03/06/2013 Daily Politics


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Daily Politics. The wealthiest pensioners should stop getting


winter fuel allowance, say Labour. What other benefits should be means


tested? Sleaze is back at Westminster as the lobbying scandal


hits the Commons and Lords. But is legislation the answer?


Harder exams, a tougher curriculum and shorter holidays. But is the


real way to raise standards in our schools to teach children how to be


happy? There were empty ballot boxes and a


record low turnout. Six months on, have police commissioners captured


the public's imagination? All of that in the next hour. With


us for much of the problem today is James O'Shaughnessy, who ran David


Cameron's Downing Street policy unit until last year, and is now chief


policy adviser with the lobbying and PR firm, Portland Communications.


Let's start with the shadow chancellor 's announcement this


morning that Labour would suck for the means testing of the winter fuel


allowance. -- Labour would start means testing. It was originally


introduced by Gordon Brown and supported by Labour at the last


election. Ed Balls made the announcement in a speech on the


party 's becoming policy in the City of London this morning.


When our care system is under such pressure, can it remain a priority


to pay the winter fuel allowance, a vital support for middle and low


income pensioners, to the richest 5% of those with incomes high enough to


pay the higher rate of tax? We believe the winter fuel allowance


provides support for low income pensioners to combat fuel poverty.


That is why we introduced, at that time, the allowance. It is why we


paid into all pensioners. But in tough a comic times, we have to make


difficult choices. ASH microbe tough economic times. We have to strike a


balance between universal and pay the winter allowance to the


wealthiest pensioners. With us is the Shadow Treasury


minister, Chris Leslie. You want to cut the winter fuel allowance bill


by 5%. How much will it save? It would be about �100 million,


probably about 600,000 pensioners affected. The richest 5% of 12


million pensioners. Don't forget that was an example of a wider on


the station that Ed Balls was having about the need for decisions which


might have to be made if we have the bleak inheritance George Osbourne


leaves behind. -- a wider conversation. If George Osborne


continues regardless, as he has so far, then there are going to be


tough decisions. You are claiming it is going to be


bleak if the government continues with its economic policies. The


admitted this is a drop in the ocean. It is going to have to be a


lot more in terms of labour's becoming policy to sort out the


economy in the terms you have just described. ASH microbe labour's


We will not have to be as harsh as he is planning to be. He will


probably continue as he has, with that ideological approach. That is


our point today. The spending review in June, rather than trying to


predict what he does know will happen in the economy in two years.


He should be focusing on getting the economy moving, stimulate growth


right now. But means testing for wealthier


pensioners is not a game changer, is it, in terms of reducing the


deficit? It would be a significant decision.


I don't dismiss how difficult it is. 100 million in terms of the deficit


is not a game changer. We have to get to a number of


changes, step by step. This will progress. People want to know the


fairer approach we will take. People recognise, actually that pensioners


that people on �42,000 per year, really, the winter fuel allowance


doesn't need to be paid to them. What about other benefits? Is Labour


making a break with universal benefits? Peter Hain has tweeted


that this is an attack on universal benefits.


We will look at benefits more generally. What about childcare? Why


not look at child benefit? Child benefit was able watched decision


that George Osborne made last year. It is paid to a family. Taxation is


not -- is on an individual basis. you have made this break, will you


look at other benefits? We want to defend those universal principles.


As George Osborne makes more of a mess of the situation, we are going


to have to look at where the line is torn between universal and targeted


support. Certainly, most of the Tory ministers and politicians we have


had on this programme have said that it is something that they will look


at at the next election. Reading between the lines, the only reason


they haven't is because of the commitment David Cameron made at the


last election. David Cameron did not make that commitment. The situation


is difficult. It is interesting to hear him talk about the legacy that


a Labour government had. Talking about bleak inheritance, theirs was


bleak. I can see the limit for this. It is right that the wealthiest to


contribute the most when you have to make these difficult decisions. But


actually, this is a drop in the ocean. The real question for Labour


is our they going to stick to, or not, the government spending plans?


This is the big decision that every opposition have to make.


Are you? We hope that in two years time... George Osborne, two years


ago, predicted he would get the deficit down or stop he was wrong


then. Now you are asking whether you can predict in two years whether...


I don't think it is responsible to say now in 2013, exactly what


revenues we will be getting in 2015. We know George Osborne is very keen


on this political games and the spending review in June is about


trying to position himself and put Labour in a difficult position about


what it will do in 2015. We will make our commitment clear in that


manifesto before 2015. Every opposition has to make a


difficult decision. Do you stick to the government 's spending plans or


do you do something different? Labour have had chances in the past.


