04/10/2012 Newsnight


04/10/2012

In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Kirsty Wark.


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Tonight, the thousands of families forced by councils to live in tiny

:00:12.:00:17.

rooms in squalid Bed & Breakfasts. Where do you play? Just on the bed.

:00:17.:00:27.
:00:27.:00:27.

Just on the bed. Nobody else. do you eat? On the bed. The bed.

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Where do you do homework? On the bed. It is obviously unsuitable,

:00:31.:00:36.

but is it lawful, and how much are tax-payers forking out for it? The

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minister is here to explain. The Spanish Government insists

:00:40.:00:45.

again that it does need a bail out, but with Catlonian politicians

:00:45.:00:48.

Koreaning towards independence, is the deficit about to become the

:00:48.:00:55.

least of its problems. If the legal process doesn't produce good enough,

:00:55.:01:02.

we won't stop. You will have a referendum? It could be impossible

:01:02.:01:09.

to avoid it. Protesters outside Turkish parliament, as there is a

:01:09.:01:12.

green light towards operations against Syria. Are they right to

:01:12.:01:15.

fear armed conflict against their neighbour. We talk to the Turkish

:01:15.:01:22.

capacity. The Conservative MP, Cheryl Gillan

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says the fiasco with the railways means it is time to put a stop to

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HS2. Can we turn our talk into verse too.

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Good evening, we begin tonight with an indictment of modern Britain. A

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Newsnight investigation has discovered that thousands of

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families who have lost their homes, are being forced to live in squalid

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and overcrowded accommodation for unlawfully long periods. Homeless

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families are being housed in single rooms in Bed & Breakfast hotels,

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that are often sub-standard and sometimes dangerous. They are being

:02:00.:02:03.

forced to stay there for well over six weeks, breaching Government

:02:03.:02:11.

guidelines. It promises a warm English welcome,

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part of the sprawling hotel complex on the edge of Croydon takes

:02:17.:02:21.

genuine tourists. But part takes people who would rather be almost

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anywhere else. It has been horrendous. The

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children have no space to move, loads of noise going on. You are

:02:28.:02:33.

being watched all the time what you are doing. Inside parts of the

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hotel are damp, dingey and in urgent need of repair. But

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residents can't choose where they live.

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Because many, like Aneta Lloyd, have lost their homes. Sit down,

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tough eat some chicken. Thank you mummy. She and her two

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daughters have been housed here by Croydon Council in a room barely

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bigger than the two beds it contains. Careful you don't drop it.

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Their placement is supposed to be temporary, after she was evicteded

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from her own flat for rent arrears. This is already their seventh week

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in the hotel. Hardly any room to keep anything?

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No room at all. This is the space we have. There is no bath? There is

:03:23.:03:27.

no bath, it is just a small shower. There is no real kitchen at all.

:03:27.:03:36.

Where do you find to play? Just on the bed. Just on the bed? M-hmmm.

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Nothing else. Where do you eat? the bed. The bed. Where do you do

:03:41.:03:46.

your homework? On the bed. My children have always been happy,

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as soon as we arrived on the premises, I just see a miserable

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child, a child that wants to literally leave the hotel. She's

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even told my family that if I take her back to this hotel she will run

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away. For a seven-year-old child to be saying something like that to

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her grandparents, it is quite heart-breaking. Compared to many

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homeless families in temporary housing, they are lucky to have

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their own toilet and kitchen area. Behind windows like this across

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Britain, more and more children live in even worse conditions, as

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the recession bites, rents rise, and social housing stocks diminish.

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The number of homeless families in B&B accommodation. Which includes

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only those using communal facilities, rose by almost half,

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between the first quarter of 2011 and the same period this year, from

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2,750 to 3,960. Croydon, like all councils, has to

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provide emergency housing for the homeless. By law, families

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shouldn't be put into B&Bs for more than six weeks. But in Croydon, and

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other council areas, the law is being broken.

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Newsnight's discovered that an ever growing number of homeless families

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are being housed unlawfully and in misery in Bed & Breakfast

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accommodation like this, at huge cost to the public purse, for

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considerable profit for some lucky landlords. On-line accounts

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published by Croydon Council should it made payments totalling �1,5

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million in the first seven months of this year, to one B&B provider

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alone, EuroHotels, which owns this complex. Inside many families have

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been languishing for more than six week. It is administrative law, all

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the time we are looking at changing the law. Now this housing lawyer is

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threatening to take the council to court, to force them to move it

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somewhere else. The law provides that where you are in Bed &

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Breakfast accommodation, as a homeless applicant, and you have

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children residing with you, or you are pregnant, or someone in your

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household is pregnant, then the council should not provide you with

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bread and breakfast type accommodation, unless it is

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exceptional circumstances. Even then, for a maximum period of six

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week, the minute Croydon Council puts someone in Bed & Breakfast

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accommodation and are no sir positively looking for alternative

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accommodation for them, they are acting unlawfully. Nicola and her

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children have been living in another part of the same hotel for

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more than seven months. Sharing a hall and kitchen with

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five other households, comprising of 14 other people. There is three

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in this room, there is three in this room, three in this room,

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there is nine downstairs, upstairs there is three in the room this

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side above us, three in the room this side above us, and two in that

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side. Sorry about the mess. The hall is

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the only place to run around. The hotel rules prohibit children from

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playing in corridors or staircases. It is also prohibited to have any

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visitors without management authorisation, to use the kitchen

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after 10.00pm, or to wear pyjamas or a dressing gown in communal

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areas, making it very hard to go to the loo at night. But the

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conditions aren't just inhuman, Newsnight invited an independent

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Environmental Health Officer to check out complaints that they are

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also unsafe and possibly unlawful. How many people would share the

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kitschen? 17 of us all together. 17 people share this one kitchen.

