are clapping.

0:18:030:18:03

Tell us why?

0:18:030:18:08

Mainly, throughout the whole distribution

0:18:080:18:11

of Cambridgeshire, there

0:18:110:18:16

is slow growth in housing.

0:18:160:18:26

In Peterborough there is a amazing development.

0:18:270:18:32

There are plans to build more houses as well.

0:18:320:18:34

The main issue, as many candidates have

0:18:340:18:36

addressed within their manifestos, is that housing is a major

0:18:360:18:38

issue within this region.

0:18:380:18:39

My other discontent with the combined authority is that

0:18:390:18:43

there is not enough money that is coming into the region.

0:18:430:18:45

The ?600 million that we will been getting

0:18:450:18:48

for 30 years, only 30 million of that would be per year.

0:18:480:18:54

So you are worried that there is not enough money to

0:18:540:18:56

tackle this issue?

0:18:560:18:57

It is not just this issue but it is others.

0:18:570:19:00

Like, if you need to build the dual carriageway, the cost would be

0:19:000:19:03

?15 million per mile.

0:19:030:19:05

There is not enough money and the candidates

0:19:050:19:07

need to address that

0:19:070:19:08

because we need to get more money for the area.

0:19:080:19:10

I want to just stick with housing, if I may.

0:19:100:19:14

Peter, let's come to you on this issue.

0:19:140:19:16

The whole thing about housing is we need more houses.

0:19:160:19:19

If you've got enough supply of houses, the prices stabilise,

0:19:190:19:21

the rents stabilise.

0:19:210:19:22

To do that, you need two things.

0:19:220:19:26

One is somewhere to put them and, over the last 20 years,

0:19:260:19:29

I've been promoting the building of new towns.

0:19:290:19:32

It is now starting to happen in Northstowe, Waterbeach,

0:19:320:19:35

Saint Neots and the Hamptons.

0:19:350:19:42

The other thing you need is them being built.

0:19:420:19:46

And we don't have the skills and ability to build the number

0:19:460:19:50

of homes we need by traditional means, which is why I've been

0:19:500:19:54

working with Consortium to start a homes factory,

0:19:540:19:58

a modular homes factory in North Fenland, where they want the jobs.

0:19:580:20:07

Where we ship 20 homes a day out across Cambridgeshire so that we can

0:20:070:20:11

actually really make a massive impact on the supply of housing

0:20:110:20:13

and, when there's enough supply, all the other problems

0:20:130:20:15

of housing disappear.

0:20:160:20:18

Peter, I must ask you to leave it there because I want to move

0:20:180:20:22

on to our next question which follows very nicely from that.

0:20:220:20:24

It comes tonight from John Gibson.

0:20:240:20:27

In the letter outlining the proposal to Greg Clark,

0:20:270:20:33

the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government,

0:20:330:20:35

he states that freedoms on planning,

0:20:350:20:38

development and housing will allow us to deliver higher growth

0:20:380:20:41

and speed up delivery of new housing.

0:20:410:20:45

Could that, in fact, lead to new, large developments

0:20:450:20:49

being granted planning status without due consideration?

0:20:490:20:53

OK.

0:20:530:20:55

Let's put this point to Paul.

0:20:550:20:56

I think you're quite right.

0:20:560:21:00

I think the current policy of the Government is basically

0:21:000:21:02

a developer's charter.

0:21:020:21:04

It takes out the wishes of the local population.

0:21:040:21:07

I firmly believe that the local people should have a say

0:21:070:21:10

on what happens in their town city and their street.

0:21:100:21:14

If I'm elected mayor, I will do more consultation on that.

0:21:140:21:19

Talking about housing generally, I would also prioritise any housing

0:21:190:21:24

under my control to be social housing, and prioritise that housing

0:21:240:21:27

for local people who need it now.

0:21:270:21:30

Because you are quite right, our children and our children's

0:21:300:21:33

children just cannot afford somewhere to live as

0:21:330:21:35

it is at the moment.

0:21:350:21:36

Kevin Price.

0:21:360:21:40

That is why there is in this devolution deal ?170 million

0:21:400:21:42

for building affordable housing.

0:21:420:21:45

It's part of a deal...

0:21:450:21:51

Leading Cambridge City Council, I also hold

0:21:510:21:52

the housing portfolio there.

0:21:520:21:53

In the negotiations for setting up the combined authority,

0:21:530:21:58

we dug our heels in.

0:21:580:22:00

I dug my heels in and insisted that there needed to be money

0:22:000:22:03

for affordable housing.

0:22:030:22:05

There is ?170 million for affordable housing.

0:22:050:22:07

This will be genuinely affordable housing.

0:22:070:22:11

There is some ring-fenced for Cambridge but, outside

0:22:110:22:15

Cambridge, built through housing associations which will be built

0:22:150:22:18

for rent, housing allowance rates.

0:22:180:22:23

So that, as everyone has said around here,

0:22:230:22:26

our children will have somewhere that they can afford to live.

0:22:260:22:30

Having the money is one thing to build them,

0:22:300:22:35

but the question, just getting back to it, was if you have more freedom

0:22:350:22:39

about where it goes, will you ignore the

0:22:390:22:40

views of the public?

0:22:410:22:42

Well, we don't ignore them.

0:22:420:22:43

Planning will still be with the district authorities.

0:22:430:22:48

The Mayor is not going to take over and tell all the local authorities

0:22:480:22:52

how they will do their planning because it is for them to determine.

0:22:520:22:57

I do want all of the panel to be able to have something to say

0:22:570:23:00

on housing while we are here.

0:23:000:23:02

So, Stephen, if I can come to you.

0:23:020:23:04

OK.

0:23:040:23:05

One of the things I think local authorities in this area have failed

0:23:050:23:08

on is actually making the most of the housing stock

0:23:080:23:11

that already exists.

0:23:110:23:12

If you walk around your town or city, you will see a lot

0:23:120:23:15

of properties that are not occupied.

0:23:150:23:17

In fact, there are 600,000 of those properties in England which local

0:23:170:23:20

authorities to have the power to take over and bring

0:23:200:23:24

into the housing stock.

0:23:240:23:27

Imagine what a difference that could make it authorities

0:23:270:23:29

actually did that.

0:23:290:23:32

So I am in favour of bringing in additional funding

0:23:320:23:38

and using what we have already got too leverage more money in,

0:23:380:23:41

but I also believe that the local authorities in Cambridgeshire have

0:23:410:23:44

failed to make the most of what they have got.