The Conservatives have had opportunities in the past and lost


elections. The real question is going to be, there is a long-term,


three-year commitments to reduce the deficit. Does Labour stick to it? If


not, they were going into the election saying they will spend more


with their reputation being that they spend too much. I understand


this. If we were to say what is happening in 2015... Hang on a


second. Ed Balls said you cannot move on in any other basis. This


sounds like Labour is edging towards saying, we will start by looking at


the government's spending plans. That will be where we move from.


If the government carries on as they were, that looks like our starting


point. We will be a different opposition to the one that you were


in with the Conservatives. There was a promise from the Conservatives


that they were going to keep education maintenance allowances.


They made promises in opposition that they could not keep. Today, as


an opposition, we want to be different. We don't want to make


promises we don't think we can keep. On a number of occasions, Ed


Miliband has said that to touch in a bus of benefits is difficult for


him. It is impossible. -- universal benefits. The real question is,


today you have made a decision to cut millions from the budget. Child


benefit as a saving of �2 billion. It is until you start, and you


haven't said yet if you will reverse it, until you start to make


decisions of that magnitude, people will not take you seriously.


You are picking at individual elements. The big issue is, we can't


possibly make promises on spending issues beyond 2015. We don't know


what sort of mess... It could get worse! We hope that George Osborne


will take the advice, stimulate the economy now, listen to the IMF.


There are three alternatives. The government has its spending plans


and they come true. They are slightly better. Or they are worth.


In each of those scenarios, Labour still spends more than the


Conservatives are pledging. It doesn't matter what the plans are,


you still spend more. Is there a circumstance in which you would


spend less? You have conceded that there are different pathways. George


Osborne is going to set one. That is the wrong thing to do.


It survived rocking amendments in the Commons. Today the Same Sex


Marriage Bill arrives in the Lords to be debated. How will it be


received? Adam is on College Green. In the next couple of hours, peers


will start to discuss the bill for the first time in the House of


Lords. More than 80 of them have put their names down to speak in the


debate, meaning they could be up late tonight talking about the


issue. Then there is going to be a vote tomorrow on the second reading.


Lord Dear has tabled what is called a wrecking amendment, which could


stop the bill in its tracks right there and then. Let's discuss what


could happen with the Conservative peer, Michael Bates, who joins me


here. How are you feeling about the issue? I understand where people are


coming from on this. They feel pretty angry that same-sex marriage


was not in the Coalition agreement are not in the Conservative


manifesto, and we have that. I understand why people are angry. But


I do think there is something quite constitutionally wrong about a piece


of legislation that has come to us with a majority of 225 from the


elected house, and we are going to deny it a second reading. Amend it


by all means. But I don't think it is right to deny it a second


reading. Do you think Lord Dear is going to succeed tomorrow when it


comes to a vote? Those debates will be heard. One of the things the


House of Lords is renowned for is it is difficult to predict in advance


how people will vote. Able to listen to the arguments. The whips play a


less important role in this, and it is a free vote. I don't think that


it will succeed. I think, actually, by testing the opinion at second


reading, somehow it is weakening the case of those of us who actually


want to see good, reasoned amendments put down at committee and


report stage that will strengthen the issue in the bill. So as the


builders further through its stages, what reassurances are you


looking for? Lots of people who have been in politics for hay while that


matter a while have heard a variance between what ministers say and what


courts will stay. I think that we want the assurances that have been


given to religious organisations to say they are able to opt in to


this, but they can't be forced to. I think we will want to see this


tested. In the House of Lords, we have some great legal minds who can


apply that forensic test to this legislation. That is what we should


be doing. How late are you going to be up tonight debating it? The whips


have been generous. I understand there were 93 speakers down. After


64 speakers today, we would pause and, to another 30. I think this one


will run and run. That is it. Two things are


inevitable when you talk about same-sex marriage. People disagree


and there are protest is on the green! -- protesters. James


O'Shaughnessy, there has been a majority in the Commons which has


voted for it, but, has it been a good idea for the Government to


proceed with it, in terms of the loss of support, meaning that it has


been extremely divisive? It has been divisive, there is no getting away


from that. Lots of people in the country at large have concerns about


gay marriage. It is a very generational thing. It tends to be


older citizens versus younger citizens. If you go back to one of


David Cameron 's very earliest speeches as Conservative Party


leader, as a candidate, he talked about the importance of marriage,


whether it was between a man and a woman, man and man or a woman and


woman. He has been absolutely constant about that. Although it was


not in the manifesto. It was not but there were constitutional issues


about that. Is it a good idea? Do we want to elevate the institution of


marriage to the point that everybody can take part in it? Absolutely.


