25/11/2012 Sunday Politics East Midlands


Andrew Neil and Marie Ashby with the latest political news, interviews and debate.

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Here in the East Midlands: Seven cyclists killed so far this


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2246 seconds


year. Now a campaign has won new Seven cyclists killed so far this


year. That's the terrible toll in one county of the East Midlands. We


meet the schoolchildren campaigning for improvements after the death of


a friend. If you are riding a bike, you have to wear a helmet. And if


not, don't ride a bike. And "read all about it". The sale


of our biggest local newspapers. Hello, I'm Marie Ashby. Joining me


this week, the Conservative MP for Harborough, Sir Edward Garnier, and


Lilian Greenwood, Labour MP for Nottingham South.


We've been banging on about it for long enough. Now our MPs have


cottoned on, too. They've decided to hold a summit to discuss why


we're doing so badly when it comes to getting our hands on Government


cash. In the recent round of Regional Growth Fund handouts, the


East Midlands came bottom of the East, and our neighbours in the


This week, our MPs heard from the author of a report which we


featured last month outlining the scale of the problem.


Some people will say it's about time you all got your heads


together. Well, there will be many things we disagree about in terms


about political party but we want to get the best for our region and


for our counties and constituencies and if there is government money


going, we want to get out dips on it. How important is it for you to


join forces on this? Very important. We have collaborated, for example,


under Glenfield Heart Hospital. And on a railway line through Sheffield


into our two areas. Of course some might say there are some obvious


and tedious political battle lines which we fired across but on an


issue like this, if there is government money either coming from


Whitehall or in directive from the European Union, we want to get our


hands on it. The work at the meeting, Lilian. How did it go? --


you were at the meeting. We need to make sure we are singing from the


same hymn sheet but it was worrying the East Midlands is ready losing


out, both when it comes to a regional growth and money but also


on the building of affordable homes, which we know are desperately


needed here because we have a rapidly growing population.


desert not tell the story, actually, that there were so few MPs at the


meeting? -- does it not? You say this is very important. Meetings


are arranged at short notice and the summit will take place in the


new year, when we can all get there. But it is no good pressure groups


as saying, turn up tomorrow. Our diaries do not work like that.


I do feel we are feeling the loss of the development agencies.


let's see how things go. A worrying rise in the number of


cyclists who've been killed in one of our counties this year has led


to calls for stricter safety rules for people out cycling and for


improvements to our roads to make it safer for them. There have been


seven deaths so far this year in Nottinghamshire, compared to two


last year. Rebecca Sheeran's been to a school where two of their


pupils have lost their lives. More and more people are taking up


cycling but some shocking statistics show just how dangerous


the roads are in Nottinghamshire, so now a new campaign that has


started says wearing one of these and selling bikes with these should


be compulsory. Lessons in cycling safety have an


added poignancy at this school near Nottingham. Two children have been


killed in separate cycling accidents this year. Jack and Corey


or waiting for their friends to turn up for a game of football. He


never arrived. He was killed in an accident with a car on his way to


join them. Now they are campaigning for cycling safety. Nobody could


believe it. Everybody was just grieving, crying. When you came in,


it was horrible. Tears in their eyes. What happened to Harrison, it


was horrible. And now what is reality and realising what had


happened and we cannot bring him back. You have got to be safe on


the road. The deaths of two pupils from the school are part of


alarming increase in the number of cycling deaths in Nottingham. The


toll began in January, with the death of a cyclist in colic. Two


were killed in separate accidents. In May a cyclist was killed by a


train at a level crossing in Mansfield, and then another died on


the road. In July and September came the deaths of the two school


children, bringing the total to seven so far. By comparison,


Leicestershire has had two fatal cycling accidents and Derbyshire


has had none. There was already a cycle safety campaign under way


here and Ashfield but the two tragic deaths of children from this


school added urgency to that campaign and now it has been taken


all the way to Whitehall for government support. And the


campaign has won the backing of a local MP, who helped campaigners


take their case to the Department for Transport. I think we need to


begin a serious debate. I do not want to impose anything on anybody.


I want people to think about how motorists and cyclists can be safer,


improving road junctions, improving speed limits, wearing helmets.


