10/06/2012 Sunday Politics East Midlands


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


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