07/10/2012 Sunday Politics East Midlands


Andrew Neil and Marie Ashby with political news including Defence Secretary Philip Hammond from the Conservative Party Conference and Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander.

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And here in the East Midlands, up we ask the Prime Minister, are we


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getting a raw deal from the Hello. In the East Midlands, are we


getting a raw deal from the government? We ask the Prime


Minister. My guests today are Heather Wheeler, the Conservative


MP for South Derbyshire and Graham Allen, Labour MP for Nottingham


North. First, there is no getting away


from transport and there could be a hint of good news for the region.


Four Derbyshire MPs are calling on the government to re-think the


decision not to award a contract to build rolling stock for the new


Thameslink line to Bombardier in Derby. The contract went instead to


Siemens, but in the light of the decision to halt the bidding


process for the West Coast Line, the MPs think it is time to look


again at the Thameslink Contract. You are one of the MPs behind this.


Why are you calling for this review? Certain building blocks


will tender. The forecasts were completely wrong. The tender has


been put on poles. What makes you think there is something wrong?


forecasting. The number of people that might be using the carriages.


It is not just about buying carriages and getting on with it.


We are really concerned that they have used this model.


Mid Derbyshire MP Pauline Latham, who has also joined this cause,


says the new Transport Minister, Patrick McLoughlin has hit the


ground running. Do you think the fact that he's a


Derbyshire Dales MP will get you a sympathetic hearing? The I


certainly hope so. He knows it inside and out. If there is any


intimation that he is too close to it, he can let the number to deal


with that. That is great. How far should this review go? I should


think that it would go back to previous contracts. It looks like


the government currently has lost control and I think there needs to


be a review and we need to make sure that the contracts are awarded


on a fair and even basis. These decisions will have a tremendous


impact on Arab region and also people who come from -- or an hour


region at and also people who come from Mottingham. -- Nottingham.


Labour had their own rail fiasco when National Express had to hand


back the running of the East Coast line to your governmet, after they


bid too much for the deal and found they couldn't deliver. This is


because taxpayers were funding of the rail for 150 years. I think the


way they did this in the first place set up a lot of problems for


20 years or so and we have been labouring under poor decisions.


actual problem is about forecasting. This science is an awed. If they


have got the forecast wrong, -- this science is an art. If they


have got the forecast wrong, the whole thing is wrong. It has got to


be right. They make fantastic products that are built by a


brilliant people in a great area. But are you confident that you can


get this review and that anything will change? I do not know but we


are prepared to give it a go. A new report says the East Midlands


is getting a raw deal when it comes to government funding. The report,


by the left-leaning think-tank, the Smith Institute, found that when it


comes to spending on regeneration and house building, funding in the


East Midlands was down by half. In the last round of regional grant


funds we got only �2 million out of �690 million of approved funds. And


that the East Midlands gets the lowest levels of support, even


lower than the South East of England. Our Political Editor asked


David Cameron if he is ignoring the East Midlands. I do not think that


the East Midlands is winning out. It is one of the areas where new


businesses are starting up faster than anywhere else. Look across the


country and we have created hundreds of jobs and the public


sector in the last two years. -- in the public sector. This area is


well placed to expand and grow. The regional growth fund is just one of


the things that can support that. The organisation that represents


East Midlands councils, many of them are conservative or run, and


they say that the East Midlands are losing out under the affordable


housing programme. They come up with the figure of 4%. They say


that is equivalent to 1,000 new homes a year, and they are saying


that if you compare that to other regions, like the East of England,


it is losing out compared to what it was getting a two or three years


ago. The problem is not that they are not building enough affordable


homes, it is not -- it is that we are not building enough homes at


all. We are telling local councils, if you build homes, it is your


choice, but you keep the council tax. That is what we need. This way,


the people in the Midlands can afford to buy their first home.


This is a region that has seen a huge growth. Right now we are


telling developers that they can only build if they build affordable


homes. That means that developers are not building anything. We have


said that if you want to change the rules and get on and bills some


houses that would be better for -- and build some houses, that would


be better for Britain. With us now is Housing expert


Richard Clark, author of this new report. What is your response to


what the Prime Minister says? think it is excellent that the


Prime Minister but I used housing in the East Midlands. The East


Midlands have lost out badly and the allocation of housing fund in.


