04/03/2012 Sunday Politics East Midlands


04/03/2012

Andrew Neil and Marie Ashby present the latest political news including an interview with Alex Salmond, and Quentin Wilson on his campaign for lower petrol prices.


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In the East Midlands: The solicitor general on whether it

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is time to amend the European Convention on Human Rights. Plus

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1780 seconds

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rows over elected mayors and the hello, I'm Marie Ashby. This week

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our guests are the Solicitor General Edward Garnier and shadow

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transport minister Lilian Greenwood. Coming up: with one of our MPs

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insisting we should temporarily withdraw from the European

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Convention on Human Rights to deport Abu Qatada, is it time to

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give our own cause a greater say? And how another City may follow

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Nottingham's lead on a workplace parking levy. First Nottingham City

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Council is getting it in the neck again, this time over its decision

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to spend �900 on posters opposing the idea of an elected mayor for

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the city. When you look at this poster, Edward, what is the

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problem? It says Nottingham City Council is opposed to the

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introduction of an elected mayor. It believes the cost does not

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represent current value for money and the Government disagrees and

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has decided that a referendum will be held. Looks fairly balanced.

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This is Labour Party propaganda being published at the expense of

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the tax payers. If the Labour Party wants to oppose an elected mayor,

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fine, but they must pay for it out of their own money of. It is �900,

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not a huge amount. If that is the attitude Labour takes towards

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public money, that is very bad. It should not be engaging in party

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political propaganda on the ratepayers expense. If they do not

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know the difference between the proper spending of public money and

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the production of propaganda, we are in a bad place. I think one of

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the things that is helpful about the poster is that it tells people

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there will be a referendum because talking to people... It gives the

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Labour Party view on that. It says what the council's policy is on it

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but talking to people it is clear a lot of people do not know there

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will be a referendum and do not know the arguments for and against

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a mayor. People of Nottingham, there will be a referendum on an

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elected mayor this may. The boats will be for this or that, but to

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put it out at the public's expense in this way it is an abuse of

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office. It is a wrong expenditure of public money. If you want to

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spend your party's money on this, do it. But do not dress it up as an

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information giving procedure. for the council to defend their

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decision to include their own council policy on it, but I think

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it is important that people understand that this referendum is

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coming up and what the arguments are because people are rightly

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asking, when there is such austerity when the council is

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having to make such cuts to the services, is this the right time to

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be having a referendum? You could also say look at all the money the

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government spends on its policies and all the press officers it has.

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The government is an elected government controlled by Parliament,

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which produces its policies for public scrutiny. Labour council was

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elected. It is acting outside its remit. The city council must act

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within the Local Government Act, within the discretion of a council.

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The council is to provide public services like education. It is not

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in the business of producing propaganda. There are good

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arguments for a information our lead. Yes, there will be a

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referendum, but to put out propaganda dressed up as

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information is wrong. I do not think million... I think it is

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important there is information out there about the mayor. There is a

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legal question about whether it is OK to put council policy out there.

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Let's leave it there. I will remove it from your person. The extent to

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which European Court of Human Rights you set decisions are made

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by our courts, an issue it exacerbated by the recent decisions

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are to prevent the deportation of radical cleric Abu Qatada. The

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Conservative MP for Wellingborough has introduced a bill to temporary

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we draw from the convention and allow -- not allow Abu Qatada to be

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deported 4th with. It is Amis understanding. The European Court

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of Rights is becoming sclerotic, there are 150 cases in the backlog,

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far too many petty disputes going to Strasbourg which should be dealt

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with by national courts. You should not be used in Strasbourg as a

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final court of appeal for Nottingham County Court. If you had

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a dispute about a holiday, your bus ticket from Romania to Strasbourg,

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do not take it to Strasbourg. We need to streamline the court, make

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it more efficient and we need to make it do less and do better and

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make it concentrate on the important rights which are

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protected by the Convention - the torture, free speech, the right to

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assembly. Is he right? I do not think I could disagree with what

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aid with says. It is important we are signed up to the European

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Convention with the human rights. There are things that can be done

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to deal with the backlog and make sure the court is operating

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effectively and that is what we should use our influence to do.

