03/02/2013 Sunday Politics East Midlands


Andrew Neil and Marie Ashby with the latest political news, interviews and debate.

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Here in the East Midlands: As the Government prepares to vote


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2427 seconds


on gay marriage, you're split on As the Government prepares to vote


on the issue of gay marriage, you are split on the issue. Do you


agree with same-sex marriages? No. It is their business and if they


wish to make a commitment, it is their business.


Hello, I'm Marie Ashby. Joining me this week, the Conservative MP for


Mid-Derbyshire, Pauline Latham, and Labour's man in Chesterfield, Toby


Perkins. Welcome. First, Tory hopes of fighting the


next election on re-drawn constituency boundaries were


crushed on Tuesday when Nick Clegg and his Liberal Democrat MPs


unanimously voted no. Conservative Mark Spencer was less than happy


with his coalition colleagues. Fairness, fairness. It is all we


have heard from some of our colleagues in collision. But a word


I would like to introduce his operability and whether it is


honourable to take a position and then move, frankly, to renewed


position when you see what is before you. -- introduced


From a personal perspective I am delighted I have a chance to fight


another election but we did fight with the government because I do


believe all constituencies should be the same size and I agree with


fairness. So you would have sacrificed your seat? Yes. We have


a huge number of people and a transient population. It is what we


thought this boundary was entirely non-political and unfair. We should


have seen and other eight seats but under the boundary we saw eight


fewer seats in London, so those missing people, I thought we would


get them on to the register and a whole raft of things was being done


that would mean that didn't happen. We both still Rahmat and every


member of Parliament still Brett -- we both stood on it and every


member of Parliament stood on it. It would have been very different


for those of us who had major changes.


The other big story in our patch this week, of course, was the news


that Toton Sidings has been chosen as the East Midlands Hub for the


High Speed 2 rail extension to Leeds. Pauline, is Toton the best


solution for the East Midlands? Should it have gone straight to


Derby instead of Toton? Well, the Nottingham would have complained so


Toton Sidings is very good for the East Midlands generally and it will


be brilliant for Nottingham and Derby and a lot more businesses


will be opening up in this area. It's causing a bit of a kerfuffle


at Derby City Council, with leader Paul Bayliss campaigning for Derby


to have the station there and Tory opposition leader Philip Hickson


saying the idea's absurd. Yes, and where was Paul Bayliss when the


idea was proposed? He is jumping on a bandwagon just because you wanted


to oppose the Government, and it is not really about derby. -- he


wanted. In the north of the region, the nearest we will be to the north


side of Sheffield. This is a welcome bit of infrastructure but


welcome bit of infrastructure but we need to remember it is 20 years


away and we don't want to see these huge development projects that mean


we don't get the investment we need right now, because we need to see


those services on the East Coast Main Line, which service much wider


parts of our region, continued. There is not enough capacity on the


tray in lines at the moment. They are pretty full most of the time. -


- train lines. It will open up that capacity because there will still


be trains through Derby. It is not as though the stations in


Nottingham and Derby will close. But the high-speed will go through


Toton Sidings. Plenty more to come on this story.


Next week, I'll be joined by North West Leicestershire Conservative MP


Andrew Bridgen, who will definitely have something to say about HS2,


because it's going to be running through his back garden! And the


Shadow Minister for Rail and Nottingham South MP, Lilian


Greenwood, will be here too. So if you've got a question for our


guests next week on HS2 or anything else, you can tweet us or go to our


else, you can tweet us or go to our Just a few weeks into his job, the


new Police and Crime Commissioner for Leicestershire and Rutland


seems to have ruffled a few feathers with his military style.


