29/01/2012 Sunday Politics East Midlands


Andrew Neil and Marie Ashby with the latest political news, interviews and debate including Danny Alexander, chief secretary to the treasury, on the state of the UK economy.

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David Cameron thinks they're a good idea, so why does Derby's Chief


Constable think that commissioners should come with a health warning?


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2020 seconds


Hello, I'm Marie Ashby. The East Midlands is clearly the place to be


after that massive Lottery win. Later we'll be asking if elected


police commissioners could be too much of a gamble. Why a


Conservative city council leader insists they should come with a


health warning. And a warm welcome to our guests


this week. The Labour MP for Bassetlaw, John Mann and Andrew


Bridgen, the Conservative MP in North-West Leicestershire. Both


have a reputation for tough talking, so this should be interesting.


Before we get down to it, the story everyone's been talking about. The


Mansfield couple just down the road from you, John, who've won �40


million on the Lottery. To make matters worse, they look so nice!


What would you do with that kind of money, �40 million? I would try to


go up town and get a bit of a break with my wife. A tiny proportion of


that would assist. The you might be right. What about you, Andrew?


design and a marginal -- it is an unimaginable amount of money. I am


really pleased for them. In our society if you worked and earned


�40 million through your own endeavours, you would pay 50% of it


intact but if you win it just by pure luck, you get away with a tax-


free. I don't know what message we are sending out. I don't think that


is a worry they have. Would you handed back to the Exchequer?


would give a lot to charity. Onto more serious stuff. You've


been critical of Ed Miliband's leadership of the Labour Party


recently, John. Anything to do with the fact that you're sponsored as


an MP by the GMB union? constituency receives lots of money


from individuals, businessman and from unions and if any out there


wants to give more, as long as they are honest, I am sure my party


would want to take it. You are on record saying that you need a


coherent deficit reduction plan, you sound like he has not got a


plan. He has got one but it is not coherent enough. That is why he is


lagging in the opinion polls. I think we need something coherent. I


don't think it is fully coherent yet and I am willing to assist him.


I put down some bills on what could be cut from public spending, 27


girls and if he is wise he will adopt them. And if the Tory liberal


coalition is wise, they will pinch a few of my ideas. At untrue, on


union sponsorship, nothing wrong with unions sponsoring MPs --


Andrew, on union sponsorship. think there is a subtle difference.


Only 10% of the population are in the unions. The Labour Party has


been in the pockets of the unions for a long time.A member of two


unions, Unite and GMB and a liaison officer for the unions with the


Labour Party. I run a small business as well, business people


and trade unions assist in getting the re-elected. And if that was


happening that would be fine, but it is not. As a General Secretary


said, the unions have input to policy making at every single level.


That is why you have not got a single deficit reduction plan. His


the union members had a greater say, what union members would be saying.


It would be similar to me. A does not make sense to cut the police.


Cuts can be made that could go a lot further but we should be


spelling them out. That is precisely why I have put 27 built


into Parliament on what could be cut without affecting people in


this area. -- 27 bells. Debt hit one trillion pounds last week. What


level of national debt do you think we should live to our children and


grandchildren? I think we should be doing President Obama is now doing


in America, where the economy is growing, stimulate the economy by


creating more businesses, making sure people have got money to spend


and ensuring that our children have jobs. People with jobs pay taxes


and that is... The Labour line is we will still try to borrow our way


out of a debt crisis? If it is good enough for Obama... I am not sure


you should be advising Ed Miliband. I didn't think he would be a green


of this. Let's move on. Before we move onto another


controversial area, police commissioners, let's see if there's


something we can get you to agree on. This week, Derbyshire Chief


Fire Officer, Sean Frayne, called for it to be compulsory for all new


homes to be fitted with fire sprinklers. It follows the deaths


of four children in a blaze at their home near Ashbourne. And it


probably started because there was no fire guard in the living room.


The Inside Out programme demonstrated the dramatic


difference sprinklers can make. The room on the left had them, the one


And when you see what difference sprinklers make, surely it is a no-


brainer. All new homes should have them fitted? Homes of a certain


size with a certain number of have intense have compulsory sprinklers


at the moment. -- a certain number of inhabitants. I would maintain


that most fires are probably in older houses with defective wiring.


