27/01/2013 Sunday Politics East Midlands


27/01/2013

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

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recovery for generations. Labour's lead slumps. The come when

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referendum affect? -- the Cameron In the East Midlands: tens of

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thousands of homes are in fuel poverty. Will a new government

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2293 seconds

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$:/STARTFEED. Tens of thousands of homes are in fuel poverty but we

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might have the answer. No need for the duvet. And how the new police

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and crime commissioners are getting started. They have got to deal with

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organised crime. Hello, I'm Marie Ashby. Joining me

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this week, the Conservative MP for Erewash Jessica Lee and someone

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who's been in the thick of the Euro action, Labour's MEP for the East

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Midlands, Glenis Willmott. Well, It's the story of the week

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again, Europe. But what does it mean for us here in the East

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Midlands? Well, Glenis can give us the view from Europe and Jessica

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has the word from Erewash. Last week we had Heather Wheeler in the

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studio saying quite openly that she wants us to get out of Europe.

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you agree? I do not take quite the same position but I welcome the

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Prime Minister's announcement today. This is the conversation the public

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have wanted for some time. There are plenty of jobs in my

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constituency that rely on the single market but there are lots of

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other aspects of the relationship that people are not happy about.

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you want to be in or out? At the moment, I would like to try and

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stay in and renegotiate. Then I will look at it again. Andrew

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Bridgen says he cannot wait to get out and campaign in his

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constituency on the referendum. Do you think it will go down well in

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your constituency? I do. I have had a lot of correspondence from

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constituents saying they are unhappy. We need to deal with myths

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about the European Union and realities. How does Labour respond

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to this, Glenis? You cannot be against people having their say.

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David Cameron has put the politics of his own party before the

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interests of the public. Now is not the time to be talking about this

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when we should be concentrating on getting the economy right. We need

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Europe for that, surely? We have a million young people unemployed. We

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should be concentrating our efforts on that. This is about satisfying a

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few of his backbenchers. He was quite clear he thought it was in

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Britain's interests to be a solid part of Europe. If he believes that,

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why is he going down this route? It is like sleepwalking towards the

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exit door. He does not think it is in the British interests so we

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should not be doing it. Another European issue, the EU could be

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about to give another big grant to the BNP to help them with political

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activities, more than �330,000. What is your problem with that?

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This is a far-right party that does not agree with fundamental

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principles of the rights of minorities. A legal party who have

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won seats in the East Midlands. This is a far-right group across

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Europe and I do not think we should be funding, taxpayers, a group of

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people that do not uphold the rights of minorities. Do you agree,

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Jessica? There has been a lot of cross-party work between the

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British MEPs on the subject and... Should they get the money? I am

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going to leave this to the MEPs to take a lead on and they are best-

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informed to take a decision. Onto the other story of the week,

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the weather. And as we've discovered, just as the cold spell

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struck, Government grants for warming our homes ran out. Here's

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our political editor John Hess. When the winter temperature falls,

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it is time to wrap up and turn up the heat. What happens if you

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cannot afford the electric and gas bills? For this man, it became a

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choice of heating a or eating. was very cold and the room never

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warmed up. In the evenings, I used to get a duvet or a dressing-gown

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and sit on the sofa covered up watching TV. What he needed was an

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overcoat. Not for himself but for his home. His three-bedroom house

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has wraparound installation, part funded under a government energy

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efficiency scheme. From the room being cold, it gets warm within

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about 15 minutes. After half-an- hour, I can switch the heating off.

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The room stays constant and I hardly lose any temperature at all.

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No need for the duvet? No need for the duvet! The government

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recommends temperatures should be around 21 degrees in your living

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room. That makes it warm. If you spend more than 10% of your income

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on those gas and electricity bills, you are deemed to be in fuel

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poverty. According to government figures, 22% of households in this

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area of Nottingham are in fuel poverty, one of the highest rates

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in Britain. 850 homes both rented and private on this 1930s estate

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had installation improvements. have a layer of will. It is made

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from ground rock. This woman is explaining the contents of the

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unsolicited overcoat. She works for an independent charity behind the

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in the first -- the energy- efficiency makeover and says fuel

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poverty is on the increase. In 2006, there were 2.2 million people

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classified as being fuel poor. Looking at the figures now, it is

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in excess of 5 million. A huge increase. The average home now

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costs one buzz of �400 a year to heat and fuel costs are rising --

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�1,400 a year. The government has scrapped some schemes turning up

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the political temperature. We are trying to get help but my

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constituents have been told they must wait in freezing temperatures,

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very vulnerable and elderly people. It is nothing short of a disgrace.

