24/06/2012 Sunday Politics East Midlands


Andrew Neil and Marie Ashby with political news, including an interview with Danny Alexander. George Galloway and Bob Stewart go head-to-head on the future of the Falklands.

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 24/06/2012. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Here, parts of the region where a third of working households are one


bill away from financial disaster. And we're in Brussels on a special


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2004 seconds


Hello, I am Marie Ashby. My guests in the East Midlands this week as


Shadow Treasury Minister, Chris Leslie, MP for Nottingham East and


the Conservative MP for Derbyshire South, Heather Wheeler. Coming up,


he has been censured for breaching the code of conduct over his


European expenses. So should Councillor David Parsons stand down


as leader of Leicestershire County Council? We have brought the Mayor


of Leicester to Brussels to meet the city mayors here to find out


whether he might have an answer or two.


First, Nottingham-based Experian has told the Sunday Politics that a


club of working households in Ashfield and Leicester are just one


bill away from financial disaster, putting them in the 10 most


vulnerable areas of the country. According to Experian, as many as


238,000 working households have little or no savings and struggle


to feed themselves and their children adequately. The coalition


is constantly emphasising the importance of being better off


working. These are working households and these figures are


frightening. Those would be. It is interesting Experian have done this


work. And also the areas chosen, Ashfield and Leicester. I would


like to see the detail. But actually, what is interesting is


that everything we are doing as a government, the coalition


Government, is trying to make things better for every strata of


society. Some people's experience of what poverty really means is


different to other's. This group and described as traditionally


proud self-reliant working people. That is good, people should be


proud to work. Everything we do is about making work pay. It is good


they are classed as working people, not good -- not good they are in


such dire straits. White class them as one bill away? Everyone gets


bills. -- why are those people classed as one bill away? It has


been interesting the way people's pensions and savings and insurance,


insurance tax, whatever, people have been attacked over the last 15


years with different ways of raising money and France. It has


affected people. Undoubtedly. In Europe constituency Nottingham East,


22,000 and also that one bill away. -- in your constituency. Low and we


are already insignificant poverty in Nottingham as things are. Low


You are saying the Government is doing everything that they can.


seems to be everything that can be done to make things worse, some


changes hitting hard, and very significant changes to housing


benefit, to other welfare changes. But some would say you got us into


this in the first place. That would be said. We are back in recession,


there are not the job opportunities for people to move out of it. More


people have to go to part-time work. It is not as though people do not


want to work, doing the right thing for themselves and their families,


it is the conditions that the Chancellor has decided, stubbornly


raising taxes quickly, cutting back the support that has been there,


not increasing child benefit. The child share component of the


working tax credit, not giving people the opportunity to get back


into work. You are looking at the sea wrong way around. In South


Derbyshire, the number of apprentices rose by 80% in one ear.


That is because there was not meaningful work for those young


kids. -- one a year. Those people have those aspirations. In your


constituency, the number of job- seeker Allowance claimants has gone


up by 19% in 12 months. unemployment has gone down. We can


do statistics. You cannot blame everything... You Cabinet Secretary


said we could be facing a decade of spending cuts. What do these people


have to look forward to? I do not know why Sir Jeremy Heywood said


that. The state is too big. We need a smaller state. I put that on


every leaflet I distributed and got a 9.8% swing, so people believe me.


We do not need a big state, it is too big. We shall leave it there.


Next, a story which has sent political shockwaves through


Leicestershire County Council. The council's Standards Committee has


ruled the leader, David Parsons, breached its code of conduct over


his European expenses. She declined to join us. Were as now is


Councillor Sarah Hill, deputy leader of the lead in Group on the


council. -- with us night. Let us explain how that came about. --


deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats group. He was paid by one


body, East Midlands Councils, they receive the same amount that he was


meant to give back to EMC. The inquiry found he had failed to


repay �4,000 on time, not quite the same as pocketing the money.


but he had the benefit of the money for over 12 months in some cases,


in his back account, so he had the benefit of the interest. Apparently


�150, but he said there was no dishonest intent. Free possibly,


but a massive failure to keep track of what he was doing. -- quite


possibly. What should happen? should resign, not showing the


standards you would expect as leader of the council, breaking the


Code of Conduct on five different accounts. It is disappointing to


see that as a leader of the Council the size of Leicestershire. I am


sure others would agree. He the we were, do you agree? Absolutely not.


