28/04/2013 Sunday Politics East Midlands


28/04/2013

Andrew Neil and Marie Ashby with the latest political news and interviews, including deputy prime minister and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg discussing the local elections.


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the race to run our county councils? And the UK economy is on the move

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but what is happening here? We would like to think we are on the way to

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recovery but we are not there yet. My guest today at the Conservative

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MP Stephen Orrell and Labour's Jon Ashworth. We have a break from

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Parliament but when you are back, it is the Queen 's speech so what are

:40:15.:40:22.

you hoping you will get out of that? For the East Midlands and the whole

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country the most important bill in that programme is better working

:40:28.:40:33.

between social services, county councils social services and the

:40:33.:40:38.

health service and a reform of the structure of the way social services

:40:38.:40:44.

are delivered. It has been discussed, and the government are

:40:44.:40:54.

committed to bringing that forward. Why would it be important? There is

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too much evidence of the relationship between social

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services, primary care, the various bits of the health service

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delivering care to the elderly, that breaks down and we need to ensure

:41:07.:41:15.

closer working. I agree social services is important but I would

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like the Prime Minister used it as an opportunity for fundamental

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change on the economy, proper bills to get jobs. The unemployment rate

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still keeps going up so something to get jobs and something for families

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who are seeing the cost of living going up. By the time the MPs are

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all back, we will know who will be running our county councils. Let's

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take a look at a party with growing ambitions to make their mark here.

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UKIP are fielding more candidates than ever. Tim Parker reports.

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UK was set up as a movement to remove the UK from Europe in 1993.

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While their greatest success has been in Europe itself, they are

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canvassing across the East Midlands ahead of this week's county council

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elections. Many commentators suggest that UKIP's support will come from

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disgruntled Tories so why is Roger Helmer campaigning here in

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Coalville? It is all part of their attempt to reach a wider electorate.

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Coalville is a former mining town. We are certainly going to win seats

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in Leicestershire across the East Midlands, across the country because

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we are standing in three quarters of the seats. For us that is a first.

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That is the theory but how is that going down with new voters? A lot of

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what UKIP say is good but they are not strong enough. I have never

:43:01.:43:09.

heard of them. But some experts say UKIP could have a big impact.

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they will have their influence is in seats where the Conservatives have a

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majority of eight. If they split the conservative vote, they will lose

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seats so we could see Leicestershire go from being come to be

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Conservative controlled to becoming a hung council. And that gives UKIP

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campaigners competence. The visit to Coalville was not without its

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hitches but they are hoping for a warmer reception at the polls on

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Thursday. UKIP at a real threat to your party.

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They certainly express some public concerns about matters of this

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country's relationship with Europe but what is unclear is what they

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think it will do to contribute to that argument by getting involved in

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the Leicestershire county council. I do not know what their cue is on the

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future rate of council tax, about the relationship between social

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services and the health service and I suspect that UKIP does not know

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its view on those issues either. Lord Ashcroft's showed 9% support

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for UKIP and 44% said they had voted Tory in the last election so they

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are moving to UKIP. There is also a lot of evidence that they take votes

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from people who were not going to vote anyway. These are local

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elections. The question in dispute on next Thursday will be who

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determines who says the council tax, who determines the delivery of local

:44:58.:45:08.
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services and you cannot say they are anti-Europe. We saw them campaigning

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in Coalville. We do not have elections in Leicester City. When

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they were against me in our by-election they were hammered. When

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I have been listening to people in Loughborough, places that put their

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trust in David Cameron, voted in Conservative MPs for the first time

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is in ten years. I am picking up a lot of disappointment in the

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Conservatives. You say this will play out on local issues but Gordon

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Brown called that woman a picket and when he did that, voters started to

:45:48.:45:58.
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not trust your party -- bigot. are talking about if we were in

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power changing some of the rules on the immigration system, particularly

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around pay, the abuse of agency workers which I know a lot of voters

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are concerned about but these elections are about the Conservative

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party and the Labour Party. The mistakes that gave it Cameron has

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made and what the Labour Party would offer as an alternative. We have

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been hearing from the leaders of the three main parties and this week it

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is Leicestershire. Nick Rushton is a conservative and

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leader of Leicestershire county council. He is a fan of inclusive

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politics. He wants to protect services for the young and old and

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aims to provide the best services at the lowest cost. Helping people get

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into houses and jobs and get the economy moving - we have to make

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savings going forward. I am going to work with other councils to make

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savings and with the National Health Service to make services and I need

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to protect key frontline services for the elderly and services.