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Policy is this -- it is defined to... The green deal is the

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government's answer. Subsidies for installation, new boilers and solar

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panels. It was piloted in Nottingham. Moving towards the more

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advanced energy saving measures and new policies, there is a definite

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funding gap. We are looking at solid wall insulation fought harder

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to treat properties. You are looking at costs of up to �10,000

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per property. That is so far cry from �200 to �400 for the loft and

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cavity wall insulation. It is not just the temperatures that are

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rising. The number of households in fuel poverty over the next three

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years is expected to reach 9 million. If you have not heard of

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the Green Deal, you will. It is the coalition's flagship policy to

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tackle growing fuel poverty. Well, we're joined by Jane Daw from

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Barnardo's who runs children's centres in Leicester. You are

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campaigning on fuel poverty. How bad is it? It is really bad for

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families in Leicester. A recent property report said that there

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were 26,000 children in Leicester living in poverty that is 32% of

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all children. My children centre is based in a very deprived area on a

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large estate which was one of the original Sure Start areas. Families

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are increasingly finding themselves in debt even though they are being

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supported by us to manage their budgets well. It is having an

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impact. There are having to make extreme sacrifices. Really hard

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decisions. Fuel is... They are cold. Children are wearing outside coats

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and under duvets. Certain families have no flooring and cannot afford

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even the essential items. We are having to refer people to voluntary

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organisations and charities in order to get the essential items.

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We have a food bank and we are constantly referring people there.

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You are saying is backed up by the figures -- what you are saying. In

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the 10 worst constituencies in the East Midlands, more than 20% of

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people are in fuel poverty. In the Derbyshire Dales, it is 25%. What

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is being done to help these people, Jessica? There is work being done.

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We are all in agreement about how important this issue is. Fuel

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poverty is an issue that has been on the rise for a number of years.

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What the government is doing is working hard trying to get the

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energy companies... There are too many choices at the moment. People

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need to have... Under the energy bill, the government proposal is

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that there would be just four energy tariffs available so people

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can make clear choices. The Green Deal, that is meant to pick in next

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week. But the energy revolution campaign which Barnardo's is part

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of has already said it will not be enough to halt what is happening.

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am listening very carefully to all of the representations being made

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but there are new-issue -- new initiatives coming through. The

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energy company obligation will help hundreds of thousands of families.

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We need to be investing. We saw in the film the homeowner it going for

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the installation... To be honest, winter happens at the same time

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every year. We know what is going to happen so we should be doing it

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now. Things are being done now. This yet... It was the middle of

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the summer that the government was having the conversations with the

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energy companies. They need to take responsibility and be clear with

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customers what the options are and help them to make sure they are on

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the lowest possible tariffs. Europe help on this, Glenis? We are

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working on this and we think... I think some of the money from the

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carbon tax should be used to alleviate fuel poverty. But the

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problem with the green deal is that it is not fair. It is expensive and

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the interest rates are very high. Sometimes the interest is more than

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the work itself. Fuel poverty is not a Conservative issue. It was a

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problem under Labour as well. did not do enough but we brought 2

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million people out of fuel poverty. But more needs to be done. If you

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have got to choose between fuel and food, that is outrageous. It is

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even down to essential items. One child got respiratory illness

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because they could not keep their house and burka car was broken...

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They cannot afford a bed -- the cooker was broken. They could not

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keep the House warm enough. The stress on the family was incredible.

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All of the good work we were doing to improve the outcomes is at risk

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of being undone. Why Barnardo's is supporting this campaign is because

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it is something that would make a significant impact because it would

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reduce bills by about �310 a week. Do you feel Labour and

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Conservatives have failed to? These families are really suffering.