0:23:440:23:46

As mayor, I will be trying to make sure that they do that.

0:23:460:23:50

James, I just want to come to you.

0:23:500:23:51

As a local authority leader, and I am the only leader

0:23:510:23:54

on the panel, you would expect me to have a solution,

0:23:540:23:57

and we have a solution in East Cambridgeshire that

0:23:570:23:59

I will spread throughout the whole of the county

0:23:590:24:01

and into Peterborough as well.

0:24:010:24:02

It is community land trusts for housing, it can work anywhere.

0:24:020:24:05

It is housing that is built in coalition and in conjunction

0:24:050:24:08

with the local community, typically built outside the planning area,

0:24:080:24:10

and we use the uplift in the value of the land to provide

0:24:100:24:13

new housing, affordable housing for people who live

0:24:130:24:15

and work in the local area.

0:24:150:24:17

It's working now, look it up on the Internet,

0:24:170:24:19

it's in Streatham and Wilburton community land trust.

0:24:190:24:22

I will bring this working model into the whole of the county

0:24:220:24:28

and spread it throughout the whole of Cambridge and Peterborough.

0:24:280:24:31

I will say, this is not a one size fits all problem.

0:24:310:24:34

We have to use as many different options.

0:24:340:24:36

So we have to use modular housing, yes, community land trusts, yes,

0:24:360:24:39

social housing we already have, and yes market housing.

0:24:390:24:41

We need to create housing for the entire community.

0:24:410:24:43

We obviously have some hands raised here.

0:24:430:24:45

Sir, if I could bring you in.

0:24:450:24:47

Your question, your point?

0:24:470:24:49

All of what you say is meaningless if we don't have proper

0:24:490:24:52

regulation of landlords and reasonable, affordable rents.

0:24:520:24:56

If I can come back on that?

0:24:560:24:58

Briefly.

0:24:580:25:00

My community land trusts scheme in East Cambridgeshire,

0:25:000:25:05

the rents are affordable, they are currently at 70%

0:25:050:25:08

of the market rate.

0:25:080:25:09

The trusts are affiliated, and the trusts are

0:25:090:25:11

they housing provider.

0:25:110:25:12

Mr Palmer, if I can...

0:25:120:25:16

They are regulated.

0:25:160:25:18

We have two gentlemen here who are both saying the same thing.

0:25:180:25:21

If I can just...

0:25:210:25:22

If I can come back to the gentleman's point,

0:25:220:25:25

which is in terms of planning freedoms.

0:25:250:25:26

The problem with amenity land trusts, I think

0:25:260:25:28

they play a small role, but they actually step

0:25:280:25:30

outside the local plan.

0:25:310:25:35

What that means is exactly the point that the gentleman raised.

0:25:350:25:39

Basically, the local plan doesn't have any regulation in relation

0:25:390:25:41

to community land trusts.

0:25:410:25:44

The other point I would make about them, in one of the schemes

0:25:440:25:48

that James Palmer references, 54 homes are being built.

0:25:480:25:56

Community land trusts will not address the housing

0:25:560:25:58

crisis that we have in this region.

0:25:580:26:00

OK.

0:26:000:26:01

I must leave it there.

0:26:010:26:02

Just because we have more points to raise,

0:26:020:26:04

and obviously I want as many members of the audience to have

0:26:040:26:07

their say as possible.

0:26:070:26:08

Sir?

0:26:080:26:09

70% of the market rate in Cambridge, that is not affordable, is it?

0:26:090:26:12

70% of the market rate in this particular scheme,

0:26:120:26:14

the land is worth more, then the market rate will fall down.

0:26:140:26:17

It is affordable housing.

0:26:170:26:18

It is affordable for people in the village.

0:26:180:26:20

It is a working scheme, it is a policy.

0:26:200:26:22

I know you don't understand policies, but it is a working policy

0:26:220:26:25

that I can bring forward.

0:26:250:26:30

And it will only provide, at best, 15% of the housing need

0:26:300:26:33

in East Cambridgeshire.

0:26:330:26:38

James was right, one part he said was right.

0:26:380:26:41

It could be part of a housing strategy.

0:26:410:26:43

But it's a very small part.

0:26:430:26:47

THEY ALL TALK AT ONCE

0:26:470:26:51

I'm afraid we don't have time for lots of facts on this issue.

0:26:510:26:54

If you'd just like to address that.

0:26:540:26:56

On the affordable point, the gentleman is correct.

0:26:560:26:58

Market discount, even at a 20% market discount is not affordable.

0:26:580:27:00

Basically, a local living rent, a third of your

0:27:000:27:02

salary, is affordable.

0:27:020:27:04

A 20% discount means the person who is at medium salary needs to be

0:27:040:27:09

in excess of 30,000.

0:27:090:27:14

The average salary is way below that.

0:27:140:27:16

That is one of the critical issues in terms of enabling

0:27:160:27:19

people like teachers, nurses to be able to afford

0:27:190:27:21

to live where they work, close to where they work.

0:27:210:27:24

We are now going over the same points.

0:27:240:27:27

If I may, I will move on to one of the other big

0:27:270:27:30

issues that we have.

0:27:300:27:32

Can I just say, the one elephant in the room, property developers

0:27:320:27:35

and the stranglehold they have...

0:27:350:27:36

AUDIENCE MEMBERS SHOUT

0:27:360:27:40

Just build council housing!

0:27:400:27:41

I'm going to!

0:27:410:27:46

I'm afraid we must move on, because transport I know is a key

0:27:460:27:49

issue for lots of people who are here tonight.

0:27:490:27:51

The lack of good road and rail links across this region,

0:27:510:27:54

they do impede its growth.

0:27:540:27:55

Now, there are plenty of plans in the pipeline.

0:27:550:27:59

Which ones will get the go-ahead?

0:27:590:28:01

Will it be upgrades to the A10, the A47 or the infamous A14?

0:28:010:28:04

When it comes to rail, should the priority be reconnecting

0:28:040:28:06

Wisech or improving Ely junction?

0:28:060:28:09

I think that one of the real problems is that politicians have

0:28:090:28:12

generally tended to look short-term at their own particular

0:28:120:28:15

slice of the cake.

0:28:150:28:18

Whereas I believe that the combined authority, getting a mayor in place,

0:28:180:28:21

is about actually looking strategically medium and long-term

0:28:210:28:23

at the whole cake and making sure that we get the priorities right

0:28:230:28:26

and get them in the right order in terms of delivery.

0:28:260:28:34

That is John Bridge there, in what was a particularly

0:28:340:28:37

heavy April shower!