-- Heather Wheeler. There is a lot of money revolving here, it can


take six weeks to deal with, but it should not have taken longer than


that. But it absolutely dead. There are also disputes about some


cheques going missing. It has caused an awful lot of trouble.


was warned about this. Have been warned about something is fine. If


it is find... He had to act upon it. Free maybe this system needs to be


changed. -- Maybe this system needs to be changed. He had letters


asking him to change that. should not go through the council.


Should David Parsons stand down? The Liberal Democrats are calling


for that. The Labour group are calling for that. It has to be for


the council and local people to decide. He has been humiliated by


these allegations. He has to go through training, for example, in


council standards. That is part of the punishment. Ultimately, it is


for local people in Leicestershire to have a say on whether he should


continue. He has made an apology. Had the Standards Committee met a


fortnight earlier, they would have been able to suspend David Parsons.


Since then, the Department of Communities has watered down their


powers. How can that be right? is not watering down the powers.


That is what it feels like. It has made it more important. With


allegations of fraud, it is a criminal matter for the police.


Nobody has taken this to the police, which is quite right, because it is


obviously a mix up in paperwork. Leicestershire County Council has


gone from strength to strength under his leadership. None of this


paper work should have been going through his hands. It is far from


over? It has not. Some papers were released on Friday. Nearly �2,000


of outstanding invoices has been discovered. That is unfortunate,


pitting us to square one and I am sure there are revelation will come


out. And the council will discuss this again at the end of the week?


We have a full council, the Conservative group will meet us


before the full council, but we will see where it takes us and I am


sure it will not only. Thank you. From one man clinging on to a power


for another who wants more. The elected Mayor of Leicester, Sir


Peter Soulsby, is urging David Cameron to give him more control


over the local economy and the transport system. John Hess has


taken him to Brussels. This is a journey about political


power. Leicester's city mayor, so Peter Salsbury, heading to Brussels


to meet its city mayor. Economic development is top of his agenda.


The mayor can provide co-ordination and influence, but does not up a


banner to make things happen. are in the historic heart of


Brussels city centre to meet an old Brussels friend, Jef Baeck. They


are some with their own mayor. beats Sir Peter on the mayor's


powers. You have the police, one thing, but all other activities.


You organise a city, commercial activities, even health. I would


say, it is a local king. We have come to visit one of the mayor's


projects that probably merits a royal seal of approval. It is


lovely... It was once derelict, but it has been transformed, promoted


by the city mayor, and has won awards. It was a factory until the


1980s, was in the for almost 20 years. There are now 42 apartments,


if mostly three-bedroomed, poor families to rent. We decided it


could be a good idea to make this from the factory, a place for not


really social housing, but average housing. To create a mixed city.


Fascinating. This is the type of economic regeneration that he wants


as part of his city next for Leicester. If only, he says, he had


the powers of the Brussels may have. The mayor has control of the site,


knotting -- not sitting around waiting for someone, having control.


What local people, you can make things happen. -- with local people.


Time for us to meet the city's mayor. On top of the staircase, a


reminder of predecessors. Freddy Thielemans has been the Socialist


mayor of Brussels for 12 years. Do you have responsibility for


economic development within your area? For example, the police? I do


not have control of those. And have both and they are very important.


The mayor is the chair of the city. And he is the identity of a city.


Exactly right. That is very important.


Quite a wide range of funding available to you?


We have commercial taxes that will local, restaurant taxes, terraces,


taxes on charities, taxes on parking, taxes that helps a lot,


giving us and the Normans independence.


He faces elections this autumn, with public transport a big issue.


We want to improve what is happening in the city, more backing


of public transport, more individual possibilities, like


walking, cycling, motor biking. I think that that is truly the


future demand. The city mayor of Brussels, Freddy


Thielemans, is more than just a figurehead with significant


political powers over police and economic development, for example,


that out of powers because Salsbury wants for Leicester and he is


taking that message to Downing Street. -- the sort of powers that


Sir Peter Soulsby wants. It is not just about powers. It is also about


providing leadership. To that extent, the role of the mayor of


Brussels and one of a UK cities such as Les there are many similar.