There is anecdotal and polling evidence which shows many grassroots


Tories are going over to UKIP as a result, and do not feel that they


have been listened to. In fact, they are accusing the Government, David


Cameron particularly, of being out of touch. There will always be


people who disagree with these issues. This argument has to be


conduct did with respect for one another's positions. People are not


motivated by hatred or prejudice, by and large, they are just concerned


about the issues. I think actually, if you look at polling among younger


people, it is one of the issues which attracts people to the


Conservative Party. More than anything, it is something which


David Cameron deeply believes in. He believes marriage is a conservative


institution which needs to be strengthened. On Friday, the


Conservative MP Patrick Mercer resigned the Tory whip after


allegations were made that he had broken House of Commons lobbying


rules. It followed journalists approaching him, claiming to be


lobbyists working on behalf of Fijian business interests. He told


the journalists that his services were available at a very reasonable


to undertake consultancy work outside Parliament, and he denies


breaking Parliamentary rules. But he resigned the Conservative whip, and


the story reignited around over lobbying in Westminster. Then, on


Sunday, three members of the House of Lords were reported by the Sunday


Times to have agreed to work on behalf of a fake solar power


company, although all three deny breaking Parliamentary rules. Before


the last election, David Cameron warned that lobbying was the next


big scandal waiting to happen. A statutory register of lobbyists was


promised, as was earlier legislation to introduce the power of recall,


allowing voters to force a Brian election if their MP has broken the


rules. Three years on, neither law has been introduced. Writing in the


Daily Telegraph today, Nick Clegg says they will now happen, and in


the last hour, he has been explaining why he thinks reform is


essential. We are not going to change everything overnight, and no


single measure will stop any politician who is absolutely


determined to behave badly. That does not mean we cannot take


worthwhile steps, including, urgently, edges leading for a


statutory register for lobbyists, which is what we will be doing as


part of a wider set of reforms to restore public trust to politics.


have been joined by the Conservative MP Douglas Carswell, and by the


Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake, who has been involved in negotiations


over the proposed new legislation. Would a statutory register of


lobbyists make any difference? pretty easy to please lobbyists, but


I think the real thing we need to do is to police the lawmakers, which is


a more difficult problem. Nobody disagrees with the idea of the


register. But would it be effective? It would not have stopped what has


allegedly occurred in these cases... We need to police both the


lobbyists and numbers of Parliament and peers. In this particular case,


it would not have stopped it, but it would stop other things lobbyists


might do, including not being entirely open about which companies


they are representing. So, really, it would help MPs check out and


validate the companies they that is all it would do! That is not a bogus


company, thank goodness, I got away with it! 5-1 no, it would ensure


transparency, so people could see who they were meeting with, and they


would be able to pursue the matter further. You work for a lobbying


company - is it a good idea? More transparency is always good. It is


important to draw a distinction between this alleged behaviour,


which is clearly against the rules of the Commons, and the perfectly


legitimate function of charities and companies and anybody else who is


regulated by government to have their say. So, why do these things


keep happening if the rules are so clear? I do not think they are as


clear as they should be. If we have got sanctions in place, particularly


for members of Parliament, such as MP recall, people will think very


clearly about it. Do you know the rules? Absolutely. It is outrageous


to accept any money to ask questions or table legislation. It is the


basic rule number one of being a member of the legislature. It is


appalling, it is absolutely shocking. But the real thing we need


to recognise is that we need to make lawmakers vulnerable to voters. In


the House of Lords, obviously, they are completely immune to what the


public thinks, but so are most MPs in most seats. In seven out of ten


seats, you face very little chance of being thrown out of office, which


is why we need a recall. I voted in favour of Lords reform, and I think


we should have accepted the Labour amendment to put it to a referendum.


Why has the Government not done anything? The debited Prime Minister


has we stated the fact that we will deliver that within this Parliament.