0:28:370:28:39

Let's take our next question then, following on from those points,

0:28:390:28:41

from Nick Dibbon, who is from Rail Future.

0:28:410:28:44

Good evening.

0:28:460:28:47

Do the panel agree that reopening the March to Wisbech railway

0:28:470:28:49

is the key to unlocking development in Fenland?

0:28:490:28:51

Peter, let's start with you.

0:28:510:28:53

No, I don't.

0:28:530:28:55

I think it's much more important to improve the A47.

0:28:550:29:02

Although rail is very attractive from a passenger point of view,

0:29:020:29:06

what Wisbech needs is business, and business means goods transport.

0:29:060:29:13

And there is no plan for opening that line for goods.

0:29:130:29:16

I think if we are going to spend money on Wisbech, it

0:29:160:29:20

should be on the A47, not on the railway.

0:29:200:29:22

James Palmer.

0:29:220:29:26

I don't see why it is an either/or.

0:29:260:29:28

I don't see why you shouldn't be ambitious and spend money on both.

0:29:280:29:31

I absolutely do believe in Wisbech rail, and it is not just

0:29:310:29:34

Wisbech that will benefit because if Ely North junction

0:29:340:29:36

is sorted, which it surely must be to solve the Wisbech problem,

0:29:360:29:39

then you get more rolling stock on the line, more

0:29:390:29:42

trains going into March, more trains going into Whittlesey,

0:29:420:29:44

more trains going from Peterborough, more rolling stock, including

0:29:440:29:49

Wisbech rail, allowing for growth in Fenland.

0:29:490:29:53

That is housing growth in Fenland, not just in Wisbech, of course.

0:29:530:29:57

It will allow for housing growth in March and in Whittlesey as well.

0:29:570:30:01

It is imperative, and I will be pushing for it.

0:30:010:30:03

I would like to take a quick show of hands.

0:30:030:30:06

Just raise your hand if you think this rail line and the reopening

0:30:060:30:09

of it is a good idea.

0:30:090:30:12

OK, it's not scientific, but that is roughly just over half

0:30:120:30:15

of the audience here tonight.

0:30:150:30:21

Are there any people here from Wisbech

0:30:210:30:23

who don't think it's a good idea?

0:30:230:30:24

Yes?

0:30:240:30:25

Obviously it would be a wonderful idea if we could have it,

0:30:250:30:28

but it feels really like pie in the sky.

0:30:280:30:32

I do think the A47 is really important to us, and the bus service

0:30:320:30:36

in Wisbech is terribly important to us.

0:30:360:30:40

We have the most awful bus service that you can imagine.

0:30:400:30:43

I mean, for somebody in Wisbech to get to their local hospital,

0:30:430:30:46

they have to take four buses.

0:30:460:30:54

It's absolutely ludicrous.

0:30:540:30:55

So, yes, the rail link would be wonderful if it was achievable but,

0:30:550:30:58

for goodness' sake, let's please have the A47 open,

0:30:580:31:00

and a decent bus service.

0:31:000:31:01

Lots of hands raised.

0:31:010:31:02

Let's get around as many as we can.

0:31:020:31:04

Yes, sir?

0:31:040:31:05

I live in Wisbech, and I've lived there for ten years now.

0:31:050:31:08

I keep hearing lots of promises from our local MP and all the local

0:31:080:31:12

councillors that they are going to reopen the Wisbech rail line,

0:31:120:31:21

and we're still yet to see that money, and we're yet to see

0:31:210:31:24

any real development moving forward with that.

0:31:240:31:26

But I think one of the biggest issues with it, and I sway

0:31:260:31:29

towards the A47, if there was money to be invested, is that the train

0:31:290:31:32

station would be out of town.

0:31:320:31:34

We heard from Rod earlier that a fifth of people

0:31:340:31:36

in Fenland are without a car.

0:31:360:31:38

A third of the poorest people in Wisbech without a car have

0:31:380:31:40

absolutely no access to a bus service.

0:31:400:31:42

So what is the point in spending millions of pounds

0:31:420:31:45

on a train station that people still can't access?

0:31:450:31:47

APPLAUSE

0:31:470:31:48

There are lots of people clapping to this.

0:31:480:31:50

Sir, why do you agree with that?

0:31:500:31:52

Because can't imagine that many people would want to get on a train

0:31:520:31:55

between March and Wisbech.

0:31:550:31:57

Pure and simple?

0:31:570:31:58

Pure and simple.

0:31:580:32:02

Can I just say that in response to gentleman's question, it's not

0:32:020:32:06

about one mode of transport.

0:32:060:32:08

It's actually about all modes of transport.

0:32:080:32:10

The mayor should be setting out an integrated transport

0:32:100:32:12

plan for the region.

0:32:120:32:13

Similar to Transport for London.

0:32:130:32:15

It will basically enable people to move around

0:32:150:32:17

in all modes of transport, clearly focusing on things

0:32:170:32:20

like rail, bus and cycling, but also improving areas in terms

0:32:200:32:24

of people with private vehicles.

0:32:240:32:27

But a lot of people I speak to don't want to drive to work.

0:32:270:32:31

If they had a good, reliable, cheap public transport

0:32:310:32:33

system, they would use it.

0:32:330:32:36

Obviously a very popular point tonight.

0:32:360:32:37

We are going to continue with this topic.

0:32:370:32:39

Let's take a question now.

0:32:390:32:44

On the same theme, transport links around

0:32:440:32:45

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough are historically bad.

0:32:450:32:50

What can the candidates promise in the wake of improved

0:32:500:32:52

rail and road links.

0:32:520:32:57

I'm particularly thinking of the poor links between Cambridge

0:32:570:32:59

and Peterborough, the two big cities, and also down

0:32:590:33:01

to Stansted airport.

0:33:010:33:06

And, as mentioned, particularly important is the A47 out

0:33:060:33:08

to Norwich and the East Coast.

0:33:080:33:14

OK, you had a lot to say on this subject, so let's come

0:33:140:33:17

to you for a couple of sentences in response to this question.

0:33:170:33:20

I'm committed to setting out an integrated strategic transport

0:33:200:33:22

plan, and the funding that the mayor has on the current devolved package

0:33:220:33:26

is not enough to meet that integrated transport plan.

0:33:260:33:28

My intention will be very simple, take that plan, take it

0:33:280:33:30

to government and ask them for the money.

0:33:300:33:35

This region is one of the key economic growth engines of this

0:33:350:33:37

country, and we deserve good transport connections.

