10/02/2013 Sunday Politics East Midlands


10/02/2013

Andrew Neil and Marie Ashby with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Guests include environment secretary Owen Paterson and energy secretary Ed Davey.


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In the East Midlands, high-speed to, we will be hearing from the MP who

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2455 seconds

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faces and the prospect of the line In the East Midlands. Take your

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seat for the HS2 debate - are you for it, or against it? The only

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people but on going to use the HS2 of business people. The ordinary

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man will not be using it. If it brings jobs and income and

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increases the value of properties hit is well worth it. And benefits

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changes - a disaster waiting to happen, or could they work? We hear

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from Melton Mowbray, where local people have been piloting the

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changes. Everything now is looking more positive. Hello, I'm Marie

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Ashby. Joining me this week the Conservative MP for North West

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Leicestershire, Andrew Bridgen, and the Labour Nottingham South MP,

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Lilian Greenwood. First, bigging up the East Midlands

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at what we do best. Mark Spencer, the Conservative Sherwood MP, has

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called a debate next week to highlight the strengths of our

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region's manufacturing economy. He wants to make sure we're the first

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people anyone thinks of when it comes to investment. He is not just

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talking about that big boys like Bombarider and Rolls Royce, he is

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saying we have to shed for the region. And he is right, isn't he?

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Yes, we are good be talking about the great success in the East

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Midlands of manufacturing. We have no people employed in manufacturing

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than any region in the UK. It is our bigger percentage of GDP. We

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are growing markets and it is a great story. I have some fantastic

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small and medium-sized companies in manufacturing in my constituency.

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Norton are looking to double their production. They have a �25 million

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order book and 90 % of the product goes abroad. The see it as good

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news. Lilian, Will you be supporting Mark Spencer? Certainly

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it is good to highlight the good work going on in the East Midlands.

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But we are not getting support from government funding that we used to,

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since we lost our regional development agency. We have done

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quite poorly on that. I'm not going to take lessons from Lillian about

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manufacturing. But she's right to say we have had to drop in money

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here. Norton, to facilitate their doubling of production, have had a

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government guarantee on the low to provide those facilities. Cutting

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corporation tax, increasing capital allowances tenfold in the Budget,

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that will make the huge difference to manufacturing. If we do not act

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now, we could lose these manufacturing skills that have been

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going on for decades. I was not seeking to make a party political

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point, I was trying to say that as a result of the loss of the

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regional development agency be are not getting the growth in money

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into the region compared to other regions. I think we should be

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working together to try to make sure that East Midlands gets its

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fair share. He took a lot about Norton but they do not employ a lot

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of people. But 83 % of the components that go to make an 0 a

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motorcycle on made in the UK. There are always a lot of jobs behind the

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frontline jobs. Lilian, are you going to the debate? Certainly, if

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I'm not already committed to other things I will certainly be going

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along to listen and make a contribution. One of the things we

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most need is to get growth and jobs into the wider economy. One of the

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things holding manufacturing back is a lack of demand in the UK which

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is why the government should be doing more to stimulate growth.

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may be 20 years away, but there's no keeping High Speed 2 out of the

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news. It's of particular interest to our two guests today. Lilian is

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shadow rail minister and Andrew, well, he's worried the line's going

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to go right through his garden! We'll get their views in a minute,

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but first, the Transport Secretary and Derbyshire Dales MP, Patrick

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McLoughlin, has been speaking to our olitical editor, John Hess,

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about how he made the decision about where the trains should run -

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and where the stations should be too. I realise that part of the

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route will be very unpopular. You cannot build a major infrastructure

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in this country without causing some problems, without some people

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being against the plan. What we have to look Toop as the government

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is what is in the long-term interest of the United Kingdom.