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Children are going to school without proper codes. If they want

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shoes, it is down to things like, we will cut our food back and we

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will be cold. It is these essential items, it is not luxuries. They are

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managing budgets. You are not doing enough now when the people need it.

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I do not accept that. I am under no illusion that the biggest issue for

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all families is the cost of living. I would say that is the priority

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for government. That is why they are trying to take the very poorest

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people out of paying tax altogether. Briefly, Glenis. Wholesale prices

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have been coming down since 2008. Prices for us are going up. We have

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got to get a grip. Thank you for joining us.

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They were elected on a wave of indifference from the public. But

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now the police and crime commissioners are working out how

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to spend your money. The PCCs have had a couple of months to come up

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with a policing budget for the next five years and to accommodate

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millions of pounds of cuts. So, what have they been up to?

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The Leicestershire and Rutland police and crime commissioner is

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the Conservative Clive loader. He has presented a plan involving a

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freeze on the council tax element of his budget for two years. He

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plans an increase of 2% be on that. He is not appointed a deputy and

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does not have an allocated car. In Derbyshire the Labour PCC is

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proposing a budget of �170.6 million. An increased contribution

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from local authorities are of almost 2%. That is expected to add

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�3.21 a year to the council tax for a household on Band D. He has

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appointed a deputy. He is not taking up a car either. In

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Nottinghamshire, the PCC is still finalising his budget. He has

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appointed a part-time deputy on �36,000. He has also spurned a

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company car. The Derbyshire Police and Crime

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Commissioner Alan Charles is with us. The headline, a rising council

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tax to pay for your Budget. How can you justify that? It is difficult.

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I know people are suffering. But if the government have cut 20% from

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police budgets in Derbyshire which is having an impact on policing.

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They have given a state council tax freeze grant. It is for one year

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only. -- they have given us a council tax freeze grant. It is

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like a pay-day loan. The only way I can go forward is to put in a small

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council tax increase to try and maintain police numbers. I hear

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what you are saying but can you let our viewers know what why it is

:54:07.:54:13.

Unido full-time deputy when other PCCs have said they do not? There

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are not many full-time PCCs who have not decided to have a deputy.

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Yesterday afternoon, I was in Glossop talking to a family

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suffering terrible anti-social behaviour. I cannot do it on my own.

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They are in million people in Derbyshire. It is an expensive job.

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The police authority office was costing just over a million pounds.

:54:40.:54:50.
:54:50.:54:52.

I have cut �100,000 from that. There will be for more PCSOs. --

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four more. How will people in your constituency feel about it? They

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will be disappointed. It is straight back to the taxpayer to

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ask for more money. Crime is down in Derbyshire by 17% in the last

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year and it is a credit to all involved. But I would say it is

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very disappointing while everyone else is managing to look carefully

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at where the savings can be made that it is not being achieved by

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the PCC. You are also imposing a cut in pay on police officers?

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I would say to that is that we have a PCC whose job and responsibility

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it is to look at how best to manage the Budget. Crime is lower and

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taxes should not be going up. knows as well as I do that during

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the whole election campaign what people wanted to see his police

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officer numbers maintained. If I do not increase council tax, we will

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lose 20 officers a year year on year and that is not what people

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want to see. Well, we've heard what the police

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and crime commissioners are planning to do. But what do you

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think they should be doing? Des Coleman has been in Leicestershire

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to find out. Your police commissioner has been

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elected by youth so what is it you want from them? I am here in

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Loughborough to find out. They have got to look at what is going on

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with the major pockets of crime and deal with it. Organised crime is a

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big part of the Budget. The rest is down to communities taking

:56:23.:56:25.

responsibility rather than blaming the police for everything. What we

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do like to see them do? Cut crime in the town centres. That is the

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majority... Especially for the elderly. Policing the streets. That

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is my concern because being told... -- being old. And of the lady. We

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get scared. I would like to walk my dogs in the evenings but I dare not.

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I have been accosted by young people. I had an incident last

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night... They do not come out when they need to. It is, we will put

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you in the diary and come when it is convenient. I have got to wait

:57:06.:57:14.

until Thursday. Good-looking couple. Let us talk to them. Do you know

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who your local police commissioner is? No. Did you vote? No. What can

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they do to cut crime? I have been working in a pub and lobbying and

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to get the pub watch going. I am hoping they will do a fine job on

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our behalf. The people of Loughborough have spoken.