0:33:370:33:41

You deserve good transport connections, and the Government

0:33:410:33:43

needs to give us the money to deliver it properly.

0:33:430:33:45

Not these piecemeal, short-term fantasy projects that

0:33:450:33:48

a lot of politicians are putting forward.

0:33:480:33:51

It needs to be thought through on a strategic bases for 40

0:33:510:33:54

years, not four years.

0:33:540:33:57

I'm going to insist that we interrupt there and bring

0:33:570:34:00

everyone else in on this.

0:34:000:34:02

Let's come to Paul next on this.

0:34:020:34:04

Thank you, yes, I think some of the audience have hit

0:34:040:34:10

the nail on the head.

0:34:100:34:11

What you've got a member is the mayor has a budget

0:34:110:34:14

of ?20 million a year.

0:34:140:34:15

You are not going to be able to deliver anything.

0:34:150:34:18

I will not promise you anything that I cannot deliver.

0:34:180:34:20

What I will promise you is I will look at what we have,

0:34:200:34:23

I will listen to local people.

0:34:230:34:25

I've listened to local people in Wisbech and,

0:34:250:34:27

to be perfectly honest, I haven't met one yet that

0:34:270:34:29

would prioritise the rail link above improving the road links.

0:34:290:34:32

We are predominantly a rural county, we do rely on our vehicles and we do

0:34:320:34:35

need those vehicles.

0:34:350:34:38

So my personal point that a macro choice would be first to look

0:34:380:34:41

at what we have and put it right.

0:34:410:34:43

There are lots of pinch points that need changing,

0:34:430:34:48

there are a lot of small changes that can be made to the transport

0:34:480:34:51

we currently have two make it work better and more efficiently.

0:34:510:34:54

The most important thing for an elected politician

0:34:540:34:56

in my point of view is to get the views of the local people.

0:34:560:34:59

Because it's no good...

0:34:590:35:03

What politicians have done for years is to tell you what you need

0:35:030:35:07

and what you're going to have.

0:35:070:35:08

Politics has to change.

0:35:080:35:09

The people in this county, in this country are not stupid.

0:35:090:35:12

They know what they want and they know what they need.

0:35:120:35:14

Politicians need to listen.

0:35:140:35:16

Let's throw this open because...

0:35:160:35:19

To deliver what they can for their needs...

0:35:190:35:21

You are here, so let's listen to them.

0:35:210:35:24

If you live in Wisbech, or wherever you live,

0:35:240:35:27

but your hand up, tell us what you need in terms of transport,

0:35:270:35:30

road and rail links.

0:35:300:35:31

Yes, sir?

0:35:310:35:32

Thank you.

0:35:320:35:33

My point is addressed to Rod.

0:35:330:35:36

I've been getting your leaflets through the door, and one

0:35:360:35:38

of the things you promise is having a railway station

0:35:380:35:41

south of Peterborough.

0:35:410:35:45

I ask you, have you actually been to the location where the rail

0:35:450:35:48

station is proposed?

0:35:490:35:50

If you have been there, you will know that that place,

0:35:500:35:52

the A15, is absolutely chock-a-block full of traffic and it's highly

0:35:520:35:55

impractical to spend that ?60 million or whatever

0:35:550:35:57

it is on that railway station when the main Peterborough train

0:35:570:35:59

station is five minutes away.

0:35:590:36:02

For a candidate who is criticising the other candidates and panellists

0:36:020:36:04

for their crazy idea, your idea seems very

0:36:040:36:06

much pie in the sky.

0:36:060:36:07

One sentence.

0:36:070:36:08

Have you been?

0:36:080:36:11

I have been and actually I went because the local plan set it out

0:36:110:36:14

as a strategic space for a railway station and Peterborough City

0:36:140:36:24

Council decided to remove it

0:36:250:36:27

in the consultation.

0:36:270:36:28

The reason why I'm keen, let me give you an illustration...

0:36:280:36:30

THEY ALL TALK AT ONCE I'm so sorry, I'm afraid we can't expand

0:36:300:36:33

even further on that.

0:36:330:36:34

Stephen, let's bring you in next on this issue.

0:36:340:36:37

What would you promise?

0:36:370:36:38

That's the question.

0:36:380:36:39

What would you promise in terms of road and rail?

0:36:390:36:41

I'm in a similar place to Paul on this in that I believe

0:36:410:36:44

that our resource is the residents, you people out there.

0:36:440:36:47

You know what problems you encounter everyday.

0:36:470:36:48

You know that if you actually try and get a train

0:36:480:36:51

from Whittlesey to Peterborough in the morning, it's easy.

0:36:510:36:56

If you try and get one back at night there's nothing

0:36:560:36:59

between 5:50pm and 7:50pm.

0:36:590:37:00

There's all sorts of things that could be sorted out without spending

0:37:000:37:03

vast amounts of money, and politicians locally

0:37:030:37:04

have failed to do that.

0:37:040:37:06

So, in the same way that on housing I'm saying let's make

0:37:060:37:09

the most of what we've got, I'm saying the same on transport.

0:37:090:37:12

Let's re-route buses slightly.

0:37:120:37:13

There's a bus that does not come through my village

0:37:130:37:16

and instead goes down the A15, through largely farmland.

0:37:160:37:21

That could be be rerouted through the village.

0:37:210:37:24

You probably know several issues yourself where there

0:37:240:37:27

are car pinch points, bus pinch points, stupid things that

0:37:270:37:29

trains do or don't do.

0:37:290:37:31

I don't want lots more trains whizzing through Whittlesey

0:37:310:37:35

to Cambridge, I want more trains stopping at the places where people

0:37:350:37:38

need to get on because we can relieve congestion that way.

0:37:380:37:41

OK, I'm just going to move this way and then I will come

0:37:410:37:44

back to you, I promise.

0:37:440:37:45

You will be next.

0:37:450:37:48

I want to break up this love affair with the car, I really do.

0:37:480:37:51

Don't think dualling is the answer to everything.

0:37:510:37:54

I don't think it's safer.

0:37:540:37:55

It can be just as dangerous.

0:37:550:37:57

Let's remember our health, let's remember that when we dual

0:37:570:38:00

places, we are encroaching into the environment.

0:38:000:38:02

I want us to start having an affair on the side with public transport,

0:38:020:38:05

with buses and with trains.

0:38:050:38:09

Let me tell you something that will blow your mind.

0:38:090:38:12

I have never driven, and I can't ride a bike.

0:38:120:38:15

You imagine how I live my life - because I have multiple sclerosis,

0:38:150:38:18

I can't do either of those things.

