07/07/2013 Sunday Politics East Midlands


07/07/2013

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

:01:15.:01:16.

region. And Tory legend Michael Heseltine

:01:16.:01:19.

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

:01:19.:01:29.
:01:29.:01:29.

Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2165 seconds

:01:29.:37:35.

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

:37:35.:37:39.

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

:37:39.:37:44.

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

:37:44.:37:49.

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

:37:49.:37:53.

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

:37:53.:37:58.

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

:37:58.:38:02.

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

:38:02.:38:07.

Leicestershire really wants is to build on these strengths and devise

:38:07.:38:13.

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

:38:13.:38:18.

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

:38:18.:38:21.

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

:38:21.:38:25.

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

:38:25.:38:29.

have we got too many politicians? The local government Boundary

:38:29.:38:32.

Commission is to investigate the number of councillors on Leicester

:38:32.:38:41.

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

:38:41.:38:45.

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

:38:45.:38:48.

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

:38:48.:38:53.

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

:38:53.:38:58.

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

:38:58.:39:02.

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

:39:02.:39:06.

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

:39:06.:39:10.

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

:39:10.:39:15.

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

:39:15.:39:18.

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

:39:18.:39:22.

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

:39:22.:39:29.

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

:39:29.:39:38.

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

:39:38.:39:41.

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

:39:41.:39:46.

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

:39:46.:39:52.

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

:39:52.:39:55.

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

:39:55.:40:00.

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

:40:00.:40:04.

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

:40:04.:40:06.

Nottinghamshire going through boundary changes at the district

:40:06.:40:08.

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

:40:08.:40:15.

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

:40:15.:40:20.

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

:40:20.:40:25.

Cameron. What would happen if the Boundary Commission removed their

:40:25.:40:30.

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

:40:30.:40:33.

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

:40:33.:40:39.

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

:40:39.:40:45.

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

:40:45.:40:52.

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

:40:52.:40:55.

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

:40:55.:41:00.

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

:41:00.:41:03.

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

:41:03.:41:07.

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

:41:07.:41:17.
:41:17.:41:21.

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

:41:21.:41:28.

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

:41:28.:41:32.

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

:41:32.:41:37.

from our new local enterprise partnerships. They will unveil plans

:41:37.:41:40.

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

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businessman with the task of reigniting the local economy for

:41:44.:41:53.

Leicestershire and Leicester but first the head of the

:41:53.:41:57.

Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire LEP tells us how he is planning to

:41:57.:42:01.

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

:42:01.:42:07.

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

:42:07.:42:10.

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

:42:10.:42:14.

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

:42:14.:42:20.

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

:42:20.:42:23.

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

:42:23.:42:30.

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

:42:30.:42:35.

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

:42:35.:42:39.

coalition government and local businesses. The single egg is

:42:39.:42:42.

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

:42:42.:42:47.

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

:42:47.:42:51.

workforces themselves and we have established a skills commission. We

:42:51.:42:54.

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

:42:54.:42:59.

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

:43:00.:43:07.

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

:43:07.:43:14.

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

:43:14.:43:18.

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

:43:18.:43:24.

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

:43:24.:43:30.

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

:43:30.:43:36.

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

:43:36.:43:39.

deal with his very expensive and some investment into machinery would

:43:39.:43:45.

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

:43:45.:43:47.

we would tackle including apprenticeships. We do not think

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

:43:54.:43:58.

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

:43:58.:44:06.

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

:44:06.:44:12.

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

:44:12.:44:17.

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

:44:17.:44:22.

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

:44:22.:44:28.

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

:44:28.:44:35.

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

:44:35.:44:40.

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

:44:40.:44:49.

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

:44:49.:44:54.

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

:44:54.:44:59.

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

:44:59.:45:04.

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

:45:04.:45:08.

vision can inspire the current generation of business leaders.

:45:08.:45:13.

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

:45:13.:45:22.

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

:45:22.:45:26.

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

:45:26.:45:32.

Leicester and Leicestershire? established a plan 18 months ago for

:45:32.:45:38.

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

:45:38.:45:43.

investing in. Five key development sites will develop and deliver

:45:43.:45:50.

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

:45:50.:45:57.

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

:45:57.:46:06.

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

:46:06.:46:09.

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

:46:10.:46:15.

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

:46:15.:46:21.

past couple of years with the levels of investment coming into

:46:21.:46:26.

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

:46:26.:46:32.

but it is really about the flexibility and a lack of

:46:32.:46:37.

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

:46:37.:46:42.

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

:46:42.:46:45.

convinced that this government is putting forward enough money to try

:46:45.:46:50.

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

:46:50.:46:58.

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

:46:58.:47:01.

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

:47:01.:47:06.

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

:47:06.:47:09.

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

:47:09.:47:13.

infrastructure boost that will bring jobs and construction on at the

:47:13.:47:17.

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

:47:17.:47:27.

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

:47:27.:47:30.

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

:47:30.:47:35.

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

:47:35.:47:40.

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

:47:40.:47:47.

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

:47:47.:47:51.

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

:47:51.:47:56.

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

:47:56.:48:01.

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

:48:01.:48:04.

jobs and 1.2 million apprenticeships. We have to start

:48:04.:48:09.

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

:48:09.:48:12.

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

:48:12.:48:16.

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

:48:16.:48:23.

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

:48:23.:48:30.

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

:48:30.:48:36.

