01/07/2012 Sunday Politics East Midlands


01/07/2012

Andrew Neil and Marie Ashby with the latest political news and debate including the Leader of the House of Lords, Lord Strathclyde, on plans to reform the second chamber.


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The company behind a proposal to provide 6,000 new jobs talks

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exclusively to us. And why Liberal Democrats are

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1681 seconds

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snubbing elections for Police I am Marie Ashby and my guests in

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the East Midlands this week know what it is like to grapple with the

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challenges facing our local authorities. Richard Blunt is the

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Conservative leader of North West Leicestershire and Anne Western is

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on the Labour Derbyshire County Council.

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Coming up: A massive freights project that could create up to

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6,000 new jobs. The company behind it give their first interview to us.

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It is a big scheme, an important scheme. It is significant. We are

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working hard with our technical team to assess all the impacts,

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both positive and less positive. And why Liberal Democrat in one of

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our counties are refusing to put up a candidate for elected police

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commissioner. The Health Secretary is being asked

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to investigate claims that patient safety was put at risk in hospitals

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in Lincolnshire because of an obsession with targets. The former

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chief executive of the United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust has

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been gagged from speaking to the media in a �500,000 pay-off.

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Rising debts and ageing populations. Pressure on our hospitals is rising,

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but what happens when it gets too much? In late 2008, Lincoln County

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Hospital was experiencing a period of demand, and staff were being

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placed under more pressure to meet targets without any additional

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resources. Documents handed to the Sunday Politics show that bosses

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had concerns about patient safety. They requested a review of the

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situation but were turned down by NHS regional managers. My concerns

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were that the pressures coming up on the trust from outside could

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compromise patient safety. I stood up to those pressures and when it

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got to the point where I could not stand them any longer, I resigned

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and made my concerns about patient safety public. Lincolnshire MP

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Stephen Phillips has written to the Health Secretary Andrew Lansley

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asking for an urgent investigation. What we need is to see all the

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documents so we can see whether or not the last Government's target

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culture led to risks being taken with patient safety, added that is

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right and give officials within the Department of Health were en

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forcing these targets and giving rise to risks with patient health

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and safety, they will have to be held to account. Both the Hospitals

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Trust and NHS Midlands and East to say that patient safety is a top

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priority and that more talent -- mortality rates have fallen in

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recent years. It is too simple to say that targets are good or bad.

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You have to look at the whole picture. The whole picture is that

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the NHS is under more pressure today than it has ever been. It is

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up to the Health Secretary to decide whether to reopen the row

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that has Dr this trust in recent years. -- that has played to the

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stress in recent years. Do you think the trust have acted

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against the public interest by stopping and talking about what

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happened? The difficulty is that none of us know the exact details.

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The first fundamental principle is that this is public money and

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people are entitled to know where it is being spent. There are

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several potential scenarios. It could be about personality clashes,

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it could be about other personal issues we do not know about. It

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might not be relevant -- relevant for the public to know. It is about

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patient safety, I cannot imagine that there are not routes through

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the NHS hierarchy through which things could have been reported. I

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would be very concerned if it is about patient safety. Somebody

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somewhere, within the NHS all within the Department of Health,

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needs to look at this to establish what the story is about. We know

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there are concerns about patient safety. Surely patients have the

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right to know what is happening on this case. The target culture is

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always scary. If you have a certain amount of money, you will spend in

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is certain way. What caught my eye in the story was the fact that the

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person he was defending himself was put in his house on the line to

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defend it. When you are fighting the NHS at that level, that must be

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-- you must be incredibly strong. Our health of his more elected to

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come forward because of this? -- our health bosses more out --

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reluctant to come forward because of this? The safety issues have to

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be the first thing to be established beyond doubt. If there

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are significant patient safety issues, immediate action has to be

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taken and if the things this person has to say contribute to that, they

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need to be made available. A leading developer is planning to

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build a huge new freight depot near Castle Donington. It will be so big

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that the company, Roxhill, claimed it could create 6,000 jobs. They

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have been speaking for the first time about the project to our

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Political Editor John Hess. Another delivery, another heavy

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lorry on our congested roads. This is junction 24 of the M1 motorway

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near East Midlands Airport. It is tucked out of sight from passing

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drivers. This is farmland which could make way for a huge

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distribution centre linking rail and motorway networks. There have

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been consultation meetings with local residents, but some are

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outraged at the prospects of noise and disruption. The company behind

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the scheme, Roxhill, is unrepentant. One of its directors, Kate Bedson,

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gave her as its first media interview about its ambitions.

