11/03/2012 Sunday Politics East


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In the East. Housebuilding plumb it so leaving family's out in the cold.


And from Leicester to this. It least save money but is it keeping


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1807 seconds


Good morning. It is getting harder to find somewhere to live in the


East of England. Not enough houses are being built.


Our guests at this week are Dr Theresa coffee and David Ellesmere.


-- Dr Therese Coffey. One of the things that has happened


is that the government in raising the tax threshold has lifted over 1


million people out of paying income tax and most of those are women.


the debate on Thursday in the House of Commons, it was fascinating to


listen and interact to other women MPs on a variety of issues. Just


tackling the things that do matter to women. Labour has talked a lot


about getting and people apprenticeships, but what about


getting women into the work place? I can understand why women are not


happy with the government. The government appears to be hitting


women hardest. If you look at the changes that are being made it to


benefit, to taxes, to wage freezes, 70% of those are hitting women


rather than men. Women's unemployment is at its highest rate


since 1974 and is rising faster than men's. Let's move on to


switching off street lights. It is claimed that money can be saved by


doing this. Essex is rolling out plans to extend its switch off


county-wide. Put that light out! The night-time


of blackouts of the Second World War war may be the stuff of


nostalgia, but Essex County Council has started putting its alight out


between midnight and 5am. High streets and town centres will


continue to be let all night and so will main roads like this one. --


lit. But you may have to carry a torch if you are using side streets


at night. Maldon it is a step ahead of the rest of Essex. What is the


verdict from the ladies at the local keep-fit club? I think in


light is too early. Perhaps 2 o'clock in the morning. When we


were young, we just took torch is everywhere. But the town council


wants the county council to push back the switch of time by one hour.


We have a night-time economy. If they could have some of the lights


are on, that would be better. it is estimated that switching of


70% of that the street lights it will save almost �1 million a year


for one Council. When we put that figure together, we were very


conservative in our estimate. Since we came up with that figure, energy


costs have gone up, we also save on carbon tax. If you look at what


happened in other areas, we could be saving over �70,000 per year.


Crime figures do appear to have dropped where lights have been


switched off, but the fear of crime could be rising. Councils are now...


What about concerns about safety? There are savings to be made.


Suffolk County Council are expecting to sit about half a


million pounds a year from this. There are concerned, and certainly


people in Ipswich do have concerns out of the town centre. In


particular, there is the fear of crime, but it is also about safety


as well. Mothers are worried, not for themselves, but for their


children who are working late at night and coming home. One report


says that cuts to street lighting, female friends tell me that if you


cannot afford a taxi and are you still walking around in safety, it


does make a difference having a curfew imposed. There is certainly


a lot of concern about it. People do not feel as safe as a result of


this. The street maintenance budget has been cut as well so there are


potholes as well. It is not just about crime, there is a fear of


accidents. Do you disagree? I think most people I'm not think it is a


safe -- most people final think it is our sensible idea. I would say


that, of course, if you have concerns about your particular area,


you can ask for the likes to be put on again. And I know that that has


happened. In areas where it has happened, crime has gone down.


what about the fear of crime? not know what research has been


done by Labour women, but what people do feel that there is an


issue, I believe at the County Council has kept those lights on.


Is there enough public information about this happening? I think a lot


of people are surprised when it does actually happen. But it is


fight that a lot of people are not and about at these times, -- it is


right that a lot of people are not out and about at these times. And


light can be switched back on if there is a problem. We have done


that on streets where there has been any crime. It is absolutely


essential that people have to be aware of that. How far is this


going to go? I would like to see it county-wide, and a nationwide, I


think it makes sense. Light pollution is also an issue.


The housing shortage now. We are the fastest-growing region in the


country, but despite the will of consecutive governments to build,


there is a crisis. Planning permissions are down by 25%. The


social housing waiting list is up. And first-time buyers here now need


a deposit of around �29,000. It is expected the government will


announce his planning policy framework this month, but will it


help? Colchester is expected to be the career with the largest number


of people needing help. A after three difficult years, the


building industry believes that things are starting to pick up. At


this site in Colchester, homes are under construction. They will be


ready by the summer and they are expected to sell fast. Things are a


lot more positive. Because see changes in the planning system


coming through. There are improvements in net mortgage market.