Former Air Chief Marshall Sir Clive Loader has had a letter from the


County Council in which they express their disappointment at his


lack of consultation with them. Sir Clive met with councillors and


members of the Police and Crime Panel at County Hall earlier this


week to discuss his draft budget. Tim Parker is our political


reporter in Leicester. Tim, you were at the meeting. A frosty


encounter? Certainly. Some of the questions were pretty direct. A


lack of detail about the crime plan itself and how it marries into the


Budget. Thirdly, a big question about commissioning. Of course, Sir


Clive Loader has control of this budget of money for partnership


working in the community and wants to review that after six months. He


and the local government panel and independent members are saying,


hang on, because this kind of work is usually done over a 12 month


period so there is a question mark over how those groups will go


forward. Why did some councillors vote against the budget? Four city


councillors did vote against it but the concerns from the councillors


were that despite a freeze grant being introduced that will help the


police to take over from the Police Authority and health Sir Clive do


his work as he should of April, so there is a transition Grant. --


helps Sir Clive. The city mayor helps Sir Clive. The city mayor


still has concerns. By taking the freeze grant, it is worse, because


by that time we get too near 3 the situation will be significantly


worse and no plans have been presented as doubt that challenge


will be met. So what did Sir Clive Loader have


to say for himself? Both sides realise it is going to be difficult


to do. But despite what the panel has said, he will not be put off


his promises. The manifesto was based on what they wanted and


expected and it is what I am required to do by law, that is have


a connectivity between the Commission and the police agreed


plan. No beating about the bush there, then. And isn't it that


approach that's got backs up at County Hall? Yes, it is two worlds


colliding. He is saying he wants to meet his manifesto regardless of


what the panel and politicians are saying. This is exactly what people


were worried about before these PCCs were elected - that there


would be fall-outs with different parties? I don't think these are


opposing parties. It will take a while because it is a completely


different system, and where councillors are used to come --


controlling a budget they will not want to give it up. But they will


have to do so for the benefit of the people and criminals to make


sure policing is done correctly. But it is not easy, is it?


There will always be political arguments but they have to work


together for the benefit of the people. Surely we're going to see


more of this. Yes, but the Government have taken the


incredibly cowardly step of taking huge cuts but not deciding where


they will go. We have seen huge cuts to the Police Commission and


the Government can then sit back and say, it is up to you council


has to decide. -- counsellors. Paddy Tipping in Nottinghamshire


wants to increase council tax to have more police, which is what


everyone was asking for, but his County Council is saying it's going


to freeze it again. How are they going to sort that one out? They


are going to have to put some of the politics behind them for the


benefit of the people in the area and tried to sort it out. Are we


going to see more of these spats? Yes, because they used to doing


things in a very different way. Parker, thank you.


Last week, we told you that one of our Health Trusts had been judged


one of the most gay-friendly employers in the country. And this


week, MPs will have their first chance to vote on gay marriage when


the bill to legalise marriage for same-sex couples gets its second


reading in the House of Commons on Tuesday. They're both subjects


close to the heart of Ian Campbell, who's gay and is a Bassetlaw


District Councillor. He's prepared his own personal report for us.


I am here to find out why this place is one of the most gay-


friendly employers in the county. A number of East Midlands councils


made it to the top 100 on the list of employers and so did


Leicestershire Police, but this health Trust made it into the top


five. Rachel Phillips is the chair of the Forum, representing Lesbian,


Gay, bisexual and transsexuals staff. There is nothing forbidden


to talk about because we want to provide for everybody in the


community. So what is it staff can come to work feeling they can be


their holes that -- whole selves, we can provide that service for


patients in a much better way. to meet you. This is the chief


executive of the Trust. What benefits do you get your


organisation for employees by it being this way? I have got 8,800


jobs and I won my staff representing the community they are


in. I want to give choice to patients. It looks as though our


employers are getting the message about gay rights but what about


politicians? I think marriage is a fantastic institution for two


people who love each other delayed to enter into. Into a contract, so


to speak, not just with themselves but what -- with whichever God as


they believe in, and die as a Christian and a gay man want to get


married in my parish church, under God. With the person I love.


Toby, Ian makes a fair point there. Yes, he makes a very good point.


There are those on both sides of the argument and opinion polls show


the majority of those support it but those who don't feel very


strongly about it indeed. I just feel the God I believe in says we


are equal and so gay people should have the same rights to say they


want to get married. But what we are voting on this week is not


about gay people getting married in church or churches being forced to


do this or changing the school curriculum. It is simply about


whether they will be able to rule on whether his civil partnership is


worth less than a marriage and calling it a marriage. Ian's told


us he's not very happy about the Church of England being exempt. He


feels some parishes would carry out gay marriages but can't. I am sure


they would. This is obviously a very divisive issue and any body


against it Islamophobic. I want to say that in terms of Members of


Parliament, it is not true. I have not come across one member of


Parliament who is homophobic, so we're looking at it from a very


different view. I am happy for gay people, if they love each other, to


be together... And get married? I am not going to vote for this.


