04/11/2012 Sunday Politics East


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Britain Here in the East: The candidates of Corby declare their


colours. And the spare rooms that mean tenants will lose hundreds of


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2063 seconds


pounds a year under new Government Hello and welcome to Sunday


Politics East. Later in the programme, more bedrooms than they


need. The dilemma for social housing tenants facing cuts to


their benefits. In the long term the likelihood is that I would fall


into areas. If that happens I could be evicted and I would end up


homeless. And our bobbies on the beat really the best way to fight


crime? Our commissioner candidates have their say. The Labour MP for


Newton north and the Conservative MP for North West Norfolk. Let's


kick-off with our soundbite of the week, the Conservative MP for


Peterborough. He says we need to limit the number of migrant workers


coming into our region. 34 % of children in our primary schools do


not speak English as a first language and that is having an


impact. The Government needs to pick up from the mess left by the


last Labour Government. Do we need to take control back of our borders


as Stewart Jackson is suggesting? I'm agree with him. We do have a


fairly strict border controls but I do not see why EU citizens should


be treated differently from Commonwealth citizens. In your


constituency they do a great deal of the agricultural work, limit


their numbers and some of those businesses would fold, would they


not? That is correct but a balance must be struck between the needs of


business, food processing and agriculture in need access to


Labour. We have 1.4 million EU citizens working in this country of


those 400,000 are unemployed or economically inactive. We must make


sure that those are out there able to work or if they are not and they


finished their work they go back to their own country. I think we can


tighten up the rules under the existing framework and we should do


that. And now on to social housing. Tenants are due to lose hundreds of


pounds every year if they have a spare bedroom. Those benefits are


due to go even if they need the extra room for at carer. There are


nowhere near enough smaller homes for the affected people are to move


into. That lack of choice is a particular problem for the region's


remote area is. This grandad used to be a builder but his chronic


arthritis put paid to that. He has been registered disabled since 1992.


I worry what will happen to my family. The reason he is losing


sleep is because his home has three bedrooms. Now his doctors have


grown up, two of them are ready. From April, people on housing


benefit will lose 14 % for the first empty room and 25 % for the


second. For this man that will mean losing more than �20 per week.


is compounded in a rural area is where there will not be


neighbouring smaller properties. We have just one social housing home


left for individuals to use in one particular area. There are 1,400


homes in West Northolt that have only one bedroom. When the housing


benefit changes come into force and people need to downsize their is


expected to be a shortfall. That could mean that another 800 single


bedroom properties are needed here. At the moment we do have a


shortfall of single bedroom properties. We are looking towards


the future and we have a plan to build 700 new houses over the next


three years. There will be a mixture of housing to tried to


address some of these problems. changes will also affect people


like this woman who has already moved to a two-bedroom home. She


suffers from M E but will be penalised for keeping a room for


appear. It will be a reduction of 14 % in my benefits. By cutting the


amount of money I get it will be impossible to manage. This could be


the last crop here. The Government says it is right that tenants


living in homes larger than their needs make a contribution to their


rent or move. Many people could be affected. The cuts to welfare are


opposed by Labour. This week we spoke to Lord David Freud asking


him to explain the Government's position. And Baroness Hollis has


been campaigning in the Lords to make disabled people exempt from


the changes. The overall cost of housing benefit has been soaring.


It is up from 12 billion at the beginning of the decade it is at 23


billion now and will go on to 25 billion if we do not do anything.


The cost of carrying these extra bedrooms costs as half a billion


pounds each year. At a time of financial crisis we cannot go on


avoiding that. Savings come because people do not move. They will not


be able to move because housing associations do not have smaller


accommodation available so as a result people will be staying in


the homes they have but finding the need to take 10 or �15 per week out


of their benefit payments and as a result of that they could get into


arrears and lose their home. People to do a number of things, were some


more and pay the extra money. It is less than three hours worked per


week to pay for the extra bedroom. They could take in a lodger which


is something that a lot of people are looking at closely. They could


also look to downsize. People with children might think twice about


taking a lodger. They would work extra hours if they could find


extra jobs. Most people on benefits are disabled and not in work.