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The surprising thing is that the figures show crime is going down

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but a lot of people have been victims of crime. Yes, they have.

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Anyone who has been a victim of crime feels traumatised. One of the

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things I am keen to do is talk to victims to see how we can improve

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things for future victims and help to stop people becoming victims in

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the first place. Jessica. It is a good priority this for the

:58:06.:58:11.

government, extra assistance for victims. We have a great Justice

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Minister who feels passionately about this. It is about reassuring

:58:17.:58:22.

people. It is often a fear of crime that causes distress, although not

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as much when you are a victim of crime. What people want is somebody

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to work quickly. You cannot get to everybody. You cannot please

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everybody. I do not think that was Derbyshire Police force but if

:58:35.:58:38.

someone rings us and it is not an emergency we will make an

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appointment to go and see them. I think that is beneficial to the

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police service and the person calling. They cannot turn out on a

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999 response to every call but we certainly do for emergencies.

:58:55.:59:01.

you think you can work together, Jessica? Absolutely. I will always

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work and we work cross-party. This is I would say one issue that is

:59:05.:59:09.

perhaps a myth with the public. Behind the scenes, there are lots

:59:09.:59:13.

of cross-party groups and issues. We may ultimately take a different

:59:13.:59:18.

view about how best to serve the country but we always have to work

:59:18.:59:22.

together and we do. We make our representations as best we can.

:59:22.:59:30.

What happens next? The budget goes to the police and crime panel next

:59:30.:59:37.

week. The plant also goes as well. -- the plan. The chief constable

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will then start working on the plan which he is already doing. He is

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already directing resources to key areas. Are you glad you took it on?

:59:46.:59:51.

Very much so. It has been a lot of pressure but it is good. Yesterday

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getting out into Glossop and meeting people was the best part.

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Thank you very much for joining us. Time for our regular round-up of

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

:00:03.:00:13.
:00:13.:00:15.

Could there be more train stations in the East Midlands? The Transport

:00:15.:00:20.

Secretary and Derbyshire Dales MP has released an extra �20 million.

:00:20.:00:23.

Campaigners in Ilkeston are hoping it will lead to the reopening of

:00:23.:00:28.

the town's station. East Midlands MPs have criticised

:00:28.:00:31.

the ambulance service in a Parliamentary debate. The service

:00:31.:00:35.

wants to replace 65 stations with large tubs and smaller community

:00:35.:00:40.

bases to become more efficient. The Broxtowe MP and junior Health

:00:40.:00:43.

Minister said she will reveal national standards for waiting

:00:43.:00:49.

times for an ambulance -- she will review. I will be making those

:00:49.:00:54.

recommendations to say that we need to look again at the ambulance

:00:54.:00:56.

service. Local organisations are among the

:00:56.:01:01.

most gay-friendly organisations in the company. The NHS Trust came 4th

:01:01.:01:06.

and Leicestershire County Council were 20th out of 370 employers

:01:06.:01:13.

surveyed by the gay rights group Stonewall.

:01:13.:01:18.

Well done to them for that Stonewall award. A story there

:01:18.:01:24.

about money for new stations. Good news for Ilkeston? We are hoping so.

:01:24.:01:28.

A significant development. Viewers may remember last year the

:01:28.:01:31.

Secretary of State said that thanks to the campaign I led that a fund

:01:31.:01:36.

was going to be set up and the fund is now open. I am told the bids

:01:36.:01:42.

will be quickly. The announcement on HS2 is expected tomorrow.

:01:42.:01:47.

only we knew! We are going to have to wait till Monday. I hope there

:01:47.:01:50.

will be regeneration and Investment in the East Midlands foster a good

:01:50.:01:56.

news for the East Midlands, Glenis? Absolutely. I am sure it will be

:01:56.:02:01.

fairly close. Do you know any more about it? I wish I did. David

:02:01.:02:06.

Cameron is making the announcement in Leeds tomorrow so I hope you are

:02:06.:02:13.

both right. Do not forget, we want to hear from you. Put your

:02:13.:02:18.

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