10/06/2012 Sunday Politics East Midlands


10/06/2012

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

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that benefits changes could lead to more evictions and rent arrears.

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1713 seconds

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And there has been a big increase Might guests are conservative MP

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Mark Spencer as John Mann, Labour MP for Bassetlaw.

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We revealed that laid-back Conservative MPs have warned the

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government their benefits changes could lead to more evictions and

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rent arrears. And I will be revisiting the

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children of the reserve -- revolution in Cotgrave. Did it

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work? We can disclose that there has been

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a big rise in the number of vacancies for carers of vulnerable

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people in most part of the East Midlands. According to figures, in

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April in Derbyshire, there were a formidable 94 vacancies less. But

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in Leicestershire there were double the figure from last year. In

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Lincolnshire, there was a 600% rise. And in Nottinghamshire, they were

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up by over 1000, 50%. Mark Spencer, on the face of it,

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these are pretty alarming figures. There has to be some concerted

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action to improve the state -- status of carers?

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It is good news we are talking about vacancies not redundancies.

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There are jobs out there. We need to raise the profile of some of

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these couriers and vocational Korea's that people may choose to

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go down. We have focused for a long time on going to university and

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getting a degree, when their lorry number of career options out there

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for people that offer a great deal of personal reward.

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What do we need to do to get a career structure and salary

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reflecting the importance of the work?

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We need to encourage people to go into that, and we need to encourage

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those in the sector to reflect, both in terms of salary and support

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of the career, the right skills and rewards.

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If you pay peanuts, this is what you get. The problem is the

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turnover. Unqualified, untrained staff going, being paid the minimum

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wage to work nights, struggling to cope with the work. And they are

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leaving and are not getting replaced. That is the problem.

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It is also that this has been a problem with successive government.

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Your government did not break this problem.

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It has been a bigger problem in Nottinghamshire ever since the

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Conservative county council decided to sell off the good care homes

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with well trained, experienced staff and put them to the bidders

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in the private sector. This privatisation is a key part of a

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problem. Paying lower wages, less training, people do not want to

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work there, the turnover of staff leaving is huge.

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You are a number of Nottinghamshire County Council, Mark?

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We are lifting the quality of the care homes and are investing in

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them. You talk about quality,

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Lincolnshire, where the number of vacancies has risen by 600% over

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the last year, Unison say that the minimum wage that is paid to some

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of the carers, we are talking about �6.80 an hour. A checkout operator

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get more than that. How can you get quality care like that at poor

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rates of pay? We need to recognise the rewards

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you get from entering that career. Relatives of people in those homes

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are very grateful to those staff, and they get a great deal of reward

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not just financial, but in terms of your career. We need to make sure

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there is a development system so that you can progress through those

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private companies and go up the ladder. It is a stepping stone. If

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you getting at the early stages, you can progress through the

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company. Mark Spencer is talking about

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stepping stones. Is that enough? It is dangerous, because you have

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got vulnerable people in none of the staff looking after them. It is

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particularly chronic at night, that is the Real recruitment problem. A

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minimum wage at night, they are not getting the staff. There is a huge

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problem and there will be scandals emerging.

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There has been scandals a long time before the Conservative government,

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and we have been looking at that very closely to make sure that this

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does not happen. Next, the government's changes have

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come in for a lot of criticism from the opposition, but we can reveal

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that Labour and Conservative councillors have now joined forces

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to warn that they could lead to more evictions and rent arrears.

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If the government's -- the government contributes towards the

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cost of your housing, it can give it to direct your landlord. It

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keeps things simple, and reduces mistakes. But for most people, that

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option is about to be taken away. That is bad news for people like Jo.

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She works part-time as an administrator, and is entitled to

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housing benefit. It but used to come out at the

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beginning of every month, but it that extra money comes in the, I do

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not know what benefit it does to give it to the person who is paying

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it, because I could just do whatever I wanted with it.

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Do you think people could struggle with it?

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Definitely, you will get people who will take advantage of it.

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Now, fears over the change have given rise to a chorus of

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opposition from Nottingham and Nottinghamshire's counsellors.

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If you are giving people money and telling them to pay the rent, there

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will be other priorities, especially these days when you have

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got inflation, or the energy bills to pay, there is a danger of

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massive debt. And eventually evictions.

