20/01/2013 Sunday Politics East Midlands


20/01/2013

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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Transcript


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Good morning. The worst hostage In the east Midlands: Ofsted

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2307 seconds

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Should councillors get a pay rise? The speech has been postponed but

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the debate goes on. Europe, in or out, what do you think? Definitely

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out. �50 million every day to Europe, for what?

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Hello, I'm Marie Ashby. Joining me this week, Heather Wheeler, the

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Conservative MP for Derbyshire South and Gloria De Piero, the

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Labour MP for Ashfield. Ofsted is sending waves of inspectors into

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schools in a single area in one go and 11 in Derby of the first to

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face the inspections. It comes after a report found that schools

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in the city were among the poorest performers in the country. You are

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a Derbyshire MP, Heather. Do you feel for the pupils and teachers?

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feel for the pupils and parents and the teachers have tried their best

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but there has been a lack of leadership and we are in a

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ridiculousness. We have been told the school's are improving. Things

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have genuinely started to get better but we are such a low level

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that we are failing our children. Will the inspections work? They

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really well. They are very hard hitters coming in with high quality

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standards, very experienced people. It will be about getting the health

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back, the leadership back and getting schools back in the right

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direction. It sounds quite scary but some schools in this way with

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Ofsted inspectors. Schools cannot be allowed to fail children. My

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worry is how long will it take... They do not have the capacity to

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cover the entire country. Local and central government need to tackle

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it. We need to make our curriculum interesting so that we engage

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pupils and that is another worry for me that the government want to

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make it more academic. Some pupils are academic but why would you take

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computing, engineering out of the curriculum? The inspectors are

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going into the schools because there is a problem. They are

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failing. Absolutely. But I cannot wait and I do not think any area

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can wait for Ofsted to get around. Tackle in now. We are tackling it

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now. The results are appalling. Some of my northern parts of the

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constituency go to school in Derby. This has been a regular element of

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my postbag and there really glad we are doing something about it.

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is to blame? Poor leadership? not like playing the blame game.

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There is no party politics in this at all. The unions... We have been

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tried to get different schools to become academies and the unions

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have been jumping up and down. I find it totally unacceptable when

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the level of quality of the education has been so poor. What

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are they trying to preserve? How bizarre is that? What is special

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about our Academy programme is that it required a change in leadership.

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My concern now is that the conditions do not exist. Becoming

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an academy was more than just a word and the Labour. I think

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actually with some new management and new leadership you will see the

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ship's turning around very quickly. What happens if these schools fail

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the inspections? It is a crisis for the education system. We are

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already in a crisis. It underlines how bad things have got. It needs a

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shake-up. No teachers should be concerned as long as they are doing

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their best. We should know more in the next few weeks. Thank you.

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How much should we pay politicians? No, not MPs, but local councillors.

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A parliamentary select committee has said it could be time to look

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at allowances for people serving on councils. There's an average age of

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61 among councillors. It's feared that many people are put off from

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getting involved in local politics because the pay is so low that it's

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not worth giving up the time to get involved. Des Coleman's been taking

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a closer look. They are the people who run vital

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services across the East Midlands and employed tens of thousands and

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make decisions every day which affect us all. They can work up to

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50 or 60 hours a week. How much do they earn? It depends on the size

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of the council and its responsibilities but that Hinckley

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and Bosworth district council that figure is �3,275. Let us not forget

:44:44.:44:54.
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the 4p! At Derby, it is �9,000. At Nottingham, it is �12,000. This man

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is leader of Hinckley and Bosworth council and has paid �10,000 a year

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for running the authority. It is difficult to get people to commit

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the time to come into local politics because the allowance paid

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to councillors is quite low and I could not pay my mortgage if that

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is all I did with my time. Jack Stanton is 27 and a Derby City

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Council. He fits in council work with a full-time job leading to

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long evenings and weekends. I am willing to make the sacrifice. I

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knew when I went in to it that it was what I was letting myself in

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for. If you want to be in public office, at any level, there is an

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element of sacrifice and you have to be willing to do it. At 68, this

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councillor is above average age for a counsellor. He believes his

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working life as a businessman is good experience for his role in

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charge of finance and property at Nottinghamshire County Council.