-- the Deputy Prime Minister. Lobbying is compact, there are


different ways you can tackle it. There are different people who can


be caught within the net of lobbying, so the Government wants to


do it correctly. The legislative programme is under pressure in many


other areas as well. Has there been a dragging feet on this adage


internally, there have been tough negotiations about exactly what it


would look like, to make sure that it tackles the problem, but without


putting an undue burden on business. It sounds like the Conservatives


might not have been so keen as the other parties? Recall means that you


allow local people to vote to recall their representative. What the


Government came up with was a very different system, which would mean


that politicians could sit in judgment on other politicians and


send them away from Parliament. What we need is a recall mechanism with a


real recall vote. If you do that, I think there will be agreement in the


House of Commons. Well, actually, we are providing a guarantee that if a


member of Parliament has been sentenced, there will be a recall


guarantee. And of course, there will be a committee which looks at other


types of misdemeanour. So you are looking at politicians being judged


by other politicians, rather than by constituents? You cannot possibly


strengthen democracy by allowing a group of politicians to expel


another politician, without asking the majority of constituents # How


is that recall? It is a sham. - get I think this so-called committee of


grandees as demonstrated that it can, when necessary, enforced the


rules. It is an outrageous system, it is an old boys system, it is not


democratic. You would not trust your Parliamentary colleagues to make a


proper decision? If I have a choice of being judged by my electorate or


by the Westminster system, I would choose the voters every time.


about people who might want to take out grievances on their MP? We have


had an example of this. There was, to all intents and purposes, aged


visionary sanctioned recall in 1997, when the Tories cried foul and took


it to the courts and got a rerun. Because it was seen as vexatious,


people came out in their tens of thousands, and the Liberal Democrats


were returned by a majority of more than 20,000. Vexatious attempts to


not succeed. You cannot generalise on one example. On an issue like


abortion, for instance, I suspect there would be the risk of a


significant body of people organising, with a view to try to


depose a member of Parliament. a dangerous or a good idea to trust


constituents? Goodness me, we live in a democracy. Do you not fear any


attempt by constituents to perhaps randomly... ? Think about what might


happen, somebody gets up vexatious claim, a group of people who think


it is madness get together and outvote the others. You have


quadrupled participation in the constituency. I think it would be


dynamic. As I said, it is something we are considering, we are looking


at different options, we may not go for the option which Douglas


prefers. How is that strengthening democracy, Tom, come on? ! We have


seen that the so-called committee of grandees can deliver the goods when


necessary. Some colleagues are worried that this might turn into a


kangaroo court, where it is not actually about a misdemeanour, it is


about... How can you describe the constituents as a kangaroo court?