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There is one sink. Any time you run the sink it pours out through the

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bottom. I can see the floor is very damp. It is soaking. I understand

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you have problems with rodent infestation. It is either rats or

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mice, we just find dropings. yeah.

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Yep. I can see some dropings there. You have an infestation of some

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form or another. That is in the bedroom as well. This window seems

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to be difficult to get hold of. doesn't close, it only closes that

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much. It doesn't close. In April, May, we had a break-in, two hooded

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men got into the house through this window at 2.00am. We have been told

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it is going to be fixed, that was in April/May, we still haven't had

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it fixed, it is still like this. You reported this in May, and

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nothing has been done since. Accommodation like this is not

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suitable for families, certainly with little children, they

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shouldn't be here. We have looked at the electrics, the heating, the

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fire precautions, we have looked at the facilities that these people

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have, they are totally inadequate. What does the law have to say about

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this situation? Well, there are issues here, which is in breach of

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the law. The sad part about it is, the local authority are putting

:09:12.:09:15.

families into property which potentially is dangerous.

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And against the law? And against the law.

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Yet, for Nicola's room, the owner of Gilroy Court Hotel, gets about

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�850 a month. His company told us, in a statement,

:09:32.:09:42.
:09:42.:09:48.

The relevant authority is Croydon Council. How often do you inspect?

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It depends on the premises, but certainly we would be in once a

:09:52.:09:58.

month. Gilroy Court, one of the premises you looked at, we have

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someone in there once a week. have talked to a few residents

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there who say they have never seen an inspector or Environmental

:10:06.:10:10.

Health Officer? I can tell you for certain Environmental Health

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Officers do go in there from my housing enforcement team. We talked

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to lawyers who say Croydon is acting unlawfully because it has no

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system for finding alternatives for families. We would completely

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reject that accusation. We are particularly concerned to see if we

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can identify alternatives for those individual households, if we can't

:10:33.:10:37.

source the alternative, clearly we can't move on that family. But it

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is still our absolute intent and commitment, and we are working as

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hard as we can to get those families out of that Bed &

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Breakfast accommodation as quickly as we possibly can. But Croydon is

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failing. More than 70% of the families in B&Bs here, 180 in total,

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have been there more than six weeks. Last year, none were recorded in

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that category. The council is coping particularly

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badly in the perfect storm that is affecting housing right across

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Britain. Social housing stocks are falling, mortgages are harder to

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obtain, the private rented sector is getting ever-more expensive, and

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housing benefit is being cut. The introduction of the caps on the

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local housing allowance rates means that, inevitably, there is less

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private rent stock available to people on benefits. The second

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problem is that people who would have moved on, from the private

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rental sectors to buy their own home, haven't done so. It is

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getting worse and worse, and there was no positive news that comes out

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of this, there is going to be more homeless families, there will be

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more demand for temporary accommodation, and there will be

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more pressure on local authorities to find that in the private sector,

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quite where, we are not sure. Nicola's now off Croydon's books.

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don't have a house, what will I do with a bike. A few days ago she was

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forced to leave her room, because the council finally judged it was

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her own fault she was homeless. haven't told my daughter anything.

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She's only four, my son is worrying. He doesn't know where he's going

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after school, so, it's not nice for him. Even the doctor says it is

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inappropriate as an environment? Yes. Meanwhile, Aneta is begging

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the council to move her. The doctor says her daughter can't have the

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facial surgery she needs while living in these conditions. A child

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after serious plastic surgery should be having her own space to

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recover in, hygienic space, you know, where it is clean, quiet, and

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where I know she's safe. In this state she's very vulnerable.

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When you finish you take your medicine. For now, though, her

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pleas are in vain, for Aneta's family and many others like them,

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there is nowhere else to go. With me in the studio to discuss

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this, are the newly-appointed housing minister, Done Foster, and

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Ken Jones, director of housing strategy for Dagenham and barking.

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What do you say to to Nicola and Aneta? It is horrific the

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conditions they are in. Very pleasingly we can say, the number

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of families can with children in accommodation like that, for more

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than six weeks, is actually lower than it has been for a very long

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time. How many is it? It is about 760 families. That is far too many.

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The point was made on the film, this was doubly illegal by Croydon,

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illegal bows they have people in Bed & Breakfast for more than six

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weeks, and secondly, illegal because they have people in

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property that is clearly unacceptable, at a time when we are

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giving Croydon �1 million a year to deal with homelessness, and a

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further three quarters of a million it deal with the changes in

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benefits. You have now seen this, what will you do tomorrow morning?

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The first thing we are already doing, we know there are about 20

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council, that is all, across the country, where the situation is

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like that. We have already been in touch with all of those, we are

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working with them. When you have been in touch with Croydon, now you

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have seen the evidence for yourself, what was Croydon's defence? We were

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already aware of the problems in Croydon, that is why officials are

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already working with them, that is why we have written to them to to

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their attention their illegality. What is worse, to have 17 people

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use one kitchen with one sink with rodents, or worse for that woman,

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Aneta, to have two children, living, essentially, on a double bed?