It will not address that problem at all. It is a very long term


solution. But it would have helped in this particular case. How old


was the House? And give it is not maintained, will they maintain the


sprinklers? De year a grey with -- do you agree with the Derbyshire


Fire Commission that all new houses should have sprinklers? People are


putting their lives on the line, it could make a huge difference and


would certainly save lives and it is certainly worth considering.


are not talking about a huge amount of money, Andrew, we are talking


about �1,500 and �2,000. If that will save lives? That is for new


houses and how many new houses are we building's a couple of 1,000 a


year. It will take a long time to filter through. they cannot be used


as an excuse to cut back on fire services. The risk is old houses.


That is not what the Fire Service says, there has not been a single


death in a house with sprinklers they did. How many have got


sprinklers fitted? I do not know. The cost will come down because the


fire risk is an insurance risk so if this is done in a big scale, it


could well be self-funding. local councils can do it themselves.


In it was worth it in every new building, there would be economies


of scale that of sound like a good idea to move. You would get local


authorities looking at this? should do. We will look at it.


Next, they're already compulsory and by the end of this year we'll


all have one. I'm talking elected police commissioners. But as our


political editor, John Hess, reports, the very idea is already


causing tensions within the coalition and Labour ranks.


Here's a job opportunity you won't find in the papers. Salary, just


over �75,000. Job secured for four years and the option of a further


four years. And the perks? For starters, your own police force.


The job is Police and Crime Commissioner. There'll be one for


each county force in England and Wales. They won't replace chief


constables, they'll still retain day-to-day operational


responsibilities but the commissioner - directly elected by


local voters - will shape force strategy, budgets and ask those


It's one of David Cameron's big ideas. I want there to be police


commissioners so when they do a good job calling the police to


account and are fighting crime in the way local people want, they get


re-elected and if they do a bad job, they will get thrown out. But this


senior East Midlands Tory isn't convinced. Community


representatives soon to be replaced by a commissioner. He will services


a manifesto. -- He or she will say, "this is the manifesto I was


elected on as Chief Constable", now you will now deliver these things.


It's going to up the ante. And the person in charge of police


operating for accounting. It's back on the political beat for Paddy


Tipping. He's a former Labour MP embracing the Conservatives' big


idea of elected police commissioners. He's planning to run


in November's election for the Nottinghamshire job. There is a


police authority with a lot of people but it's got no real focus.


There's a difference between a police authority making policy and


police commissioner who's directly elected and more accountable to


local people. I am out and about already, I am talking to people.


What they want his neighbourhood policing, crime to go down.


Nottinghamshire Police have made improvement but there's a lot to do.


By and it is that a political edge that worries the Police Federation.


With an elected commissioner, he will have temptations to meddle


with operational concern. But is a concern. It is. You have then a


political interference and control over policing and we are supposed


to be independent. That could lead to a serious bust up. The potential


is that you have one individual elected on commitments that are


inevitably going to be about operational policing matters.


When of course operational policing matters are the responsibility of


the Chief Constable. The potential there is for a level of conflict


which not be good for local police to. Greater scrutiny and


accountability. The police face a new investigator. The commission is


on their case. Let's round up the political week


in the East Midlands in 60 Seconds Paddy Tipping thinks it is a good


idea. What a bad idea, what a waste of money. Politicians sticking


their nosed into matters. Is that how you see it? Total waste of time.


We do not need more politicians, this is more politicians. We do not


need them sticking their nose into the running of the police, it is a


terrible idea, a total waste of money. The waste of time, waste of


money, Andrew? You said plenty of ex-Labour politicians interested in


the position. There is not a national solution to crime,


problems in different areas from different areas and it allows for


localisation of priorities and resources to address local issues.


We talked about the cost and it is claimed that bringing the system in


could cost �100 million. Not at all. At the same time, police forces are


having to lose hundreds of officers. The election will cost about �50


million nationally every four years which is 0.1% of the police budget


and that will not be borne by local constabularies or councils, it will


be paid for by government. We will not have to save much on efficiency


to save that much. And the commissioner will be replacing the


police authorities so there is a cost there. He is making it sound


easy. The figures we were given is something like 100 million as well


which would employ something like 1,000 extra police officers across


the country. We have just seen the figures for the amount of stuff we


have lost, 6,000 already. Estimated to lose another 16,000 nationally.