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People who are elected members today of a mature age because they

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have already had a working life and are able then to become elected to

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put something back into the community and give to the community

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at a later age a knife. When I was young, I did not have the time to

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be an elected representative -- later age in life. There is one

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major stumbling block into paying councillors more money and that is

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you, the public. Do you think councillors should be paid more

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money? We -- yes. I did not expect that. Do you think councillor

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should be paid more money? No. Do they get private income? Some of

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them have private jobs. In that case, no. The retail industry is

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going down so everything is closing so I do not know why they get paid

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so much. I would have the impression they get paid a lot for

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not doing very much. Council has no right now the public would not

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stand for an increase in their paid -- councillors know. An independent

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body has been asked to look at allowances and even they have

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stopped short of asking for a rise. Increasing councillor allowances is

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still a long way off. What are your concerns on this

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issue? First three, we do not have a cross section of people on

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councils -- firstly. Secondly, levels of remuneration. Expenses

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ought to be covered. It should not be a full-time job, it should be

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part-time. It is a public service you are giving back. It is bizarre

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that the district council, the backbench trade, �3,000. The public

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do not really know. The chief executives, the directors, they get

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the big sums of money. Not that the councillors. It is the issue about

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how much time you should give as a counsellor. Whenever we are looking

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to get candidates for an election, we say to them, it is the amount of

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time you can give, five hours, 10 hours, up to you. Gloria, you are

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encouraging people from all sorts of backgrounds to come into

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politics. If the money was better, maybe they would. I do nothing said.

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I certainly do not think the time has now. If there is money in local

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government, it should go directly to providing good services. I was

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quite interested in what Jack Stanton said talking about the

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evening meetings and the meeting culture that exists across politics.

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I was talking to women councillors last night and they were talking

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about the number of meetings. You can go to meetings five nights a

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week. Wouldn't it be better to change the way we do politics so

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the commitments you make are there to serve the community rather than

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sit in a meeting. You should be paid for that. You have to take the

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time to do it. There is a misconception about what

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councillors and. People are surprised. I was surprised when I

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heard. The leader of the Hinckley and Bosworth gets just over �10,000.

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It is not much of an incentive. leader of the Council compared to a

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backbencher on Derby City Council... Your husband is a leader. He and

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�17,000. As the leader of the council? Absolutely. The

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Independent renumeration panel, that was part of our findings, they

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will set a local price. In South Derbyshire, they reduced the amount

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the leader got. How many hours is he doing? Over 40 hours but it is

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his choice. In my community are come across people all the time...

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Earlier this week, I was with a couple of people who have been

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bidding for lottery funds to help young people with challenging

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behaviour. A group of mums, they set up a cheerleading session.

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There are people who desperately want to do things for the community.

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They do not do it for the money. I would like to open it up so that

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more people could get involved. do not have to be a counsellor to

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get involved in your community. Parish councillors do not take any

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money. Chairman's are allowed to put in expenses but parish

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councillors do not take money. There are plenty of councillors are

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out there who are doing it 100% for public service. When you get to a

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district council and county council level, the budgets are massive,

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absolutely massive. You need a quality of person to do the part-

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time amount of hours... That comes with experience and when you

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started you were only 22. Is that old enough, no offence, but did you

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have enough life experience? I was lucky. I finished my A-levels and

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went straight into the City. I had been working for four years in the

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City. The meetings were in the evenings. It did not impinge on my

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work live at goal. But I did three nights a week and most of the

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weekend's but it was my choice -- work life at all. Coming to the

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Midlands, I did 15 years on the council. We did afternoon meetings.