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Neither is acceptable. They are living in unacceptable conditions,

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it is also wrong that they are in Bed & Breakfast. That is why we are

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providing the funds to the council, so that they can deal with those

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issues. What is the recourse, what is the penalty for the council, I

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will bring in Ken Jones in a minute, his council is also an offender?

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you heard on the film, agencies like the housing agency referred to

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in the film, can bring a prosecution against the council.

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But it is not something that Government can prosecute, it has to

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be either the individual families, or agents acting on their behalf.

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So, it is sound and fury signifying nothing, you can't do anything?

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are giving them the money. We have put the law in place that makes it

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quite clear that this is not only unacceptable, it is illegal.

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Jones, �1.5 million of given, by their own figures, to eurohotel, by

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Croydon, in the first half of this year, �1.5 million. Dagenham is a

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bad offender, Westminster and Brent are the worst offenders, you have

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people in housing accommodation over six weeks with children as

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well, it is shameful? It is shameful. What are you doing about

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it? As much as we can. I should say two years ago we had exactly no

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households in Bed & Breakfast. Today we have, as you say, 83

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families, over six weeks. Tell me about the rent. What we are talking

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about as an exponential rise in the private rental market, because

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there is not as much housing market. What are you paying for families a

:16:35.:16:40.

week, what is the highest you are paying for a week for a family in a

:16:40.:16:46.

room? It is around about �400 a week. That is �400, that surely

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can't make sense, done Foster? first thing is. That is tax-payers'

:16:53.:16:56.

money going? We are already using tax-payers' money to provide the

:16:56.:16:59.

support to these councils to ensure this doesn't happen. The other

:16:59.:17:03.

thing we have to do, this is where I think, in fairness, we have to

:17:03.:17:07.

accept, that we need to get more houses, more affordable houses

:17:07.:17:11.

built, and that is why we have also got very significant house building

:17:11.:17:14.

programmes. Right now you have a cap on housing benefit, you are

:17:14.:17:17.

bringing in Universal Credit, there are going to be more families in

:17:17.:17:23.

the situation that will be worse, we already know from our adviser

:17:23.:17:29.

under Rick Pickle's arm, the whole thing will get worse. You have to

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take into account that housing benefit rose from �11 billion 20

:17:34.:17:39.

years ago to �20 billion this year and rising, we had to take action,

:17:39.:17:43.

recognising transitional difficulty. We have made �450 million available

:17:43.:17:47.

over the four-year period to help out with the difficulty. �450

:17:47.:17:51.

million, will it get worse, is that enough money? We are facing, as it

:17:51.:17:56.

mentioned in the film, a perfect storm, there is inadequate house

:17:56.:18:00.

building, particularly council housing and housing association

:18:00.:18:03.

property. We are also seeing enormous demographic changes,

:18:03.:18:06.

particularly acute in London, I would say. What I think does need

:18:06.:18:11.

to happen, and certainly in barking and Dagenham, we are pursuing a

:18:11.:18:15.

very major council house building programme, that's going to help.

:18:15.:18:24.

But certainly I think. Tell Don Foster what he has to do, he's the

:18:24.:18:28.

new minister? In the perfect storm we are facing and families are

:18:28.:18:32.

facing, the twist to it will be the welfare reform and the cap. I hope

:18:32.:18:35.

the Government might just look at regional variations to recognise

:18:35.:18:39.

the pressures that London faces, because families that you showed in

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the film, there are going to be more of those, unfortunately.

:18:43.:18:47.

will be more of those, this is the evidence from one of the offending

:18:47.:18:50.

councils? It is an offending council, as I keep repeating, we

:18:50.:18:54.

are providing funds to help. But I accept entirely the point, we also

:18:54.:18:58.

need to have more homes built, and that is one of the key things that

:18:58.:19:02.

we are doing. More homes built will not solve the problem in the next

:19:02.:19:06.

six months, and in the next six months, as the benefit changes come

:19:06.:19:10.

in, will get worse. Let me put to you briefly? We are making money

:19:10.:19:16.

available during that period. For a four-year period, �450 million to

:19:16.:19:20.

help with the specific problem of the changes in housing benefit.

:19:20.:19:25.

you think it is acceptable for Croydon to be paying �1.5 million,

:19:25.:19:34.

in the first six months of the year, for that kind of accommodation?

:19:34.:19:38.

To EuroHotels? Yes. They should stop paying it now? The power is in

:19:38.:19:42.

the hands of the council, we are giving them �1 million this year to

:19:42.:19:47.

deal with those sorts of problems. I just have to have a very quick

:19:47.:19:51.

question, let me tell you quickly what happened to Aneta, she lost

:19:51.:19:56.

her home because of rent arrears, she missed her appointment with the

:19:56.:20:01.

DWP, they stopped her benefit straight away. Is that civil? Is

:20:01.:20:05.

that civilised? That is why we are providing the additional support to

:20:05.:20:10.

councils to help them with that transitional period. But you can't

:20:10.:20:15.

have a benefit cap that is risen from �11 billion to �20 billion. We

:20:15.:20:19.

have to address that. Thank you very much.

:20:19.:20:24.