The region has lost about half of the money it should have had. As a


result of that, we have lost out on several thousand homes and jobs.


Why is the link between housing and manufacturing so important to get


right? Housing is both a direct and indirect supporter of the economy.


If you have housing, you have a new employers and people want to come


up live in the region. As well as that, there is the direct


employment that comes from actually building the houses themselves, and


that has not just the construction industry, it is also the supply


chain. The estimate is that you get twice as many jobs from the supply


chain as you do from construction. Your report says that there should


be far more done. A certainly. sounds like the East Midlands is


getting a raw deal from your government. The difficulty is it is


about aspiration. We have a new college that specialises in


building. This is all happening. We have become a real hub for the


trades. I have read the report and I have seen the statistics. I do


understand all of that. But it just seems to be, maybe, just do it for


yourself. A will that be enough? it will not. We need to do both.


There are good things going on in the region, but also, the


Government has specific reasons to boost new jobs and boost new homes,


and it is really important that the affordable homes actually generate


more private building as well. It is a multiplying the fact and we


have lost out on both of these things.


Your leader admitted this week that Labour had been too late in


tackling the affordable housing crisis, so hasn't David Cameron got


a point when he says freeing up construction companies to build all


types of housing will make the housing market more affordable?


think people would like to go back to the Labour Day is where we had


much more money. We had housing money and everyone knows that


construction is the first thing that sets the economy alight. You


can bring trades in. That has a multiplier effect on the economy.


The figures had shown without any shadow of a doubt that there is a


reduction in growth money and jobs money in the region. And we are


losing out. We are reaping the whirlwind. You cannot abolish the


regional development without these consequences. We cannot say it is


just about aspiration. If you do not have the resources, East


Midlands is losing out. You raise this issue in your report. We have


few people to speak up for us. That is a huge problem. We think it is


an even bigger problem in this area, because we have a relatively


fragmented -- because we have a relatively fragmented. We have to


get this right on behalf of the region. Yes, there is a big problem


there, and it needs to be addressed, but not just by the Government, it


needs to be addressed within the region by the agency's. And the MPs


who were sitting with us here. problem is that nobody speaks for


this region. At the moment it is just Whitehall who speaks for


England. Until we strengthen our local government... We all work


very hard across all parties. we need that strong voice to speak


for the East Midlands. We all need to speak out but we need a regional


dimension to what we do. We ought to get on and build our economy


like the Scots and the Welsh. has been over a year since David


Cameron and Nick Clegg really East Midlands. As a good Derbyshire grow,


I can tell you about the growth fund in my city. There is a lot hot


air around this proposal, that proposal. We want to see real


things on the ground and that means a lot of money and resources. Not


more than our fair share, but as these figures show, the East


Midlands is losing out, and readers want our fair share. But it does


not all doom and gloom in your report. The region has a very, very


good case. We have actually got a brilliant history of delivery, and


we think the central government should back that, and we think the


agencies within the region should be promoting it even more strongly


than they already are. Also, because we are good at delivering


and we have not received our share of the money, the national


performance is damaged by. There is a delivery problem in the housing


and the economy with economic funding and we could use some we


allocated sources. Let's look at a pet project of


yours that seems to be in trouble. You've put together the early


intervention scheme with cross- party support and even had praise


from David Cameron but it seems to be in trouble. Just tell us first


of all in a nutshell what early intervention is. It is helping


young children and babies when they needed. Spend the money now rather


than when the problems are already deep-rooted and there are problems.


