21/04/2013 Sunday Politics East Midlands


21/04/2013

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

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

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2074 seconds

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

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

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

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on the list and currently living with family and friends because

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

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

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

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

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parliamentary candidate for Chesterfield. Graham, you sign they

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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needs of young people above any partisan bickering. What difference

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

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

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

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

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the culture of late intervention. We let things become intractable

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

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

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in more rounded environments. how important is working together?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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housing means more and more people are seeking advice from

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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been the subject of many unsuccessful planning applications

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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the East Midlands chairman of the National Housing Federation. How

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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brownfield sites, and I think the Government should firstly restore

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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houses in the first place. Something the Liberal Democrat

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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support. Everybody knows that council expenditure has been

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savaged by the Government. The Liberal Democrats support every

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

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

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

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

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different opinions it. What you think about what our politicians

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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building houses. The local government in Cambridge have got

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

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

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

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

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

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

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about people not wanting to build on certain areas, everyone

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

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

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

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

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We are now forcing builders to approach councils to develop land

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

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

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

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

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councils because they have abolished spatial strategies. The

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

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

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

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

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

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Derbyshire. Andrew Lewer is the leading of the

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

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

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

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

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

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despite profound financial pressures. We have modernised the

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Stephen Flitter is leader of the Liberal Democrats on Derbyshire

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

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can't keep an will concentrate on providing excellent council

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

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

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and the right. The Liberal Democrats will look at things

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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by-elections in Nottingham recently, they were fighting with

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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your views. What we take for you to vote Lib

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

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

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

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have any policies that are sufficiently different to make me

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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opportunity with the general election coming up and the council

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

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

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

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

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

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those people were saying is that they understand what the other

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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through the lobbies with the Conservatives, whether that is

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:56:41.:56:51.
:56:51.:56:55.

Jessica Leigh has been sleeping rough to raise money for the

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

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provides accommodation for homeless men.

:57:04.:57:08.

Leicester city Council is planning to cut its homeless accommodation

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

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units from 129-70. The Church of England in

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

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

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

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

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the latest unemployment figures in the East Midlands. Conservatives

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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out there campaigning to win back the county council in Nottingham

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

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

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

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

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