are a million unused bedrooms in the sector and 250,000 people are


living in overcrowded accommodation. We are hoping that to some extent


we will alleviate some of the overcrowding by getting people to


downsize to live in the size of property that suits their


circumstances. I know that in Norfolk alone we are going to find


something like �4 million taken out of the pockets of some of the


poorest and most vulnerable people who cannot pay their rent or move


somewhere else. Now let us pick up on that last point. It is clear


that in your constituency people will seek a cut in their benefit


with no real prospect of them being able to move to a smaller social


home, is that fair? Let us get this into context. The Government


inherited a massive national debt of nearly one trillion pounds. We


are paying for 2 billion per year in interest, 130 million per day.


One quarter of our expenditure goes on benefits. Benefits spent on


people of working age come up to 90 billion. 20 billion of that is


being spent on housing benefit. I do believe some changes have to be


made. Is it Althea way of doing it? In principle it is but I think more


flexibility has to be built into the system. Those people who have


nowhere to move to, people who are disabled, people who are foster


carers, we need to look at the housing Discretionary Fund to make


sure that councils have more flexibility. You obviously think it


is not fair but to look at the scenario, if you are renting


privately you are probably not going to be able to afford a house


for a single person with lots of different bedroom soul isn't it


fair that people in social housing should have the same tough choices?


It is their home and many have lived in it all their life and they


should not have to downsize. We are squeezing incomes from the poorest


in the land and many of our disabled. We are reducing taxes on


people with incomes of more than �150,000 per year, and failing to


collect taxes from corporations and the wealthy of billions of pounds


per year. The mention the discretionary payment but is that


going to go anywhere? By my figures it works out about �100 per person


which is a drop in the ocean. going to be 30 million any way


which will cover 40,000 people. I think that should be increased. I


think one size does not fit all. It is 30 million for England and


Wales, is it not? That is right. What I am suggesting is that one


size does not fit all. In some councils like King's Lynn you have


a community with a shortage of single bedroom housing. You have a


shortage of social housing generally. The point made was that


there are 250,000 people living in overcrowded accommodation with 500


million people on the waiting list and around the same number of spare


beds available. Putting some flexibility into the system, making


sure that people in family-sized houses have the incentive to move


to smaller houses if they are available, that makes sense.


have got nearly one third of working age social housing people


in benefits paid homes that are bigger than the need. At it is


their home. They should have the right to say they have security of


tenure. Many people will want to move but the real problem is that


we have 5 million people on the waiting list and successive


governments have restricted local councils from building council


houses. Or what about taking a lodger, isn't that a possibility?


Some people want privacy. Forcing people into that is wrong. If they


want to choose to do that that is fine but forcing them by twisting


their arm of financially I think is grossly unfair. They are going to


use housing benefit if they take a lodger actually, are they not?


needs looking at very carefully. You do not know? Downsizing and


taking a lodger is just an option. I do believe that one option does


not fit all and we need more flexibility in the system. We will


leave it there and look at the candidates for police and crime


commissioners. This week we hear from Hertfordshire and Essex but we


begin with Cambridgeshire. In Cambridgeshire, savings of �70


million are needed by 2015. -- �17 million. There are seven candidates


standing here. Whoever is elected faces a difficult job. I have been


a member of this party and feel I have the best credentials of all


the candidates. I have got a lifetime of experience in public


service and I am certain this job involves talking to the public. I


want to do that right down to grass roots, at parish level, to find out


what people are thinking so I can represent them. I know the problems


we have with crime, policing and law and order. I want to see more


officers on the beat and a tough stance taken at a with crime.


need a professional politician, someone who can bring people


together to bring about a more safe community. I will bring a strong


business focus to the police and made sure we have more constables


on the beat. I want to make sure the police and so are there for a


cols quicker. The current response is an acceptable on emergency calls.


I am an experienced candidate. I served on the Regional crime Squad


and the National crime Squad. If elected, I and the candidate for


the privatisation plans. People should vote for me because I will


deal with proper offender management and intervention.


