21/04/2013 Sunday Politics East Midlands


Andrew Neil and Marie Ashby with the latest political news, interviews and debate. With shadow communities secretary Hilary Benn and Conservative MP Dominic Raab.

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In the East Midlands, a housing crisis with thousands on the


waiting-list and bitter battles to find new homes. Can the Liberal


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2074 seconds


In East Midlands, a housing crisis. Tens of thousands of people on the


waiting list, and it is still growing. We have seen a dramatic


increase of people coming into her eyes with housing issues. They are


on the list and currently living with family and friends because


they are waiting to be rehoused. There are no houses available.


can the Liberal Democrats win a seat here in the East Midlands? And


I am at Marie Ashby, and joining me are Graham Allen and Julia


Cambridge, who has just been appointed as the Lib Dems'


parliamentary candidate for Chesterfield. Graham, you sign they


saw this week -- you finally saw this week the launch by David


Cameron... Yes, Nottingham has been trying for a long time to give


babies, children and young people the solid bedrock on which all


learning and aspiration is based. We have now taking it to a national


level and I was delighted with the launch on Monday. The hard work


begins now to take these policies to the rest of the nation and


making sure that every young person gets the good start they deserve.


How did you manage to persuade all the leaders to go for this?


shows it can be done. There is a lot of bickering in party politics.


B three party leaders and the political class as a whole has come


on this occasion at least, put partisan politics aside and put the


needs of young people above any partisan bickering. What difference


will have been a Foundation make? We will collect together all the


best practice that is that there, all the best evidence and pressured


out to scale, in other words, anybody can pick it up and start to


do it in their own area using the money available. We need to change


the culture of late intervention. We let things become intractable


and deep-rooted and then throw money at it. It is better to invest


money early on and then we will have a lot of children growing up


in more rounded environments. how important is working together?


Your party is part of the coalition. First and foremost, I would like to


congratulate Graham Allen on this fantastic initiative. If there is a


consensus, which they evidently his, behind this new independent body,


then everybody needs to work together, and it is something that


we welcome. Graham has not only identified a very important issue,


but he has actually work at getting a solution, and that is the sort of


politics we want more of a. will he make sure the money will


stay there to support this foundation? I think, with everybody


behind it, the coalition and also three leaders, I think of Graham


probably does expected to be well supported, and I can see that


continuing in the future. I'm sure you will keep us posted a mat.


The East Midlands is in the middle of a housing crisis. Thousands of


homes need to be built, but finding the land leads to endless planning


rows. A lack of available homes is holding back our economy. Here is


Wesley Mallin from Radio Derby. Britain is in the midst of a


housing crisis. Depending on which estimate to take, we need to build


between 250,000 and 500,000 new homes every year just to meet


demand. In the East Midlands, social housing is one of the key


pinch points. In fact, across the East Midlands, 116,500 people on


the housing waiting list. 40,000 of those I in overcrowded housing.


That figure is up 16% on the previous year. The lack of social


housing means more and more people are seeking advice from


organisations like cab. We have seen a dramatic increase in people


coming into us with housing issues. They are currently living with how


-- family and friends, or they are being put up in bed and breakfast


by the council because there are no houses available. But it is not as


simple as just throwing up a few hundred homes. Many of the site


earmarked for building are green field, and nobody wants a major


development on their doorstep. This land on the outskirts of Alfred has


been the subject of many unsuccessful planning applications


over the year. But now and the Bally -- Amber Valley Borough


Council have granted permission for several hundred homes on the site.


There is no legal basis to refuse. I guess it loses some open space


for people to go to. There is very little open space around. It is a


shame because there is not a lick of -- a lot of green in Alfreton


now. If this goes, 500 houses? Meanwhile, the over occupancy


surcharge, or what the Labour Party calls the bedroom tax, is pushing


up demand for one-bedroom properties. It will have a knock-on


effect, and it is only just beginning now, when people are


coming to me and saying they are struggling financially, so I think


it is going to get worse. Where joined now by Chris Hobson,


the East Midlands chairman of the National Housing Federation. How


acute is this problem? Very acute. In the East Midlands each year, we


have 20,000 new houses being produced. But only 45% of the


demand is being met. We also have people being priced out of buying a


home, rising rents in the private sector, so it is squeezing private


finances. We know that there are 97 brownfield sites in the Amber


Valley area. The Campaign to Protect Rural England says there is


plenty of space to build on already. Yes, we need more houses, but we


need them in the right places. There are lots of places,


brownfield sites, and I think the Government should firstly restore


the cut to the ground that was given to build houses. It was


goodbye half by this government. And get rid of the bedroom tax.