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government is holding talks with Jordan to gain assurance catarrh

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there will not be tortured. British courts refused to allow Abu

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Qatada to be deported if he were tortured. He will not be tortured,

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we had that assurance from Jordan. The Strasbourg court came up with a

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new. Which is he should not be tried in Jordan with evidence which

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had been extracted by virtue of torture. Had that been before our

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courts if they would not have permitted it either. We need to get

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Abu Qatada back to jawed SATs Gordon as quick as we can. Those

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negotiations are going on, the Home Secretary is about to go and there

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was constant dialogue between the Jordanian Foreign Office and their

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justice ministry and our own authorities. Are you optimistic

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that those talks will end in agreement? Yes I am. It is in our

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interest and there's that this man should be dealt with under the

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Jordanian system. He has already been convicted in his absence of

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Avensis in Jordan and he needs to be back there to face justice.

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Would you be happy for Abu Qatada to be deported if Jordan has given

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those assurances? That is what we need to make sure and unfortunately

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the Government could have been on this much sooner. It is good they

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are doing something now but they could have done this earlier.

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Everyone wants to see the opportunity for put her there to be

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tried in Jordan but that his human rights will be protected. We have

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to wait until the European courts had completed that process. They

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have reached a conclusion to a deferred basis to the one we were

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dealing with. 31 in Strasbourg. This process began under your

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previous government. We won it in Strasbourg but for this new point.

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It will be interesting to see how It has been a long time coming but

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now Nottingham City Council's workplace parking levy is a less

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than a month away. We report on how it is so controversial the

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government may make it more difficult for other authorities to

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follow Nottingham's lead. One may go down a similar road. Provide a

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solution that will save us money. If Eileen Barrett had her way, if

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this field would now be covered in concrete. The company she works for,

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Source BioScience, is near junction 26 of the M1 but it still inside

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Nottingham City Council's boundary, so come before it will be asked to

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pay �50,000 for 50 car-parking spaces as part of the new levy. But

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the field next door is outside the city boundary, so the company had

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wanted to move its car park here and avoid paying the levy. We are

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six miles out of the city centre, we have a limited bus service so we

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have to drive. We do not feel we receive any of the benefits that

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are being proposed through the levy. It does not help us but it affects

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us. Determined by Source BioScience to avoid paying the levy has failed.

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It turns out the land it wanted to use as a car park is a greenfield

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site. Nathalie -- Crewe is expecting to raise �9 million from

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the tax in the first year. Any company with over 11 car parking

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spaces will have to pay it. It will cost them �288 for each space,

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rising to �381 by 2015. If I was working here at Experian I would

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not have to pay. For the company is footing the bill. If I was working

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here at Boots, I would have to pay around �180 a year on average. I

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would also have to pay if I was working at Nottingham City Council,

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as much as �600 for those on the highest salaries. The workplace car

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parking levy may be unpopular in Nottingham but councillors in

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Bristol are thinking of introducing a similar scheme. Workers, not

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employers would pick up the bill. The money raised would pay for a

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shortfall in funding for improvements to public transport.

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We are trying to learn from Nottingham about what they have

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done right and wrong and we will meet with business leaders to tell

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them about the scheme and we hope to get a business down from

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Nottingham who may give a different point of view. Crewe hopes the new

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tramlines that the levy will pay for will ease congestion. It was

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the previous government that approved the levy. At the time

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David Cameron opposed it but now the government has tightened up the

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approval process. Regulations state that local authorities would have

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to insure that business interests are properly considered, consulted

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and councils must have secured their support. Something Crewe has

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not been able to do. The government is toting up with a link --

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regulations to ensure businesses are protected from the imposition

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of taxes that may have a detrimental effect on the economy.

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Are they saying Nottingham got it wrong? We believe they did because

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there is significant opposition and little support for a parking levy

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in the city. But the council -- councillor responsible for

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transport dismisses such criticism. I think the government would like

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the private sector to become more involved in local issues, to take

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the lead in some cases on local issues and to invest more. But on

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the other hand, says that it does not want schemes to go ahead and

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Les the business committee supports them. The government is sending

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mixed signals. In Nottingham at least the business community seems

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resigned to the new levy. Some have already made alternative travel

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arrangements to avoid having to pay. Eileen Barrett joins us now. You

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clearly feel that this led the is unfair. Others would applaud

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Nottingham City Council for taking action to tackle traffic congestion.

