Andrew Neil and Marie Ashby with the latest political news and interviews with the Europe Minister David Lidington and the Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Rachel Reeves.
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Welcome to Sunday Politics. The coalition presides over the weakest
recovery for generations. Labour's lead slumps. The come when
referendum affect? -- the Cameron In the East Midlands: tens of
thousands of homes are in fuel poverty. Will a new government
Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2293 seconds
$:/STARTFEED. Tens of thousands of homes are in fuel poverty but we
might have the answer. No need for the duvet. And how the new police
and crime commissioners are getting started. They have got to deal with
organised crime. Hello, I'm Marie Ashby. Joining me
this week, the Conservative MP for Erewash Jessica Lee and someone
who's been in the thick of the Euro action, Labour's MEP for the East
Midlands, Glenis Willmott. Well, It's the story of the week
again, Europe. But what does it mean for us here in the East
Midlands? Well, Glenis can give us the view from Europe and Jessica
has the word from Erewash. Last week we had Heather Wheeler in the
studio saying quite openly that she wants us to get out of Europe.
you agree? I do not take quite the same position but I welcome the
Prime Minister's announcement today. This is the conversation the public
have wanted for some time. There are plenty of jobs in my
constituency that rely on the single market but there are lots of
other aspects of the relationship that people are not happy about.
you want to be in or out? At the moment, I would like to try and
stay in and renegotiate. Then I will look at it again. Andrew
Bridgen says he cannot wait to get out and campaign in his
constituency on the referendum. Do you think it will go down well in
your constituency? I do. I have had a lot of correspondence from
constituents saying they are unhappy. We need to deal with myths
about the European Union and realities. How does Labour respond
to this, Glenis? You cannot be against people having their say.
David Cameron has put the politics of his own party before the
interests of the public. Now is not the time to be talking about this
when we should be concentrating on getting the economy right. We need
Europe for that, surely? We have a million young people unemployed. We
should be concentrating our efforts on that. This is about satisfying a
few of his backbenchers. He was quite clear he thought it was in
Britain's interests to be a solid part of Europe. If he believes that,
why is he going down this route? It is like sleepwalking towards the
exit door. He does not think it is in the British interests so we
should not be doing it. Another European issue, the EU could be
about to give another big grant to the BNP to help them with political
activities, more than �330,000. What is your problem with that?
This is a far-right party that does not agree with fundamental
principles of the rights of minorities. A legal party who have
won seats in the East Midlands. This is a far-right group across
Europe and I do not think we should be funding, taxpayers, a group of
people that do not uphold the rights of minorities. Do you agree,
Jessica? There has been a lot of cross-party work between the
British MEPs on the subject and... Should they get the money? I am
going to leave this to the MEPs to take a lead on and they are best-
informed to take a decision. Onto the other story of the week,
the weather. And as we've discovered, just as the cold spell
struck, Government grants for warming our homes ran out. Here's
our political editor John Hess. When the winter temperature falls,
it is time to wrap up and turn up the heat. What happens if you
cannot afford the electric and gas bills? For this man, it became a
choice of heating a or eating. was very cold and the room never
warmed up. In the evenings, I used to get a duvet or a dressing-gown
and sit on the sofa covered up watching TV. What he needed was an
overcoat. Not for himself but for his home. His three-bedroom house
has wraparound installation, part funded under a government energy
efficiency scheme. From the room being cold, it gets warm within
about 15 minutes. After half-an- hour, I can switch the heating off.
The room stays constant and I hardly lose any temperature at all.
No need for the duvet? No need for the duvet! The government
recommends temperatures should be around 21 degrees in your living
room. That makes it warm. If you spend more than 10% of your income
on those gas and electricity bills, you are deemed to be in fuel
poverty. According to government figures, 22% of households in this
area of Nottingham are in fuel poverty, one of the highest rates
in Britain. 850 homes both rented and private on this 1930s estate
had installation improvements. have a layer of will. It is made
from ground rock. This woman is explaining the contents of the
unsolicited overcoat. She works for an independent charity behind the
in the first -- the energy- efficiency makeover and says fuel
poverty is on the increase. In 2006, there were 2.2 million people
classified as being fuel poor. Looking at the figures now, it is
in excess of 5 million. A huge increase. The average home now
costs one buzz of �400 a year to heat and fuel costs are rising --
�1,400 a year. The government has scrapped some schemes turning up
the political temperature. We are trying to get help but my
constituents have been told they must wait in freezing temperatures,
very vulnerable and elderly people. It is nothing short of a disgrace.