0:38:190:38:20

They are not open to me.

0:38:200:38:22

So I'm not able to get round the county in that way,

0:38:220:38:25

so I be understand the importance of public transport.

0:38:250:38:27

I am all about trains.

0:38:270:38:29

First and foremost, all the way.

0:38:290:38:31

So the Wisbech line, you would be keen on it?

0:38:310:38:33

Yes.

0:38:330:38:35

Let's come back to Kevin.

0:38:350:38:37

Once again, we are leaving buses out of here.

0:38:370:38:41

I think one of the powers that the mayor will have

0:38:410:38:44

is a bus franchise.

0:38:440:38:47

I think that is an absolutely crucial part of what the mayor

0:38:470:38:51

will be able to do.

0:38:510:38:53

This devolution deal, this is the first deal.

0:38:530:38:58

We keep talking about the money that there is.

0:38:580:39:01

It was never intended that that would be where it would stop.

0:39:010:39:04

So there is potential to negotiate, for instance, with Network Rail

0:39:040:39:08

in terms of railways, to encourage them.

0:39:080:39:12

And, as Rod said, to go to government and demand

0:39:120:39:14

from government what we need here.

0:39:140:39:18

But essentially, if we have...

0:39:180:39:28

There are plenty of people speaking up for car drivers and the like.

0:39:290:39:32

There are very, very few people speaking for bus users.

0:39:320:39:35

I want to be a mayor that will speak for bus users and provides a decent

0:39:350:39:38

public transport system for them.

0:39:380:39:40

I do just want to bring in a couple of points.

0:39:400:39:42

Folks, I will take as many as I can.

0:39:420:39:44

If you can keep your point brief, please.

0:39:440:39:46

Yes, sir, we'll start with you.

0:39:460:39:48

I think it's pie in the sky.

0:39:480:39:49

While it's nice to say that everyone can get

0:39:490:39:52

on a bus and a train, we really do want

0:39:520:39:54

the roads improved.

0:39:540:39:55

The sparsity of the population in Cambridgeshire, you will never

0:39:550:39:57

get a good bus service to serve the population.

0:39:570:40:00

That's absolutely right.

0:40:000:40:02

If I may come in on that.

0:40:020:40:03

There is no way you can have a bus service that suitable

0:40:030:40:06

across the whole of the county unless you are brave enough to sort

0:40:060:40:10

out the road system.

0:40:100:40:11

It needs sorting out, the A10 is appalling,

0:40:110:40:15

there is no M11 extension.

0:40:150:40:16

The A47 is awful.

0:40:160:40:26

as well as the rail.

0:40:460:40:47

I will agree with my colleague on my left that we need to sort

0:40:470:40:51

the rail out as well.

0:40:510:40:52

There is no point putting extra buses riding all over

0:40:520:40:54

Cambridgeshire, taking hours to get from A to B unless we sort

0:40:540:40:57

out the roads first.

0:40:570:40:58

Mr Palmer, you have made your point.

0:40:580:41:00

Thank you very much.

0:41:000:41:01

The lady just over here.

0:41:010:41:02

Yes.

0:41:020:41:03

It is great hearing about public transport.

0:41:030:41:05

I am all for it but it.

0:41:050:41:06

I am a driver but if I had the choice of getting a train or a

0:41:060:41:10

bus from A to B, I would be really happy.

0:41:100:41:13

The pie in the sky is, when these companies got the franchises

0:41:130:41:16

and bought the routes they were going to do,

0:41:160:41:18

you cannot change them because

0:41:180:41:19

all they will say they are doing the contractual agreement

0:41:190:41:21

that they have signed up for.

0:41:210:41:23

I just want to take one more point.

0:41:230:41:25

The gentleman there in the purple jumper.

0:41:250:41:26

There have been a lot of platitudes and a lot of theories

0:41:260:41:29

about what you want to do in housing, transport or what ever.

0:41:290:41:32

Nobody has said when they are expected to deliver something.

0:41:320:41:34

There is...

0:41:350:41:35

We will be delivering housing.

0:41:350:41:37

There is plenty to deliver.

0:41:370:41:38

From the word go.

0:41:380:41:41

There is plenty to deliver.

0:41:410:41:42

It doesn't just come down to this.

0:41:420:41:44

We can see if we can wrap up with that

0:41:440:41:46

at the end, sir.

0:41:460:41:47

I do want to move on to skills.

0:41:470:41:49

Although Cambridge has one of the most highly qualified

0:41:490:41:54

workforces in the country, the skill shortage is still a serious one.

0:41:540:41:57

This devolution deal wants to help tackle it.

0:41:570:41:59

There will be investment in a university for Peterborough.

0:41:590:42:03

The deal outlines ?20 million a year to help jobs in the next 30

0:42:030:42:06

years and to develop Peterborough's enterprise zone.

0:42:060:42:09

We see it as an opportunity to get the

0:42:090:42:13

area globally known, building on the many

0:42:130:42:14

strengths we already have.

0:42:140:42:17

It is a wrap around and it gives us a great opportunity.

0:42:170:42:21

In many ways in advance of other parts of the country.

0:42:210:42:23

We have to capitalise whilst the opportunity is there.

0:42:230:42:27

Let's move on with those points.

0:42:270:42:28

Our next question tonight.

0:42:280:42:33

How would the new mayor of Peterborough attract high skill

0:42:330:42:35

businesses and jobs to the city and how would they address the low

0:42:350:42:38

skill levels we have here?

0:42:380:42:41

James Palmer.

0:42:410:42:43

I am going to come to you on the skills agenda.

0:42:430:42:46

It is imperative and so important for the mayor.

0:42:460:42:48

I want to work with the local schools and I have been

0:42:480:42:51

lobbying to government.

0:42:510:42:52

I have spoken to the Secretary of State for Education.

0:42:520:42:54

I want schools rewarded for placing children into apprenticeships.

0:42:540:42:56

Schools are only rewarded for GCSEs five A-Cs.

0:42:560:42:58

That is great and pushes people into further education.

0:42:580:43:01

I also want those people who are not hitting those targets

0:43:010:43:04

to get rewarded as well.

0:43:040:43:05

I want the young people who are not getting five A-Cs to be rewarded

0:43:050:43:09

with apprenticeship schemes linked with local business.

0:43:090:43:11

I think that is something we can do.

0:43:110:43:14

I have already spoken to the Secretary of State about it.

0:43:140:43:16

I'm prepared to put Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

0:43:160:43:19

through as a pilot scheme.

