07/07/2013 Sunday Politics East Midlands


Andrew Neil and Marie Ashby with the latest political news, interviews and debate.

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the economy - we hear plans to create 70,000 new jobs in the


region. And Tory legend Michael Heseltine


tells us there's hundreds of millions of pounds' worth of


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2165 seconds


regeneration money available - we about the economy. We hear plans to


create 70,000 new jobs in the region. Coming here, this fabulous


place where we are working, I have learned a lot, learned a lot about


myself and I feel confident about the future now. And Tory legend


Michael Heseltine tells us there are hundreds of millions of pounds worth


of regeneration money available, we only have to ask. What I want to see


is local people in Leicestershire, for example, saying that what


Leicestershire really wants is to build on these strengths and devise


policies for that purpose that are very locally relevant. Hello, I am


John Hess and my guests today, the Labour MP for Derby South, Margaret


Beckett, and Jason Zadrozny, leader of the Liberal Democrats on


Nottinghamshire County Council. First, and apologies to you both,


have we got too many politicians? The local government Boundary


Commission is to investigate the number of councillors on Leicester


City Council. Is one for every 500 voters, but in Leicestershire, it


represents twice that figure. If the commission recommends there are too


many City Council is, some local politicians might be heading for the


chop. What do you make of this, Margaret? Bombing here from the


Prime Minister, he is telling us there are too many politicians.


but you have to take that with probably a bag of salt. The Prime


Minister, who came forward with this idea that we should have new


boundaries so that we could have a lot fewer MPs, that would save


money, in the interim he spent far more than he would ever have saved


on the new Commons boundaries on putting extra people into the House


of lords. So he speaks with a forked tongue on this issue. The important


thing is, how many people are the individual politicians supposed to


be trying to respond to and how practical is that? Jason Zadrozny,


people must be confused at the levels of district councils, county


councils, and so on. Wouldn't it make sense to reduce the number of


elected politicians with pressure on budgets? There is a balance to be


struck. In Leicester, they have got an elected mayor so they see a


public figure who is responsible for the Council so there is a


juxtaposition to strike with that. With some districts, all of


Nottinghamshire going through boundary changes at the district


council level and we have reduced the number of councillors but people


still want to be represented well and there is a balance to strike but


Margaret is right, there is an interesting position coming from Mr


Cameron. What would happen if the Boundary Commission removed their


tanks moved into Derby city and say that Derby City Council has got too


many councillors? I would be slightly surprised but you can't


take anything for granted because we have quite large wards in Derby.


Often 10,000 people so you need enough people to deal with the


problems of that area. The other thing is quite a bit dependence on


how big the intrinsic problems of an area are. There may be more problems


in Leicester than in some other cities. Jason, I am often told there


aren't enough people coming forward to stand for local councils so


wouldn't it be a bigger advantage to have fewer opportunities and a


better calibre of individual? represent 9000 people and it takes a


lot of time to deal with in many -- deal with many problems. Thank you


very much indeed for the time being. 70,000 new jobs, the headline figure


from our new local enterprise partnerships. They will unveil plans


for regenerating the East Midlands economy. We will hear from the


businessman with the task of reigniting the local economy for


Leicestershire and Leicester but first the head of the


Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire LEP tells us how he is planning to


create 45,000 jobs. Spin back to 1771 and Derbyshire's there went


Valley, a stroke of genius ushered in the first Industrial Revolution.


It was Richard Arkwright who came up with the idea of harnessing the


power of water to run machines. So where are the big ideas of the


future going to come from? Talking up plans to turn Arkwright's mill at


Cromford into a tourist attraction is a business leader we will hear a


lot more from. I am David from the local enterprise partnership.


was set up to grow the local economy. And that is the hub of the


coalition government and local businesses. The single egg is


message we hear from businesses is the lack of skills among the


workforce, people leaving school and college and university, and also the


workforces themselves and we have established a skills commission. We


are publishing a skills plan next Tuesday as part of our new growth


deal for the area. But do the new LEPs have enough clout? This


business is looking to its LEP to provide some heavy lifting to plug a


skills shortage. We are having to ring people in that are very raw and


trained them with the skills -- bring people. This takes time and as


a small company, we have not always got that time. That Maria shared by


co-director Caroline Wright, who set -- that worry is shared, her father


set up this company. It is looking to the LEPs now. Some of the kit we


deal with his very expensive and some investment into machinery would


be a bonus to our business. underlined six key priorities that


we would tackle including apprenticeships. We do not think


they can be a second choice, we think they should be present in an


area where they should be a priority, it is famous for building


things here. This college offers the type of training that the LEP is


recommending. It is part of a scheme to help these students find work.