Let's come to a national consensus on how we can reduce the number of


deaths -- of deaths, particularly young people. We need to make it


safer. A Jack and Corrie have raised �3,500 for safer cycling


equipment. Now they want to see a change within the law. We are


fighting to get the legalisation of helmets to be repulsed. If you are


riding a bike, you have got to wear a helmet. And if not, you don't


ride a bike. We should make it clear that those deaths are being


investigated. Pam Shaw is the Road Safety Officer


for Nottinghamshire County Council. That was a very powerful film from


people deeply affected, but many cyclists will say it's motorists


that are the problem? But many cyclists will say it is motorists


who are to blame. I'd can understand that they might. We


would like to think that every bomb road-users have some responsibility


for their actions on the road. -- that all road-users. Any death is


one too many but these figures, seven so far, are horrific. What


are you doing about it in Nottinghamshire? They are extremely


shocking and our sympathies go to the family and friends of any who


have died this year. They are extremely high numbers. However,


the trend for all casualties in Nottinghamshire in the first nine


months of this year have reduced on last year. It is just the


circumstances around these deaths and accidents are such that the


people have died, which is unfortunate. We are constantly


during campaigns and training. We do a lot of training in primary


schools. But you want a change in the law? We would like to see the


encouragement and introduction of wearing helmets. Car seatbelt


wearing was not so popular until a few years ago but now nobody thinks


twice about putting those on. We would like the same to happen with


cycle helmets. Sue has got a point. -- she has got a point. Should not


be that everybody on the road on a bicycle should wear a helmet? I


were encourage people to wear a helmet. I always wear a helmet and


I get my children to do so as well. We know three of those deaths were


caused by HGV vehicles and wearing a helmet in those circumstances


would not save you. We need to tackle the major killers and one of


those is drivers going too fast and junctions not being safe, not


having the right cycle infrastructure like cycle lanes and


looking at junctions and making them safe for cyclists. It does not


mean we should not about those things. All of those things help


but those schoolboys say you should not get on a bike if you don't wear


a helmet. You are not -- you are saying it should not be compulsory.


We are saying that other road users need to become aware of bicycles


and slow down. The main problem in at most accidents is not the


cyclists, it is the driver. What about legislation? Is it the way to


tackle the problem? These easy solution to every problem is to say


to pass a law. Actually, it is common sense. Those boys have got


the message. If you want to ride a bike, wear a helmet. It strikes me


that if a 15-year-old boy can't wear that, so can a 25-year-old,


35-year-old, 45-year-old adult. Talk to a head injury doctor or the


head injuries tragic -- charity. Is it enough to him to let people make


their own minds up on this? -- is it enough to let people make up


their own minds? Yes. Look after yourself because it is the sensible


thing to do. Wearing his seatbelt is the sensible thing to do and we


have a law on that. I think a lot of motorcyclists would be thankful


because, again, it was unpopular to wear a motorcycle helmet and about


his role. Now there are many. Some people need that extra


encouragement. -- and now it is the law. I know my sons were not so


keen on that. Yes. We need to get national education and awareness


raising programmes. All of their it is perfectly true that every parent


should ensure their child never lose their house without a helmet


on. You cannot rely on Parliament to mollycoddle you. Of course it is


medically extremely sensible to wear a helmet, and she would have


to be an idiot not to wear one. -- and you would. It depends on the


facts of every case. HGV and car drivers often fail to pay proper


attention to other road users and cyclists are very often the victims.


Bear in mind, if you are a cyclist, the chances of you being seriously


hurt or killed are very high. If you're in a tin box, you are


probably OK. If your eyes cyclist, where high-visibility clothing, put


your hat on and just be sensible. - - if you are a cyclist. They is


some research that -- there is some research that some drivers give


cyclists wider berth if they are not wearing a helmet. If they are


competent cyclists they will be using the road appropriately.


Though that can be true. We want to encourage the drivers to think


about the other road users and cyclists in particular, to make


sure they are giving them sufficient room, not squeezing them


in. What more can be done? think we have seen a huge increase


and interest in cycling safety. Compulsory helmets is not something


on the list. There are many things, including making HGVs is safer and


junctions and increasing cycling infrastructure, like cycle lanes,


and that is what we need to be doing. Frankie for joining us. --


thank you. Here's a story to bring a bit of


warmth amid all the cynicism of politics. Stephen Green, the first


person with Down's syndrome to become a councillor, has taken up


his post at Nuthall Parish Council. Stephen attended his first meeting


earlier this week, and we were there. A war welcome and a first


for local democracy, as Stephen Green takes his seat at the parish


council in Nottinghamshire. Stephen will be helped at meetings


by his father, Grenville. Steve Ben decided he wanted to do it because


I asked him if he would like to do it. -- Stephen. It is a learning


curve for Stephen. It is a learning curve for the council and hopefully


we will all get something out of it, something positive. I think it is


brilliant. I think you will be an asset to the council. -- I think he


will be. I have been trying for this for ages are welcome to him.


among the items on the agenda are keeping the fees of a local bowls


club at the same level as last year and offering more work experience


to local youngsters. Routine parish council stuff. But it was a small


slice of history at this meeting in the making.