It is the most serious test of the decentralised Spanish Government,

:20:24.:20:27.

as the country returned to democracy after Franco, Catalonia,

:20:27.:20:32.

one of the country's richest regions is having a serious bout of

:20:32.:20:37.

secessionist fever. This time it just might happen. Catalan

:20:37.:20:42.

nationalists, emboldened by the Madrid Government's refusal to give

:20:42.:20:47.

more money last month, has rash cheted up new members. They accuse

:20:47.:20:52.

parliament of fiscal looting, and have voted overwhelmingly for a

:20:52.:20:58.

referendum on leaving Spain. So Co This place really say adios to

:20:58.:21:05.

Spain! People are stale clietly reeling

:21:05.:21:10.

from the fact that the Finance Minister of Spain has gone to

:21:10.:21:14.

London tonight to make a speech in which he has claimed Spain doesn't

:21:14.:21:18.

need a bail out. Absolutely, all it needs is the European Central Bank

:21:18.:21:22.

to give them half a trillion euros, by buying their bonds. Everyone

:21:22.:21:26.

knows in politics here that bail out is about to come. We do need

:21:26.:21:29.

clarity on this, people are quite confused here on the streets of

:21:29.:21:33.

Barcelona and other Spanish cities, about what is about to come at them

:21:33.:21:37.

in terms of conditionality and in terms of the amount of sovereignty

:21:37.:21:40.

they lose when the IMF, and the machine in black, as they are

:21:40.:21:44.

called, take over the country's finances. That is the bit that

:21:44.:21:47.

everybody knows is out there, and the bit you can control. The bit

:21:47.:21:51.

you can't control is the way people feel about it.

:21:51.:21:57.

Tell me, very briefly, we have heard about Catalonia over the

:21:57.:22:00.

years and movements there, what is different this time? Two years ago,

:22:00.:22:03.

these are fountains behind me, I remember that very distinctly, the

:22:03.:22:07.

day Spain won the World Cup in 2010, people danced in them. To report it,

:22:07.:22:11.

one had to go in with them. People said, how are the Catalans ever

:22:11.:22:16.

going to feel bad about Spain again. I can tell you, as I have been

:22:16.:22:21.

finding out today, they feel pretty bad about it, and it is getting

:22:21.:22:25.

more intense. If Catalonia does, one day, get its own air force, it

:22:25.:22:29.

will probably be able to afford something better than these.

:22:29.:22:34.

On the beach, in Barcelona, the air show is a welcome distraction from

:22:34.:22:38.

the crisis. This, Spain's richest region, is

:22:38.:22:42.

now at the centre of the crisis, with Madrid committed to austerity,

:22:42.:22:48.

there is now a rising demand in Catalonia for independence.

:22:48.:22:52.

TRANSLATION: My feeling is that the Spanish Government has totally

:22:52.:22:55.

rejected what is happening here. They have spread rejection and hate,

:22:55.:23:01.

with comment calling us the "damn Catalan" that doesn't want to co-

:23:01.:23:04.

operate. TRANSLATION: Now a lot of people

:23:04.:23:08.

are not only feeling this in their heart, but pockets too. The feeling

:23:08.:23:13.

is they would be a lot better off if not a part of Spain. If we put

:23:13.:23:16.

the two feelings together, we are relatively close to reaching our

:23:16.:23:22.

goal, we are on the right path. For Catalonia, it is a path often

:23:22.:23:27.

dreamed of, but never taken. The regional Government here wants, at

:23:27.:23:32.

the very least, fiscal autonomy, they have called a snap election,

:23:32.:23:36.

and threatened to hold a referendum on independence. Could this iconic

:23:36.:23:40.

Spanish city, ever leave Spain? At the HQ of the ruling party, I

:23:40.:23:46.

have come to meet one of the men who will decide that. In Oriol

:23:46.:23:52.

Pujol is one of the leaders of the Convergence and Union Party that

:23:52.:23:59.

runs the region. It is the crisis and difficult moment in a rich land

:24:00.:24:09.

and nation like Catalonia, that our reporting of 9% of GDP every year

:24:09.:24:15.

to Spain, the result is not happy at all.

:24:15.:24:19.

Because it is a double catch in terms of social and educational and

:24:19.:24:24.

health services, double catch of the rest of rain, and double taxes.

:24:24.:24:31.

So, it's really unbalanced. We must solve that. If I don't solve that

:24:31.:24:37.

someone is going to solve that. More radical parties? Probably.

:24:37.:24:40.

Catalonia has a powerful hand to play. It's the industrial

:24:40.:24:45.

powerhouse, rich, a kind of Spanish Germany. Until now, nationalist

:24:45.:24:49.

politicians here have played that hand to get concessions from Madrid.

:24:49.:24:54.

But Madrid now can only offer austerity, and has repeatedly

:24:54.:24:58.

denied the region's attempts to gain more autonomy. Over the years

:24:58.:25:03.

a lot of decisions have been made in order to keep historical

:25:03.:25:11.

separation in powers in Madrid, with had political powers in Madrid

:25:11.:25:15.

but economic powers in Barcelona. There is an attempt to concentrate

:25:15.:25:21.

both powers in Madrid, that made the Catalan Governments act.

:25:21.:25:28.

they want a referendum, legal or otherwise. If the local position

:25:28.:25:32.

doesn't run good enough, we won't stop. You will have a referendum?

:25:32.:25:37.