This fabulous place we are working in, I have learnt a lot about myself


and I feel very confident about the future, now. So where is the money


for the LEPs coming from? We are barking -- we are embarking on major


reforms, the creation of the local fun... A new �2 billion a year fund


was even to the LEPs and �500 million from the EU as well for the


five LEPs that represent the area. We argued our case to our MPs and


local politicians and to our businesses that this area can have a


step change in its economic growth. Arkwright's ideas were a huge change


as well. The region's enterprise partnerships can only hope his


vision can inspire the current generation of business leaders.


Joining us to discuss all that is businessman Andrew Bacon, chairman


of the Leicestershire and Leicester LEP. David Ralph was talking about


45,000 jobs in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. What is your target for


Leicester and Leicestershire? established a plan 18 months ago for


25,000 new jobs to be created for the development sites we were


investing in. Five key development sites will develop and deliver


16,000 jobs. The enterprise zone in Leicestershire is already up and


running generating 250 jobs, 400 investors on site, the -- for


investors -- four major investors. Is the Chancellor backing the LEPs


with the clout to deliver? We would have liked a larger sum but we have


made great progress so far, we have been particularly fortunate in the


past couple of years with the levels of investment coming into


Leicestershire. The �2 billion single pot per year will be of value


but it is really about the flexibility and a lack of


constraints. We want one single pot, not ten or 20 different projects to


bid for. Margaret, we have heard mention about money. Are you


convinced that this government is putting forward enough money to try


to get that step change? I think there are a number of problems. One


of them is that the Government has been really geared towards public


service cuts, any investment they are making tends to be toward the


longer term. We are worried about getting things kick-started now and


I am sorry the Government has not taken our advice and gone for an


infrastructure boost that will bring jobs and construction on at the


present time which is where we need it. But we are pleased with what


ever does come. There has been a big criticism, Jason, that we are 2.5


years into the Government and we are only now getting the detail about


what some of these LEPs will be offering. It is slower than people


have anticipated but let's not underestimated, we are excited.


Excited? They call these the most ambitious postcodes in the UK and it


is essential for politicians like us to sing the praises of our region.


55,000 jobs, we are talking about �20 billion of investment over the


period. It is not as much as we wanted but we have created 1 million


jobs and 1.2 million apprenticeships. We have to start


somewhere and the future is much brighter than it was. You specialise


in the whole area of regeneration policy but what persuaded you that


the LEPs could be more successful than, say, the EMDA that the last


Labour government created? It is a three pronged approach. About having


the right people in the right places and with the tools. Didn't the


enterprise agencies as well? Third sector partners are able to make


sure there are able pulling shelf ready projects already. We are


talking about this over 10,000 years, in a manufacturing area that


has big names like Rolls-Royce and Boots, is it that ambitious?


thing that worries me is that we have still got some highly


successful employers, for example bombardier and Rolls-Royce but down


the supply chain, people still having difficulties and many small


and medium-sized businesses would like to expand and create jobs who


are making no progress with the banks. Whatever the Government has


done so far does not seem to have cracked that problem, getting in the


investment where it is needed. about you, Andrew, are you


ambitious? Your LEP will be in competition for Nottinghamshire and


Derbyshire for the same sort of companies that you would want to


attract to your area as opposed to the other parts of the East


Midlands. We are collaborating more than competing. Most developments in


and around Leicestershire will be benefiting surrounding areas as


well. The economy has no borders. The competition is with the


opportunities and the challenges are establishing those links with


business to find out the specific projects that need the funding. That


is the real challenge. They will be elements of competition. We are all


going for the same pot but it is not competition in that sense. Are you


confident? Very. We have had two years of building a solid platform,


we have invested and returned well on that investing. I am looking


forward to the next couple of years because we can start to progress the


projects. And also skills mentioned earlier on, that is a major


challenge for us. 20,000 people we have that could be matched with the


20,000 vacancies, that is another challenge. Thank you. How about this


for a plan for economic regeneration? Transferring more


powers and billions of pounds to our regions. It is an idea with powerful


backing. Lord Heseltine, Deputy Prime Minister to John Major and an


adviser to David Cameron, he has been in the region demoting his


regeneration thinking and spoke to Rob Pittam about what it could mean


to our region. We are the only country that centralises all


decision-making on its capital city. Every other country like ours


has different levels. We have London in this country and I think it is


like a monopoly. It also has another weakness, it is divided into


functions. Housing, transport, environment, schools, all-important


in their own way but it means they all focus on their own departmental


responsibilities. I want to see local people in Leicestershire, for


example, saying that what this area wants is to build on these


Leicestershire strengths. And devise policies for that purpose, that our


local and locally relevant. Giving local powers to local areas,


Nottingham is a very big city for example. What can Nottingham do and


what areas can it be? You are going to the same question. It is for


Nottingham to work that out. must have an idea? No, no. I cannot.