Policy is this -- it is defined to... The green deal is the
government's answer. Subsidies for installation, new boilers and solar
panels. It was piloted in Nottingham. Moving towards the more
advanced energy saving measures and new policies, there is a definite
funding gap. We are looking at solid wall insulation fought harder
to treat properties. You are looking at costs of up to �10,000
per property. That is so far cry from �200 to �400 for the loft and
cavity wall insulation. It is not just the temperatures that are
rising. The number of households in fuel poverty over the next three
years is expected to reach 9 million. If you have not heard of
the Green Deal, you will. It is the coalition's flagship policy to
tackle growing fuel poverty. Well, we're joined by Jane Daw from
Barnardo's who runs children's centres in Leicester. You are
campaigning on fuel poverty. How bad is it? It is really bad for
families in Leicester. A recent property report said that there
were 26,000 children in Leicester living in poverty that is 32% of
all children. My children centre is based in a very deprived area on a
large estate which was one of the original Sure Start areas. Families
are increasingly finding themselves in debt even though they are being
supported by us to manage their budgets well. It is having an
impact. There are having to make extreme sacrifices. Really hard
decisions. Fuel is... They are cold. Children are wearing outside coats
and under duvets. Certain families have no flooring and cannot afford
even the essential items. We are having to refer people to voluntary
organisations and charities in order to get the essential items.
We have a food bank and we are constantly referring people there.
You are saying is backed up by the figures -- what you are saying. In
the 10 worst constituencies in the East Midlands, more than 20% of
people are in fuel poverty. In the Derbyshire Dales, it is 25%. What
is being done to help these people, Jessica? There is work being done.
We are all in agreement about how important this issue is. Fuel
poverty is an issue that has been on the rise for a number of years.
What the government is doing is working hard trying to get the
energy companies... There are too many choices at the moment. People
need to have... Under the energy bill, the government proposal is
that there would be just four energy tariffs available so people
can make clear choices. The Green Deal, that is meant to pick in next
week. But the energy revolution campaign which Barnardo's is part
of has already said it will not be enough to halt what is happening.
am listening very carefully to all of the representations being made
but there are new-issue -- new initiatives coming through. The
energy company obligation will help hundreds of thousands of families.
We need to be investing. We saw in the film the homeowner it going for
the installation... To be honest, winter happens at the same time
every year. We know what is going to happen so we should be doing it
now. Things are being done now. This yet... It was the middle of
the summer that the government was having the conversations with the
energy companies. They need to take responsibility and be clear with
customers what the options are and help them to make sure they are on
the lowest possible tariffs. Europe help on this, Glenis? We are
working on this and we think... I think some of the money from the
carbon tax should be used to alleviate fuel poverty. But the
problem with the green deal is that it is not fair. It is expensive and
the interest rates are very high. Sometimes the interest is more than
the work itself. Fuel poverty is not a Conservative issue. It was a
problem under Labour as well. did not do enough but we brought 2
million people out of fuel poverty. But more needs to be done. If you
have got to choose between fuel and food, that is outrageous. It is
even down to essential items. One child got respiratory illness
because they could not keep their house and burka car was broken...
They cannot afford a bed -- the cooker was broken. They could not
keep the House warm enough. The stress on the family was incredible.
All of the good work we were doing to improve the outcomes is at risk
of being undone. Why Barnardo's is supporting this campaign is because
it is something that would make a significant impact because it would
reduce bills by about �310 a week. Do you feel Labour and
Conservatives have failed to? These families are really suffering.
Children are going to school without proper codes. If they want
shoes, it is down to things like, we will cut our food back and we
will be cold. It is these essential items, it is not luxuries. They are
managing budgets. You are not doing enough now when the people need it.
I do not accept that. I am under no illusion that the biggest issue for
all families is the cost of living. I would say that is the priority
for government. That is why they are trying to take the very poorest
people out of paying tax altogether. Briefly, Glenis. Wholesale prices
have been coming down since 2008. Prices for us are going up. We have
got to get a grip. Thank you for joining us.
They were elected on a wave of indifference from the public. But
now the police and crime commissioners are working out how
to spend your money. The PCCs have had a couple of months to come up
with a policing budget for the next five years and to accommodate
millions of pounds of cuts. So, what have they been up to?
The Leicestershire and Rutland police and crime commissioner is
the Conservative Clive loader. He has presented a plan involving a
freeze on the council tax element of his budget for two years. He
plans an increase of 2% be on that. He is not appointed a deputy and
does not have an allocated car. In Derbyshire the Labour PCC is
proposing a budget of �170.6 million. An increased contribution
from local authorities are of almost 2%. That is expected to add
�3.21 a year to the council tax for a household on Band D. He has
appointed a deputy. He is not taking up a car either. In
Nottinghamshire, the PCC is still finalising his budget. He has
appointed a part-time deputy on �36,000. He has also spurned a
company car. The Derbyshire Police and Crime
Commissioner Alan Charles is with us. The headline, a rising council
tax to pay for your Budget. How can you justify that? It is difficult.
I know people are suffering. But if the government have cut 20% from
police budgets in Derbyshire which is having an impact on policing.
They have given a state council tax freeze grant. It is for one year
only. -- they have given us a council tax freeze grant. It is
like a pay-day loan. The only way I can go forward is to put in a small
council tax increase to try and maintain police numbers. I hear
what you are saying but can you let our viewers know what why it is
Unido full-time deputy when other PCCs have said they do not? There
are not many full-time PCCs who have not decided to have a deputy.
