Andrew Neil and Marie Ashby with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Andrew Neil looks at David Cameron's future Europe plans with Dr Liam Fox and Douglas Alexander.
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Good morning. The worst hostage In the east Midlands: Ofsted
Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2307 seconds
Should councillors get a pay rise? The speech has been postponed but
the debate goes on. Europe, in or out, what do you think? Definitely
out. �50 million every day to Europe, for what?
Hello, I'm Marie Ashby. Joining me this week, Heather Wheeler, the
Conservative MP for Derbyshire South and Gloria De Piero, the
Labour MP for Ashfield. Ofsted is sending waves of inspectors into
schools in a single area in one go and 11 in Derby of the first to
face the inspections. It comes after a report found that schools
in the city were among the poorest performers in the country. You are
a Derbyshire MP, Heather. Do you feel for the pupils and teachers?
feel for the pupils and parents and the teachers have tried their best
but there has been a lack of leadership and we are in a
ridiculousness. We have been told the school's are improving. Things
have genuinely started to get better but we are such a low level
that we are failing our children. Will the inspections work? They
really well. They are very hard hitters coming in with high quality
standards, very experienced people. It will be about getting the health
back, the leadership back and getting schools back in the right
direction. It sounds quite scary but some schools in this way with
Ofsted inspectors. Schools cannot be allowed to fail children. My
worry is how long will it take... They do not have the capacity to
cover the entire country. Local and central government need to tackle
it. We need to make our curriculum interesting so that we engage
pupils and that is another worry for me that the government want to
make it more academic. Some pupils are academic but why would you take
computing, engineering out of the curriculum? The inspectors are
going into the schools because there is a problem. They are
failing. Absolutely. But I cannot wait and I do not think any area
can wait for Ofsted to get around. Tackle in now. We are tackling it
now. The results are appalling. Some of my northern parts of the
constituency go to school in Derby. This has been a regular element of
my postbag and there really glad we are doing something about it.
is to blame? Poor leadership? not like playing the blame game.
There is no party politics in this at all. The unions... We have been
tried to get different schools to become academies and the unions
have been jumping up and down. I find it totally unacceptable when
the level of quality of the education has been so poor. What
are they trying to preserve? How bizarre is that? What is special
about our Academy programme is that it required a change in leadership.
My concern now is that the conditions do not exist. Becoming
an academy was more than just a word and the Labour. I think
actually with some new management and new leadership you will see the
ship's turning around very quickly. What happens if these schools fail
the inspections? It is a crisis for the education system. We are
already in a crisis. It underlines how bad things have got. It needs a
shake-up. No teachers should be concerned as long as they are doing
their best. We should know more in the next few weeks. Thank you.
How much should we pay politicians? No, not MPs, but local councillors.
A parliamentary select committee has said it could be time to look
at allowances for people serving on councils. There's an average age of
61 among councillors. It's feared that many people are put off from
getting involved in local politics because the pay is so low that it's
not worth giving up the time to get involved. Des Coleman's been taking
a closer look. They are the people who run vital
services across the East Midlands and employed tens of thousands and
make decisions every day which affect us all. They can work up to
50 or 60 hours a week. How much do they earn? It depends on the size
of the council and its responsibilities but that Hinckley
and Bosworth district council that figure is �3,275. Let us not forget
the 4p! At Derby, it is �9,000. At Nottingham, it is �12,000. This man
is leader of Hinckley and Bosworth council and has paid �10,000 a year
for running the authority. It is difficult to get people to commit
the time to come into local politics because the allowance paid
to councillors is quite low and I could not pay my mortgage if that
is all I did with my time. Jack Stanton is 27 and a Derby City
Council. He fits in council work with a full-time job leading to
long evenings and weekends. I am willing to make the sacrifice. I
knew when I went in to it that it was what I was letting myself in
for. If you want to be in public office, at any level, there is an
element of sacrifice and you have to be willing to do it. At 68, this
councillor is above average age for a counsellor. He believes his
working life as a businessman is good experience for his role in
charge of finance and property at Nottinghamshire County Council.