We are saying this is not necessarily the right time to do it,


let's spend the money on actual police officer numbers to maintain


the games we have made in crime numbers. Is this a price worth


paying? You already have the democratic accountability. Police


authorities have worked well and they represent the Spectrum's of


politics. Their work without lay members on there. You will still


have that player with these new police and Crown Commissioners


because they will set up police and crime panels beneath them -- crime


commissioners. The money that Andrew is suggesting that could be


saved will not be saved because they are still there, you are


adding an extra layer of bureaucracy. Do you need that when


you're trying to fight crime and crime is going up? Police and crime


commissioners will have set out their manifestos set in their


budget for the area and also their priorities and that will be


endorsed by the people. But his local democracy working. You are


not just worried about the time involved and the money, you are


worried also that the commissioners may medal in the general policy.


Andrew has alluded to, they will have an agenda and what about that


happens to be when they are elected, it could be with a low turnout


could be a single issue. There's real dangers for the rest of the


county which could have funding and policing withdrawn on the back of


whatever small minority has voted the commissioner in. A low turnout


would not be good, I would agree. Philip Hicks and in our film was a


word that he would end up politicising the police. It will go


the other way. It pulled not be controlled by Whitehall, it will be


controlled by the local people -- it will not be controlled by


Whitehall. Focusing hard on the big issues, something police


authorities failed to do. There will always be somebody who wants


the job. You seen their merit in it was Mark I don't think anyone in my


area wants to see money spent on elected politician rather than that


money be spent on extra police that we have lost from the area. Just


the cost in Bassetlaw is the equivalent of four police officers.


Nobody in Bassetlaw would rather have this ridiculous election and


all the wasted money and bureaucracy rather than the four


police officers. That goes across the whole of the country. It is a


gimmick, a bad gimmick. Sorry to interrupt, John, but we already


have one of the most accountable police forces. We are accountable


to HMRC, the Independent Police Complaints Commission. And the


police authorities that are already set up. And we have Freedom of


Information Act request that we are accountable to the public. We are


open to the public and to introduce an Americanised model would have


some real dangers. Do not get me wrong, we will work with whoever


the Government appoints because it is the Government's decision.


would have to. It is for politicians to decide and we will


work with whatever. -- you would have to. You do not want another


layer? With the consent of the people, what better way of getting


that and having locally elected police commissioners elected by the


people they are there to serve? is purely a gimmick. We do not want


politicians meddling with the police. We do not want money taken


away from the police and wasted in this way. We can hold the police


accountable at as it is. You what an efficient police service serving


our communities and this distract from eight and takes resources away


from it. Do you think people watching will think this is bad


timing? Women need to fight crime, you are talking about spending this


money which we cannot afford? not a huge amount, it is 0.1%.


1,000 police officers across the country, but is the size of a small


shire force. That is a huge amount. This is the fact that the Labour


Party run their country into a huge debt... More members see that as


losing their jobs, jobs going in order to pay for a couple of


politicians to be put in their place. That... 1,000 police


officers would be on the streets keeping this country safer if we


did not use this money. Also a bigger thing that the commissioner


has also got, the power to divert money into other community schemes.


If he is elected on manifesto for a particular electorate, there's a


huge temptation to spend that money in that group. If there is a danger


that he would have too much power, is that the case? The there will be


checks and balances. What will they be? An inspector from the Police


Inspectorate will be making sure the force is still compliance with


rules. You are talking about accountability to the local people


and he will want to do a good job if they want to get re-elected. If


people wanted, they will fight for efficiency savings and there is


huge scope for that. A police commissioner will not do that. The


only power they will have will be meddling. And they will just a


waste more money. What we needed more police out there, not more


politicians. Frankly, give that choice in a referendum to people.


Do you want more politicians or policemen? We will have to leave it


there. Let's round up with 60 The Lord Mayor of Leicester, may be


suspended over claims he got senior officers to cancel his parking


tickets. He maintains they were wrongly issued to him in the first


place. Watch this space! It is a subject which has generated


a lot of heat on our programme. Now East Midland lawyers have found


their latest legal challenge against government plans to reduce


solar panel subsidies for. The Policy Research Unit, Centre


for cities says Nottingham is bottom of the league in the UK when


it comes to creating jobs in the private sector. At the top, East


Crawley in East Sussex. It costs the county's police force


is nearly �1 million. The last time the English Defence League marched


through Leicester. The far-right group is planning another march


next month. This time, the police want pubs and shops to ban the sale


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