It could be impossible to avoid it. If they ever do become a country,

:25:37.:25:45.

they will, of course, have no trouble forming a football team. At

:25:45.:25:51.

this soccer bar on Tuesday night, as their team trumped Benfica, the

:25:51.:25:55.

Barcelona fans were in no doubt as to what is changing. I believe

:25:55.:26:00.

absolutely in Catalan. In my passport, in my ID it says I'm

:26:00.:26:06.

Spanish, I'm not. TRANSLATION: or three years ago people would say

:26:06.:26:09.

the independence thing would not happen, don't expect too much or it

:26:09.:26:12.

to happen, now, after what has happened in the last month or

:26:12.:26:18.

month-and-a-half, it is amazing. In the rest of Spain, reactions to

:26:18.:26:21.

a Catalan independence referendum have been less joyous. In a press

:26:21.:26:26.

interview, Colonel Francisco Alman, a serving officer in the army made

:26:26.:26:36.
:26:36.:26:45.

In Barcelona, they are trying to take attitudes like that in their

:26:45.:26:49.

stride. Politics of fear, not only the sentence of this person of the

:26:49.:26:56.

army, will appear, we know that. But, the process is so enthusiastic

:26:56.:27:05.

that any kind of fear probably shows how weak is Spain, and the

:27:05.:27:10.

Spanish politics in defending or trying to avoid the process in

:27:10.:27:14.

Catalonia. The economic impact of Catlonian independence is disputed,

:27:14.:27:18.

it can be measured in facts and figures what cannot be measured is

:27:18.:27:22.

feeling. There is a huge wave of nationalist sentiment here. That

:27:22.:27:26.

has put formal support for independence up around 52%. But

:27:26.:27:30.

what nobody can know, is the point at which the wave becomes

:27:30.:27:37.

unstoppable. It is just a folk dance, but to

:27:37.:27:43.

Catalan, the Cidana, performed outside the Cathedral every Sunday

:27:43.:27:46.

has massive significance. Under Franco people died for the right to

:27:46.:27:49.

speak their own language, sing their own folk songs, there are

:27:49.:27:53.

layers of history at stake here. TRANSLATION: Madrid is doing what

:27:53.:27:57.

they always did, criticise us. And that is why we are saying enough,

:27:57.:28:01.

we don't want their help, because we don't get any real help from

:28:01.:28:10.

them. Therefore, I believe we are better off on our own. Up to now,

:28:10.:28:13.

the cultural freedom symbolised here, has been enough to contain

:28:13.:28:17.

demands for independent, but the crisis changes everything. We still

:28:17.:28:27.

don't know where the crisis ends. The go ahead for a foreign invasion

:28:27.:28:31.

into Syria was authorised today, not by NATO or the UN, but by

:28:32.:28:35.

Syria's neighbour, Turkey, insisting it wasn't an act of war,

:28:35.:28:38.

the Turkish parliament gave authority for a ground invasion by

:28:38.:28:43.

troops in response to attacks by Syria against the border town, it

:28:43.:28:48.

killed five people, three children, and wounded nine others. Turkey had

:28:48.:28:51.

already retaliated and shelled back across the border, killing several

:28:51.:28:55.

Syrian soldiers. Only after that did Damascus take responsibility

:28:55.:29:00.

for the attack and apologise. Our diplomatic editor is with me.

:29:00.:29:05.

First of all, tell me the seriousness of the Turkish

:29:05.:29:09.

situation here? I think it is serious, and what's happened today

:29:09.:29:13.

with this parliamentary vote makes Turkish military operations in

:29:13.:29:17.

Syria a very real possibility in the near future. I think in two

:29:17.:29:21.

main contexts. The first, is the Kurdish area in the north-east of

:29:21.:29:25.

Syria, in which the Syrian Government has, more or less,

:29:25.:29:29.

deliberately withdrawn its authority, and is now seen by the

:29:29.:29:32.

Turkish Government as a haven for anti-Turkish guerrilla groups. The

:29:32.:29:36.

other, of course, is the area very much under contest between the

:29:36.:29:42.

rebels and the Syrian forces, around Aleppo and Idlib, the big

:29:42.:29:48.

cities in the north of Syria. If we look on the map, we can see the

:29:48.:29:58.
:29:58.:30:01.

importance of Akakale and other towns. The Syrian battles are meant

:30:01.:30:05.

to be. It can be seen as support to the Free Syrian Army and other

:30:05.:30:11.

groups in the north through that tactic. Some people speculated

:30:11.:30:15.

today through Healey bourne raids by commandos and that kind of thing.

:30:15.:30:22.

To what extent have the Syrians been trying to provoke this sort of

:30:22.:30:26.

thing? It could be argued they are provoking, they have foreign groups

:30:26.:30:29.

with armed groups openly supported by the Government F you look at how

:30:29.:30:34.

NATO deals with that in a Pakistani context, it is not always to

:30:34.:30:37.

respect the Pakistani frontier. However, there is a view in the

:30:37.:30:42.

region, that Syria would like to internationalise the conflict.

:30:42.:30:46.

Certain things, like withdrawing authority in that Kurdish area have

:30:46.:30:52.

been deliberate provocations, people point to the shooting down

:30:52.:30:57.

of a Turkish phantom jet as another provocation. Today when the Syrian

:30:57.:31:00.

Government did apologise, it didn't seem to be an apology to the

:31:00.:31:06.

Government, in particular, of Turkey, as we heard at the UN.

:31:06.:31:10.