Do we help young teenage mums. We have got lots of different


programmes, family support initiatives. This is one of the key


things. This has to be evidence based before you deploy things like


this. They produce results, and above all, they save us all a lot


of money and the long term. Last week announcement -- last week's


announcement by Nick Clegg about as replacements means that the money


will come from your pot. -- Nursery replacements means that the money


will come up from your pot. If you just keep taking money from the


programmes and the centres and the support projects in Nottingham and


Derby and elsewhere, what you're doing is taking one part of the


jigsaw are way that supports those two -- supporters children. Does


this mean that Europe Government is abandoning early intervention by


swapping one pot to the other? -- your government. What is really


important is that people understand that no Sri places was a major --


that nursery places for us was a major project. You have had the


backing of the Prime Minister, so we asked him if he is still


committed to early intervention. Absolutely. The truth is, real


disadvantage sets in when children are very, very young. Some will


criticise us for what we have done in terms of tuition fees for


universities, but have spent -- instead of spending last on


nurseries, we are spending more or. Children from the poorest homes


come when they going to school, more money follows the child into


the council. Do you feel reassured? I could get a bad reputation if the


Prime Minister keeps saying good things about me. I think David


Cameron and Nick Clegg are very personally committed to early


intervention. The Treasury and other officials in Whitehall, and


this goes back to the transport problem, maybe it's with the


officials and not the ministers, but they are going to abolish the


early intervention grant. This is what the authorities used to


dedicate money to these specific programmes that help these young


babies and young children. We know there are tough times, but surely


there is an argument that this kind of funding is vital to give people


jobs and give children the right start. But I think the difficulty


is, showing the evidence over the last few years, do you think it has


got any better? We want results from this. This is an even bigger


idea because it brings all of the groups together that will be


dealing with these families that caused so much trouble. I have


written so day that David Cameron is speaking a lot about this, but I


want to know if he is going to keep this? The Treasury is going to take


�1.5 billion out of the intervention grant, and that will


mean disaster for a lot of young babies and mums. I have given David


Cameron the option. I will put my money where my mouth is. What about


people who use intervention schemes? We have spoken to parents


at one of a children's centres. have been learning how to be a good


parents and how to give discipline and direction to my child. They


held me look after her. -- they help me look after her. I want her


to Lewisham -- listen in English. It will make her better at speaking


English. It is also fun for her. is a great way for the children to


get ready for school so they are not nervous when they get to school.


There have got all of this time to interact with different toys and


children. You can see from the way those people were talking about how


important the scheme is for the parents and these children. Could


you not see that? What worries me is the default position is surprise.


There are other ways to do this. We all used to chip in. We are used to


do a morning every week. That is how you do it. We seemed to have


just decided that the state supplies everything. There is no


more money. What are we going to do? This is where the big society


comes and. This is incredibly important. We need a safety net, we


do not need the safe -- state to supply everything. The money will


supply everything. The money will be squeezed out of the system,


be squeezed out of the system, unfortunately. What we have at the


moment that the state supplying everything because they are having


to supply things when things go wrong later in life. Billions of


pounds go to educational remedies to get people off of drugs and


drink. There is not an never-ending pot of money. This is a money-


saving programme, because... In the long term, you have to have a long-


term view. They will never need your money ever again. They will be


taxpayers and they will be raising geese and families of their own. I


am asking the Prime Minister to have another look at this. Stick


with his rhetoric but give the money. What would you cut in place


of that? I will cut the deficit massively by not spending money


later in life on all of the things that go wrong. This is not about a


middle-class playgroup. These are people who need serious help. That


the bans later on in life. Every taxpayer gets a bounty. -- that


rebounds later on a life. Time to catch up on the other stories this


There is a new curtain-call for the Hippodrome in Derby. The theatre


was doused by a fire. Now the council is looking into what to do


about it. A Tory county councillor has resigned from Leicestershire's


Conservative group, saying that he is disillusioned over the party's


pedalling over the investigation into expense claims. There is a


debate about what kind of funeral was had for Richard the third.


Having died before the Church broke in Rome, Richard would have been a


Catholic. Archaeologists have found remains dating back to the first


century AD. Work is finally about to begin on fixing peace -- this


That is what I call a traffic delay. I am sure we will all look forward


to those improvement. But not as much as we are looking forward to


the police commissioner elections. You are one of the few Labour MPs


who think they are a good idea. certainly do. You have to have a


public voice in policing. You cannot interfere. You have to have


a more strategic view of the public. Should the police also be helping


out on early intervention? We did that in Nottingham very


successfully. We had a great public pressure put the police, and I


think the police commissioner would need to be -- we had a great


relationship with the police, and I think the police commissioner could


be offer a lot. Month for today -- today we had one at our Canada its


in Derby. People will get -- today we had one of our candidates in


Derby. People will get to know them. Eddie was to get more information


Andrew Neil and Marie Ashby with the latest political news, interviews and debate including Defence Secretary Philip Hammond from the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham and Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander.

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