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Here in the East, the end of council tenants having a home for
life, as fixed term tenancies are introduced.
Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2541 seconds
And MPs renewing calls for banks to Hello and happy new year to you all.
Welcome back to Sunday Politics East. I'm Etholle George. Coming
up... Your house, but not your home? An end to lifetime tenancies
will mean families in the future could be moved after only a few
years at the same address. We think it is important for tenants to move
into their homes securely and knowing this is their home or light.
-- for life. And MPs get bankers and businesses
together to see why so many firms are still struggling for funds.
cannot imagine how a start-up would get finance it looking to a bank.
But first, let us meet our guests for this week. Dr Therese Coffey,
the Conservative MP for Suffolk Coastal. And Tom Beattie, the
Labour leader of Corby Council. Let us start with news of that annual
price hike to rail fares. Above inflation for the 10th consecutive
year. Tom Beattie, the highest rise in the region is 4.7% in
Northamptonshire. I think it is difficult to justify them, putting
a bigger burden on people travelling to work. I think it is a
significant amounts of money for someone to have from their salary.
I pick it is difficult to justify that. Therese Coffey, not all bad
news, though. �10 billion worth of investment for rail across the
region covering the period up to 2019. 1.4 billion will improve one
of the services. That is absolutely vital. We have seen increases in
people using the trains. But the track is not always standing up to
the stream. And also improving across the counties, which is to be
welcomed. Other important its infrastructure improvement on
Northamptonshire? I absolutely vital. The opening of the new
railway station really helped with economic regeneration plans. We
welcome particularly the proposal to elect replied that section of
the line between Kettering and Corby and also to have two rats.
Those infrastructure improvements will be vital to the success of
regeneration projects. Now to one of the biggest changes
for council tenants in generations. Next week is the deadline for our
local authorities to decide whether to end lifetime tenancies and
replace them with fixed terms. We can reveal a split among local
authorities in our region along political lines. We have found that
Labour-run councils are to retain lifetime tenancies for their own
housing stock. Only Tory-run Waveney will join them. While
Conservative and Lib Dem councils plan to move to five or even two
year tenancies. The Government hopes the change will free up more
homes for those on the housing register. But critics say the move
could create problem neighbourhoods in the future.
I had let years since my daughter was seven and she is denied that
the two. -- I have lived here. Maureen Connolly brought up her
family in this three-bedroomed Norwich house. She now has plenty
of space for visitors and grand children. I would Heat 2 move. But
I have said the only way I would leave his in a box, beat bards. --
and would not like to move. Maureen's tenancy with Norwich City
Council means she can comfortably see out her days in this house, if
she chooses to. But soon new tenants in other areas will no
longer have the right to a home for life. We think it is important for
tenants to move into homes securely and knowing this is their home for
life. It is more than a political stance. We believe people should
have the same rights to be able to live securely and make a life for
themselves and their families in a community around them. That is our
priority. Orwell Housing, based in Suffolk, was among the first in the
UK to introduce Affordable Rent Tenures a year ago. Alex Fitton and
his partner Sapphira moved in three months ago. That was after a two
and a half year wait for their own flat. They're on a yearlong starter
tenancy which, all being well, should be extended for five more
years. Allied time Kinsey would not make a difference. We would not be
looking to stay. -- a lifetime tenancy. We would probably want to
move to a bigger house at some point. That's exactly the kind of
move Orwell Housing says the shorter tenancy should prompt. It
is said that shorter tenses could cost more in the Long Run. Every
time you in the tenancy, you have to deal with administrative costs
and the loss of rent that inevitably occurrence -- at an
inevitably happen. That can cost over �2,500 on a very time we have
to let again. This month, councils are required to publish new tenancy
strategies as guidance for social landlords. Research by the Sunday
Politics shows Labour councils in the East favouring lifetime
tenancies. Conservative and Lib Dem authorities are likely to move to
the five year deal. What a lot of us, we have to think about job
prospects, we are we are going and it might add that somebody not
staying in a school for a full term, but children adapt and can change
and we have to change. Can you give guarantees to people they would not
be to work out that they did not want to go? They would be given
every support. It depends on every individual case. Or Maureen and all
existing social housing tenants, the changes will have no impact.