People who are elected members today of a mature age because they
have already had a working life and are able then to become elected to
put something back into the community and give to the community
at a later age a knife. When I was young, I did not have the time to
be an elected representative -- later age in life. There is one
major stumbling block into paying councillors more money and that is
you, the public. Do you think councillors should be paid more
money? We -- yes. I did not expect that. Do you think councillor
should be paid more money? No. Do they get private income? Some of
them have private jobs. In that case, no. The retail industry is
going down so everything is closing so I do not know why they get paid
so much. I would have the impression they get paid a lot for
not doing very much. Council has no right now the public would not
stand for an increase in their paid -- councillors know. An independent
body has been asked to look at allowances and even they have
stopped short of asking for a rise. Increasing councillor allowances is
still a long way off. What are your concerns on this
issue? First three, we do not have a cross section of people on
councils -- firstly. Secondly, levels of remuneration. Expenses
ought to be covered. It should not be a full-time job, it should be
part-time. It is a public service you are giving back. It is bizarre
that the district council, the backbench trade, �3,000. The public
do not really know. The chief executives, the directors, they get
the big sums of money. Not that the councillors. It is the issue about
how much time you should give as a counsellor. Whenever we are looking
to get candidates for an election, we say to them, it is the amount of
time you can give, five hours, 10 hours, up to you. Gloria, you are
encouraging people from all sorts of backgrounds to come into
politics. If the money was better, maybe they would. I do nothing said.
I certainly do not think the time has now. If there is money in local
government, it should go directly to providing good services. I was
quite interested in what Jack Stanton said talking about the
evening meetings and the meeting culture that exists across politics.
I was talking to women councillors last night and they were talking
about the number of meetings. You can go to meetings five nights a
week. Wouldn't it be better to change the way we do politics so
the commitments you make are there to serve the community rather than
sit in a meeting. You should be paid for that. You have to take the
time to do it. There is a misconception about what
councillors and. People are surprised. I was surprised when I
heard. The leader of the Hinckley and Bosworth gets just over �10,000.
It is not much of an incentive. leader of the Council compared to a
backbencher on Derby City Council... Your husband is a leader. He and
�17,000. As the leader of the council? Absolutely. The
Independent renumeration panel, that was part of our findings, they
will set a local price. In South Derbyshire, they reduced the amount
the leader got. How many hours is he doing? Over 40 hours but it is
his choice. In my community are come across people all the time...
Earlier this week, I was with a couple of people who have been
bidding for lottery funds to help young people with challenging
behaviour. A group of mums, they set up a cheerleading session.
There are people who desperately want to do things for the community.
They do not do it for the money. I would like to open it up so that
more people could get involved. do not have to be a counsellor to
get involved in your community. Parish councillors do not take any
money. Chairman's are allowed to put in expenses but parish
councillors do not take money. There are plenty of councillors are
out there who are doing it 100% for public service. When you get to a
district council and county council level, the budgets are massive,
absolutely massive. You need a quality of person to do the part-
time amount of hours... That comes with experience and when you
started you were only 22. Is that old enough, no offence, but did you
have enough life experience? I was lucky. I finished my A-levels and
went straight into the City. I had been working for four years in the
City. The meetings were in the evenings. It did not impinge on my
work live at goal. But I did three nights a week and most of the
weekend's but it was my choice -- work life at all. Coming to the
Midlands, I did 15 years on the council. We did afternoon meetings.
For a mum, it was fabulous. What we do say, both of you, to people
thinking of coming into council politics? If you have got a passion
for standing up for your community, do it. We need to open ourselves up
as political parties to enable you to do it. We need to get political
groups, councils... All you need is a passion to stand up for your
community. One of our viewers Phil Greasley has said that councillors
should retire at 65. Has he got a point? That would be lovely but do
not forget there is a value in corporate memory. We are going the
wrong way in age. The average age is going up not down.
Now, the speech may be delayed, but the issue won't go away. Europe, in
or out? It's going to be one of the biggest debates for years. But what
does it mean here in the East Midlands? BBC Derby's political
correspondent Wesley Mallin has been finding out what you think.
We should stay in Europe. There are no benefits to leaving. Same
question, in or out? Not bothered. I think there is a future in the
European Union but I am much more generous -- but are more generous
terms. There should be a debate. Every country is part of Europe.
Travelling, passports, it make small sons. Definitely out.
Absolutely. -- it makes more sense. �50 million every day to Europe for
what? You tell me. The debate continues on the streets of
Nottingham as it does in the media and in Parliament. What is the
debate doing for the businesses that rely on Europe? Just down the
road is a communications and technology firm whose boss is in no
doubt about the value of staying in the European club. We employ a lot
of people from Europe. 15% of the people in our head office are from
mainland Europe. They are not taking British jobs, they are
coming to help us been -- build an export led company. If you had an
opportunity to put MPs on the spot over their position in Europe, what
would your Christian be? -- what would your question be? When are
you going to resolve the debate because the uncertainty is almost
as dangerous as leaving itself. What are you going to do to help
business expand into Europe? It is clear we have to grow into Europe,
what are you going to do to help us? You are a Eurosceptic, Heather.