Essex, savings of �42 million are needed over four years. The police


will need to shed 1,000 posts to balance the books. When we have to


look nationally, there are things which people perhaps are not


interested in but the Commissioner has to be as part of the Budget.


Sees issues like counter-terrorism or serious organised crime, the


protection of children. Crime generally, we feel affirm line has


to be taken. We are not sympathetic to offenders. We think the victims


are not treated very well in many occasions. I think we should build


more prisons. The model of scrutiny for the Auld police the authority


was not good enough. I think there is a need for sharper scrutiny


which is about blowing fresh beer through the police. We want to see


police out on the streets. They want to see that the police are


doing a job and when they phoned the police they want them to turn


up and do the job professionally to solve their particular problem.


There are 2,400 families with complex needs to produce something


like 80% of the anti-social behaviour and 70% of burglaries.


The police ought to be cracking down on that kind of behaviour.


is one of the things I am very passionate about, managing domestic


violence and sexual crime which is on the increase. We really do need


to stop that and support the victims and we really need to see


how we can break the chain. Let us take a look at Hertfordshire where


the force needs to save �46 million over four years. It expects to cut


122 officers and 597 staff jobs by 2015. The police and crime


commissioners needs to be somebody who is in touch with the community


and listening to their views. That is something I have done most of my


life. In my spare time I am a borough councillor so I have had a


lot of experience also dealing with the police and getting the right


results for local residents. believe it is a really important


role. The victims of crime should be at the front of what we are


doing and that is a job that I am up for it. Safety on the streets is


what I feel I could do a fairly adequate job of, a good job


actually! How democratic is all of that? We are expecting deep turn


out to be fairly low. The board will be split between several


different candidates so is it a democratic process? We want to make


sure we get Labour candidates are elected. Derbyshire is a marginal


seat that we feel we can win. We are fighting on our policies and to


be accountable for or pausing police cuts and opposing


privatisation of the police force. The other parties will be on


policies for Government cuts. powers these commissioners have


will be huge, how strong do you think their mandate actually is?


do not think we should talk down the elections but what I am


noticing in King's Lynn and West Norfolk is an awful lot of interest.


I think we have to look at what Boris Johnson has done in London to


see what happens when you have someone directly elected who


actually accounts to the public. I think it is an exciting change and


will be good for policing and crime. We have another big election coming


up in the region taking place in one fortnight. The date for the


Corby by-election has been pecked. 14 candidates are contesting the


seat, it here they all are. The election will be held on Thursday


15th November. The former MP resigned in the summer for what she


said was family reasons, but were they? That seems to be a subject of


dispute in her household. Let's take a look at the round-up in 60


seconds. The row has broken out over why she left her job as MP for


Corby after her husband and rock star or manager said she quit


because she would not win next time. She nips off when it suits her


convenience to do so. A departure is never helpful however it takes


place. Are you cross with her? will look to the future. I never


made it up, -- he never made it up, he just got it wrong! Can we


protect services at the General Hospital? It is about jobs and how


we can get jobs for our young people. The future of Kettering


hospital has dominated this campaign and some say there is


nothing wrong with change provided it leaves patients with better


services. Of course we should debate about evolving services,


things do change will be time. We need to make sure patients are best


served but absolutely not by spearing them. -- frightening them.


That spat between the married couple will not help the cause very


much but there is a lot riding on this election, it could potentially


be very damaging for David Cameron. We have a first-class candidate,


every Tory MP is going up to the constituency. A number of people


have said to me that Corby itself is a very difficult Town. In deep


rural area as the conservative vote is very strong. Having said that it


will be a tough election. Of course when MPs stand down people will


question their motives. Of course in this case she did it genuinely


because of custody of her children. The hospital, Labour is just


scaremongering over that issue? That is not true. We have a


passionate belief in the NHS and local hospitals. If they were


threatening my local hospital I would be very angry indeed. You are


going to be campaigning for everything to be kept at Luton and


Dunstable. When we have these reviews should they not be kept


separate from the politicians? Closing hospitals is a political


issue and of course people are going to campaign about it.


Tomorrow I shall hear more detail of the campaign and I look forward


to that and a Labour victory. will hear more on that and what


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