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site will act as a kind of inland port for goods to come in from

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overseas. We are expecting to develop up to 6 million square feet.

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Evidence suggests that will generate 6,000 jobs. An existing

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freight line linking Nottingham and Birmingham would be extended to the

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proposed site. Junction 24 is very important for the region. It is

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close to capacity at the moment. The work we are hoping to do there

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will improve junction 24. We are proposing to give way to judge in

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23 and puts in a new bypass. That sort of talk is attracting

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influential backing. It is an opportunity for us to link both

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rail and air transport. This is the second largest air transport

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freight in the UK. The opportunity of linking rail to it would be an

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enormous strategic advantage for this area. It would put over �10

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million of business race into the local council. We need jobs and

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economic growth. That is a major factor. In a time of recession, he

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would have thought that the prospect of 6,000 jobs would have

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been welcomed with open arms, but not here, it seems. I don't think

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for a minute it can be 6,000 permanent jobs, and even if there

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are 6,000, unemployment here is very low, so that will be 6,000

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people coming into here when we are already under strain on the busiest

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motorway junction in the country. Residents from nearby villages are

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fighting the development. village itself will be completely

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ring-fenced by a railway system and continual freight traffic movement.

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This part of the M1 might be the shape of warehouses to come. 50

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miles further South, near Daventry rail terminal wants to expand.

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he wants -- if you want, get the development Denham and reassess

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what is actually required in his immediate area. The Government

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wants a network of such rail interchanges to take more freight

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off the roads. Justine Greening says the Government is considering

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taking measures to what she calls and block obstacles in the way of

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construction. She means the Government may consider planning

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powers to approve rail and transport infrastructure projects

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deemed to be of national significance. I support the

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Government's policy a strategic rail freight into James's. --

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interchanges. It will be good for business. This woman is planning

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the next stage in her Facebook campaign to block the scheme.

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have had 5,000 leaflets printed and we will get them out to every

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household in the area. This form of transport remains a welcome sight

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in the village. The proposed rail freight interchange is set to be an

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end Markham neighbour. The residents say it is not a done deal,

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but the economic case may prove to be too powerful and persuasive for

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government. There are a number of hurdles to

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clear, but you must welcome the prospect of new jobs. If there were

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no villages anywhere near junction 24, it would be easy to say, yes,

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we will have the jobs and the business rates and we will plough

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the money back into the economy. Unfortunately, there are four

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lovely villages there. There are ancient villages and people have

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lived there for a long time. Their lives and their future is now under

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threat. But we have lost a lot of jobs in the East Midlands including

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redundancies from Bombardier and Thorntons. This could be great news

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for our economy? Yes, and in principle, you have to welcome jobs

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and investment at times like these. The issue is that this particular

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area is not an area of high unemployment at, as areas further

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the M1 R. When you are looking at this daughter of -- this sort of

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strategic site, this has many advantages that her sides do not

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have. You would struggle to find as many advantages at another site.

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This scheme could bring in �10 million in business rates. I'm sure

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you would like to get your hands on that money. The Government said

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they would give business rates back to councils. We get about 10% back.

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The are the thing that is quite clever with the proposal is they

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have taken the pressure of the M1. They are going to provide a bypass

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for Kegworth. The Government will never be able to afford that in the

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next 20 years. It was only in March last year that your council said

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you were proposing to allocate any land -- to not allocate any land

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for strategic distribution. Is that still the case? Decisions will not

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be taken by our district. Decisions will be made in Bristol, which is a

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concern for local people. We have to try to win as many concessions

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as possible. I told the applicants that they had to sit down with

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every parish council and borough councillor and everyone in the area

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and convince them that they can put this in there and mitigate the

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damage to the villages. Say you are seeking assurances from Roxhill?

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That is our job as local politicians. We do not have to look

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at the whole of the colony of the UK. We are looking at one area. We

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are not desperate for jobs, but give jobs to come, I know in

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Derbyshire, where there is more unemployment, it is a different

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position. Areas within 10 miles to needed jobs. You mentioned the

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concerns of local residents. Residents to say that before the

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proposal gathers more momentum, you should look at the expanding depots

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at Lutterworth and Daventry instead of swarming up more farmland.

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is true, and within the immediate area, there may not be greater

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levels of unemployment, but within the band beyond that, and

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employment is an issue, and if you get in Nottingham, Derby and beyond,

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it is a significant issue. For me, if that is the site which is chosen

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and developed an Beragh 6,000 jobs on offer, we have to look at

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transport networks to allow people to access those jobs. Justine

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Greening has championed these integrated rail schemes. The

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coalition is already talking about taking measures to speed up the

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planning process to allow these things to happen. There is a

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difference between the strategic national importance of this and

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making it accessible to locals. It is the next year down of highway

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development and improvement that needs to be looked at to make sure

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we deal with the immediate site and the connections that needs. Can I

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give you one number to think about? 500 metres. We live in villages.