Stephen's appointment made headline news and our local papers have been


making some of their own. Six of our regional newspapers, including


the Nottingham Post, Derby Telegraph and Leicester Mercury,


have a new owner. The Daily Mail and General Trust is selling a


majority stake in its regional newspaper division to Trinity


Mirror. The new media group Local World includes over 70 regional


titles and local websites. Richard Baker is a duty editor at


the Nottingham Post. How's the news going down in the newsroom? I think


it has gone down reasonably well. It has been a very uncertain time


because we are facing historic change and it is important for us


we tried to take positive steps to give people what they want through


the routes they want to consume their news. We no new owners are


planning to invest heavily so we are pleased with that. What


difference do you think a change in ownership will mean to the readers


of your paper? Will they notice a difference? And not really. What we


have to keep arise on is what our audiences are up to because our


decisions are entirely based on what audiences are doing. -- keep


our eyes on. There is a massive audience for the website. We have


to look at that and follow where the audience is going. Our MPs like


yourselves concerned about the future of newspapers? Do you care


what happens? At salute reef. I have been working in the trade


because I was a newspaper lawyer. - - absolutely. I do care as a Member


of Parliament because people care at a local level about their local


paper. It is their paper and they want to see it survive. There is


something missing in their lives if they do not have their local paper


reporting on local stories. But few of them are going out to buy their


paper? Many a using social media define their news but undoubtedly,


the Nottingham Post plays a role. They like to know what is happening


in their city and their neighbourhood and it is a way for


us to tell people what we are up to. And what your constituents up to.


More and more people are consuming venues via a different media.


we are also doing is making news available via laptops and


smartphones because it is important to us we continued to serve people


with news in the means that they want. We have to keep our eyes on


what the audience wants. We are a business and we have to make money.


The way to do that is to follow the audience. For we have already seen


a local paper go from a daily paper to a weekly? Are if the broad side


they're not going to have their newspapers everyday -- if people


decide, we could then give them every week. I think what they are


interested in is staying in the business they are part of. And why


on thing that is so important is that it is a centre of professional


journalism. -- and one think that is so important. Lots of people are


not proper journalists. You why professional journalist and so is


he. It is important there is a local source of professionally


reported years. An important thing to make clear is that the


Nottingham Post has purely in nursing and journalists. If they do


not live in Nottingham they work in Nottingham. We have to stay


connected where local communities and I do not know of any other


organisation with SMA local journalists. -- with so many local


journalists. Nothing stays the same forever. We have been around in


this community for 140 years. We have not managed to stay in


business that way by staying the same. It is nonsense to say we can


stay the same as we were 40 years ago, 100 years ago. But were you


suffer more job losses with these changes? -- but will you? We have


no indication this is what is going to happen. A lot about the future


for local papers? People get their local news in so many ways. -- what


about? Of encase strength of local news is how we can focus on its


local neighbourhoods. -- I think a strength. We now have an app where


we can look at what they are reporting even if I do not get the


newspaper. A you paying for it?! Are I have to get it through my


assistant because he has a smartphone and I don't! Fend you. -


Time now for our regular 60-second round-up of some of the other


political stories in the East Midlands this week, with our


political editor, John Hess. Accommodation for the homeless


could be halved if Leicester City Council gets its way. The council,


which needs to reduce its homelessness services budget by


�3.7 million by 2015, says new proposals aim to support people


into independent living. A consultation period will run until


February. It already gives �174 million worth of work to local


firms or wants to do more. The Tory deputy leader on Harborough council


has been sacked for opposing controversial plans for 1,800 new


homes. The council says there will decide next month whether to press


ahead with a fresh appraisal of the district's future housing needs.


And Jon Ashworth picked up a gong this week. The Labour MP for


Leicester South has won Total Politics magazine's MP of the Month


award for his campaign to reinter the suspected bones of Richard III


We haven't seen you since you became a sir in September. You lost


your job as Attorney General and got knighted. Did it feel a bit


like compensation? And don't think the Prime Minister put it quite


like that! -- I don't think. It sweetened the pill. Is that why it


happened? Tell me a member of Parliament who does not like a bit


of attention and getting a knighthood. My children call my


wife Lady GaGa! So that is all right! A lot of rubbish is talked


about the honours system. It is free, it doesn't cost anything and


it gives a lot of people a lot of pleasure, not least me this


September. It is a way for the country to say thank you. If his


right it should be used to recognise fantastic service when


people have gone over and above. -- it is right. What about


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