0:43:200:43:21

I will continue to lobby on that.

0:43:210:43:22

If we get apprentices, we create a workforce

0:43:220:43:24

for the 20th century, spreading the wealth far more evenly

0:43:240:43:27

through Cambridgeshire, and I want to connect Cambridgeshire

0:43:270:43:30

and Peterborough, and I want to bring the wealth south to north.

0:43:300:43:36

Kevin Price, I will come to you next.

0:43:360:43:40

That was something that we started out by saying, wanting to spread

0:43:400:43:47

that wealth and attract business away from the hotspot that is

0:43:470:43:50

Cambridge and take it further north.

0:43:500:43:55

Apprenticeships will be vital in this, absolutely vital in this.

0:43:550:44:01

I started my working life as an apprentice electrician.

0:44:010:44:04

I didn't stay at that, I went on and moved into the print trade.

0:44:040:44:07

That is what people did.

0:44:070:44:09

There was a lot more ability to get jobs

0:44:090:44:11

and apprenticeships in that time.

0:44:110:44:16

I think it is time we reverted to that because all the infrastructure

0:44:160:44:21

we are talking about, the building of the houses,

0:44:210:44:25

the railway, everything that we've talked about here tonight,

0:44:250:44:27

is going to require skilled workers.

0:44:270:44:30

The only way we are going to get skilled workers is to train them.

0:44:300:44:36

It's getting companies to take on apprentices.

0:44:360:44:39

That's how it used to work, and it worked really well

0:44:390:44:43

when we were building houses and doing stuff.

0:44:430:44:45

We had trained people, we've stopped doing that

0:44:450:44:47

to the country's detriment.

0:44:470:44:49

I noticed a hand going up there.

0:44:490:44:51

If you wouldn't mind just making your point quite quickly.

0:44:510:44:55

It's all very well talking about apprenticeships,

0:44:550:45:01

but 50% of children or young students in Peterborough do not meet

0:45:010:45:04

the Government targets of A-C, or whatever it is.

0:45:040:45:06

I think it needs to start earlier so that those children are not

0:45:060:45:09

being failed by the education system that exists in this city right now.

0:45:090:45:12

OK, thank you very much.

0:45:120:45:13

We are going to continue talking about skills.

0:45:130:45:15

Let's take the next question, then.

0:45:150:45:17

It's from Dr Charlie Bell.

0:45:170:45:22

Given we are an area with a vast number of higher and further

0:45:220:45:25

educational institutions, what are your plans to harness

0:45:250:45:27

this invaluable resource for the developer of the area,

0:45:270:45:29

and also for its population?

0:45:290:45:32

OK, how do we make more of what we already have, Julie?

0:45:320:45:37

Something I'd love to get rid off right away are these

0:45:370:45:39

awful unpaid internships.

0:45:390:45:41

That's something I would knock on the head right away.

0:45:410:45:44

I'm so glad I was born at the time I was because you know what?

0:45:440:45:50

I did my degree and a job and my life started.

0:45:500:45:52

Now young people can get to 30 and not be properly working.

0:45:520:45:55

What are we doing?

0:45:550:45:56

That's absolutely crazy.

0:45:560:45:57

I'd be putting real pressure, actually, and local businesses

0:45:570:45:59

to have internships.

0:45:590:46:05

And do everything I can to make sure there's a really smooth

0:46:050:46:10

path from university, or straight from school,

0:46:100:46:12

we should encourage young entrepreneurs so that they go

0:46:120:46:14

into something meaningful.

0:46:140:46:21

Also learn how to manage money and not lose

0:46:210:46:23

the house, like I did twice.

0:46:230:46:24

I will just say, there is a university technical college

0:46:240:46:27

in Peterborough which aims to teach the skills.

0:46:270:46:29

It opened a year late because there were not enough students.

0:46:290:46:31

How do you encourage the students to want to learn the skills?

0:46:310:46:34

That the whole thing, isn't it?

0:46:340:46:35

Making people aware that this is a bailable to them,

0:46:350:46:38

and what the benefits are.

0:46:380:46:39

I think young people stumble into adult life with no clue

0:46:390:46:42

and find themselves unstuck.

0:46:420:46:43

Paul, I will come to you next.

0:46:430:46:44

OK.

0:46:440:46:45

I think we need more technical skills.

0:46:450:46:47

I think the university system, especially in Cambridge,

0:46:470:46:49

is fine, it's doing its job, it is oversubscribed.

0:46:490:46:51

The worst thing we did in this country was to take our eye

0:46:510:46:54

off apprenticeships.

0:46:540:46:55

Those of you who are lucky enough to own houses,

0:46:550:46:58

how often have you found that you can't find a plumber,

0:46:580:47:00

an electrician, a bricklayer to do work that you need?

0:47:000:47:03

We've lost it.

0:47:030:47:04

Not everybody has the aptitude to go to university.

0:47:040:47:06

But people do have the aptitude, young people, to learn skills

0:47:060:47:09

that we desperately need.

0:47:090:47:10

If we have the skilled trades people within the county,

0:47:100:47:15

then businesses will come here because they know there

0:47:150:47:18

are employees that they can employ.

0:47:180:47:21

So I think we need to concentrate more on the technical side rather

0:47:210:47:24

than the academic side.

0:47:240:47:25

I think we need to really concentrate back on apprenticeships,

0:47:250:47:33

we need more skilled people in this country who are hands-on tradesmen

0:47:330:47:36

who can actually do those jobs that we need doing.

0:47:360:47:38

Can I just say, the mayor has a major opportunity.

0:47:380:47:42

The university for Peterborough is a fantastic opportunity

0:47:420:47:44

that the mayor has that has to be delivered by 2020 to really

0:47:440:47:47

reinvigorate skills and education.

0:47:470:47:52

Not only that, but reinvigorate the city centre of Peterborough as well.

0:47:520:47:55

It will provide important growth.

0:47:550:47:57

You will have your say on this issue, I promise.

0:47:570:48:00

I do want to take a few quick points from the audience if I can.

0:48:000:48:03

Ladies and gentlemen, if you make them brief,

0:48:030:48:05

we will get around as many as we can.

0:48:050:48:07

Sir?

0:48:070:48:08

You make your point about children going to university,

0:48:080:48:11

which these days they know at primary school now,

0:48:110:48:14

if they will be led that way, towards university.

0:48:140:48:16

My stepdaughter has been fortunate enough to be part of that

0:48:160:48:19

extra part of school.

0:48:190:48:20

I didn't go to university.