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

:48:37.:48:46.

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

:48:46.:48:50.

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

:48:50.:48:57.

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

:48:57.:48:59.

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

:48:59.:49:07.

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

:49:07.:49:12.

the supply chain, people still having difficulties and many small

:49:12.:49:15.

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

:49:15.:49:21.

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

:49:21.:49:26.

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

:49:26.:49:29.

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

:49:29.:49:35.

ambitious? Your LEP will be in competition for Nottinghamshire and

:49:35.:49:39.

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

:49:40.:49:42.

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

:49:42.:49:47.

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

:49:47.:49:52.

and around Leicestershire will be benefiting surrounding areas as

:49:53.:49:59.

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

:49:59.:50:02.

opportunities and the challenges are establishing those links with

:50:02.:50:05.

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

:50:05.:50:09.

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

:50:10.:50:15.

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

:50:15.:50:19.

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

:50:19.:50:26.

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

:50:26.:50:30.

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

:50:30.:50:34.

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

:50:34.:50:42.

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

:50:42.:50:47.

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

:50:47.:50:51.

for a plan for economic regeneration? Transferring more

:50:51.:50:55.

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

:50:55.:51:02.

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

:51:02.:51:06.

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

:51:06.:51:11.

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

:51:11.:51:16.

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

:51:16.:51:19.

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

:51:19.:51:29.
:51:29.:51:30.

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

:51:30.:51:35.

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

:51:35.:51:39.

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

:51:39.:51:45.

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

:51:45.:51:50.

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

:51:50.:51:56.

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

:51:56.:52:01.

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

:52:01.:52:06.

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

:52:06.:52:10.

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

:52:10.:52:16.

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

:52:16.:52:24.

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

:52:24.:52:28.

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

:52:28.:52:33.

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

:52:33.:52:37.

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

:52:37.:52:43.

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

:52:43.:52:47.

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

:52:47.:52:50.

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

:52:50.:52:54.

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

:52:54.:53:00.

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

:53:00.:53:07.

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

:53:07.:53:11.

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

:53:11.:53:20.

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

:53:20.:53:24.

and those were areas where relatively speaking at a bigger

:53:24.:53:27.

proportion of the total demand. it different from the West

:53:27.:53:32.

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

:53:32.:53:38.

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

:53:38.:53:44.

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

:53:44.:53:48.

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

:53:48.:53:53.

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

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

:53:56.:54:00.

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

:54:01.:54:05.

the areas that you associate with high and public expenditure and

:54:05.:54:10.

therefore particularly adverse effects. Margaret, has he got a

:54:10.:54:15.

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

:54:15.:54:19.

that when I come to talk about industrial policy that Michael

:54:19.:54:22.

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

:54:22.:54:28.

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

:54:28.:54:31.

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

:54:31.:54:36.

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

:54:36.:54:40.

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

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

:54:43.:54:50.

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

:54:50.:54:56.

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

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

:55:01.:55:06.

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

:55:06.:55:10.

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

:55:10.:55:15.

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

:55:15.:55:21.

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

:55:22.:55:29.

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

:55:29.:55:33.

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

:55:33.:55:37.

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

:55:37.:55:43.

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

:55:43.:55:48.

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

:55:48.:55:51.

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

:55:51.:55:58.

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

:55:58.:56:04.

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

:56:04.:56:11.

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

:56:11.:56:18.

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

:56:18.:56:24.

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

:56:24.:56:29.

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

:56:29.:56:35.

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

:56:35.:56:41.

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

:56:41.:56:47.

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

:56:47.:56:53.

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

:56:53.:56:57.

apprenticeships, and investment in the railway industry. Public

:56:57.:57:02.

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

:57:02.:57:08.

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

:57:08.:57:14.

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

:57:14.:57:21.

difficult to get back into work. Offer more volunteer or

:57:21.:57:23.

apprenticeship opportunities for young people to get the foot in the

:57:23.:57:28.

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

:57:28.:57:34.

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

:57:34.:57:39.

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

:57:39.:57:48.

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

:57:49.:57:54.

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

:57:54.:57:57.

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

:57:57.:58:01.

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

:58:01.:58:05.

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

:58:05.:58:09.

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

:58:09.:58:13.

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

:58:13.:58:20.

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

:58:21.:58:23.

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

:58:23.:58:29.

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

:58:29.:58:33.

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

:58:33.:58:37.

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

:58:38.:58:43.

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

:58:43.:58:47.

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

:58:47.:58:57.
:58:57.:58:59.

seconds with Rob. Dusting down your caravan for the

:58:59.:59:05.

summer, East Midlands Conservative MEPs are fighting plans to impose

:59:05.:59:12.

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

:59:12.:59:16.

trailers. A new train service for North Nottinghamshire has moved

:59:16.:59:21.

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

:59:21.:59:24.

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

:59:24.:59:31.

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

:59:31.:59:34.

appointments more convenient. She wants to see surgeries offer more

:59:34.:59:39.

evening and weekend appointments. After it was revealed that police

:59:39.:59:43.

officers in Nottinghamshire had used their own vehicles to get injured

:59:44.:59:46.

people to hospital, the East Midlands police collaboration unit

:59:46.:59:51.

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

:59:51.:59:53.

agreement on improving communications between the police

:59:54.:00:03.
:00:04.:00:04.

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

:00:04.:00:11.

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

:00:11.:00:14.

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