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For a mum, it was fabulous. What we do say, both of you, to people

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thinking of coming into council politics? If you have got a passion

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for standing up for your community, do it. We need to open ourselves up

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as political parties to enable you to do it. We need to get political

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groups, councils... All you need is a passion to stand up for your

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community. One of our viewers Phil Greasley has said that councillors

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should retire at 65. Has he got a point? That would be lovely but do

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not forget there is a value in corporate memory. We are going the

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wrong way in age. The average age is going up not down.

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Now, the speech may be delayed, but the issue won't go away. Europe, in

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or out? It's going to be one of the biggest debates for years. But what

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does it mean here in the East Midlands? BBC Derby's political

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correspondent Wesley Mallin has been finding out what you think.

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We should stay in Europe. There are no benefits to leaving. Same

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question, in or out? Not bothered. I think there is a future in the

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European Union but I am much more generous -- but are more generous

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terms. There should be a debate. Every country is part of Europe.

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Travelling, passports, it make small sons. Definitely out.

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Absolutely. -- it makes more sense. �50 million every day to Europe for

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what? You tell me. The debate continues on the streets of

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Nottingham as it does in the media and in Parliament. What is the

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debate doing for the businesses that rely on Europe? Just down the

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road is a communications and technology firm whose boss is in no

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doubt about the value of staying in the European club. We employ a lot

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of people from Europe. 15% of the people in our head office are from

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mainland Europe. They are not taking British jobs, they are

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coming to help us been -- build an export led company. If you had an

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opportunity to put MPs on the spot over their position in Europe, what

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would your Christian be? -- what would your question be? When are

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you going to resolve the debate because the uncertainty is almost

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as dangerous as leaving itself. What are you going to do to help

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business expand into Europe? It is clear we have to grow into Europe,

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what are you going to do to help us? You are a Eurosceptic, Heather.

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Shouldn't we get the vote out of the way because if we don't your

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party is going to be going on about it and it will never get result?

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is cross-party. There are Labour politicians who have the same view

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as me. Clearly, I wish we could do it in a month's time. But we are

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not there yet. The euro crisis has brought things to a head. It is

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just the best opportunity to renegotiate. Let us have a decent

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referendum and renegotiate and then the public will speak. Pro Europe,

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Gloria? If it is in Britain's interests. Jobs is the number-one

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issue for me, the number one issue when I knock on doors. Do I want my

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leaders to be going around the country talking about Europe now?

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No, I want them to solve the jobs crisis. We heard that business so

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they want an end to the uncertainty. It is damaging. That was the party

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line from the Labour Party. cannot say that two businesses.

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That is not what the businesses say to me in South Derbyshire because

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we export to China and Brazil and America. 50% of our trade is with

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Europe. They cannot do without us. We can't do without them it is what

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the businesses so. We have a free- trade agreement with South Korea.

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We're working on one with Japan. We will have a free-trade agreement

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with Europe. What would the businesses you know say about that?

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I am a constituency MP. My belief is that we should take a more

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active role in Europe and not sit on the sidelines. That is what one

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of my constituents said. Being a member of the EU, another one, it

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helps us being able to access the markets and compete with local

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suppliers. What do you say to the businesses who say it is vital to

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have access to Europe? Absolutely. Just like Norway and Switzerland

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and South Korea... Are you really telling week we will not be able to

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export? South Korea has a free- trade agreement, we will have one.

