29/01/2012 Sunday Politics East Midlands


29/01/2012

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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Transcript


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

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Constable think that commissioners should come with a health warning?

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2020 seconds

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

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

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

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Conservative city council leader insists they should come with a

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health warning. And a warm welcome to our guests

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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union sponsorship, nothing wrong with unions sponsoring MPs --

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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into Parliament on what could be cut without affecting people in

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Inside Out programme demonstrated the dramatic

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

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

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

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size with a certain number of have intense have compulsory sprinklers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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would certainly save lives and it is certainly worth considering.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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causing tensions within the coalition and Labour ranks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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responsibilities but the commissioner - directly elected by

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

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

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

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

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

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senior East Midlands Tory isn't convinced. Community

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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police commissioner who's directly elected and more accountable to

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

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

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

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

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With an elected commissioner, he will have temptations to meddle

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

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political interference and control over policing and we are supposed

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

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is that you have one individual elected on commitments that are

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inevitably going to be about operational policing matters.

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When of course operational policing matters are the responsibility of

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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problems in different areas from different areas and it allows for

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localisation of priorities and resources to address local issues.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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paying? You already have the democratic accountability. Police

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

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

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have that player with these new police and Crown Commissioners

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

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commissioners. The money that Andrew is suggesting that could be

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

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

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

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commissioners will have set out their manifestos set in their

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Whitehall. Focusing hard on the big issues, something police

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

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

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

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

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

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Nobody in Bassetlaw would rather have this ridiculous election and

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all the wasted money and bureaucracy rather than the four

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

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

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

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to HMRC, the Independent Police Complaints Commission. And the

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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that and having locally elected police commissioners elected by the

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

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

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

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

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our communities and this distract from eight and takes resources away

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Inspectorate will be making sure the force is still compliance with

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rules. You are talking about accountability to the local people

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:53:44.:53:54.
:53:54.:53:58.

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

:53:58.:54:02.

suspended over claims he got senior officers to cancel his parking

:54:02.:54:07.

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

:54:07.:54:10.

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

:54:10.:54:16.

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

:54:16.:54:20.

their latest legal challenge against government plans to reduce

:54:20.:54:25.

solar panel subsidies for. The Policy Research Unit, Centre

:54:25.:54:28.

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

:54:28.:54:34.

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

:54:34.:54:38.

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

:54:38.:54:42.

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

:54:42.:54:46.

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

:54:46.:54:52.

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

:54:52.:55:00.

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