Yesterday afternoon, I was in Glossop talking to a family
suffering terrible anti-social behaviour. I cannot do it on my own.
They are in million people in Derbyshire. It is an expensive job.
The police authority office was costing just over a million pounds.
I have cut �100,000 from that. There will be for more PCSOs. --
four more. How will people in your constituency feel about it? They
will be disappointed. It is straight back to the taxpayer to
ask for more money. Crime is down in Derbyshire by 17% in the last
year and it is a credit to all involved. But I would say it is
very disappointing while everyone else is managing to look carefully
at where the savings can be made that it is not being achieved by
the PCC. You are also imposing a cut in pay on police officers?
I would say to that is that we have a PCC whose job and responsibility
it is to look at how best to manage the Budget. Crime is lower and
taxes should not be going up. knows as well as I do that during
the whole election campaign what people wanted to see his police
officer numbers maintained. If I do not increase council tax, we will
lose 20 officers a year year on year and that is not what people
want to see. Well, we've heard what the police
and crime commissioners are planning to do. But what do you
think they should be doing? Des Coleman has been in Leicestershire
to find out. Your police commissioner has been
elected by youth so what is it you want from them? I am here in
Loughborough to find out. They have got to look at what is going on
with the major pockets of crime and deal with it. Organised crime is a
big part of the Budget. The rest is down to communities taking
responsibility rather than blaming the police for everything. What we
do like to see them do? Cut crime in the town centres. That is the
majority... Especially for the elderly. Policing the streets. That
is my concern because being told... -- being old. And of the lady. We
get scared. I would like to walk my dogs in the evenings but I dare not.
I have been accosted by young people. I had an incident last
night... They do not come out when they need to. It is, we will put
you in the diary and come when it is convenient. I have got to wait
until Thursday. Good-looking couple. Let us talk to them. Do you know
who your local police commissioner is? No. Did you vote? No. What can
they do to cut crime? I have been working in a pub and lobbying and
to get the pub watch going. I am hoping they will do a fine job on
our behalf. The people of Loughborough have spoken.
The surprising thing is that the figures show crime is going down
but a lot of people have been victims of crime. Yes, they have.
Anyone who has been a victim of crime feels traumatised. One of the
things I am keen to do is talk to victims to see how we can improve
things for future victims and help to stop people becoming victims in
the first place. Jessica. It is a good priority this for the
government, extra assistance for victims. We have a great Justice
Minister who feels passionately about this. It is about reassuring
people. It is often a fear of crime that causes distress, although not
as much when you are a victim of crime. What people want is somebody
to work quickly. You cannot get to everybody. You cannot please
everybody. I do not think that was Derbyshire Police force but if
someone rings us and it is not an emergency we will make an
appointment to go and see them. I think that is beneficial to the
police service and the person calling. They cannot turn out on a
999 response to every call but we certainly do for emergencies.
you think you can work together, Jessica? Absolutely. I will always
work and we work cross-party. This is I would say one issue that is
perhaps a myth with the public. Behind the scenes, there are lots
of cross-party groups and issues. We may ultimately take a different
view about how best to serve the country but we always have to work
together and we do. We make our representations as best we can.
What happens next? The budget goes to the police and crime panel next
week. The plant also goes as well. -- the plan. The chief constable
will then start working on the plan which he is already doing. He is
already directing resources to key areas. Are you glad you took it on?
Very much so. It has been a lot of pressure but it is good. Yesterday
getting out into Glossop and meeting people was the best part.
Thank you very much for joining us. Time for our regular round-up of
some of the other political stories in the East Midlands this week in
Could there be more train stations in the East Midlands? The Transport
Secretary and Derbyshire Dales MP has released an extra �20 million.
Campaigners in Ilkeston are hoping it will lead to the reopening of
the town's station. East Midlands MPs have criticised
the ambulance service in a Parliamentary debate. The service
wants to replace 65 stations with large tubs and smaller community
bases to become more efficient. The Broxtowe MP and junior Health
Minister said she will reveal national standards for waiting
times for an ambulance -- she will review. I will be making those
recommendations to say that we need to look again at the ambulance
service. Local organisations are among the
most gay-friendly organisations in the company. The NHS Trust came 4th
and Leicestershire County Council were 20th out of 370 employers
surveyed by the gay rights group Stonewall.
Well done to them for that Stonewall award. A story there
about money for new stations. Good news for Ilkeston? We are hoping so.
A significant development. Viewers may remember last year the
Secretary of State said that thanks to the campaign I led that a fund
was going to be set up and the fund is now open. I am told the bids
will be quickly. The announcement on HS2 is expected tomorrow.
only we knew! We are going to have to wait till Monday. I hope there
will be regeneration and Investment in the East Midlands foster a good
news for the East Midlands, Glenis? Absolutely. I am sure it will be
fairly close. Do you know any more about it? I wish I did. David
Cameron is making the announcement in Leeds tomorrow so I hope you are
both right. Do not forget, we want to hear from you. Put your