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500 metres is the distance to neighbouring villages. Say you

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would like people in Bristol to take that into account? 500 metres

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is not a big difference. We have to leave it there. Now we look at the

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other political stories in the East The police are investigating the

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European travel expenses of Leicestershire Conservative leader

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David Parsons. He has already been censored by the standards committee

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for breaching a code of conduct. Nottingham South MP Lillian

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Greenwood is urging the Government not to cut its grant for social

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housing improvements. She claims those already in -- completed have

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saved pensioner's blue mac lives by making them warmer in winter.

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hope the Minister will confirm the funding and enabled Nottingham city

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-- city homes to finish the work. The new college has been praised as

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one of the country's top 10 improving schools. She warned

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Michael Gove that plans to reintroduce O-levels would creche

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motivated students. Liberal Democrats in Derbyshire

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will not be put in a anybody to stand for elected police

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commissioner in the county. The crime spokesman for the counter --

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County said it was a stupid idea and will come back to bite the

:44:44.:44:54.
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The man in question, Tony Rodgers, is here. Colourful language. It

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will come back to bite the Tories. How exactly? It is fraught with

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danger. I am totally opposed to party politics within the police

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force. If you have just one person he was totally responsible, can

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hire and sack the chief constable, the only people in my view which

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will be able to afford to stand for the police commissioner our

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political parties, which is to say the chances are... So you don't

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want them and you don't think we need him? Is the Prime Minister

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saying that our police force in the past and police authorities have

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been rubbished? I don't think so. Richard? They have done a good job.

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There is no doubt in my view that everyone associated with the police

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at a local council level has gone native. I do believe me

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accountability is not working at the moment. Mrs a high risk

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strategy. It is a little bit like Boris Johnson in London, it all

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depends on the character and Canada of the person who get the job.

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know that we are getting elected commissioners as a result of

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coalition legislation, so you are defined by party. Our own party is

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opposed to the policy of police commissioners. It just happened to

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be one of the Tory policies that they could not keep out of the

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coalition agreement. We have kept a lot of right-wing Tory philosophy

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out of the agreement, but this is not one of those things. Ed Davey

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said this week that he would expect Liberal Democrats to field

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candidates or at least get behind one. What the party nationally has

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decided is to let it go to the regions. The regional parties can

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do what they want to do. We will be standing one in Northampton because

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we actually have a person there who I think is highly suitable to be a

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police commissioner and will probably win the seat. His one

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enough? It is really up to the individual counties. That is the

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only county that really wants to stand a candidate for Police

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Commissioner. A I think there is a difference here between reality and

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what is being said. We are where we are. Police commissioners are

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coming in whether we agree with it or not. In Derbyshire, and our

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candidate, the rest of us don't agree with it, but we are stuck

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with it. Do you walk away or fight it? We have to fight it to

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represent our communities. I have known Tony for several years. He is

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a realist and he is very shrewd. He comes here and stands on the moral

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high ground, but basically, they can't win, the Lib Dems can't win.

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Why would you want to take the backlash of all the negative

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feelings against the Lib Dems in government and risk losing your

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�5,000 deposit? Why would you what to do that? If the Liberal

:48:01.:48:06.

Democrats were to stand a candidate and we thought we could take on the

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Labour Party and the Tory party or -- Tory party, we can prove that we

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could win. It is a problem that we didn't know how this will work out.

:48:17.:48:21.

It is all a bit of a stab in the dark. I am concerned about the

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politics in this, because these - but the Conservatives in this are

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not put in for a political person, they have chosen a retired RAF

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senior officer for Leicestershire. I applaud that, because they are

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bringing in somebody who is far more non-political. You don't look

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happy with that. That is not the case in Derbyshire. The

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Conservative candidate there is the current deputy leader of the

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Conservative group on the council and a political operator. I don't

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think you can take politics out of this because of the way it has been

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set up. The whiskeys you either get somebody who knows something about

:49:01.:49:04.

how the police service operates or you get somebody who comes in with

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no knowledge. It is an almighty gamble. And has raised an

:49:10.:49:15.

interesting point. It has been a big surprise to another of those he

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will be the Conservative candidate and that itself is fraught with

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danger. I'm sure we will find out soon enough.

:49:21.:49:24.

Thanks to all my guests. If you want to stand for Police

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Commissioner, you have until mid- October to submit your nomination.

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