0:48:200:48:24

So why do you want to train and teach these kids

0:48:240:48:27

that are not academic, because they are not academic.

0:48:270:48:29

Why train them?

0:48:290:48:32

Why don't you have employers coming into schools, workshops,

0:48:320:48:35

teach them how to lay bricks before they leave school.

0:48:350:48:37

A lot of support on the panel therefore that point.

0:48:370:48:40

I want to come up to the back row here, back left, please.

0:48:400:48:43

Yes, sir?

0:48:430:48:47

The last time we had a real opportunity to open up

0:48:470:48:49

the university in this area, the politicians managed to open it

0:48:490:48:52

up in the one place in the world that didn't need one,

0:48:520:48:55

Cambridge.

0:48:550:48:56

Can we have your assurance from every one of you that,

0:48:560:48:59

by the time you go for pre-election, you will finally open a door

0:48:590:49:02

to a Peterborough University?

0:49:020:49:05

APPLAUSE PANEL MEMBERS: Yes.

0:49:050:49:06

I think there are nods across-the-board.

0:49:060:49:09

That's all we have to say.

0:49:100:49:13

Yes, let's come over here, please.

0:49:130:49:15

We keep talking about technical skills and everything,

0:49:150:49:17

but one of the professions that actually is being so

0:49:170:49:19

neglected at the moment is the teaching profession.

0:49:190:49:23

There is all of this, you can start on a tax-free bursary,

0:49:230:49:26

get into teaching now.

0:49:260:49:33

But that is only apply if you do maths, physics.

0:49:330:49:36

What about primary school teaching when you are teaching children how

0:49:360:49:38

to read from the age of six.

0:49:380:49:40

We know that that is a problem in Peterborough because so many

0:49:400:49:45

of our primary school children are not meeting the

0:49:450:49:47

required standards.

0:49:470:49:48

What about professions like teaching?

0:49:480:49:49

I want to take another point of here if I can?

0:49:490:49:52

Yes, back row.

0:49:520:49:54

I agree with much of what is said regarding apprenticeships.

0:49:540:49:58

It is fundamental but it will take time.

0:49:580:50:06

However, as a business owner, we are reliant

0:50:060:50:08

on high-quality migration and very high-quality linguist skills.

0:50:080:50:16

Last year, Huntington suffered a very unpleasant attack,

0:50:160:50:18

asking these people to go home.

0:50:180:50:25

I am aware that there is a bleed of families returning.

0:50:250:50:28

With the opportunities to lose high-quality people now,

0:50:280:50:29

what with the candidates do to step forward and say, you are a vital

0:50:290:50:33

to maintain what we, as employees, need.

0:50:330:50:35

To lose them is a disaster.

0:50:350:50:37

Ladies and gentlemen.

0:50:370:50:39

We do not have time for all of you answer that this evening.

0:50:390:50:43

You have time until May the 4th to make your point is known.

0:50:430:50:48

I want to take another question, if I can.

0:50:480:50:53

It comes from Sue Marshall.

0:50:530:51:02

10% of Fenland population have no qualifications, compared

0:51:040:51:06

to the national average of one and a half percent.

0:51:060:51:08

What will be candidates do to improve opportunities

0:51:080:51:10

and skills training, especially for young people?

0:51:100:51:12

Young people is the focus.

0:51:120:51:13

Peter.

0:51:130:51:14

I think all this about training and skills has got to be shifted

0:51:140:51:17

from the education establishment to the employers.

0:51:170:51:23

In particular, not so much the employers, as the employed.

0:51:230:51:26

The people with the skills are at the brick layers

0:51:260:51:28

and the computer programmers.

0:51:280:51:32

We have got to shift the training process into that sort

0:51:320:51:35

of a mentoring place.

0:51:350:51:42

Frankly, skills taught in colleges are not hard skills.

0:51:420:51:47

The hard skills you get by doing the job and you do...

0:51:470:51:50

The best way of doing the job is doing it next to somebody

0:51:500:51:53

who knows how to do it.

0:51:530:51:57

For too long now we have been putting the skills agenda

0:51:570:51:59

into education establishments.

0:51:590:52:01

It belongs in the businesses.

0:52:010:52:06

This isn't an excuse for businesses getting cheap labour.

0:52:060:52:13

This is all about businesses training the people that they need,

0:52:130:52:16

rather than taking a subsidy from elsewhere.

0:52:160:52:21

Just briefly, this was not a general point.

0:52:210:52:28

It was about the Fens.

0:52:280:52:29

It seems it is struggling.

0:52:290:52:31

How would you change it?

0:52:310:52:32

It is a good example.

0:52:320:52:34

There are a skilled people in Fenland.

0:52:340:52:37

The problem you have in Fenland is getting your

0:52:370:52:39

children to the college.

0:52:390:52:43

If they are working with the other skilled people within Fenland,

0:52:430:52:45

they are getting their training close to home and

0:52:450:52:54

with their employers.

0:52:540:52:55

Let's continue on this one.

0:52:550:52:57

I am a resident of Fenland.

0:52:570:53:01

I was amused earlier on when one of the panellists talked

0:53:010:53:03

about stumbling in to work.

0:53:030:53:06

That is exactly what I did.

0:53:060:53:08

I had no idea what I wanted to do.

0:53:080:53:11

I got bored with school and wanted to go out to work.

0:53:110:53:14

I went out to work and realised I should not have bunked off

0:53:140:53:18

during my A levels and I went back and got training and I have

0:53:180:53:22

done reasonably well.

0:53:220:53:23

There is a mix of people out there with a desire sometimes to go

0:53:230:53:28

on to educational qualifications and sometimes not.

0:53:280:53:30

That is why we need to provide apprenticeships so people who have

0:53:300:53:35

not got the academic qualification have to go to university.

0:53:350:53:40

My wife and I have a discussion, let's say, about my step son.

0:53:400:53:45

She would like him to go to university.

0:53:450:53:47

I say, it's not for everybody.

0:53:470:53:54

If he can pick up life skills elsewhere and can find technical

0:53:540:53:57

college places like I did, there is no reason why

0:53:570:54:00

he shouldn't be a success.

0:54:000:54:01

In the Fens, we need to get those skills.

0:54:010:54:03

Peterborough university can provide some of those

0:54:030:54:05

answers, but we still got the transportation problems.

0:54:050:54:07

As Peter says, employers also have a role to play.

0:54:070:54:09

Let's pick up a couple of points from the audience.

0:54:090:54:12

Yes, sir?