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This is the first railway line to be built north of Birmingham in 120

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years. Nick Rushton says that for Leicestershire they get all the

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pain and none of the game. If you look at when East Midlands Airport

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is, for instance, it was built by Derbyshire, Leicestershire and

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Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire certainly from utter got some of

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the game. I believe that the station that we are talking about

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at Toton will be great. One of the most important things about High

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Speed Two, it is not mainly about speed, it is about providing

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capacity on the rail network. We are desperately short of capacity

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and Leicestershire will get extra capacity. How will Leicestershire

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get extra capacity? Because it will free up track space on the lines of

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the Midland Main Line which we are going to be electrifying and that

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is how you build capacity into the whole network. Andrew, you heard

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what he had to say, it is for the cut off the whole country. It is

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not for the good of North West Leicester. Even if the much

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disputed economic benefits of HS2 to the whole country to come at

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some point in the future, the fact is that the polite, the fear and

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the planning paralysis actually happen the moment the plans were

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announced. Already, the housing market is collapsing in this way

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across the line of HS2, which went straight through the middle of my

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constituency. Through your garden? Doesn't it to go into my land, but

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next door. A lot of people say if you do not make a big fuss about he

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could lose a lot of fate. There's nothing in it for my constituents.

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The economic argument is completely flawed. In 20 years' time, when

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this but it may or may not come to fruition, I think video-

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conferencing, to roll out of super- fast Broadbent, people will not

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trouble for business, it will be done over the internet. People will

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still travel for pleasure, and that means spending money. If you think

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people in London on going to say let's go to Birmingham more people

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are Byrne sake let's go to London, I think it will draw more money to

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London. I found myself in agreement with most things that Patrick

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McLoughlin said. HS2 was a Labour idea where club that the government

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are pushing ahead. This is about increasing the capacity of our rail

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network. More and more people want to travel by rail and yet some of

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them find the roots are - from the overcrowded. This will help us to

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provide the step-change, to seek Nottingham and the East Midlands or

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somewhere that they can invest because they can get their easily

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from London, Birmingham and Leeds. I have spoken to thousands and

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thousands of business people in my career has, and one thing I can

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guarantee is that no-one has ever said to me is that my business is

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not thriving because it cannot get to London fast enough. Businesses

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in Nottingham and Derbyshire are saying they are in favour of HS2,

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they won this development to go ahead. There was the view of the

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chambers of commerce. Some pews from viewers. These say, there is a

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tunnel under East Midlands Airport, why not build the station there?

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That would be some consolation to my constituency do not have a

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station at all in North West Leicestershire. White is cities

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will have the pleasure of driving half an hour north to get to London

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half an hour earlier. I think there is a possibility of introducing

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extra stations into what the government have produced as the

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preferred route. The reason it is in Toton is because it is close to

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Nottingham which is the major market for use of HS2. Andrew's

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certainly made no secret of his opposition, but what about his

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constituents - do they feel the same? And are people in Lilian's

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Nottingham South excited by the prospect? We've sent Des Coleman to

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find out. The village of Appleby Magna has

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enjoyed the peace and quiet a rural village for 11,000 years, but that

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could be shattered by high-speed trains. We have come here to find

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out your thoughts. The only people that are going to use the HS2 of

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business people. The ordinary man in the street will not be using it.

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It is a waste of �32 billion. not think will be worse than having

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the M40 to running past our houses. It is very noisy and a do-nothing

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the railway will be noisier. If it brings jobs and income and

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increases the value of properties here it is well worth it. But I

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don't know the extent of the disruption. For the benefits of

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that, to me it probably would not be worth it. You will be quicker on

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your horse, wouldn't you? Definitely! A from the beauty of

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the rural countryside to the hustle and bustle of the city. We are in

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the constituency of Lillian to find or what they think. The millions

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and millions that is being spent it is never put where it is mostly

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needed. I think it will be a good thing. You might get a lot of

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people coming from London here and living here. I think they should

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invest more money elsewhere. Into the youngsters and get the vote in

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get them jobs. I have no objections to it. It is a good idea, I think.

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Andrew, not everyone in your constituency was against it. In

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Appleby Magna some people put quite supportive. I think the more they

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find out about the project, the more they will be against it. There

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was a healthy scepticism that it can be brought in on budget. I

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think it will be hugely over-budget, two or three times. They might

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build the bit from London to Birmingham. I think that part will

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be so over budget that a debt the rest will take place. Some of your

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constituents say it could be money spent better elsewhere.

