25/11/2012 Sunday Politics East Midlands


25/11/2012

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

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2246 seconds

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

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

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meet the schoolchildren campaigning for improvements after the death of

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

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

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

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

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Lilian Greenwood, Labour MP for Nottingham South.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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featured last month outlining the scale of the problem.

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

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

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

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for our counties and constituencies and if there is government money

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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needed here because we have a rapidly growing population.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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cycling but some shocking statistics show just how dangerous

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

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

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be compulsory. Lessons in cycling safety have an

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

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killed in separate cycling accidents this year. Jack and Corey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Leicestershire has had two fatal cycling accidents and Derbyshire

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

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

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

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all the way to Whitehall for government support. And the

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

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

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

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

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improving road junctions, improving speed limits, wearing helmets.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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investigated. Pam Shaw is the Road Safety Officer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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are you doing about it in Nottinghamshire? They are extremely

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

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

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the trend for all casualties in Nottinghamshire in the first nine

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

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circumstances around these deaths and accidents are such that the

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people have died, which is unfortunate. We are constantly

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

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

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encouragement and introduction of wearing helmets. Car seatbelt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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caused by HGV vehicles and wearing a helmet in those circumstances

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

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

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having the right cycle infrastructure like cycle lanes and

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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should ensure their child never lose their house without a helmet

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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competent cyclists they will be using the road appropriately.

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

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

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sure they are giving them sufficient room, not squeezing them

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

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and interest in cycling safety. Compulsory helmets is not something

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

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junctions and increasing cycling infrastructure, like cycle lanes,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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council in Nottinghamshire. Stephen will be helped at meetings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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slice of history at this meeting in the making.

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

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

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the Nottingham Post, Derby Telegraph and Leicester Mercury,

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

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majority stake in its regional newspaper division to Trinity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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yourselves concerned about the future of newspapers? Do you care

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

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

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

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

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

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

:55:23.:55:33.
:55:33.:55:36.

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

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

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

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:55:53.:55:54.

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

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

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we are also doing is making news available via laptops and

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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not proper journalists. You why professional journalist and so is

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

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

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

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

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

:57:35.:57:45.
:57:45.:57:45.

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

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

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

:57:57.:58:01.

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

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

:58:08.:58:18.
:58:18.:58:18.

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

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

:58:25.:58:31.

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

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

:58:41.:58:51.
:58:51.:58:55.

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

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

:58:59.:59:07.

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

:59:07.:59:15.

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

:59:15.:59:25.
:59:25.:59:26.

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

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political stories in the East Midlands this week, with our

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political editor, John Hess. Accommodation for the homeless

:59:30.:59:38.

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

:59:38.:59:41.

which needs to reduce its homelessness services budget by

:59:41.:59:43.

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

:59:43.:59:46.

into independent living. A consultation period will run until

:59:46.:59:54.

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

:59:54.:59:58.

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

:59:58.:00:03.

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

:00:03.:00:07.

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

:00:07.:00:15.

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

:00:16.:00:19.

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

:00:19.:00:21.

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

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

:00:25.:00:32.

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

:00:32.:00:35.

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

:00:35.:00:45.
:00:45.:00:48.

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

:00:48.:00:56.

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

:00:56.:01:01.

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

:01:02.:01:07.

of attention and getting a knighthood. My children call my

:01:07.:01:10.

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

:01:11.:01:15.

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

:01:15.:01:19.

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

:01:19.:01:28.

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

:01:28.:01:33.

right it should be used to recognise fantastic service when

:01:33.:01:40.

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

:01:40.:01:47.

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