What is the point of pushing people out onto the housing market, when


there are no homes for elderly couples or single people? We need


to build some of those homes, and you can only do that by getting the


housing grant restored, and what that does for you is help to build


the economy as well. Construction workers, bricklayers, plasterers,


they would get our economy going. Julia, your party are committed to


building tens of thousands of new homes. Where are they going to put


them? It is important where they go, indeed, and what I would say is


that one of the things we have to find his money to actually build


houses in the first place. Something the Liberal Democrat


state when they came into the coalition, which the Labour Party


had flatly refused to do for their whole term of office, was to free


up local councils to have money to invest in properties by being able


to keep the council rent money. That is what we have done. Councils


can now keep the revenue from rent that they get from council houses


and they can put it back into property and get this thing moving


again. I think that finance is extremely important. Some people


say you're party did but do enough when you were in power. We did


twice as much as his government in terms of the money put into new


housing. I have to peculiar up on this question of the revenue


support. Everybody knows that council expenditure has been


savaged by the Government. The Liberal Democrats support every


single night of the week the Kurds to councils. I am a great revolver,


and I think that councils will do the job and know the best places


for housing. That is better than having edicts from Eric Pickles in


Whitehall telling people what they have to do. You can hear the


different opinions it. What you think about what our politicians


have to say? First novel, you're absolutely right to say that we


need to know where the homes are needed and we need to build in the


right places. We used to have a national strategy which gave


targets for building across the region for -- the regions. But that


has been scrapped. Councils need to step up to the mark and make the


right decisions. In terms of the money and the economy, I absolutely


agree that we need continued grants for building homes. If we build the


number of houses needed in East Midlands, that would generate �1.5


billion in the local economy. Those jobs would be local. Can the


Council's resolve this problem? -- can be councils resolve this


problem? I think they have a part to play. There are only -- it was


only a couple of days ago about protests in Binham against new


building houses. The local government in Cambridge have got


plans to build 500 homes, and contested, and the local people are


very happy. It is not always the case, though. No, it is not always


the case, but I think with waiting lists as they are, all sorts of


low-cost housing is needed. We need to start building small houses now,


in light of the bedroom tax. Well, we need to know what kind of homes


are needed in which every is. -- areas. To come back on the point


about people not wanting to build on certain areas, everyone


recognises there is a need for new homes, just not at the end of their


vote. We need to show them what the impact is of not building new homes.


The closure of pubs, the drop in services, and so on. And if we


build new homes, we can bring a vibrant new areas with jobs as well.


We are now forcing builders to approach councils to develop land


which is inappropriate, which could be on a flood plain, or on a green


space in a precious area. There is a stress and pressure coming now.


We should leave these things to local councils to fill a particular


space and a gap in the market. At the moment, we are pressing


councils because they have abolished spatial strategies. The


Government is pressing them from a national level. It is inappropriate


to try to meet these ridiculous targets. Thank you very much.


It is less than two weeks until the elections in Nottinghamshire,


Derbyshire and Leicestershire. Each week, we are hearing from the


leaders of the main parties in those counties. This week,


Derbyshire. Andrew Lewer is the leading of the


Conservative group. His party is promising 1000 new apprentices, no


council tax increase next year, and no library closures. We have a


manifesto called Quality Services, low taxes, and I would encourage


people to look at our track record over before Maggie is in those two


areas. We have delivered front line services in an excellent fashion,


despite profound financial pressures. We have modernised the


county council. We have also delivered three years of 0% council


tax, so if people say, how can we believe what is in your manifesto?


I would say, look at what we have done. And West Indies the Labour


group leader. They want to introduce a living wage. -- and a


Western. -- Anne Western. We want to promote growth in the Derbyshire


economy. Until we get jobs Wigan people and the economy growing, we


will stagnate. The Government has put a lot of funding into cities,


but the rural areas, the towns and villages in Derbyshire have not had


any of that funding. We have to make the case for Derbyshire, for


jobs and regeneration to. That will then help us to support families


better and raise income levels. Derbyshire has become a low-pay


economy and we need to do something about that. Then we will be able to


support families better and look after old people better as well.


Stephen Flitter is leader of the Liberal Democrats on Derbyshire


County Council. He says the Lib Dems will not make promises they


can't keep an will concentrate on providing excellent council


services and a balanced economy for Derbyshire for in the past, you


have had years of tax and spend. You have had Kurds from the left


and the right. The Liberal Democrats will look at things


logically and soundly. We will consult with local people and take


the appropriate action, where it is there for everybody in Derbyshire.


That is why people should vote for the Liberal Democrats on May 2nd.


We head there from the Lib Dem leader for Derbyshire, and Julia,


you are aiming to become a Lib Dem MP for East Midlands. It is not


exactly a happy hunting ground for your party, though, is it? You say


that, but recent history shows that we have an excellent MP in


Chesterfield. Paul Holmes came into this programme many times that he


is no longer an MP for you, is he? We are aiming to get back into


Chesterfield as quick as we can. Paul left a fantastic legacy, as


did our council, and am going to build on that. Why is it, do you


think, that there are no Liberal- Democrat MPs in this area? You have


to look at the demographics. The East Midlands, a traditional Labour


Party, mining community -- communities. You go around any


corner and you see the miners' union clubs. To make inroads, we


have done an amazing job, but we intend to do more. You are a strong


second in some of our seats. Are the Lib Dems a threat? A couple of


by-elections in Nottingham recently, they were fighting with


Conservatives fought 4th and 5th place. I feel sorry for Julia


because she is up against one of the most active members of


parliament in Toby Perkins in Chesterfield. I have been out on


the knocker this weekend and it is difficult to see or find people who


admit to being Lib Dems, even when we know there previously have been.