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Already, bailiffs are reporting an increase in business, largely as a

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result of council tax arrears. But it is not just Labour-led council

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has which are opposed to this particular change to the benefit

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system. -- a Labour-led councils. Nottinghamshire County Council, a

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conservative one, as well as the districts and boroughs, are asking

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the government for a rethink. There are people who may have been

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very reliant on the welfare system for a number of years, and all the

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sudden, they are being asked to take over complete responsibility

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for all their budget. With the best will in the world, many will do it

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and get it right, but we know there will be a significant proportion of

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bad ball really struggle. You are hoping the government will

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change its mind? Mr Cameron and likes to say he is a

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listening Prime Minister had the government is a listening

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government, and I certainly would not dream of asking him to do a U-

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turn, but maybe just a slight turn. We do need to look at this more

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sensibly. What are the chances of a U-turn?

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The government says it wants all households to be responsible for

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their own household budget. But the government says it will look at

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providing support to families who need help with managing their

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finances. There is a cross-party consensus in

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Nottinghamshire that it is the wrong thing to do. Housing

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associations will also be making representations. I think they are

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being extremely naive. The government is not for turning

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Ed Balls. But with a list of coalition U-turn as standing here -

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- stacking up, could there be room for one more.

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The leader of Newark Council says that another look is needed. Is he

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right? Simplifying the benefits system has

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to be the right thing to do. We have to make sure some of the

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extortionate rents get paid. It is important not to patronise people.

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To say these individuals cannot manage their own finances could be

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a bit patronising. Some people can, but there will be a small sector of

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society that cannot, and the government will have to look at

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those people at but -- and protect them. A Kay Cutts, the Tory leader

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of Nottinghamshire County Council, she says you should be going back

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to the drawing board on this. If she right or wrong?

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To be fair, she has a good antenna for these things, and I think if

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local councils are saying this, then the government should have a

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look at it. I think the general principles are correct.

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Tony Roberts says this is a listening government, so why no

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change? Let Toad the government is in

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listening mode. -- leads hope. It is easy to say that a certain

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approaches the correct one, but we should not patronise these people.

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John Mann, the coalition says it wants to give people more power

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over their lives. Is it not patronising to say that we do not

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trust people to pay their own rent? It is ideology not common sense. I

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think there will be yet another U- turn. If there is enough space in

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the U-turn Callender, I think we could predict that we will see this

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happen. You're either accused of U-turn in

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or listening, and I think, frankly, it is pretty much a of a government

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to say that these are the changes we want, and there we can change it.

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This is a government that is not doing his homework. It is bring --

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bringing forward all kinds of Bonnie proposals and gets its

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fingers burned. Everybody knows that if Kay Cutts is saying the

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government has got it wrong, this must be a pretty extreme proposal,

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and it needs to be got rid of. Simplifying and changing the

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benefit system is the right thing to do, and we need to pursue this.

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There will always be some wrinkles that need to be shaken out, and I

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think this is one of them. They're all the families in my constituency

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that have invested in a property that see that as an investment,

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they do not have to be scared of renting a property to someone on

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benefits if they do not want their income, so that is something to be

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looked at. Landlords are the most hostile to

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this, because instead of them getting the rent, there will be

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some, presumption of negotiation over what the rent should be, and

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in not getting paid. It will create work and bureaucracy for everyone.

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The government says there will be held for vulnerable people.

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That means we will have to spend more taxpayers' money covering up

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the mistakes of a flawed policy. Let's have a another U-turn in the

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next week or so. -- let's have another U-turn.

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The government is to listen to these issues and recognise that

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there is a small group of people that are going to need some support.

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I cannot emphasise enough that we must not patronise people.

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It is small details that are not being looked at which create a

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political row. It is an enormous task to change

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the benefit system, and it is something we have taken on and have

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decided to do. That is the right thing to do it.

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What about the concern over evictions? We heard from Graham

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Chapman, he says that it will lead to more evictions.

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You only get evicted if you do not pay your rent, and if we can look

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after that small start -- small section of society that cannot

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manage, we will be fine. Next, we like to keep an eye on the

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stories we cover on the Sunday Politics, add one in particular

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springs to mind. It is the first anniversary of the Cotgrave

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Revolution, but we have been back to the scene of something that has

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all the ingredients of a political version of Midsomer Murders.