Shouldn't we get the vote out of the way because if we don't your
party is going to be going on about it and it will never get result?
is cross-party. There are Labour politicians who have the same view
as me. Clearly, I wish we could do it in a month's time. But we are
not there yet. The euro crisis has brought things to a head. It is
just the best opportunity to renegotiate. Let us have a decent
referendum and renegotiate and then the public will speak. Pro Europe,
Gloria? If it is in Britain's interests. Jobs is the number-one
issue for me, the number one issue when I knock on doors. Do I want my
leaders to be going around the country talking about Europe now?
No, I want them to solve the jobs crisis. We heard that business so
they want an end to the uncertainty. It is damaging. That was the party
line from the Labour Party. cannot say that two businesses.
That is not what the businesses say to me in South Derbyshire because
we export to China and Brazil and America. 50% of our trade is with
Europe. They cannot do without us. We can't do without them it is what
the businesses so. We have a free- trade agreement with South Korea.
We're working on one with Japan. We will have a free-trade agreement
with Europe. What would the businesses you know say about that?
I am a constituency MP. My belief is that we should take a more
active role in Europe and not sit on the sidelines. That is what one
of my constituents said. Being a member of the EU, another one, it
helps us being able to access the markets and compete with local
suppliers. What do you say to the businesses who say it is vital to
have access to Europe? Absolutely. Just like Norway and Switzerland
and South Korea... Are you really telling week we will not be able to
export? South Korea has a free- trade agreement, we will have one.
Politicians are not that popular at the moment but why is it that the
CBI, the trade union movement, even taking politicians out of it, they
say... This is where at destiny lies, not because of anything else
but because that is good for jobs and economy. What is best for the
British economy is exporting to places like India. I have the JCB
engine plant in my patch. We have 350 people there who were not there
three years ago. They are exporting. There is a global market too. UKIP
have got something to say on this not surprisingly. The EU has never
done anything we could not have retrieved through a simple free-
trade agreement except for what it has done has been damaging -- we
could not have achieved. It has been damaging. Businesses say, why
do we have so much regulation? What are the rules for? Arguably, it has
done more harm than good. This is what it is about, you are worried
about UKIP, D UKIP vote, a Heather. There are plenty of people who find
politicians hedging around questions and it drives them up the
wall so they will vote for anyone but the others. At the minute, UKIP
are the recipients of those votes. We need to be straight talking and
tell people how it is and what is in the best interests of the
country. When does that start? 2010, I was elected then, I have
never been anything other than straight talking -- in May, 2010.
The cap was let out of the bad there by Roger Helmer and I suspect
that lots of Conservatives would like to talk how he does. I fear
they want to bring back when they are talking about regulation...
They are talking about rights like maternity pay, for weeks minimum
holiday a year... These are the ghastly things that have come out
of Europe. Should we pull out of Europe and walked slowly towards
the exit door? Not slowly. Should we be running towards it? We should
use this opportunity to renegotiate. Should we pull out of Europe?
Europe needs to understand we cannot afford to give them the
amount of money they have been having. Huge amounts of regulation
on our businesses. It is not in the best interests... Do you want to
renegotiate the terms or pull out of Europe? Personally, I would be
out. We have got fantastic relationships with our Commonwealth
countries. It is the growing economy from those countries...
Tremendous. Music to UKIP's ears. Not your leaders. This is a
completely different position. party will work towards the
referendum, I am absolutely convinced. Not all of your party
says the same things. Fellow East Midlands MP Ken Clarke says it is
irresponsible to even be having this debate at this time. He says
that it is folly and any vote on this is a gamble. I do not know the
answer to that and I do not know why he said that. He believes it.
He believes it from the 1970s. He was part of the project in the
first place. My brilliant businesses are not from the 70s. If
they tell me that helping them is being a member of the European
Union, I am very happy to take their word for it. You sit in the
committees, you cannot vote against something. By that point, all of
the competencies have been sorted and you have been stitched up.
will go on for a long time this one. Time now for our regular round-up
of some of the other political stories in the East Midlands this
week in 60 seconds with our political editor John Hess.
Leicestershire County Council is asking for views from the public on
plans to cut �79 million from its budget which could see 1100 jobs go.
They are hoping to limit council tax rises in the next three years.
Job losses at Derby City Council which is warning it might have to
cut 200 posts. The council leader says the job losses are needed
after the council failed to reach its target for voluntary
redundancies. Rutland Handicap saw is also
expecting to agree a council tax freeze -- well and can will stop
the region's newly elected police and crime commissioner is drafting
the plans for the next four years. The Leicestershire and Rutland PCC
says he is hoping to maintain the levels of uniformed police officers
while making efficiency savings Do not forget that we want to hear
your views on politics in your area. You can get in touch with us on our