This is extraordinary! Do you regard your constituents as a kangaroo


court? We have got to think about the threshold to even have an


election, so it is just like running a by-election. If somebody was seen


to be messing around, then clearly, people are going to turn out, if


they think it is a ridiculous waste of time, to return a local MP. It is


normal human behaviour. I do not think MPs have very much to worry


about on this, even though I am not one myself. You said you would be


happy for a register of interests - do you think lobbying has given


politics a bad name? No, there has always been lobbying. In


Westminster, we have got things like the Institute of mechanical


engineers, setting up things so that they can lobby Parliament in order


to have the railways built, in the old days, four example. It has


always happened. Also, I think it is perfectly reasonable if you are


affected by government in some way to have a conversation with them in


order to protect your interest. the grey area, and it is clear from


what you said, you do not ask gems on behalf of them for money. But


there could be a potential conflict if you are involved, or are on the


board, or are being paid as a consultant, influencing Parliament


in a different way - would it be simpler, from the point of view of


the public, if MPs did not get paid for any other work? I disagree. I


want to sit lawmakers, I want MPs to have another role in life, to be


Citizen lawmakers rather than professional politicians. I think


that is down to individual members of Parliament. I might have a


different viewpoint, it is an important part of me representing my


constituency. But you are happy for other MPs to get paid work in areas


which are outside their remit? is a question for their


constituents. If they are not happy with the level of involvement they


have got, then they have an opportunity, every five years, there


is MP recall, it is called a general election. Let me guess what makes


you happy. I bet it is the return of The Daily Politics to your screens


after a week away. There is a growing body of scientific evidence


about what makes us feel good and how it affects our health. Our guest


of the day, James O'Shaughnessy, is interested in how that can be


applied in education. Find out more, we sent out out last week as the


country was barking basking in the glow of the half term holidays. This


is the Royal Mechanical Energy Level Engineers in Berkshire. Do you think


your teachers worry if you are happy? No, not really.What do they


care about? Coughing in the staff room. They try to make you happy in


the staff room -- at school, so that you enjoyed it. Personality is what


it is about, people should be fun people. That is what it is all about


at Wellington College, a private school which takes the development


of character and well-being so seriously, they even have classes


dedicated to it. They have embraced a fairly new movement called


positive psychology, where, instead of looking at what makes people


miserable and trying to prevent it, you look at what makes people happy


I think it is desperately sad for those children. It is a kind of


abuse not to let young people actually have a chance to think


about and develop their own autonomy and sense of looking after their


minds, the emotions, their bodies. You really can teach this stuff. You


can teach character as well. But under this government, Ofsted


has stopped measuring pupils' well-being. The education secretary


wants teachers to focus on facts. The new national curriculum is


heavily weighted on history and great books.


He does understand it. I think he is worried that if he talks too much


about it, schools will think oh, this is our pretext for letting go


of academic rigour and focusing on standards, and we can do this softer


stuff instead. Actually, it is not one or the other. It is both.


It was not just digital cameras that flummoxed Tony Blair. His government


started a big well-being programme called social and emotional aspects


of learning. Reviews found that it made hardly any difference. But


research from America showed that similar programmes their lead to an


improvement in exam results of 11 percentage points.


Back at the museum in Berkshire, it looks like everybody is having a


good time. At in 2007, Unicef found that Britain's kids are the most


miserable indie divides world. If it's the job of schools to make them


happier? -- in the developed world. James O'Shaughnessy is part of the


Wellington School's ethos. It is easy for public and private schools


to develop well-being in the curriculum. They have got money to


do it. How do you do it in state schools? That is the challenge that


Wellington is taking on. They have got a well-being curriculum there.


They are now trying to introduce it into the state system. They are


sponsoring one secondary school already. It has taken money to


develop it, but I don't think it takes money to develop it in


schools. Many schools are introducing it into their own


classroom practice. What is resource intensive is coming up with


programmes in the first instance. You have said that good public


schools develop optimism, altruism, things that are not advertised in


the glossy brochures. Do you think that is more important, in the end,


than just the straightforward results that people may or may not


get? Is it the confidence that you come out of some of these schools


with? Is it what you want to develop in state schools? I don't think in


terms of putting public school ethos in state schools. My children go to


state schools. That is what I am worried about changing. That is what


matters. The question is, do we have happy children or successful


children, or do we have both? For the past 50 years, there has been an


argument that you can have one or the other but not both. That seems,


to me, plainly mad. Also, it carriages -- it suggests that if you


focus on academic rigour but also find ways to build children's


character strengths, this has a knock-on benefits both for the


academic work and in a bunch of other things. They are happier, more


productive. They want to play a bigger role in their communities.


Has it been bad to have all of these exams in primary schools? Has the


focus been too much on league tables? Parents want to see those


schools. Is there room for what you are talking about and getting both?


There is. Would we throw out the economic stuff and say, no, it has


been too much? It has not been too much. Parents want to know that


children are getting the fundamentals... Excuse me! Have some


water. They also want their children to develop, for their character to


let them become good and productive people. We don't hear much about


happiness from Michael Gove stock he talks about longer school days,


shorter holidays. He does not talk about a happy school life. Is he


wrong? This is difficult. If you rewind 40 years, the people who


advocated happy schools were the same people who oversaw an education


system that has led to millions of adults being illiterate. The


standard agenda is in some respects in reaction against that. Other


countries are racing ahead of us. We need to focus on that. My argument


is you don't have to choose. You can have both because they are


commensurate. If you have happy children with grit and resilient --


resilience, they are going to do better. A lot of it is what happens


at home. Do you think any work done at school can be undermined if those


virtues are not being taught at home? How a child does in education


is driven more by their parents than their teachers. You need to have a


reinforcement of all of those values, absolutely. But schools can


make a difference. They can help children catch up if they are


falling behind. Good luck in pursuing your happiness in schools.


Thank you very much for being our guest.


Parliament has returned today after the Whitsun recess. So what is in


the diary for our MPs and Lords? As we have been hearing, later today


the House of Lords will discuss the gay marriage bill. It is likely to


have a bruising passage, as one member, Lord Dear, has tabled a


wrecking amendment seeking to Ed Miliband will set out Labour's plan


for spending. Later this week at the Star Chamber will come back.