Deepest condolences of the Government of Syria-Arab Republican

:31:10.:31:14.

lick were presented, to the families of the martyrs and

:31:14.:31:21.

friendly and brotherly people of Turkey. In cases of border

:31:21.:31:25.

incidents, that had been between any two neighbouring countries,

:31:25.:31:34.

state and Governments, should act wisely, rationally and responsibly.

:31:34.:31:40.

So, what do you think the potential for further flare ups on the border

:31:40.:31:44.

are? It is considerable. We saw a situation a few years ago where

:31:44.:31:48.

Turkey mounted operations in northern Iraq, for example, when

:31:48.:31:51.

they felt Kurdish insurgent groups were getting out of hand there.

:31:51.:31:55.

This type of thing could easily happen. The question is whether

:31:55.:32:00.

Syria's allies, like Iran, would take some form of counter action,

:32:00.:32:05.

if Turkey did do that sort of thing, something they have threatened to

:32:05.:32:09.

do before. We have the Turkish ambassador with

:32:09.:32:17.

us. Syria has apologised. Not a declaration of war, if there is

:32:17.:32:21.

another mortar attack, would you retaliate? Tonight the UN has

:32:21.:32:26.

issued a statement condemning the mortar attacks. If there is another

:32:26.:32:31.

mortar attack, if there is another provocation, would Turkey respond?

:32:31.:32:34.

Retaliation is a legitimate right in international law, Turkey has

:32:34.:32:39.

resort today that right. I think Turkey has already made it clear,

:32:39.:32:43.

as early as the 26th of June, when the Turkish aircraft was shot by

:32:43.:32:47.

the Syrian authority, that the rules of engagment, and the

:32:47.:32:50.

understanding of Syrian attitudes towards Turkey had changed. This

:32:50.:32:54.

means, of course, whenever we receive a hostile attitude from the

:32:54.:32:57.

Syrian side, we will respond. What has happened yesterday was that

:32:57.:33:00.

kind of retaliation. You would, if you were attacked again, you would

:33:00.:33:03.

respond, that is what the meaning of this motion in parliament is?

:33:03.:33:07.

The meaning of this motion in the parliament is the Government has

:33:07.:33:11.

taken the authority from the legislative authority, from the

:33:11.:33:16.

parliament, to use it whenever it deems it necessary. I don't think

:33:16.:33:20.

that it is currentlinessry, but it is important for the Government --

:33:20.:33:23.

it is currently necessary, but it is important for the Government as

:33:23.:33:27.

a guarantee or possibility to use it when they see it is necessary to

:33:27.:33:32.

use. Turkey is now a member of NATO, is this not NATO's role, is this

:33:32.:33:37.

not what NATO should be doing? NATO did yesterday is quite

:33:37.:33:43.

encouraging. We have only reed to Article 4, we have initiated the

:33:43.:33:47.

consultation mechanism, according to the Article 4 of the Washington

:33:47.:33:51.

Treaty. And NATO has shown full solidarity and support with Turkey.

:33:51.:33:57.

That is very important, that is very encouraging. What is important

:33:57.:34:00.

here is the international community has to show it is together with

:34:00.:34:04.

Turkey. Because the acrossive side is Syria. Let's look at the area

:34:04.:34:09.

along the border, obviously there was a tragic death today, including

:34:09.:34:13.

three young children. Lisence haden to go Turkish people talking today,

:34:13.:34:20.

they faelt along the border it has been incredibly dangerous, and they

:34:21.:34:24.

have been traumatised by what is going on. You and they want a safe

:34:24.:34:29.

zone. How would that operate, NATO peacekeepers? Do you want something

:34:29.:34:34.

formal put in along the border? this stage one has to rely on the

:34:34.:34:39.

capability of Turkey to protect its own citizens and borders. Turkey,

:34:39.:34:44.

certainly, whenever the national sovereignty is violated, whenever

:34:44.:34:48.

the territory is violate, they have the right to retaliate, it will

:34:48.:34:51.

retaliate again. It is going to retaliate again, what about putting

:34:51.:34:56.

boots on the ground, will Turkish soldiers go across the border for

:34:56.:35:00.

Syria? Turkey is not preparing or declaring war. Without declaring

:35:00.:35:04.

the war you have the possibility of proebgttebgting your own citizens,

:35:04.:35:08.

and you have -- protecting your own citizens, this is legislature. I

:35:08.:35:12.

think the citizens who are concerned about the possibility of

:35:12.:35:16.

war, are simply exaggerating the situation. The Prime Minister has

:35:16.:35:21.

made it very clear that Turkey is not preparing for war. But the

:35:21.:35:23.

motion authorised cross-border intervention in Syria for the next

:35:23.:35:30.

year, if needed. This is another warning shot across their boughs?

:35:30.:35:34.

This has been a regular practice, whenever Turkey needs to do this

:35:34.:35:39.

kind of thing, and the security is in danger, this allows the

:35:39.:35:42.

Government to make use of this kind of emotion. If you do not have it

:35:42.:35:46.

at hand, and if you do not get this authority from the parliament, it

:35:46.:35:49.

is very difficult for the Government. How concerned are you

:35:49.:35:53.

that the whole area now is unstable. Kofi Annan was talking to Newsnight

:35:53.:35:57.

yesterday about that. Turkey, Jordan, the possibility of

:35:57.:36:00.