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Colton is leader of the Lib Dems on the council. He wants to concentrate

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on jobs and growth, protecting services and using some of the

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council's cash reserves. We want to focus on growth in the economy and

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helping businesses and young people into employment. The second thing

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will be around concentrating on the basic frontline services like

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repairing roads properly, school transport. Basic things like

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drainage and the services that people really do depend on. The

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third area is looking at this issue of reserves again and looking at

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where the county council can usefully spend some of that to help

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the economy and the people of Leicestershire. Max Hunt is leader

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of the Labour group. He promises 1000 new apprenticeships, better

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coordination of elderly and social care and wants to save the museum.

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We are putting in 1000 new apprenticeships. Want to get our

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county social services working closely with the NHS giving elderly

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and disabled people a better life at home. We support the money being put

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into extra road maintenance. discuss what will happen in

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Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, I joined by John

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Hess. What are your predictions? not misting make but I think I can

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predict the Tories have the jitters about the elections. You will

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remember that the Conservatives were in third place, it was UKIP that

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came second with 28% of the popular vote. Stephen has referred to the

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challenge that UKIP pose for both the Conservatives and the other

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parties. You look around the East Midlands and UKIP are fielding more

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candidates than ever before. In Nottinghamshire the Queens are only

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putting up a third of their candidates in those seats so you

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look around and think where is that protest vote going to go and I

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suspect a lot of it will go to UKIP. The thing to remember in the East

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Midlands is both Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire are run by the

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Conservatives. Very narrow majorities and rethink -- saw Ed

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Miliband in West Bridgford. Growing confidence for the Labour Party.

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described UKIP as a protest vote. The real decision is whether people

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support Tory candidates or whether they opt for Labour candidates and

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we saw in the lifetime of the last Labour government the failure to

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control expenditure that was the leg of the -- legacy they bequeathed.

:50:31.:50:41.
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Can Labour deliver? We can. The elections, people use it to send a

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message to David Cameron to say they are not happy with the scale of his

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cuts, not happy about him giving a tax cut to the wealthy - that is

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what the election is about. If UKIP to win seats, asked politicians have

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to respect that and we have to engage with those people who voted

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UKIP. The Prime Minister has said these elections are about local

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issues but you take this leaflet the Conservatives have been

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distributing, on the back of the union flag and we promised a

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referendum on the EU. It is not a local issue but in that there is set

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out a local programme in Nottinghamshire. The Leicestershire

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Conservatives are promising a real-time freeze in the council tax.

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Everyone wants to know is here, partly because of Baroness

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Thatcher's funeral so the campaigning has been delayed but on

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Friday the eyes of the country will look at the result in Derbyshire and

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Nottinghamshire because if it is a referendum on the coalition and

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David Cameron 's premiership, it will have a huge effect in the last

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two years, leading up to the next election. We are working hard in

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Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. Last time it was a very disappointing set

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of results for us but we are taking nothing for granted. We are also

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working hard in Leicestershire and I hope we can make some progress

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there. Are you braced for losing Conservative councils? I never

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anticipate losing Conservative seats. It is clearly tougher when

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you are the government of the country, so yes it is tougher but

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when I was out last weekend, my constituents say, the reception I

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was getting was receptive to the argument that we had a legacy that

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had to be dealt with and it is being dealt with in a way that lays

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foundations for the future. Labour wedded to a council tax

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freeze? Every local council will have to grapple with these huge

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spending cuts imposed on them by the government. Each local council will

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have to make a decision about how they manage their budgets. Will it

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be possible to maintain the level of spending that it was in 22 and? --

:53:42.:53:52.
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2010? Some of these cars are really hitting the front line. He used the

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phrase fiscal consolidation by which you mean cuts. These elections will

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probably be decided on national factors even though these are local

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elections but these councils and important. Whatever the results

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are, I think David Cameron will want to create that clear blue water

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between the Tories and the coalition. We have already seen a

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hint that the Prime Minister is wanting to beef up the Downing

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Street policy unit, and indication we are clearing the decks for the

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general election campaign. My blog has a profile of what has been

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happening in Nottinghamshire and why Nottinghamshire is the target local

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authority to watch on Friday. economy managed to avoid a triple

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dip recession but things may not be rosy here. Latest figures show

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growth fell back here in the first three months of the year so how does

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it feel for people on the front line and looking for work?