I think the big tactical problem, the decision that was made when


Nick Clegg decided to be close to David Cameron rather than be the


great in the oyster, people are saying, especially with the fees


questing, they do not believe the Lib Dems. When people get hundreds


of pounds in their back pocket from our fantastic policies of lowering


the tax threshold, they are not going to be saying that. I would go


further than Graham Allen and say that the Labour MP in Chesterfield


is underperforming. His party knows it. To say that he is one of the


top performers, as far as I'm concerned, that is disingenuous.


is one of the hardest workers in the House of Commons. Why do the


Lib Dems struggle so much in the East Midlands? We went out to get


your views. What we take for you to vote Lib


Dem? I am interested to find out. What we take for you to vote Lib


Dem? I don't know if I ever would. I don't really understand how they


differentiate themselves from the Labour Party. They don't seem to


have any policies that are sufficiently different to make me


go for them. What would it take for you to vote Lib Dem? To understand


what is going on! Do you think they should make their policies more


clear? More understandable. So I can understand what's going on, to


vote for whoever. So you would not vote Lib Dem? No. I don't believe


in them. I am a working-class Labour Party man. Investing in


things like education for my children, that I had to have, the


NHS system and making sure that people go to work really benefit


from going to work. I understand we are in a time of crisis and we'll


have to stick together and say that pay rises cannot be given


everywhere, but I sometimes feel like the working man does get


forgotten about. I don't really understand the Lib Dem policies. I


think they are wishy-washy. I don't really understand it. The


Conservatives, you know from their history where they are going. The


Labour Party, you understand from their history where they are going.


But the Lib Dems do not have a great history, so it is difficult


to understand that if they came into power, or total power, what


they would actually do. Why did you vote Lib Dem? Because they don't


knock on my door and tell me what they are about. As simple as that.


Go and knock on a door. I knock on the doors every day. And at


weekends at the moment! What are they not getting? They want to know


what you stand for. What I would say is we have a fantastic


opportunity with the general election coming up and the council


elections, if people want a stronger economy, a fairer society,


allowing everyone no matter what their background to get on, then


there may have to look at the Lib Dems -- then they have to look at


the Lib Dems. All of our policies underline that message and those


values. But you need to get that message across more, because what


those people were saying is that they understand what the other


parties stand for, but not you. You have a lot of groundwork to do


there. Nobody can deny we have work to do, like all the parties. Those


were vox pops, and I talk to people every day, and I have people


repeating that to be what they have been getting it from the press and


the papers, and they seem to understand what we are about. That


is not to say there is no work to be done, and we will be doing that.


Will you be picking up some of these boats, Graham? I think so.


The Liberal Democrats were always the party of protest, and they


think a lot of people copped out of a decision and voted for them. Now


people have seen them in government, not us protest but in government,


and every night and in the House of Commons and the Lib Dems vote


through the lobbies with the Conservatives, whether that is


welfare cuts or changes to the health service, right the way


across the board. They have been in government and they are tarred with


the Conservative brush. A has he got a point? Graham Allen does not


have a point. We are autonomous and be a scene as a party which has put


forward some amazing policies which would have only been there if it


had been for the Liberal Democrats. Keep knocking on his stores. Time


to round up the other political stories in the East Midlands this


Jessica Leigh has been sleeping rough to raise money for the


homeless. She joined a sleep had organised by a charity, which


provides accommodation for homeless men.


Leicester city Council is planning to cut its homeless accommodation


by almost half. The council is considering reducing the number of


units from 129-70. The Church of England in


Nottinghamshire has set up a new group to help people cope with the


impact of welfare cuts. The diocese of Nottingham has set up


transforming the area. There had come to get volunteers to help


people out of the web of poverty. Differing reactions from our MPs to


the latest unemployment figures in the East Midlands. Conservatives


had the Wheeler and Andrew Bridgen tweeted that the number out of work


in the constituencies is falling. John Mann from Bassetlaw says that


youth unemployment is increasing. That is the way it is looking


across the East Midlands. What have you got planned for this week?


Either be speaking at a conference on early intervention, which I do a


lot of. It is your baby. It is. I'm trying to range -- raised �20


million for an endowment to keep it going for ever. And they will be


out there campaigning to win back the county council in Nottingham


for Labour. I am confident we will come close and hopefully get there


in the end. Julia? More of the same. I will be campaigning all week with


our hard-working councillors, out on the doorstep delivering, all


over Chesterfield. And going to see that woman in our film! Thank you


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