Ministers will be brought before it to agree to spending cuts worth


�11.5 billion in the next spending review. Joining us now is keep a


career, -- Pippa Crerar and Andrew Grice. Andrew Grice, another scandal


in talking about MPs and Lords allegedly caught up in yet another


lobbying scandal. Will there be action this time? There will have to


be. Ministers are telling us they intended to introduce a register of


lobbyists in this session of parliament that has just begun. The


fact is, they were not committed to that. In the Queen's Speech, this


was just a few weeks ago, and they cannot put Redgate any longer. We


would not be talking about it today if there were not the revelations in


the newspapers in recent days. This time, ministers will have to get


their act together. The reason allegations... Do you think that the


new generation of MPs will be less susceptible to these allegations of


Bibury? You are right that it does go back to cash for questions and


John Major 's time. He found out the dangers of it to a government of


having backbench MPs misbehaving. It is true also, though, that the


current crop of MPs are perhaps more professional in their mindset and


approach to how they do their politics. It is true that you could


end up with a group of MPs who are perhaps less susceptible. But I


think he is right. Action has to be taken now. The public clamour, in


particular after the expenses scandal, will be so profound that


the government just cannot brush it aside. You can't underestimate how


important it is in terms of the public's perception of politicians.


What brings politics into such attribute is this kind of thing.


Another line of action for politicos, particularly George


Osborne, is the Star Chamber, which everybody likes to talk about. Do


you think the threat of being summoned to be interrogated by


Cabinet colleagues will work? could put more pressure on ministers


who are resisting calls by the Treasury for more cuts. At the end


of the day, the most crucial body will actually be the quad, the body


at the top of the Coalition. They would Cameron, Nick Clegg and their


Treasury counterparts, George Osborne and Danny Alexander. --


David Cameron. It would be lovely to be a fly on


the wall when the discussions are taking place. But, Pippa Crerar,


there could be secretaries of state who promised to do something


untenable like cutting the whole police budget. How desperate does it


get? As he alluded, in 2010, the prospect of the Star Chamber was


brought up never happen. Lots of meetings happen. The Cabinet


ministers were brought into the Star Chamber. Whether it happens again,


it is hard to say. Cabinet ministers will have plenty of tactics up their


sleeve. Things like Iain Duncan Smith promising a �3 billion cut in


his department so money could go to the Armed Forces - that is untenable


and the Lib Dems would oppose it. That is never going to happen.


Another tactic is Peter Lilley suggesting equalised in the age of


retirement, pushing the cuts into the future. They have all got many


tactics up their sleeve. Andrew, Labour is breaking the


promise of universal benefit for pensioners. But it is important


symbolically. Until now, Ed Miliband has said that his label for the


party, one nation Labour, embraces benefits. Ed Balls is called that


into question. Some Labour MPs will not like it. But the leadership


hopes isn't a strong signal that Labour, in office, would impose IMF


-- discipline on public spending. They know they need to rebuild


credibility to have a chance of winning in 2015.


It was billed as the biggest shake-up in policing in England and


Wales since the invention of the modern police force in the 1820s.


Six months on from the election, what kind of impact our police and


current commissioners having? In a moment we will have three


commissioners in the studio. First, this report, which contains some


flashing lights. As a collection is go, they scored


some notable firsts. An empty ballot box in one area of England. And I'm


used polling station in Wales. But if the turnout for police and crime


commissioners in November of last year was the lowest ever in peace


time, the fact they are elected and therefore accountable is, say their


supporters, a long needed reform. To their critics, they are a


politicisation and over expensive unwonted influence on police.


The 15.1% turnout in the elections proved a massive public disinterest


in these elections and these posts altogether. There has only been


negative conclusions from the way the police and crime commissioners


have behaved. We have seen no significant change in the way


policing has taken place. I think that proves the lack of value of the


proposals. Lots of people would like to argue that the commissioners have


been a failure. I think there is evidence to show that some of them


on the right track. The creative work done by some PCC is on value


for money and service delivery are not headline news. Inevitably,


negative stories are. The PCC for Cumbria had to repay hundreds of


pounds for a show that he used. And Barnes may regret her Paris and


adventure. -- and macro Barnes. She was caught out over racist and


Police and crime commissioners have given the impression that they have


gone on a spending spree. What I say to you is what I have


said previously, both here and on other occasions, that the whole


point is the police and crime commissions will be accountable to


their electorate. Police and crime commissioners have


a clear mandate than the police authorities they were placed. I


think that we always help them. I also think they have got a clearer


job, which come in these times, is to improve policing in a time of


tight money. The best PCCs are leading the Way better than any


other public service, actually, in how to do that.