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everyone was talk about the importance of jobs for them and

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their children. This is about investing in the children and the

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future of the country. I think Andrew is scaremongering. If we do

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not invest now, where does that the first? This route of HS2, going

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under the airport and north of the, run straight through a potential

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development site earmarked for 2015 for the Strategic Rail Freight into

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change. 7000 jobs delivered from 2015 onwards. I have a meeting on

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Monday try to sort set the nest of this. Patrick McLoughlin Said We

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could have both. If you look at the plans, it goes straight through the

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development site. That is a 500 million pound private sector

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investment. I gained keep fighting this? Absolutely. We have to keep

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making the point that the economic case is very fragile. We have to

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look at high speed trains around Europe and look at the impact of

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that. There will be a change in perception as they realise this is

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a failed project. Are you saying then that development with dollars

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jobs will not go ahead? I have a meeting on Monday morning to try to

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salvage something. As part of massive change in the

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way benefits are paid, Universal Credit is being rolled out later

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this year. Some benefits will be paid directly to claimants - with

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the money coming through monthly, rather than weekly and you'll have

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to claim online. So how will it really work out? Well, we can get a

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glimpse from two East Midlands councils who have been piloting

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different aspects of the scheme. Patcee Francis has been finding out

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more. A few weeks ago, Tina Given was out

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of work. Now she has a part-time job as a carer and to stay with her

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brother, all thanks to her local council, Melton Borough Council,

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which is try to link Universal Credit. Horns and a lot of debt, I

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was in a really bad place, I did not know where to go or be to ask

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for help. As I got deeper into it I thought there was no chance of

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getting out of this. With the help of her employment adviser, Tina has

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been able to move on. I sat and prioritised my life with the help

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of the adviser. She has been there and listen to me and help me move

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forward. Her local council here in Melton volunteered to pilot the

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scheme and they say what happens in this building is key to the success.

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The council moved into brand-new offices two years ago and invited

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other agencies to move in with it. It means the open-plan spaces are

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shared by social workers, cab advisers and Jobcentre class is

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about to move in as well. The pilot is focused on a working age benefit

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claimants, of which we have about 1800. As Universal Credit will be a

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digital by default service we need to look at how we can support

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people to manage their claims. is a similar story in neighbouring

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Rushcliffe. It is taking part in the Brent -- the pilot and enduring

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people have access to on-line services. They can come to

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reception and get self-service access. For those people that can

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get access but are perhaps a bit confused we can help them find

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their way through. And then there are the people who or perhaps

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involved with other agencies, so we are offering an integrated system

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where we can actually talk and to introduce them to other agencies as

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well. These councils are looking at small parts of what will be a

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radical overhaul of benefits. At Melton they have found that around

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30 % of people that they deal with need help with online services.

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is the biggest change to the welfare system in a generation so

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we do not underestimate those challenges. But certainly we are

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having some success in terms of how we are working with people at an

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individual level. We are cautiously optimistic that the partnership

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working will give people the support that they need in a way

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that is better than they have had before. Everything now is looking

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more positive and coming out of the dark side into the light. Both

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councils have found that by working smarter they can target people

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effectively, but they also know it is a challenge, especially for

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larger councils. Rushcliffe has around 4000 people on housing

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benefit. When you cross Trent Bridge to Nottingham that figure

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changes to around 40,000 people, and it is a knee when large

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authorities like this role that the benefit changes that we will know

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the true impact. Andrew, it is one thing trying out

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in places like Melton and Rushcliffe, but bring it to the

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cities and will be a different story. That is why it is being

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tried out in smaller places to start with. It is totemic for us

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and Iain Duncan Smith and his department have done a lot of work

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on this. I'm really pleased that those administering it are very

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optimistic in the pilot. There are going to be glitches but they have

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to be ironed out now so that when it moves forward in October it is

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as smooth as possible. Lilian does it not make sense to encourage

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people to take charge of their own affairs? I do not think anybody

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would argue that it is not in our interest to help people move

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forward. One worry is do that local authorities are not responsible for

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administering a Universal Credit. Colossal people express concern

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about the third to to do people who need help with making applications

:00:05.:00:08.

online and local authorities have not been given any extra

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authorities to provide that help. The figures show that some two % of

:00:13.:00:16.

those on benefits could handle their online themselves, they have

:00:16.:00:20.

that capacity. The rest can have help through the Jobcentre or the

:00:20.:00:25.

council. What about those people who cannot? They can go into the

:00:25.:00:29.

council and be helped. Who in the council is going to do that? We

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have had huge cutbacks in Nottingham city? Do not being given

