Andrew Neil and Marie Ashby with the latest political news, interviews and debate including Shadow Education Secretary Stephen Twigg.
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Here, Labour and Conservative councillors warned the government
that benefits changes could lead to more evictions and rent arrears.
Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1713 seconds
And there has been a big increase Might guests are conservative MP
Mark Spencer as John Mann, Labour MP for Bassetlaw.
We revealed that laid-back Conservative MPs have warned the
government their benefits changes could lead to more evictions and
rent arrears. And I will be revisiting the
children of the reserve -- revolution in Cotgrave. Did it
work? We can disclose that there has been
a big rise in the number of vacancies for carers of vulnerable
people in most part of the East Midlands. According to figures, in
April in Derbyshire, there were a formidable 94 vacancies less. But
in Leicestershire there were double the figure from last year. In
Lincolnshire, there was a 600% rise. And in Nottinghamshire, they were
up by over 1000, 50%. Mark Spencer, on the face of it,
these are pretty alarming figures. There has to be some concerted
action to improve the state -- status of carers?
It is good news we are talking about vacancies not redundancies.
There are jobs out there. We need to raise the profile of some of
these couriers and vocational Korea's that people may choose to
go down. We have focused for a long time on going to university and
getting a degree, when their lorry number of career options out there
for people that offer a great deal of personal reward.
What do we need to do to get a career structure and salary
reflecting the importance of the work?
We need to encourage people to go into that, and we need to encourage
those in the sector to reflect, both in terms of salary and support
of the career, the right skills and rewards.
If you pay peanuts, this is what you get. The problem is the
turnover. Unqualified, untrained staff going, being paid the minimum
wage to work nights, struggling to cope with the work. And they are
leaving and are not getting replaced. That is the problem.
It is also that this has been a problem with successive government.
Your government did not break this problem.
It has been a bigger problem in Nottinghamshire ever since the
Conservative county council decided to sell off the good care homes
with well trained, experienced staff and put them to the bidders
in the private sector. This privatisation is a key part of a
problem. Paying lower wages, less training, people do not want to
work there, the turnover of staff leaving is huge.
You are a number of Nottinghamshire County Council, Mark?
We are lifting the quality of the care homes and are investing in
them. You talk about quality,
Lincolnshire, where the number of vacancies has risen by 600% over
the last year, Unison say that the minimum wage that is paid to some
of the carers, we are talking about �6.80 an hour. A checkout operator
get more than that. How can you get quality care like that at poor
rates of pay? We need to recognise the rewards
you get from entering that career. Relatives of people in those homes
are very grateful to those staff, and they get a great deal of reward
not just financial, but in terms of your career. We need to make sure
there is a development system so that you can progress through those
private companies and go up the ladder. It is a stepping stone. If
you getting at the early stages, you can progress through the
company. Mark Spencer is talking about
stepping stones. Is that enough? It is dangerous, because you have
got vulnerable people in none of the staff looking after them. It is
particularly chronic at night, that is the Real recruitment problem. A
minimum wage at night, they are not getting the staff. There is a huge
problem and there will be scandals emerging.
There has been scandals a long time before the Conservative government,
and we have been looking at that very closely to make sure that this
does not happen. Next, the government's changes have
come in for a lot of criticism from the opposition, but we can reveal
that Labour and Conservative councillors have now joined forces
to warn that they could lead to more evictions and rent arrears.
If the government's -- the government contributes towards the
cost of your housing, it can give it to direct your landlord. It
keeps things simple, and reduces mistakes. But for most people, that
option is about to be taken away. That is bad news for people like Jo.
She works part-time as an administrator, and is entitled to
housing benefit. It but used to come out at the
beginning of every month, but it that extra money comes in the, I do
not know what benefit it does to give it to the person who is paying
it, because I could just do whatever I wanted with it.
Do you think people could struggle with it?
Definitely, you will get people who will take advantage of it.
Now, fears over the change have given rise to a chorus of
opposition from Nottingham and Nottinghamshire's counsellors.
If you are giving people money and telling them to pay the rent, there
will be other priorities, especially these days when you have
got inflation, or the energy bills to pay, there is a danger of
massive debt. And eventually evictions.