0:54:120:54:12

One of the major reasons for the relatively low unemployment

0:54:120:54:15

at the moment is the number of people that have set

0:54:150:54:18

up their own businesses.

0:54:180:54:19

I don't think I've heard much from the panel about helping people

0:54:190:54:25

set up their own, rather than getting a job

0:54:250:54:27

working for somebody else.

0:54:270:54:28

Interesting point.

0:54:280:54:29

Yes, sir?

0:54:290:54:32

Yes, I really think that this amounts to money.

0:54:320:54:34

The Government have massively cut money to local government.

0:54:340:54:36

Peterborough needs more money.

0:54:360:54:38

We've got unique problems and we need money for that.

0:54:380:54:40

We've got people who want to set up businesses

0:54:400:54:43

that can't afford the

0:54:430:54:44

premises.

0:54:440:54:46

This whole thing...

0:54:460:54:49

What I'm hearing here, as far as I'm concerned, is absolute

0:54:490:54:52

rubbish because you as mayor, they are not

0:54:520:54:54

going to have the money to do anything!

0:54:540:54:55

OK.

0:54:550:54:57

Let's come to you.

0:54:570:54:58

You're not going to have the money to do anything.

0:54:580:55:05

Just on the point of setting up a business.

0:55:050:55:07

As someone who has set up and run my own

0:55:070:55:10

business, I fully support the idea of people being entrepreneurs.

0:55:100:55:12

Just coming back to the question in relation to Fenland.

0:55:120:55:15

There are three simple measures.

0:55:150:55:16

Firstly, as I've knocked on doors and talk to people

0:55:160:55:18

in Fenland, they don't feel the benefit of the wealth that this

0:55:180:55:21

region has created.

0:55:210:55:22

The critical thing for the mayor is to basically

0:55:220:55:24

put jobs back in to Fenland.

0:55:240:55:26

That's the first point.

0:55:260:55:30

The second point is, the 170 million we have to

0:55:300:55:33

spend on housing could be spent in a smart way.

0:55:330:55:36

By building into contracts apprenticeships so that

0:55:360:55:38

those companies that are building the homes

0:55:380:55:43

have them for

0:55:430:55:44

people in the region so they are being skilled up.

0:55:440:55:46

The third point I would make is one of the crises we

0:55:460:55:49

face is the county council have cut bus fares for people between 16 and

0:55:490:55:53

18 to go to further education colleges.

0:55:530:55:54

So people are taking life decisions because they cannot get to

0:55:540:55:57

further educational colleges.

0:55:570:55:59

As mayor, I would basically put that funding back.

0:55:590:56:01

That is critical.

0:56:010:56:08

I have benefited from the fact that...

0:56:080:56:10

I come from a mining village in North Nottinghamshire,

0:56:100:56:16

I went to a comphrehensive, and I went...

0:56:160:56:18

My life chances were such that I was able to benefit from education.

0:56:180:56:21

It's important for our young people that they are able to as well.

0:56:210:56:24

OK, finally, and I really do mean it, in one word.

0:56:240:56:27

Just coming back to that point, as mayor, will you have enough

0:56:270:56:30

money to change things?

0:56:300:56:31

Yes or no?

0:56:310:56:32

Janine, we've seen...

0:56:320:56:33

Yes or no?

0:56:330:56:35

We've seen in the past that yes or no decisions are not very

0:56:350:56:38

favourable, as we saw with Brexit.

0:56:380:56:40

So the answer is that is we don't have enough funding.

0:56:400:56:42

I would certainly ask the Government...

0:56:420:56:44

Ladies and gents, this is not a free for all.

0:56:440:56:48

Obviously, this is a subject that is going to continue.

0:56:480:56:50

Of course, on May the 4th, it will be time to make history.

0:56:500:56:54

It will be time to choose the very first

0:56:540:56:56

elected mayor for Cambridge and Peterborough.

0:56:560:57:01

The question is, of course, which of these candidates

0:57:010:57:03

have earned your vote?

0:57:030:57:04

For now, thanks to a much to all of our

0:57:040:57:07

guests on the panel for joining us here in Peterborough tonight.

0:57:070:57:10

Thank you to you for taking part.

0:57:100:57:13

From all of us here in Peterborough, a very

0:57:130:57:15

good night.

0:57:150:57:16

APPLAUSE

0:57:160:57:25

I thought the debate was really interesting, and the part that I

0:57:250:57:35

felt most concerned about was there were people at the debate

0:57:380:57:41

who did not think that the mayor would be an

0:57:410:57:43

effective role.

0:57:430:57:44

I came to see whether the position was worthwhile.

0:57:440:57:46

Particular with regards to education.

0:57:460:57:47

I have to say, what came across to me is that I'm not sure

0:57:470:57:51

how much teeth they will have.

0:57:510:57:52

At the end of the day, it will come down to money.

0:57:520:57:55

There were lots of interesting topics raised tonight,

0:57:550:57:57

but overall I think they've actually been quite bland.

0:57:570:57:59

There has been no sort of strong commitments.

0:57:590:58:01

There's not enough money to do what is

0:58:010:58:03

really, really needed.

0:58:030:58:04

I found that a lot of the talk about apprenticeships quite interesting

0:58:040:58:07

because in Peterborough we've got the University, the technical

0:58:070:58:09

college, so it's interesting finding out what the candidates for that

0:58:090:58:12

skills and the alternatives University.

0:58:120:58:13

Basically, I think I've heard five candidates try to

0:58:130:58:15

reinvent the wheel.

0:58:150:58:16

It is still round.

0:58:160:58:17

We need to be all council housing.

0:58:170:58:19

I think it may just be a way of shifting responsible at it

0:58:190:58:22

from the Government which is not doing its job to give someone else

0:58:220:58:25

the blame.

0:58:250:58:26

It was interesting to see them all speak tonight.

0:58:260:58:28

I think they all had good points to make.

0:58:280:58:31

Some of them also make points that were

0:58:310:58:32

probably not things that I would agree with.

0:58:320:58:34

So I shall review what I heard and what I saw, and I will

0:58:340:58:38

make a considered decision, and I will be voting

0:58:380:58:40

on the 4th of May.

0:58:400:58:47

Spring is arriving - in a whirlwind of pink.

0:59:040:59:06

We're in Japan to celebrate the sakura.

0:59:060:59:09

On May 4 the polls will open to elect the first mayor for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. They will have wide-ranging powers over housing, transport and skills. Who will the people choose? Janine Machin hosts a debate in which a live audience questions the candidates on what lies in store for the area.