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We as an employer feel it is a significant amount of money. The

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levy does not have an end dates so we do not know how it will impact

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on us. We are worried about the impact on the city. We have about

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70 staff, or we will have to find funds to accommodate the parking

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levy for those people. Eileen's business it six miles outside the

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city centre. Nowhere near the tram route. There one day she feels it

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is unfair. The question for Nottingham City Council is how do

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they find their part of the investment in Nottingham and for

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every pound that the parking levy raises, �3 are coming in from the

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government and it will generate �10 of inward investment into the city.

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I sympathise with Eileen's situation but if we do not Path To

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-- funded through the parking levy, we have to find another way to make

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the money. One of the problems we have is it is only affecting her

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few and if you look at the scheme, we regard it as grossly unfair in

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its application. Imagine a small organisation with less than 10

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people by someone takes home �70,000, they are exempt. Another

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organisation with someone on a minimum wage will have to find

:45:45.:45:55.
:45:55.:45:55.

those funds. We have no transport for hour employees. -- dedicated

:45:55.:46:05.
:46:05.:46:05.

transport for our employees. There is no link to the benefits.

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Businesses tell me that they are paying enormous cost from

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congestion in the city. One of the biggest things they raised with the

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A453. If you are going to get in best not in the city, that will not

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work if we do not have an integrated transport system. I

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sympathise with what Eileen says and businesses have to decide

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whether they can absorb the cost or whether they will have to ask

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employees to pay a contribution to the cost of parking at work. People

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to pay for their parking. I do not think it is painful. It is painful

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at the moment particularly when the economy is in a shaky state --

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state but we do need to find this money so that Nottingham can

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benefit from the billions of pounds of investment. The Department of

:46:59.:47:03.

Transport will make it harder for any other scheme to get off the

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ground without the support of the business community. Surely the

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government should be supporting schemes like this especially when

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we have heard in the past about David Cameron's green issues.

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is an arbitrary attack on jobs, attacks on businesses. If the wise

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counsellors of the Nottingham City Council thinks this will encourage

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investment in the city, they must live on another planet. It is also

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about less pollution, we have a polluted atmosphere. It ought to be

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proportion of, properly targeted and to affect those people who have

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an interest in the city of Nottingham. Clearly you will agree

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with that. Absolutely. It strikes to make that it is common sense.

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People who work in your Business who do not live in the city of

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Nottingham are being fleeced by the city council in order to go to work,

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some think they need to do so support their business and families

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in order to do -- schemes like this can go ahead. Strong language.

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the people of Nottingham and led them vote on it rather than those

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who come to work from outside. These are important businesses,.

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you think the council will live to regret this? The council put

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forward the levy and they have been re-elected so it is not a secret. I

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disagree with Edward. Lot of the people who drive in to Nottingham

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do not live in the area. Why should taxpayers in Nottingham fund the

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congestion created by people coming in from Derbyshire and

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Leicestershire? If we are serious about tackling congestion then we

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have to look at innovative ways of doing it. The government signed off

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on the projects that are bringing money into the city knowing what

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the scheme was for. There is a balance between central government

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interference and localism but the point is this came through the

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Transport Act under millions government and if they are going to

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do this, why did they wait 10 years to do it? We will have to leave it

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there. Thank you. Time for our weekly round-up of some of the

:49:30.:49:40.
:49:40.:49:47.

Rebel Euro MP Roger Helmer has left the Conservatives and defected to

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the United Kingdom Independence Party. He claims you Ken Dulieu

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represents the values of the East Midlands Tories better than a

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Conservative Party led by David Cameron. UKIP is now the largest

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party representing the region in Europe. Robert Bolt tree has been

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suspended from the Conservative group after being charged with

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three offences of theft. They involve his council expenses and

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council funds amounting to �5,000. It means Derbyshire is now a hung

:50:15.:50:18.

council. Nottingham City Council has given

:50:18.:50:21.

the markets where protesters their marching orders. They have been

:50:21.:50:26.

there since October. The Occupy group say their anti-capitalism

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protest will not go away. Finally a reminder when Roger

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Helmer was flying the flag for the Tories. He complained the Union

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Jack was upside down in Strasbourg. Now Lib Dem councillor Phil Knowles

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once Harborough council to apply the black every day. Are you a 21

:50:47.:50:52.

day years a man or a 365 days a year man as far as the flag is

:50:52.:51:00.

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