Six months may not be long enough to judge, but critics point to the US


for comparison. These proposals were a cheap import


from the American model of politically elected sheriffs. We


have seen how this model has created a real set of social problems,


including undermining trust and confidence in the police and


creating concerns around race relations.


The 41 PCCs inning lead and well still have 4.5 years to parade how


they will avoid that. I am joined now by three police and grand


commissioners. -- crime commissioners. Welcome to all of


you. I have to start with the mandate - you all one your seats on


a mandate of between 9% and 10% of the elect Ed, which is low by


anyone's judgment, but if there were elections tomorrow, would you do


better? Actually it was 15.8% of the electorate in Sussex. But yes, we


would. It was dark, there were no elections taking place, so it is not


surprising. How much I do you think it would be if it was held


tomorrow? For the sake of statistics, it was 16.6% in my case,


and I got more than 65% of those. Voters did not get any information


about who was standing, apart from the candidates themselves. Uncle how


much higher do you think it would be? I think in most areas, the next


PCC elections will take race alongside the local elections, which


is likely to see turnout boosted quite considerably. I think she has


been fairly kind about the circumstances surrounding the


election in November. Actually, it was an absolute shambles. You could


not have contrived any worse circumstances to hold an election


in. You have all given reasons for that, but what about your record in


the last six months? Absolutely. If you look at what we have done in


Sussex, we have delivered a plan which sets out priorities in


policing which the people in Sussex really want, focusing on anti-social


behaviour, road safety, domestic abuse and violence. That is a


fantastic achievement. The level of correspondence to my office has


increased by 3500%. People know they have got someone they can go to,


which is an achievement. Are you getting the same levels of


correspondence? 4000 pieces of correspondence, but apart from that,


it is tangible things. In Kent, 100 extra officers on the street, mobile


police stations, visible policing, working with specials, it is all


tangible things. I do not talk pie in the sky, it is actually what is


good for the people of Kent, what they want and what I can deliver.


That has been the really good thing about PCC is. I did have my


criticism of it, which I stand by... And yet you are a police and


crime commission, and you said they were a waste of money? Well, what do


you do. Thankfully, the people of Kent agreed with me. We had an


election, I stood on a platform, I said that I would stop the


privatisation of the police to G for S which was on the table when I


walked into my office, I said that I would reject visible policing, and I


have saved a third of the police community support officers who were


due to be cut. In the budget process, I put the precept up, and


what I found was that people were prepared to do that because they saw


that it was going to make a difference. Why did you not both do


what I did, and stand as an independent, and put your party


politics to one side? It should not be there. I have a real issue with


this. I think it is nothing to do with politicising the police. People


when they stand as an independent, they are not independent of


politics, they are just independent of the parties. They are still


political. This is a political decision. We all make big decisions


around tax and spending. These are political issues. We are all


democratically elected, which makes us politicians. Have you not also


decided to put up the precept? Precisely, but I was able to do that


because the old police authority actually had so many Conservative


councillors on it who would not put the precept up, so I was able to do


that. And we still had the police authority, I would not have been


able to do that, so we would not have been able to have an extra 100


people. Is it right for council tax to go up Judge allege well, in


Sussex, we kept the precept the same as last year. Today, we opened the


recruitment for 18 new constables in Sussex, the first time we have done


that for many years, without having to raise the council tax. Why could


you not do that in your area, be able to recruit more officers


without raising council tax? circumstances in each force are


different. Bedfordshire is one of the most hard-pressed forces. We do


not even get from the government what the funding formula says we


should get. We are �24 million a year less due to the operation of


the damping mechanism. So, circumstances vary between different


forces. We have also got a major counter terrorist threat, a major


organised crime threat, as well as alarmingly high levels of serious


and inquisitive crime. So, the situation varies between the forces.


That is why what is appropriate for Bedfordshire is not the same as what


is appropriate for Sussex, but we are each elected to do the best job


we can in our area. You mentioned that you got voted in to protect any


further privatisation or outsourcing - are you going to do more


outsourcing in your area? Just so that people are aware, in Sussex, we


already outsource our custody facilities, and have done for many


years. I am looking at doing further collaboration with my colleague in


Surrey, and the question I would ask is, why do we have 41 policing


forces across the country, who use different payroll systems, and


different human resources departments? This sort of thing


could be amalgamated and outsourced. But you cannot really


collaborate, if you have got some people against outsourcing, and


others in favourite, you cannot do it? We work very closely with Essex.