Two men with very different powers to run their cities. -- such as


Leicester. He wants to tell the Prime Minister that Brussels has


the answer for me UK. If it is good enough for Boris


Johnson, surely he should have more powers? I think it is a pretty


convincing case. If you are the leader of a Cabinet, as in


Nottingham, whatever the form of constitution, I think our cities


and local authorities do need to have more powers devolved to them.


Ultimately, we have to accept that we are living in one of the most


centralised constitution's anywhere in the developed world. Whitehall


is very good at clinging on to Paris. Across the political divide,


we all sometimes see -- clinging on to Paras. We all sometimes say that,


despite all those promises about devolving, it has not been


happening. Will David Cameron give them more? The public and


astonished at the short memories of politicians. There were referendums


all over the country asking what people like a mayor. Nottingham


said no. But no new cars. Should there be more? -- but no new Paras.


The new mayors coming in, where the towns and cities said yes, there is


the appetite on it. That will show how good they are, then be able, as


they will have a cabinet meeting with all the mayors coming to a


number 10, it is all very exciting. But should they have to prove


themselves? Absolutely. Exactly as Boris Johnson proved himself, being


re-elected, do you really think everyone will go carte blanche and


have tax-raising powers? The idea of Derek Hatton in Liverpool!


the idea that they should only get those if elected. Let me finish. --


if re-elected. It is the cities and the people that should be able to


shape their own destinies, not wait to be told by departments in


Whitehall. We are seeing it as the budgets are cut, councils becoming


very dependent on central Government. What about localism


bill? Everything how you have recalled... It dictates to councils.


You must have been sitting through a different bill. I suspect I was.


And should be elected police commissioners would have something


to say. When we have those elections, yes. There is danger of


a dish joint. A meal that is directly-elected, a police


commissioner, -- an air that is directly-elected, Police


commissioner, but we need to sort out from an English perspective


what we are doing on devolution. The difficulty is the boundaries.


If it was a city with a city police force, it would be right to have


someone like on us. Time for a round-up of the stories and 60


seconds. -- in 60 seconds.


US retailer, Walgreen, is being �4 billion on a 45% in Alliance Boots.


Walgreen would have the option to take over in three years' time.But


we are committed no jobs will be lost. We think it is an opportunity


to grow up jobs. Leicestershire police say they have


acted on claims that some officers have stopped and searched a


disproportionate number of black people. Equality and Human Rights


Commission says it will take legal action unless the ports can prove


the situation has improved. Corbett Conservative MP has launched a


macro blocking site to rival Twitter. She has regularly been the


victim of abuse from twitters that she has described as immoral and


misogynistic. Margaret Thatcher brought in the right to buy council


homes. Now the coalition is allowing the Labour majority in


Derby to keep the proceeds of new sales.


All those years that councils complained they could not keep hold


of the money from council house sales at the coalition has made


this happen. It is very partial, looking at the details, being only


allowed to keep the proceeds of the right to buy in some council house


sales. That means the council will have a few tens of thousands for


every sale, but will that replace like-for-like the houses that are


sold on? I think it is very dubious. The proceeds can be kept as long as


it is invested in new homes. have not seen new builds in social


housing. I am really sorry... you know how many new houses?


is terrible. There is just no will to do it. I arrived late here,


because I came from an opening of eight new social houses. This was


the first one of how many that have been done. We have been taking the


money that we have been given, the 50% up until now, and...


waiting lists are just growing. much money? Discounts of up to


�75,000, not leaving a lot for councils? Before it was only 50%,


so it will be more. Wetbacks are better than nothing? Of course.


Andrew Neil and Marie Ashby with the latest political news, including an interview with the chief secretary to the treasury, Danny Alexander. Also in the programme, Respect MP, George Galloway and defence select committee member, Bob Stewart, go head-to-head on the future of the Falklands.

Download Subtitles