How can I know what is right for Nottingham? Because I hardly know


Nottingham. If I was a minister, I would have to make those decisions.


Somebody would come to me and say, this is what our plan is for


Nottingham. I personally reject that concept. I won't Nottingham to work


it out. Turning to the regional growth fund, you are in charge of


the advisory panel which advises the Government on how to spend the


money. A real problem here, we regularly come bottom of the table,


in the last round with a �40 million which got �124 million in the West


Midlands. The whole point was to concentrate money on those areas


badly affected by the cuts and those were areas where relatively,


Felicity spinach was a bigger proportion of the total demand --


and those were areas where relatively speaking at a bigger


proportion of the total demand. it different from the West


Midlands? View then had to get into the detail and look at the


concentrations of wealth and look at the nature of the scheme that other


people have put forward. In the West Midlands, there are areas of


significant deprivation. There will be some in the East Midlands as well


but this is where we came in as an advisory body. You seem to be saying


that we can never expect to get very much out of this regional growth


fund in the East Midlands? They would not come high on the list of


the areas that you associate with high and public expenditure and


therefore particularly adverse effects. Margaret, has he got a


point, are we to centralise as a country? It is not the first time


that when I come to talk about industrial policy that Michael


Heseltine is talking from our hymn sheet than he is from the one that


is usually put out by his own party. I welcome it and the difficulty he


has had and he might even admit it rabidly is that he has never been


able to take his Treasury colleagues with him and I am not sure he is


doing it now. You have been in government and then around this


course before where they talk about devolving to the big cities and


regions. And the Whitehall machine resisting. How do you get round that


in government? It is never easy but what you'd do need to have -- what


you do need to have, I was talking to someone else about the secret to


this, you need to know clearly what you want. If as a government you


should and can devolve much more power to regions and localities,


then you have to get on with it. Michael Heseltine never really


carried the rest of his colleagues with him. You are signed up to


this, Jason? What Margaret says is right, the Government has never


trusted local politicians or areas to make those decisions. Now we have


Nick at the top table, that is changing but it needs to be more


radical. Let's listen to what some of the people on the streets have


said. Lord Heseltine says we must come up with our own idea said


theirs has been out in Derby to find out how you think we can regenerate


our economy. -- Desmond has been out. How would you create thousands


of jobs and boost the economy? Manufacturing, it has to be. It


seems to be lacking somewhat. Even Belper, Thornton is used to be big


there, and also other companies loads of manufacturing, that has all


gone down and down. Private enterprise. You must encourage it.


And the way it is going at the moment, it is not being encouraged.


How long have you been unemployed? Two years. What do people need to do


to implore you? Have a variety of jobs and listen more records I have


ploughed through 1000 jobs in a month, sending CDs, and I have had


to see these back and two e-mails back. They don't listen. I think


apprenticeships, and investment in the railway industry. Public


transport is the way forward. older generation could have a lot


more done for it. Teenagers, 16-19 -year-olds, and someone like myself


now unemployed, not a lot available. Training and retraining. It is


difficult to get back into work. Offer more volunteer or


apprenticeship opportunities for young people to get the foot in the


door. Lots of places say they won't experience but how can you get that


when there is nobody offering it? Jason, the thing that is interesting


is that you have a number of ideas that you could put into an economic


strategy. It is great, everybody has an idea, one thing that was he was


apprenticeships. You are nodding, Margaret? I was lucky to start my


working life with a five-year apprenticeship and I think it is


terrific. People see them differently and they must be seen as


a viable option, but a second class thing. I did a vocational course at


college because I was not very good academically and that was a better


route for me. People must see that is just as good a route into a good


job as a degree now. The whole issue of apprenticeships, do you see the


coalition are getting it now? They are putting more money into it.


talk is great. Our worry is that the sort of apprenticeships that Jason


and I would recognise, I am not sure that all the things that are


labelled with that word are that solid and that would be a pity


because it is not numbers we want, it is quality. Margaret and Jason,


thank you. Time for a round-up of the other political stories in 60


seconds with Rob. Dusting down your caravan for the


summer, East Midlands Conservative MEPs are fighting plans to impose


tougher testing. The EU wants to extend MOT tests for caravans and


trailers. A new train service for North Nottinghamshire has moved


closer since the Sherwood MP Mark Spencer says. Network rail is to


send him a feasibility study it made into a train service to Allerton and


Edmonstone. Labour's Leicester West MP wants more to be done to make GP


appointments more convenient. She wants to see surgeries offer more


evening and weekend appointments. After it was revealed that police


officers in Nottinghamshire had used their own vehicles to get injured


people to hospital, the East Midlands police collaboration unit


which represents the unit's police forces says it has now reached


agreement on improving communications between the police


and ambulance services. My thanks again to my studio guests,


Margaret Beckett and Jason Zadrozny. Next week, our studio guests


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