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Nine new councillor celebrate victory. Nothing unusual about that,

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but these newcomers are plotting revolution in, of all places,

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This former pit town of, or whether colliery closed in 1993, is now run

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by a group of shopkeepers, churchgoers and professionals, who

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call themselves the Cotgrave Revolution. So, one year on, what

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has happened to the revolution? Have we seen the end of poisonous

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parish-pump politics? Well, no, the children of the revolutions in to

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have fallen out. Two defections, two resignations, including the

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leading light, Penny Bunn. You would have thought we have

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stormed the Bastille and not been elected democratically. There were

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hate groups on Facebook within days of us being elected, pouring out so

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much abuse. There were leaflets flying around the village, nasty

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stuff. How worried were you?

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Frightened to death. Penny Bunn blames the old guard of

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the Labour Party. Time to revisit a Drew Wilkie, seen by some as

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Cotgrave's Peter Mandelson. He says it is just politics.

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I expect someone to come back to me if I criticise them. I will not

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shrink and asked why they are doing that. There was an allegation we

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had hacked into their computer system and computers of individuals,

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that was refuted by the police after an investigation of.

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Community events are proving to be popular with residents. The the

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council is now led by this man, Ian Shaw, one of the original members

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of the revolutionary team. These days, he is not fond of that

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word. It was a misinterpretation, and I

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do not want anything to do with it, because I do not want that would

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mention from our side. Controversial plans to redevelop

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the old pit site on now going ahead, and Ian Shaw feels it is time to

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depoliticise the council. I do not think a council of this

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size has run for Party politics. It should be working purely for the

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benefit of the people who'd it represents, and should get all the

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parties wobbling out of bed. But not, it seems, for the benefit

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of former town clerk Anne Ellis, once dubbed Cruella De Vil by the

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revolutionaries. She lost her job when the new regime took over.

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I was sad that there was something of a cloud over it, when I should

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have been allowed to leave with my head held high and proud of the

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achievement I brought a Cotgrave. She would not co-operate at all,

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and it was very frightening for us. She was a very frightening woman

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when she wanted to be. Do you stand by the Cruella De Vil

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jibe? Yes, I do.

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I am yet to be presented with any evidence as to how they acted like

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Cruella De Vil. The arguments continue, but Ian

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Shaw claims there is a new community spirit in Cotgrave. And

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what of the revolution? Postponed indefinitely, and, from what we can

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tell, hardly missed. I do not know anything about the

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Cotgrave Revolution. I took no notice.

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I had no idea there was a revolt going on in Cotgrave!

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But Penny Bunn feels they missed a real opportunity.

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It is a lovely dream to think that I was going to do something great

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for my community and be really involved and make big changes, but

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dreams cannot always come true. Are there any lessons to learn from

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what has happened in Cotgrave? Well, perhaps just this, that at whatever

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level, politics can be a brutal and dirty game.

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A political thriller from Rob Whitehouse. Next, some of the other

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political stories in the East Midlands this week.

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The new Labour majority in Darby says it will fight any plans to

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turn more schools in two academies. It backs co-operative trussed like

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the 84-1, where schools work more closely with local communities. --

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Da Vinci Community College. Beat UKIP member of the UK parliament,

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Geoffrey Bloom, once Lincolnshire sausages to be given the same

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protected status of champagne and Parma ham. The problem is, our own

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departments, DEFRA, is not convinced. Next, the contest for

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elected police commissioners. After giving their members a vote, the

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Conservatives have a selected Sir Clive Loader as their candidate in

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Leicestershire and Rutland. Finally, mega shake-out a council has issued

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much tougher guidelines for wind turbines. The county already has

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many more than the rest of the region. Now they are being advised

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not to approve any less than a mile from people's homes.

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John Mann, do you sympathise with Lincolnshire and the dilemma they

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have had with all these wind farms? I agree, I do not want any

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whatsoever in Bassetlaw. I would have solar panels instead. I would

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have conventional energy. We... If David Cameron and George Osborne

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and Nick Clegg love them, they can have them. I do not want them in

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Bassetlaw, as the vast majority of people do not either. They do not

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work. I was one of the original 101 MPs

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saying it should be looked at again, and I think I am not offended by

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them, but I think from the point of view of the taxpayer, I think we

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can spend our money more wisely on solar panels.

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So we have got two sceptics on this whole issue of wind turbines. How

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do we need renewable target? Anaerobic digestion, solar panels,

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ground and air sauced heat pumps, and nuclear power, because it does

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not release carbon. I am happy with nuclear power, but

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stick the windmills of Shaw, where the results of wind. It is a shame

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they have not been put there, because that is where they should

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Also, coal, because if we can capture carbon, that has a lot of

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