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resources to help coach people through using the Universal Credit

:00:38.:00:42.

online. And there are many people who do not have access to IT at

:00:42.:00:50.

home. But the Jobcentre to us. It has access. But lots of Jobcentres

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have closed. There will be the capacity in the system to do

:00:55.:00:57.

between the council and the Jobcentre. I think that is wishful

:00:57.:01:05.

thinking. The idea of Universal Credit is not a bad one and the

:01:05.:01:10.

principle of bringing all benefits together it is all that Labour that

:01:10.:01:17.

the support it. Ironically they have taken Council Tax Act and

:01:17.:01:21.

localised that. But the timetable for introducing Universal Credit

:01:21.:01:25.

has slipped and there are real concerns about whether it is going

:01:25.:01:30.

to be ready. What would you do? think they should have slowed it

:01:30.:01:34.

down and looked at having proper support in place to enable people

:01:34.:01:42.

who do not have IT skills to perhaps use IT. A lot of my

:01:42.:01:45.

constituents go into the Jobcentre and feel that they are on a

:01:45.:01:48.

conveyor belt, they are lucky if they get a couple of minutes with

:01:48.:01:54.

an adviser. To get some of the people who are long-term unemployed,

:01:54.:01:57.

they Nick Weal, intensive support over a long period and a lot of

:01:57.:02:02.

them are not getting it. Are the resources there to help those who

:02:02.:02:07.

really needed? This is going to be a gradual bowl-out and resources we

:02:07.:02:12.

made available. I think you have parts of the country but a later on

:02:12.:02:17.

in the role it will be saying, why have we not got Universal Credit?

:02:17.:02:22.

The figures from the Government's own impact assessment also showed

:02:22.:02:25.

that 2.8 million households will end up with less money as a result

:02:25.:02:30.

of the introduction of Universal Credit, including 1.7 million

:02:30.:02:35.

families. I think when people start to see the money going down, that

:02:35.:02:38.

they will be very worried. There is a lot are concerned about this, and

:02:38.:02:45.

drew. But the poorest a good be on average �168 better off under

:02:45.:02:52.

Universal Credit. You have a system where work always pays. You'll be

:02:52.:02:57.

up to take temporary work without losing all your benefits. That is

:02:57.:03:01.

simply not true. There are good be huge cliff edges. But the moment

:03:02.:03:04.

there will be people who have to give up work or reduce their hours

:03:04.:03:09.

in order to make sure they are not hitting a huge cliff edge. There

:03:09.:03:17.

are lots of questions remaining that need to be answered. The pilot

:03:17.:03:22.

showed that people are keen on it. Another concern is that there is so

:03:22.:03:27.

much all at once. It is not just Universal Credit that is changing,

:03:27.:03:32.

it is all the other ones as well. As long as the system works, and

:03:32.:03:36.

the parlous a Kodak, people seem perfectly happy with it. People are

:03:36.:03:41.

not good be happy when for the first time they have paid be

:03:41.:03:45.

required to pay council tax, people living in the family home who are

:03:45.:03:51.

suddenly hit by the bedroom tax. People in not in South are

:03:51.:03:54.

incredibly worried. These are people on the very lowest incomes

:03:54.:04:04.
:04:04.:04:09.

and there do not know how they are But the 91st time buyers have been

:04:09.:04:14.

held on to the property ladder by a Leicester council scheme. But it

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will be provided �2 million to banks to encourage them to offer

:04:18.:04:22.

mortgages to buyers. It has been so successful that the council is

:04:22.:04:27.

releasing another �2 million. Plans to charge people for prime been

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collections in Derby have been criticised by a local government

:04:31.:04:36.

minister. Eric Pickles says he is disappointed that the council is to

:04:36.:04:41.

charge �40 a year for the service. People in Rutland are being offered

:04:41.:04:46.

the chance to claim free solar panels for their homes. Rutland

:04:46.:04:49.

council has want �200,000 of government funding and is looking

:04:49.:04:55.

for 50p to take part. Derby is to get an �80 million flood

:04:55.:04:59.

alleviation scheme along the River Derwent. Around 600 homes and

:04:59.:05:03.

businesses will be protected although some buildings may be

:05:03.:05:10.

demolished to make way for the defences.

:05:10.:05:16.

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