Jihadists coming from Iraq. The inflaming of the area, how

:36:00.:36:04.

concerned are you about that? are concerned, of course, because

:36:04.:36:09.

it has shown, the incident yesterday, has shown there is a

:36:09.:36:13.

systemic development in the area there is continuous provocation,

:36:13.:36:18.

and there is a spill-every effect and it is growing. One has to show

:36:18.:36:22.

-- spill-over effect and it is growing. Everyone has to show

:36:22.:36:27.

restraint, and the international community has to be convinced that

:36:27.:36:31.

Syria and Turkey are careful with everyone. We have our own very

:36:31.:36:36.

personal poet celebrating International Poetry Day, and

:36:36.:36:42.

pening an ode to Newsnight, news of the day. Could the fiasco over the

:36:42.:36:46.

West Coast Main Line about to give the Government not a headache but

:36:46.:36:50.

an almighty migraine. Cheryl Gillan has written to the Transport

:36:50.:36:54.

Secretary to demand a root and branch review of the plans for the

:36:54.:36:58.

high-speed rail link, the HS2, in the wake of the debacle over the

:36:58.:37:01.

franchise for the West Coast Main Line. We will talk to her in a

:37:01.:37:11.

minute. First, why questions are now being asked about HS2.

:37:11.:37:17.

At a final cost of �30 billion, high-speed 2 is set to be one of

:37:17.:37:20.

the biggest infrastructural endeavours since the London

:37:20.:37:25.

Underground. Phase one, costing �17 billion, will see a high-speed

:37:25.:37:31.

track from London to Birmingham, due to be finished by 2026, cutting

:37:31.:37:35.

journey times between the two largest cities, to 46 minutes.

:37:35.:37:40.

Phase 2 will cost �30 billion, building lines to Manchester and

:37:40.:37:45.

Leeds, the entire project will be complete by 2033. But yesterday's

:37:45.:37:53.

west coast franchise -- West Coast franchise debacle could jeopardise

:37:53.:37:59.

HS2. A judicial review has been secured into the proposals,

:37:59.:38:03.

tomorrow is the deadline for submissions. They will ask the High

:38:03.:38:07.

Court to take account of the rail fail, when it hears the HS2 case in

:38:07.:38:11.

December. As of last night, Government ministers, in defending

:38:11.:38:18.

the HS2 process, were using language remarkably redolent of two

:38:18.:38:23.

weeks ago. It has been looked at time and time again by, not just

:38:23.:38:28.

the Department of Transport, but HS2 itself. The business lobby for

:38:28.:38:34.

building HS2, is a bit worried that they say will the project, they say

:38:34.:38:41.

will yield �2.50 for every �1.50 vests, will be delayed. The rail

:38:41.:38:45.

franchise procurement has been a shambles. If they don't think we

:38:45.:38:49.

should do HS2 because of t we should stop, as a country, to

:38:49.:38:53.

deliver any projects because we can't procure. I'm not that

:38:53.:38:57.

defeatist. We would never have built the railways if we took this

:38:57.:39:00.

attitude in the Victorian age. maybe the courts, rather than

:39:01.:39:04.

public opinion or the Government, which ends up deciding the fate of

:39:04.:39:08.

some of the most important pieces of infrastructure in England.

:39:08.:39:11.

Cheryl Gillan was a member of the cabinet until she was sacked last

:39:11.:39:16.

month, she's with me now. It gives you great freedom now You have

:39:16.:39:20.

always been against the high-speed rail line, what makes an absolute

:39:20.:39:27.

difference because of the fiasco of the West Coast Main Line. When

:39:27.:39:31.

Labour announced it I was against it, it is good to be speaking out

:39:31.:39:36.

against it, now I'm no longer bound by cabinet responsibility. The

:39:36.:39:39.

thing is there is something very wrong at the Department of

:39:39.:39:41.

Transport, we have had three secretaries of state, and now we

:39:41.:39:44.

have this announcement, by the department, that there has been

:39:44.:39:50.

fundamental flaws in the franchise which refers to the passenger

:39:50.:39:53.

numbers on West Coast Main Line. Also the inflation figures, both of

:39:53.:39:58.

which are elements of HS2. Tomorrow is the final deadline for the

:39:58.:40:02.

judicial review that has been granted into HS2. There is a whole

:40:02.:40:07.

lot of things, environmental, costing and compensation, for

:40:07.:40:11.

whatever land it goes through. Would you like to see the whole

:40:11.:40:14.

issue of the West Coast Main Line issues being brought into the

:40:14.:40:17.

review? It is important it is considered. Obviously the business

:40:17.:40:22.

case is predicated on those inflation figures, on the West

:40:22.:40:25.

Coast Main Line passenger figures. There have been so many mistakes

:40:25.:40:31.

made with HS2, we have had miscalculations on engineering

:40:31.:40:36.

works and come uing out of tunnels. We have ministers apologising, not

:40:36.:40:41.

just once, but twice for not taking in some of the responses to

:40:41.:40:45.

consultation. You talk about the rapid turnover in the department,

:40:45.:40:49.

is there a systemic problem in the department with ministers and civil

:40:49.:40:53.

servants? There must be, for a Secretary of State to announce two

:40:53.:40:57.

inquiries, and to publicly suspend three officials, that is an unusual

:40:57.:41:03.

state of affairs. It reads across directly into HS2. I want to make

:41:03.:41:07.

sure that we don't go into spending the largest amount of tax-payers'

:41:07.:41:11.

money on a peacetime project, without either getting it right or

:41:11.:41:15.

looking at the alternative. Whatever you say, it is the new age

:41:15.:41:19.

of the train, on the West Coast Main Line, Virgin have put up

:41:19.:41:22.

figures, not eerl as high as passengers first said would be

:41:22.:41:27.

taking to the trains, but we need more capacity in the trains?

