30/09/2012 Sunday Politics East


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In the East: The new face of Labour. How much has the party changed? Are


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-- howled the energy policy could Hello. Coming up: The latest


windfarm off our coast is officially opened. Concern in the


industry grows over subsidies in the future. First, let's meet our


guests. Simon Wright and George Freeman. I want to talk first


double with a quick word about this promise from greater Anglia, who


are saying there will be fewer amounts of engineering work and


less replacement buses at the weekends on the Norwich to London


train lines. It is about time, isn't it? Great news. For years, it


has been very unpopular amongst passengers. They paid for their


train tickets and had to hop off the train half-break through their


journey and on to a bus. It has deterred people from using the


railways on Sundays. For those who travel to visit loved ones, friends


and family, or have a nice day out, it has been unhelpful. This is good


news. We had destroyed the weekend market. You have to take radical


action. Do you think this will boost the economy? I drink it is


great news. Train operators can only run as good a service as the


track allows. -- I think. The eastern region has a fabulous


future. People need fast rail links, good road links, a good air links.


A welcome the fact the Government is extending the franchise to seven


years. -- I welcome. Now to the fortunes of the Labour Party. The


party has a lot to do in this region after losing all but two of


its seats in the last election. It has poured more resources into


these and has already chosen its candidate in key seats. Is it


making a real difference? Earlier this month, members of the trade


union movement gathered at Burston in Norfolk to commemorate a strike


that it placed -- took place almost 100 years ago. These people have


always been traditional supporters for Labour. Very few are happy with


the direction the party is taking. They mock -- they are not moving


towards working people, they are moving away from it. No pay freezes.


Get a handle on utility prices. Get a handle on the pensions. They have


made a good start recently. Some of the things they are doing... People


are not aware of. It is a real privilege to speak here today to


you all. The face of Labour is changing. Clive Lewis is the


party's candidate for Norwich South. A formal -- a former journalist,


who has only been actively involved in politics for the last few years.


The party is changing. I am very happy with the direction Ed


Miliband is taking the party. is another new face. She is


standing in Norwich North. She is a former adviser to Tessa Jowell.


Polly Billington, a former adviser to Ed Miliband, will fight back.


bigger say hello to the students at the University. -- we will say


hello. They are also electing former MPs to stand in seats they


lost two years ago. Some people will say it proves Labour does not


change. I think we did the right thing and and we should not


apologise for it. If we understand that implement and people giving


their homes is an important priority for any government, I hope


we don't change. Bob Blizzard is To put it bluntly, you lost the


seat last time. Why do you think you can win it this time? I know I


lost it. I lost it narrowly. It was a horrible feeling. A lot of people


who did not vote for me last time have talked to me and say they


regretted it. They thought I would win anyway even though they did not


vote. Labour says its membership has increased nationally by 30,000


since the last election. We still do not know much about what the


party stands for. Several candidates have said they are


binding that frustrating. Earlier this week, Andrew Met Ed Miliband.


He told him he will not count out the unions it and he does not


support the idea of a general strike. I will make the decisions I


think are right for the country. I'm not in favour of general


strikes. That is not what we need in this country. I do not think


that most union members think that. On pay, these are hard decisions.


With Labour, it will be fair. Any tough settlements on pay make sure


that low-paid and middle-income earners are protected and do better


than higher earners. We want to put jobs as a priority. Part of the


problem on this government is we have an economy that is not growing.


There is an alternative to get growth going and get people back to


work. Your strategy is to tell you need to win about eight to 10 seats


in the east, places like Milton Keynes and Cambridge, if you want


to form a government. Are you there yet? We are two-and-a-half years


into a parliament. The British people are, I think, growing tired


of a coalition government that promise change. Things are getting


worse and not better. We will be showing them how we can make a


difference to lives, when it comes to jobs and living standards.


Energy bills is a big highlight of what we are talking about. How we


can strengthen our economy. Improving skills for young people


and making a difference to how banks serve small businesses. It


must not just work for some people at the top of the society but work


for everyone. Let me ask you about local issues. Airport expansion.


Last time he said you were not for a second runway at Stansted. How


about now? A commission has been set up by the Government. We will


look to see if that works. Here are my principles. Unique to respect


the environment. We have clear Climate Change targets. We have


local environmental issues we need to face. Those must be respected.


We should not rule out extra runway capacity in certain places. I am


sceptical that he slowed but we should look at other places. We


need to look at him by Mensa and business case. That is something we


are doing and something we hope the review we have set up will also do.