Colchester needs more homes. 1400 need to be billed here every year


for the next 20 years. -- needed to be built here. Jose needs are not


being met. The number of new homes being built in the East has fallen


by one-third in the last six years. Our region needs at 32,000 new


homes every year for the next 20 years. But the report says that


just 44% of the homes we need are being started. The federation it


assess it is partly to do with the economy, but also the planning


system. The planning system is between an old regime and a new


regime that the government is introducing. Quite a lot of local


councils have not felt the pressure that we would like to see to get on


with positive planning. building federation has a vested


interest, but those who work with almost say the problem is getting


worse. We have 3000 people on the waiting list in Colchester. We are


not producing the supply to meet that need at all. Cassey Clitheroe


and Darrell Mole have just moved him to a new call you. They were on


the council waiting list for three years. -- a new home. Everywhere we


looked at, there was almost 20 people and front of us. It was a


constant frustration. People stay at home longer with their parents,


they share houses when children come a long. We are starting to see


street homelessness again as well. The number of homeless in the East


has increased by 28%. The government wants to see more homes


being built. It has introduced a new Holmes bonus. -- homes.


Ministers and the industry say there is a need for housing which


is not being met. Why is housing it so slow? What is


the real problem here? I think part of the problem is the planning


system. It is a tortuous process. There is a mixed message coming


from the presumption for development and the government


saying to local community groups, you can store development in your


area. -- stop development. Local authorities are in the middle tried


to build the homes we need for people that want them. 1400 houses


needed to be built every year for the next 20 years, how many are we


getting at the moment? About half of that. Before the recession, we


were building about 1000 homes a year. We are doing pretty well, but


we are not meeting either need. What about social housing?


waiting list is around 5000, we are just scratching the surface of it.


When the new developments are built in Colchester, we insist on 35% of


that being social housing. But it is not having a good effect because


there are so many people coming on to the list. But is it moving now?


Yes, there does seem to be a bit of movement this year. Development is


picking up a little. We have got to be confident and optimistic because


if we are not, things will never improve it. Should he be


optimistic? Is the government's planning policy going to meet that


need? Planning has always had a presumption in favour of


development. This chargeable give greater freedom to councils in how


they decide what building has to be done. The there will not be


prescriptions about parking places and other issues such as that. They


will be able to decide the shape and feel of the communities they


wish to see. They will also be able to say where they do not want it.


The that is not true, they cannot do that. The district and but


development councils set their areas for development. That


information has not got across. This Government has been saying


that we needed to build more houses, they are giving incentives to build


new houses and introducing, for first-time buyers, a home start


programme. David Ellesmere, we had targets under Labour, but we did


not meet them. The scrapping of targets is causing problems. What


we are seeing is councils under pressure because people do not want


to see development in their own backyard. We should not blame are


the planning system entirely. In Ipswich, we are finding that the


real problem is that the government has cut the housing budget by 60%


and developers are not coming forward because they cannot find


social housing developers. there is also freedom for the


housing associations to be charging 80% rather than 60%. They can


spread the burden. What do you need in order to get those houses built


in Colchester? The slashing of the funding to the homes and


communities agencies has had a real effect. If you have 80% of the


market based in Colchester, that is an affordable for most people. They


can afford a 60%, but 80% takes it out of the range of many people. We


need to be able to give the money to housing associations so that


they can afford to build the houses that people can afford to let him.


-- to live in. Housing will always be a controversial topic. �400


million is being given to developers at the moment to get the


schemes going, to build housing, but we also have to get into houses


into this game as well. This week saw the loss of one of


almost colourful politicians. -- our most. Lord St John Has died.


was a great man, a great parliamentarian and a great wit. He


called Margaret Thatcher Attila the Hen! That deadlock or down too well


at all. -- that did not go down too well. Douglas Carswell took great


pleasure it in goading the Prime Minister. It is because of the


constraints of coalition or because of the Whitehall machine? Would you


like to see those conservation zones on the Suffolk coast? I think


they are pretty controversial. I can understand why they want to do


it, but it is where tourists goal sort I am not so keen on the idea.


Should wildlife come first? It is absolutely right that our natural


environment should be protected from exploitation. But much of our


landscape has been shaped by humans. If humans are working their,


fishing and so on and tourism, so long as there is not too much of it,


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