There is going to be no privatisation of police services in


Kent. We do not need to do it. It is what is best for Kent. We are


already driving out our savings. I think if you drive out savings, they


should go back into the service from whence they came. I do not disagree


with that at all. So why is it necessary to outsourcing your area?


Because you are looking at ways of doing things for less money. If you


privatise great bits of the police service, there will be three or four


large providers doing it, and you will still have to buy back your


services. You are not getting them for free. But what about the idea of


fooling? We have been doing that in Kent since 2007. We were


trailblazers. I am pleased to see that Surrey and Sussex are doing it


now. It is interesting, because both of us, under the Government 's


current proposals for rehabilitation of offenders, we are going to have


to work together on probation at some stage, so we will be looking at


outsourcing them, anyway. To move on to something slightly different, the


Woolwich attack, which was a terrible tragedy, but it has had an


impact on policing, I should think, across the country - what about the


impact in your area? It has a great impact in Bedfordshire, because


unfortunately, we have this very small minority, called the EDL, they


think Luton is their spiritual home because of the origins of that


organisation, and we are also the home to a large Muslim population. I


think the important thing to say is that those extremists who


perpetrated that horrendous attack, they are also a very small minority,


and they do not represent the religion of Islam or the vast


majority of Muslims, who share our horror at what happened. So what


impact has it had on policing? are all trying to pull together to


make that point, that this is all about minorities, very small


minorities, trying to do harm. On Friday, we have what I think was a


very powerful demonstration of people from all backgrounds in our


town coming together and laying flowers at the Cenotaph outside the


town hall and saying, actually, we are the people of Luton, and not


these minorities who are trying to divide our community. Do you think


police commissioners have a role in managing these sensitive


situations? I think they do, we have to make sure that the force handles


them sensitively and properly. As far as Kent was concerned, it is


quiet in Kent. There was a big police presence on the streets,


working with community leaders, and I am pleased with how the police in


Kent dealt with it. Spending cuts cash what impact have government


spending cuts had on policing in Sussex? Under the previous company


and sit spending review, Sussex police had to save 20% in the


budget, equating to �52 million. We are on target to meet that. It has


not had an effect on frontline policing, to the extent that we are


able to freeze the council tax and do some recruitment as well. That


sounds miraculous - what about your area? It has had an impact in Kent.


There has been a slight drawback of visible community policing, the


policing that evil one. I do not want a police service which sits


outside the community, just responding to needs. I want them


working with communities, going into schools and colleges. I am fighting


more cuts to police funding, because that is what will disappear, which


is not fair. How efficient is your office, and the money that is spent


on your salary and the salaries of your staff? Very efficient. We have


13.5 full-time employees, we came in under budget last year, we have got


exactly the same budget this year. But it is a big job, it is more than


the old police authority job. We have got all of the statutory


responsibilities of the old authority, plus all the


commissioning, plus the work with criminal justice, was the work with


partners, it is not a small job. It is a really big job, and the sooner


people realise that, the better. What about the number of people in


your office? I have kept my staff, lament at what I inherited from the


police authority. Nonetheless, my office budget has seen a real terms


reduction this year. I think what is important in the context of


Bedfordshire is the impact that the forthcoming copy and sit spending


review could have. I really worry about that. In Bedfordshire, because


of the previous Comprehensive Spending Review, we have had to move


away from the traditional model of neighbourhood policing and implement


a far more reactive model, and although that has continued to drive


down crying quite successfully, it has nonetheless meant that the force


is less visible to the public, which is a real worry when it comes to


protecting and building public confidence in the force. You have


taken on 12 staff, is that right? No, I inherited staff, we have 12


now. For the people in Sussex, they should know that in Sussex, we have


the 14th largest force in the country, at my office has the


seventh cheapest budget, so in real terms, we have saved �186,000 since


coming into office. But it is not just about what my office saves, it


is about making sure that Sussex police are efficient and effect,


that we can drive out more savings and put them into frontline


policing. I suppose people are worried about the communications


which come with the new office, and all of the trappings, which cost


money... Rightly so, and we should be transparent and accountable.


Expenses on websites... Absolutely, everything is on the website.


Personally I do not claim any allowances for any travel I do


across Sussex, neither does my deputy, but that is up to colleagues


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