We are joined from the Labour Party conference by our correspondent. We


heard Ed Miliband say he was not in favour of strikes. Are you? -- by


the Labour MP for Luton South. people are being forced with their


backs against the wall. It is not surprising for people to come out


and fight this government all the more effectively. Let's speak about


local issues. What about not ruling out his new runway at Stansted


questionnaire you like to see more development at Luton. -- a new


runway. We do support development at Stansted? I am an environment


minister. For me, the priority is using the capacity we have got well.


You mentioned Luton with its plans to go for 9 million to at 18


million passengers. It is using existing capacity well. No


additional ground works. Just using the capacity in the first place. If


we can do that in the south-east, we can help with the broader


capacity issue. Let's speak about the plight of Labour in the region.


You represent 50% of Labour MPs in the east. What do you think needs


to be done now to improve on that? This is now an annual occasion


where I get to fill a state to support on the Labour Party. I


would rather speak about the economy. What you want us to do to


get us into government? -- what do you want? You want us to select


great candidates. Andrew alluded to many of the great candidates we


have selected. We need to deliver in terms of policy as well and


paint a picture of the vision we have four hour country in the east.


-- our country. The poll's a good but there are no clear policies.


When will these come? The most important policy of all is to get


the economy moving. That is why we said these Tory economic plans are


causing so much pain and hassle. We point to the fact we're in the


first double dip recession for 37 years. That is why the up in a


deepening recession that we need to get out of. -- why we are in a


deepening recession. Over the coming year, a year and a half, we


will see more specific sum that as you realise the scale of the mess


we have to clear up. -- the specifics that you realise. Could


the latest addition to the windfarm family be the last? We now have


four in the east. The Next Generation include the Plough and


East Anglia the RAE. Critics say it is expensive. There is growing


concern in the industry that future subsidies for wind power, to be set


in the forthcoming energy bill, could be capped. The Crown Prince


of Norway and the Cup -- the Climate Change Secretary arriving


for the opening of the region's latest offshore wind farm. 88


turbines off the Norfolk coast of Sheringham. The industry is


becoming one of the region's major employers. On board, there is no


time to be lost. The support boat needs urgent repairs. They had some


halt damage which has had to be fixed. We have done quite a bit of


electronic upgrade. We have 15 staff on windfarm work at the


moment. That looks likely to be growing as well. The base at Great


Yarmouth has just opened. It is a �1 million investment. Down the


road, they are working flat-out building catamarans to service the


wind farms. Three years ago, they employed for people. That has risen


to 45. -- four people. We are redeveloping and changing our


facilities. We're changing the service we offer. Hopefully the


windfarm development will continue. Will it? Huge wind farms are


planned in the coming years of the East Anglian coast. The industry is


growing increasingly concerned that the enthusiasm of the Government


for renewables is on the wane. The Treasury wants to cut subsidies


paid to the industry. That, in turn, could put shut the cost of such


huge investments. With the energy bill due before Parliament this


autumn, leading figures within the Conservative Party a concern the


Treasury is interfering, threatening the commitment to cut


carbon emissions. It is not being given top priority by the


Government. It is incredibly important for the future of our


economy. There is a bit of an Inter departmental battle in Whitehall


between the Department of Energy and the Treasury. -- if you want to


improve the quality of life where you live, the vote blue and Grove


Green. A far cry from the pledge by the Conservative Party to be the


greenest government ever. industry based on subsidy always


must be wary of a government changing its mind on providing that


subsidy. The taxpayer pays all this money. The subsidy comes from tax


payers and the energy produced is very expensive. One sure it is fair


game. At the end of the day, offshore does produce energy that


is twice as subsidised as onshore. Backing Great Yarmouth, business is


buoyant. -- back in Great Yarmouth. Vessels are due to be built and


maintained wind turbines. It has high hopes for a windfarm plant of


East Anglia. What is needed from the Government is a long-term


commitment. For the developers of that zone, I think it is absolutely


vital that they have certainty of what they can expect from


government. That is through to 2025 and beyond. The build period is


eight years from 2015. The functional and operational period


takes them and another 20 years beyond that. The renewable sector


already employs thousands of people. Many more jobs right and the


outcome of the political battle now under way at Westminster. Our


political editor met up with the energy and Climate Change Secretary


at the official opening of the Sheringham wind farm in Norfolk.


