28/04/2013 Sunday Politics East Midlands


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


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


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


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


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


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


country the most important bill in that programme is better working


between social services, county councils social services and the


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


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


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


too much evidence of the relationship between social


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


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


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


like the Prime Minister used it as an opportunity for fundamental


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


disgruntled Tories so why is Roger Helmer campaigning here in


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


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


in Leicestershire across the East Midlands, across the country because


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


campaigners competence. The visit to Coalville was not without its


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


Thursday. UKIP at a real threat to your party.


They certainly express some public concerns about matters of this


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


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


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


future rate of council tax, about the relationship between social


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


services and you cannot say they are anti-Europe. We saw them campaigning


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


not trust your party -- bigot. are talking about if we were in


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


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


are concerned about but these elections are about the Conservative


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


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


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


is Leicestershire. Nick Rushton is a conservative and


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


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


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


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


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


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


to protect key frontline services for the elderly and services.


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


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


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


helping businesses and young people into employment. The second thing


will be around concentrating on the basic frontline services like


repairing roads properly, school transport. Basic things like


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


county social services working closely with the NHS giving elderly


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


into extra road maintenance. discuss what will happen in


Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, I joined by John


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


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


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


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


challenge that UKIP pose for both the Conservatives and the other


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


candidates than ever before. In Nottinghamshire the Queens are only


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


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


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


Midlands is both Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire are run by the


Conservatives. Very narrow majorities and rethink -- saw Ed


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


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


support Tory candidates or whether they opt for Labour candidates and


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


issues but you take this leaflet the Conservatives have been


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


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


out a local programme in Nottinghamshire. The Leicestershire


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


Everyone wants to know is here, partly because of Baroness


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


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


Nottinghamshire because if it is a referendum on the coalition and


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


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


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


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


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


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


anticipate losing Conservative seats. It is clearly tougher when


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


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


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


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


foundations for the future. Labour wedded to a council tax


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


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


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


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


2010? Some of these cars are really hitting the front line. He used the


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


probably be decided on national factors even though these are local


elections but these councils and important. Whatever the results


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


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


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


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


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


happening in Nottinghamshire and why Nottinghamshire is the target local


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


absolutely agree that times are tough and you introduced this


passage by saying we have avoided a triple dip recession and


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


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


circumstances for growth and that means ensuring the government's


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


businesses can respond to their customers both here and abroad.


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


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


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


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


have an interest in ensuring that economy sought its affairs out


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


manufacturing base but we have companies there that want to export


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


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


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


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


The problem is the unemployment rate in Charnwood is relatively OK


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


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


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


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


by businesses finding customers for goods and services both here and


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Midlands this week. Town halls across the East Midlands


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


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


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


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


particularly from Eastern Europe. The city council says extra funding


is available. And I sue bree has admitted she


worries her officials because she does not stick to her prepared


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


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


already made more progress on reducing health inequalities than


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


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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