03/02/2013 Sunday Politics East Midlands


03/02/2013

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

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2427 seconds

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

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

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

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wish to make a commitment, it is their business.

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

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

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Perkins. Welcome. First, Tory hopes of fighting the

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next election on re-drawn constituency boundaries were

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crushed on Tuesday when Nick Clegg and his Liberal Democrat MPs

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unanimously voted no. Conservative Mark Spencer was less than happy

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

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

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I would like to introduce his operability and whether it is

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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for those of us who had major changes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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be brilliant for Nottingham and Derby and a lot more businesses

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

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

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to have the station there and Tory opposition leader Philip Hickson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Toton Sidings. Plenty more to come on this story.

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

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

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

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Shadow Minister for Rail and Nottingham South MP, Lilian

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

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

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

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new Police and Crime Commissioner for Leicestershire and Rutland

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

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

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County Council in which they express their disappointment at his

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Clive Loader has control of this budget of money for partnership

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

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and the local government panel and independent members are saying,

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

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

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

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councillors did vote against it but the concerns from the councillors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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worse and no plans have been presented as doubt that challenge

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will be met. So what did Sir Clive Loader have

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

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

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

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

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a connectivity between the Commission and the police agreed

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

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

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

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

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were worried about before these PCCs were elected - that there

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

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

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

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

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

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

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There will always be political arguments but they have to work

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

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

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incredibly cowardly step of taking huge cuts but not deciding where

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Gay, bisexual and transsexuals staff. There is nothing forbidden

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

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

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

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

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executive of the Trust. What benefits do you get your

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

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jobs and I won my staff representing the community they are

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

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employers are getting the message about gay rights but what about

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politicians? I think marriage is a fantastic institution for two

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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men. There are such anomalies. I thought Conservatives were

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Christianity and quality are closely linked, and the idea that

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Midlands in 60 seconds, with our Newark and Sherwood District

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

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

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

:02:49.:02:52.

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

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

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chairman of the Political and Constitutional Reform Select

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

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change in the relationship between central and local government. If

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

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

:03:20.:03:23.

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

:03:23.:03:26.

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

:03:26.:03:28.

budget includes plans to charge people on the lower rate of

:03:28.:03:38.
:03:38.:03:39.

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

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

:03:42.:03:52.
:03:52.:03:55.

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

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

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

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

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

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:04:21.:04:23.

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

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

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

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we would need to have a requisite reduction in central government

:04:34.:04:40.

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

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