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The economy is growing, George Osborne is optimistic, let's see

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what the rise in GDP means to job here. What do you think of the news

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from George Osborne? He is not living in the real world, there are

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not that many jobs round here. Nearly everything has closed down.

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When the mines were open, there was no unemployment. We would like to

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think we are on the way to recovery but we are not really there yet. We

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could really do with some big employee is coming along and setting

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up their businesses in this town. have noticed a rise in the number of

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older people coming to us, they are close to retirement, they cannot

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apply for jobs because they do not have the experience with computers.

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What is out there for the older generation? Why do people my age

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find it hard to find work? I have worked all my life. Now I am

:56:26.:56:36.
:56:36.:56:37.

unemployed. My question is why isn't all the investment going to all the

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big cities and none to places like here. What do you say to them?

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absolutely agree that times are tough and you introduced this

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passage by saying we have avoided a triple dip recession and

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statistically that is true. The truth is the economy is bumping

:57:08.:57:18.
:57:18.:57:18.

along the bottom. Flatlining. What we need to do is create

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circumstances for growth and that means ensuring the government's

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spending is kept under control and we have flexible economy is so

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businesses can respond to their customers both here and abroad.

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seems to be working in America because they have some growth. Why

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can we not make it work here? relationship with Europe and the

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fact that geography puts us very close to one of the most depressed

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big economies in the world, the Continental European economy and we

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have an interest in ensuring that economy sought its affairs out

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because until we do we will remain close to a depressed area. There are

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some small signs that the economy is growing. Is the strategy of the

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Chancellor starting to work? I do not think it is. Others have been

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hailing this growth figure. My word, isn't the bar set low. We are

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bumping along, flatlining. We have to have some big measures to boost

:58:34.:58:43.

growth. There is no demand in the economy. Tell us about

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Leicestershire. In Leicestershire we have a degree of resilience in the

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manufacturing base but we have companies there that want to export

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and we need to give them more support. The government have said

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there will be a new scheme, the money has not quite been flowing

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through so we need to be supporting business. What about people out of

:59:09.:59:19.
:59:19.:59:22.

work? All politicians will agree that the economy needs to rebalance.

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The problem is the unemployment rate in Charnwood is relatively OK

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compared to other places but unemployment is still high. If you

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look at what is happening... John says what we need is lots of

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measures to create growth. I am not against in principle is looking for

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opportunities to do that but how do you create growth in economy? It is

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by businesses finding customers for goods and services both here and

:59:58.:00:02.

abroad and what the government needs to do is put emphasis on ensuring

:00:02.:00:09.

that businesses are able to create jobs and expand. We asked the

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chamber of commerce about this and they say figures of growth fell here

:00:13.:00:23.
:00:23.:00:23.

while increasing for the rest of the country. The truth is right across

:00:23.:00:31.

the country the economy is flatlining. To be fair the chamber

:00:31.:00:37.

of comments said there were small signs of recovery but it is a bumpy

:00:37.:00:45.

year ahead. We have this thing called the regional growth fund, the

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East Midlands has had minuscule amounts of money. Given me have such

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a proud tradition of manufacturing in this region, we should be doing

:00:56.:01:05.

better. Ministers say the quality quality of our bids is not better.

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

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Midlands this week. Town halls across the East Midlands

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are clocking up arrears in unpaid council tax. Nottingham City Council

:01:21.:01:31.

is owed �14.5 million. In Leicester it is �10 million.

:01:31.:01:35.

Some schools in Derby want more funding for an unexpected rise in

:01:35.:01:40.

pupil numbers. It is needed to cope with an influx of children

:01:40.:01:45.

particularly from Eastern Europe. The city council says extra funding

:01:45.:01:49.

is available. And I sue bree has admitted she

:01:49.:01:52.

worries her officials because she does not stick to her prepared

:01:52.:02:01.

speech. I am not very good at following the script. It causes them

:02:01.:02:08.

concern I go off script. But on message she said the correlation had

:02:08.:02:11.

already made more progress on reducing health inequalities than

:02:11.:02:19.

the previous Labour government. Sticking firmly to the script, that

:02:19.:02:25.

Andrew Neil and Marie Ashby with the latest political news, interviews and debate, including deputy prime minister and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg discussing the local elections.


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