Already, bailiffs are reporting an increase in business, largely as a
result of council tax arrears. But it is not just Labour-led council
has which are opposed to this particular change to the benefit
system. -- a Labour-led councils. Nottinghamshire County Council, a
conservative one, as well as the districts and boroughs, are asking
the government for a rethink. There are people who may have been
very reliant on the welfare system for a number of years, and all the
sudden, they are being asked to take over complete responsibility
for all their budget. With the best will in the world, many will do it
and get it right, but we know there will be a significant proportion of
bad ball really struggle. You are hoping the government will
change its mind? Mr Cameron and likes to say he is a
listening Prime Minister had the government is a listening
government, and I certainly would not dream of asking him to do a U-
turn, but maybe just a slight turn. We do need to look at this more
sensibly. What are the chances of a U-turn?
The government says it wants all households to be responsible for
their own household budget. But the government says it will look at
providing support to families who need help with managing their
finances. There is a cross-party consensus in
Nottinghamshire that it is the wrong thing to do. Housing
associations will also be making representations. I think they are
being extremely naive. The government is not for turning
Ed Balls. But with a list of coalition U-turn as standing here -
- stacking up, could there be room for one more.
The leader of Newark Council says that another look is needed. Is he
right? Simplifying the benefits system has
to be the right thing to do. We have to make sure some of the
extortionate rents get paid. It is important not to patronise people.
To say these individuals cannot manage their own finances could be
a bit patronising. Some people can, but there will be a small sector of
society that cannot, and the government will have to look at
those people at but -- and protect them. A Kay Cutts, the Tory leader
of Nottinghamshire County Council, she says you should be going back
to the drawing board on this. If she right or wrong?
To be fair, she has a good antenna for these things, and I think if
local councils are saying this, then the government should have a
look at it. I think the general principles are correct.
Tony Roberts says this is a listening government, so why no
change? Let Toad the government is in
listening mode. -- leads hope. It is easy to say that a certain
approaches the correct one, but we should not patronise these people.
John Mann, the coalition says it wants to give people more power
over their lives. Is it not patronising to say that we do not
trust people to pay their own rent? It is ideology not common sense. I
think there will be yet another U- turn. If there is enough space in
the U-turn Callender, I think we could predict that we will see this
happen. You're either accused of U-turn in
or listening, and I think, frankly, it is pretty much a of a government
to say that these are the changes we want, and there we can change it.
This is a government that is not doing his homework. It is bring --
bringing forward all kinds of Bonnie proposals and gets its
fingers burned. Everybody knows that if Kay Cutts is saying the
government has got it wrong, this must be a pretty extreme proposal,
and it needs to be got rid of. Simplifying and changing the
benefit system is the right thing to do, and we need to pursue this.
There will always be some wrinkles that need to be shaken out, and I
think this is one of them. They're all the families in my constituency
that have invested in a property that see that as an investment,
they do not have to be scared of renting a property to someone on
benefits if they do not want their income, so that is something to be
looked at. Landlords are the most hostile to
this, because instead of them getting the rent, there will be
some, presumption of negotiation over what the rent should be, and
in not getting paid. It will create work and bureaucracy for everyone.
The government says there will be held for vulnerable people.
That means we will have to spend more taxpayers' money covering up
the mistakes of a flawed policy. Let's have a another U-turn in the
next week or so. -- let's have another U-turn.
The government is to listen to these issues and recognise that
there is a small group of people that are going to need some support.
I cannot emphasise enough that we must not patronise people.
It is small details that are not being looked at which create a
political row. It is an enormous task to change
the benefit system, and it is something we have taken on and have
decided to do. That is the right thing to do it.
What about the concern over evictions? We heard from Graham
Chapman, he says that it will lead to more evictions.
You only get evicted if you do not pay your rent, and if we can look
after that small start -- small section of society that cannot
manage, we will be fine. Next, we like to keep an eye on the
stories we cover on the Sunday Politics, add one in particular
springs to mind. It is the first anniversary of the Cotgrave
Revolution, but we have been back to the scene of something that has
all the ingredients of a political version of Midsomer Murders.