:41:27.:41:30.

not arguing that we need some transport solutions, but what is

:41:30.:41:36.

the point in having a review, say, for example, of airports, the

:41:36.:41:39.

Davies Review, which is going ahead, without taking that into

:41:39.:41:44.

consideration before you start to spend more than �33 billion of tax-

:41:44.:41:47.

payers' money on a project that could turn out to be a white

:41:47.:41:51.

elephant. Now we have a delay in two thirds of the franchises up

:41:51.:41:55.

before the election for the railways, now hard-pressed civil

:41:55.:42:00.

servants will be engaged in the judicial review on HS2, are they up

:42:00.:42:04.

to it? Is the department up to it? That remains to be seen, I would

:42:04.:42:07.

like to have a look at the capacity and capablities of the department,

:42:07.:42:11.

I think that is really important. We should see what is going on, so

:42:11.:42:16.

those investigations are really important. Who does that? Who

:42:16.:42:19.

actually investigates the Department of Transport? They will

:42:19.:42:22.

be non-executive directors of the Department of Transport, that sit

:42:22.:42:28.

on the board conducting these reviews. I think Patrick McLoughlin,

:42:28.:42:31.

and the new Secretary of State, has been very upfront about the

:42:31.:42:34.

mistakes that have happened, he says there is fundamental flaws in

:42:34.:42:39.

the department. They are involved in the independent review, which

:42:39.:42:43.

begs the question of how independent it is, should it be

:42:43.:42:47.

something completely out of the Department of Transport, no mam

:42:47.:42:49.

non-executive director? We need to look at what the investigations are

:42:49.:42:55.

throwing up, we need not throw good after bad. We should halt the

:42:55.:42:57.

project and look at transport requirements in the round. Do you

:42:57.:43:01.

think, not only were you moved, lots of Department of Transport

:43:01.:43:03.

ministers were moved, do you think they were moved because this is

:43:03.:43:06.

coming up? I'm sure that wasn't the case, the boy of being the Prime

:43:07.:43:10.

Minister is you can hire and fire at will for your ministers. Thank

:43:10.:43:12.

you very much. Tomorrow morning's front pages now.

:43:12.:43:22.
:43:22.:43:23.

Apology for the loss of subtitles for 46 seconds

:43:23.:44:08.

That's nearly all from us tonight. Before we go, today is National

:44:09.:44:14.

Poetry Day, Newsnight has recruited our own poet in residence, Luke

:44:14.:44:18.

Wright. He has hot-footed it over from a reading in the Southbank

:44:18.:44:22.

Centre, to turn the headlines into something less prosaic.

:44:22.:44:27.

Good night. Here it is, my Newsnight people.

:44:27.:44:31.

"the day is done, it's time to rake the coals

:44:31.:44:35.

K you coming up dear? # I just watch this

:44:35.:44:41.

So the bold familiar music starts # The social problems stacking up

:44:41.:44:45.

# A foreign war Pictures like the last

:44:45.:44:47.

Another place you are disconnected from

:44:47.:44:52.

# Under TV light # The horns are locked

:44:53.:44:56.

The back and forth as comforting as tides

:44:56.:45:01.

At home you are swearing at the tele$$NEWLINE Or practising the

:45:01.:45:06.

lines you will use tomorrow Now Spain is starting to wonder

:45:06.:45:12.

Manage you think how far away are we from coups

:45:12.:45:18.

# The railways and Civil Service cock-up

:45:18.:45:23.

You watch the "he said she said" like EastEnders

:45:23.:45:28.

You wonder if it will mean the fares will rise

:45:28.:45:36.

You nod off and wave to Kirsty's You nod off and wave to Kirsty's

:45:36.:45:40.

brisk good night Wet and windy for many of us overnight, the rain

:45:40.:45:44.

getting chaseded away tomorrow morning, blustery across the south-

:45:44.:45:49.

east and East Anglia. The rain never too far away from the south.

:45:49.:45:53.

Sunny spells across north-east England. A few blustery showers

:45:53.:45:57.

across North West. Most of the day dry across the Midlands. After a

:45:57.:46:01.

damp start, dryer and brighter in East Anglia. The rain will push

:46:01.:46:06.

further north on the day. Another batch of potentially heavy rain

:46:06.:46:09.

across south-west England and Wales, through the late afternoon and

:46:09.:46:13.

early evening. With the heavy downpours tonight, and the extra

:46:13.:46:17.

rain could cause a few problems. Elsewhere generally a dry day, some

:46:17.:46:20.

bright spells, but a lot of cloud. Sunny spells in Northern Ireland,

:46:20.:46:24.

blustery showers here. The winds not as strong as today. Western

:46:24.:46:30.

Scotland, but there will be still a *ering of showers. As for the

:46:31.:46:37.

outlike, a few showers in the far north-east, but overall Saturday

:46:37.:46:43.

promises fine awe dumb weather. A chill and mist and fog patches but

:46:43.:46:49.