And what about the temples? The Muslims, the Jews? We have not


heard Dave Hughes very much. If Toby and I had an affair, he is


married and I am married, his wife and my husband could divorce us on


adultery. If I had an affair with you, my husband could not do more -


- divorce made because there can be no adultery between two women and


men. There are such anomalies. I thought Conservatives were


generally in favour of the institution of marriage? We are,


and I have had hundreds of letters. Only one homophobic letter. About


this more than any other issue since I have been in Parliament, I


have had four, though they are starting to come in now, because


the gay community is getting their act together and bombarding us in


the last day, but up till then I have had four for marriage.


course, love aside, the Government reckons gay marriage could bring as


much �14.4 million into the economy. That is not the reason for doing it.


We are not equal until we all have that right. But Pauline is right to


save his bill is not a particularly good one. What they should be doing


is saying, leave it to the church to decide. We sent Des Coleman out


onto the streets of his home town of Derby to see what you think. If


there is a wedding here this weekend it will be between a man


and a woman. Later this week, MPs debate on whether to allow same-sex


marriages. I have here in Derby to find out what you think.


Not my cup of tea. I don't believe in it.


I have got her daughter and son and if they were gay, there would be no


generation to carry on. People deserve to be happy like everybody


else. I agree with it totally. you want to get married, go for it.


It is legalised in the States. I have no a problem with that. I am a


Muslim and it is not prohibited, same-sex marriage. So I disagree.


think everybody should be allowed to get married. If the love is


there, let them get married. In the future, the traditional wedding


between a man and a woman may be a thing of the past. There of people


queuing up to go to the Court of Human Rights to overturn this


quadruple not for the churches, which is a complete anomaly, there


will be all sorts of other things. If the registrar is licensed by the


local authority for marriages in church, if they say, no, I don't


agree with same-sex marriage, that church will probably not be able to


conduct any marriages, never mind a gay marriage. So I think there are


many things which need ironing out. I cannot have a civil partnership,


I can only have her marriage. But gay couples can have both. There is


something wrong there. 's go and you can see how mixed up


-- opinions are -- we have been out and about in Derby and you can see


how mixed opinions are with people. There are those who support it but


some people feel very strongly against, and I think the idea of


religion, and I am proud to call myself a Christian, but we believe


Christianity and quality are closely linked, and the idea that


any religious institution should be forced to do what they don't want


to do is wrong. But that is not what we will be voting for. I have


a three different meetings in Chesterfield's and I am intending


in the debate on Tuesday to represent those used. They want to


make a change -- they are worried about changes to the School


Curriculum and whether they are going to be forced into it.


Time for a round-up of some of the other political stories in the East


Midlands in 60 seconds, with our Newark and Sherwood District


Council is to pay its lowest-paid staff a living wage. That's the


rate needed to avoid relying on benefits. Currently it's �7.45 an


hour. The council reckons it'll cost �24,000 a year.


Graham Allen is leading a move to give more powers to local councils,


including the ability to raise taxes. The Nottingham North MP is


chairman of the Political and Constitutional Reform Select


Committee, which has just produced a report calling for a radical


change in the relationship between central and local government. If


and have it sewn money and be able to raise its own finance if the


electors can centre local taxes. and have its own money.


10,000 Blue Badge holders in Derby could lose their free parking in


city council car parks from April next year. The council's proposed


budget includes plans to charge people on the lower rate of


disability allowance. The move would save �80,000 a year.


So Graham Allen there, wanting to give more powers to local councils.


Should they be able to raise some taxes for themselves? As long as


the people in the area consent to it, I think there is a reason to


say yes, because there is a problem with council tax. We cannot provide


the money from national government because of the mess we have been


left in, so local councils could look at that but it would have to


be with the consent of the people. Toby, what do you think? There is


the question of whether we raise more money locally because we do


that far less than other countries. But the economy is very stagnant so


we would need to have a requisite reduction in central government


spending and more money raised locally. So quite a way to go.


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