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Politicians are not that popular at the moment but why is it that the

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CBI, the trade union movement, even taking politicians out of it, they

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say... This is where at destiny lies, not because of anything else

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but because that is good for jobs and economy. What is best for the

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British economy is exporting to places like India. I have the JCB

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engine plant in my patch. We have 350 people there who were not there

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three years ago. They are exporting. There is a global market too. UKIP

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have got something to say on this not surprisingly. The EU has never

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done anything we could not have retrieved through a simple free-

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trade agreement except for what it has done has been damaging -- we

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could not have achieved. It has been damaging. Businesses say, why

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do we have so much regulation? What are the rules for? Arguably, it has

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done more harm than good. This is what it is about, you are worried

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about UKIP, D UKIP vote, a Heather. There are plenty of people who find

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politicians hedging around questions and it drives them up the

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wall so they will vote for anyone but the others. At the minute, UKIP

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are the recipients of those votes. We need to be straight talking and

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tell people how it is and what is in the best interests of the

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country. When does that start? 2010, I was elected then, I have

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never been anything other than straight talking -- in May, 2010.

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The cap was let out of the bad there by Roger Helmer and I suspect

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that lots of Conservatives would like to talk how he does. I fear

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they want to bring back when they are talking about regulation...

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They are talking about rights like maternity pay, for weeks minimum

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holiday a year... These are the ghastly things that have come out

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of Europe. Should we pull out of Europe and walked slowly towards

:59:19.:59:25.

the exit door? Not slowly. Should we be running towards it? We should

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use this opportunity to renegotiate. Should we pull out of Europe?

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Europe needs to understand we cannot afford to give them the

:59:32.:59:36.

amount of money they have been having. Huge amounts of regulation

:59:36.:59:41.

on our businesses. It is not in the best interests... Do you want to

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renegotiate the terms or pull out of Europe? Personally, I would be

:59:48.:59:53.

out. We have got fantastic relationships with our Commonwealth

:59:53.:59:58.

countries. It is the growing economy from those countries...

:59:59.:00:04.

Tremendous. Music to UKIP's ears. Not your leaders. This is a

:00:04.:00:08.

completely different position. party will work towards the

:00:08.:00:12.

referendum, I am absolutely convinced. Not all of your party

:00:12.:00:18.

says the same things. Fellow East Midlands MP Ken Clarke says it is

:00:18.:00:21.

irresponsible to even be having this debate at this time. He says

:00:22.:00:27.

that it is folly and any vote on this is a gamble. I do not know the

:00:27.:00:31.

answer to that and I do not know why he said that. He believes it.

:00:31.:00:37.

He believes it from the 1970s. He was part of the project in the

:00:37.:00:43.

first place. My brilliant businesses are not from the 70s. If

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they tell me that helping them is being a member of the European

:00:47.:00:52.

Union, I am very happy to take their word for it. You sit in the

:00:52.:00:57.

committees, you cannot vote against something. By that point, all of

:00:57.:01:00.

the competencies have been sorted and you have been stitched up.

:01:00.:01:05.

will go on for a long time this one. Time now for our regular round-up

:01:05.:01:08.

of some of the other political stories in the East Midlands this

:01:08.:01:15.

week in 60 seconds with our political editor John Hess.

:01:15.:01:18.

Leicestershire County Council is asking for views from the public on

:01:18.:01:26.

plans to cut �79 million from its budget which could see 1100 jobs go.

:01:26.:01:32.

They are hoping to limit council tax rises in the next three years.

:01:32.:01:35.

Job losses at Derby City Council which is warning it might have to

:01:35.:01:40.

cut 200 posts. The council leader says the job losses are needed

:01:40.:01:45.

after the council failed to reach its target for voluntary

:01:45.:01:47.

redundancies. Rutland Handicap saw is also

:01:47.:01:56.

expecting to agree a council tax freeze -- well and can will stop

:01:56.:02:01.

the region's newly elected police and crime commissioner is drafting

:02:01.:02:06.

the plans for the next four years. The Leicestershire and Rutland PCC

:02:06.:02:10.

says he is hoping to maintain the levels of uniformed police officers

:02:10.:02:20.
:02:20.:02:22.

while making efficiency savings Do not forget that we want to hear

:02:22.:02:27.

your views on politics in your area. You can get in touch with us on our

:02:27.:02:36.

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