She asked him whether the fight by the Chancellor to reduce subsidies,


criticism from back fences that Windows too expensive and and I'm


sure -- and I saw, has turned -- caused concern in the industry.


lot of the media have made those comments. There is a lot of unity


behind this in a government. I support helping develop gas fields.


We need that gas for Aran Energy security. Gas is much cleaner than


coal and a lot of electricity is produced from coal. I support this


as the Liberal Democrat. It is not gas or renewables, it is gas and


renewables. The next round of development will cost �100 billion.


It has never been done before that deep and that far out with the


bigger turbines. They were not get the investment they need without


government support. Britain is seen as one of the best places in the


whole world to invest in offshore wind. We have more installed


working offshore wind farms than anywhere else in the world. We do


have the huge potential, I think that is behind your question, of


the Dogger Bank, the largest offshore wind farm in the world. We


are putting in place policies to attract that investment. Be


announced the review of the renewable obligations which


supports offshore wind and 28 other renewable technologies. We announce


that in July. Later this year, I will announce the energy bill and


bringing it to Parliament, which will put him close the long-term


framework for supporting all low- carbon technologies. We have a very


ambitious framework. Industry is very supportive of the frame that


we are doing. The message they have given me is, just get on with it.


They folded in favour of gas exploitation. This could affect the


Government's carbon reduction targets. Nick Clegg, meanwhile,


says the need yellowed to make the Blues go green. Which is it? Are we


pandering to the coalition or is there a risk? Ed Davey is not


folding. He has always been clear that Gas has had an important part


to play in the mix. We will lose one-fifth of our power generating


capacity. That needs to be replaced. In the long term, our demand for


electricity will increase and we need to bring capacity online. Gas


has a very important role to play in the short to medium term. In the


long term, in order to meet our targets, we need to see a D


carbonised power-generation system. That is what the Lib Dem conference


signed up to. They're both perfectly compatible. They are not


pandering and there is not a risk? No. We need to invest in the whole


package - the whole mix of power generation technologies need to be


supported and invested in if we are to meet the targets of low-carbon


energy. Enthusiasm for this vote blue, go green, it seems to be on


the wane. The Treasury wants to cut subsidies. It could have a knock on


effect to jobs in the east. We have under invested in our energy


structure. In 13 years, Labour did nothing. We faced the demand to


replace the renew the National Grid. -- we face. Also to renew 60% of


our power stations. At the same time, all Ed Miliband did was


signed us up to green turrets and leave us to deal with it. The


Chancellor has said we need to generate a good -- energy security


and clean green energy. The CBI has explained that green energy, at the


moment, is driving growth in Britain. There are over 30 billion


of GDP from the green economy. This is gross. The question of subsidies.


What we inherited from Labour is appalling a framed subsidies. They


start the market. As the cost of technology falls, so does the


subsidy. What about the effect on jobs in the East? We have a huge


role to play in green energy in terms of offshore wind and in terms


of the University of East Anglia and the science and technology


behind it. Wind is an expensive option - particularly offshore wind.


We heard it was twice as expensive as the alternative. I am afraid


George is talking at the top of his solar panel. -- out of the top. We


set in place the framework. We are competing nations all around the


world for the mess that we need to Green our economy. -- there is a


lack of policy and clarity which means we are not getting the


investment we need. Wind is an important part of the mix. If we do


not have clear and consistent leadership from this government, we


will not attract the mess and we require. What about the maths? Does


that add up? Others are saying it is not feasible at this time.


the moment we are borrowing to pay for the costs of economic failure.


We need to invest. This is some of the tragedy and many of the cats.


It has a chilling effect among the investor community. The minute we


pay people to stay on the dole when we should be investing in the


future. Can we afford it? We cannot afford not to direct. We have to


make the transition. They are legally binding targets. It has


been the only sector growing in this rubbish economy. Thank you.


After the Lib Dem party conference, it is all yellow in the round-up of


the week by Deborah McLaren in 60 Stone-clad scabbard over Brighton


most of the week, admit warnings of a cold front among delegates. --


storm clouds gathered. We have been very badly damaged. Also a motion


to oppose huge runways in the east. It got huge support. A warm welcome


to the Lib Dem candidate come standing in Milton Keynes. It is


power in the Open. As opposed to the power of police austerities.


Keep going and do not give up. advised to the party leader. The


attempts of a revival taking things a little too far. We are halfway


through the parliament and it is what happens at the final whistle


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