Nine new councillor celebrate victory. Nothing unusual about that,
but these newcomers are plotting revolution in, of all places,
This former pit town of, or whether colliery closed in 1993, is now run
by a group of shopkeepers, churchgoers and professionals, who
call themselves the Cotgrave Revolution. So, one year on, what
has happened to the revolution? Have we seen the end of poisonous
parish-pump politics? Well, no, the children of the revolutions in to
have fallen out. Two defections, two resignations, including the
leading light, Penny Bunn. You would have thought we have
stormed the Bastille and not been elected democratically. There were
hate groups on Facebook within days of us being elected, pouring out so
much abuse. There were leaflets flying around the village, nasty
stuff. How worried were you?
Frightened to death. Penny Bunn blames the old guard of
the Labour Party. Time to revisit a Drew Wilkie, seen by some as
Cotgrave's Peter Mandelson. He says it is just politics.
I expect someone to come back to me if I criticise them. I will not
shrink and asked why they are doing that. There was an allegation we
had hacked into their computer system and computers of individuals,
that was refuted by the police after an investigation of.
Community events are proving to be popular with residents. The the
council is now led by this man, Ian Shaw, one of the original members
of the revolutionary team. These days, he is not fond of that
word. It was a misinterpretation, and I
do not want anything to do with it, because I do not want that would
mention from our side. Controversial plans to redevelop
the old pit site on now going ahead, and Ian Shaw feels it is time to
depoliticise the council. I do not think a council of this
size has run for Party politics. It should be working purely for the
benefit of the people who'd it represents, and should get all the
parties wobbling out of bed. But not, it seems, for the benefit
of former town clerk Anne Ellis, once dubbed Cruella De Vil by the
revolutionaries. She lost her job when the new regime took over.
I was sad that there was something of a cloud over it, when I should
have been allowed to leave with my head held high and proud of the
achievement I brought a Cotgrave. She would not co-operate at all,
and it was very frightening for us. She was a very frightening woman
when she wanted to be. Do you stand by the Cruella De Vil
jibe? Yes, I do.
I am yet to be presented with any evidence as to how they acted like
Cruella De Vil. The arguments continue, but Ian
Shaw claims there is a new community spirit in Cotgrave. And
what of the revolution? Postponed indefinitely, and, from what we can
tell, hardly missed. I do not know anything about the
Cotgrave Revolution. I took no notice.
I had no idea there was a revolt going on in Cotgrave!
But Penny Bunn feels they missed a real opportunity.
It is a lovely dream to think that I was going to do something great
for my community and be really involved and make big changes, but
dreams cannot always come true. Are there any lessons to learn from
what has happened in Cotgrave? Well, perhaps just this, that at whatever
level, politics can be a brutal and dirty game.
A political thriller from Rob Whitehouse. Next, some of the other
political stories in the East Midlands this week.
The new Labour majority in Darby says it will fight any plans to
turn more schools in two academies. It backs co-operative trussed like
the 84-1, where schools work more closely with local communities. --
Da Vinci Community College. Beat UKIP member of the UK parliament,
Geoffrey Bloom, once Lincolnshire sausages to be given the same
protected status of champagne and Parma ham. The problem is, our own
departments, DEFRA, is not convinced. Next, the contest for
elected police commissioners. After giving their members a vote, the
Conservatives have a selected Sir Clive Loader as their candidate in
Leicestershire and Rutland. Finally, mega shake-out a council has issued
much tougher guidelines for wind turbines. The county already has
many more than the rest of the region. Now they are being advised
not to approve any less than a mile from people's homes.
John Mann, do you sympathise with Lincolnshire and the dilemma they
have had with all these wind farms? I agree, I do not want any
whatsoever in Bassetlaw. I would have solar panels instead. I would
have conventional energy. We... If David Cameron and George Osborne
and Nick Clegg love them, they can have them. I do not want them in
Bassetlaw, as the vast majority of people do not either. They do not
work. I was one of the original 101 MPs
saying it should be looked at again, and I think I am not offended by
them, but I think from the point of view of the taxpayer, I think we
can spend our money more wisely on solar panels.
So we have got two sceptics on this whole issue of wind turbines. How
do we need renewable target? Anaerobic digestion, solar panels,
ground and air sauced heat pumps, and nuclear power, because it does
not release carbon. I am happy with nuclear power, but
stick the windmills of Shaw, where the results of wind. It is a shame
they have not been put there, because that is where they should
Also, coal, because if we can capture carbon, that has a lot of