But for future generations, a rented home or like could be a
thing of the past. Well, earlier this week, political
correspondent Andrew Sinclair spoke to Brandon Lewis. He is Communities
and Local Government Minister and a Great Yarmouth MP. He defended the
changes. It gives an opportunity to make sure people have more
opportunity on appropriate housing. We do not want areas blog, giving
people the chance to move on to something more suitable. But you
are talking about people who want to move. The trouble with this
fixed tenancy is you will have to make people move. First of all,
people in a property at the moment are protected. This is for people
new to properties after April. every four or five years, made to
move? Not necessarily. It is giving flexibility on a local authority to
look at things, making sure people have the right housing. That does
not mean making people move every for five years. The landlord and
his fight to get a longer tenancy. -- the landlord can decide. It a
family of four meat at home, that is still needed. What will change
potentially its, its someone goes into a property as a family of four,
and then down the line, it their needs change, we can then make sure
that authority as the flexibility to get them into appropriate forms.
But isn't this going to undermine people's security. It can be
difficult to put down roots knowing you might be moved. There are a lot
of people in private accommodation move quite regularly. But choosing
to do that. A understand. We Assington local authorities that --
I understand that. We are saying to local authorities that people's
circumstances change. And people might be less inclined to get
involved in community activities because of the possibility of
moving. I do not think so. People doing that want to be involved in
their communities. People who want to be part of their humanity will
always do that. People who move home rejoice are getting older will
still take a choice about getting involved and usually do. Shelter is
very critical of this, saying short-term finances could
destabilise communities. I just do not accept that. People want to be
part of their humanity. People can still be choose to be part of the
community and get involved. I am not sure that us that end of impact.
What about the argument that this causes more -- that this cost more
when looking at the negotiating and letting properties out again?
not buy into that. We need to make sure we use housing stock to the
best ability for residents. Tom Beattie, why are you not
changing things? We believe that tenants require security and that
is widely countenances are the best. I also take the point about
destabilising communities that stop people stewed up the choice to move
and began of a bat. -- people should have the choice. These
changes an increase in security. People feel insecure in their jobs.
What about this will show fabric of these communities? I think a point
was well made by Brandon Lewis that people do want to be involved get
involved anyway. If you were guaranteed somewhere to live for
five years, that does not stop you becoming a school governor of
becoming involved with local schools. But if you are only there
for a couple of years, but you key in as much about the property and
maintaining it? -- what you care as much. I know one council is
proposing a two-year tenancy bring young people under the age of 25. I
think that is sensible. When I do not agree with Tom is there are
waiting lists. I think it is right that councils and housing
associations have the appropriate tools we have there is an
assumption people will stay in their homes. But when you no longer
need three bedrooms, I think it is fair to say that we need this
family home for a family that is growing. What about children moving
schools. Is it be at the she did that? I think that is unlikely.
is it fair that children should add that? I know in London there is a
member of parliament it is in social housing. That is quite a
change. He has been an MP for quite a long time. Should the council be
able to say to him it is time to move? That will not up and on that
individual, or the people in the film, being existing tenants, but
it will change for new or tenants. What about being up much-needed
social housing stock? I be there is the need for more housing. That is
a demand for more housing. Rather than attempt to moving people on
against their will. The notion of social housing only been available
to people with low ink comes or vulnerable its dangerous. I grew up
on a council estate. Those were very mixed communities back then.
You could be up at any work and living next door to a school
teacher. -- you could be a factory worker. This drives communities
into nothing more than sink estates. I do not agree. We have seen how
social housing has changed. What you want to see from councils,
working with housing developers, is a greater mixture of housing.
Surely this will cost more? Administration? And on local-
authority reviewing every two years will cost a lot of money?
necessarily. Some people could be in unsuitable accommodation at the
moment. These are balanced. I do not think the reason for having to
sign a new tenancy agreement of the five years is a reason not to have
this policy. What about it children have moved on, should people still
live in a family-sized house? can do things to encourage people
to downsize and already do that, but it is someone's choice and we
have to recognise and respect that choice. Use of the woman in Norwich
who has lived in that house for probably most of her life. She is
probably comfortable there. It seems harsh to ask her to move.
Isn't it localism that has given you as accounts of the chance to go
your own way? Yes. We were asked if he wanted to make changes to
housing strategy and if we wanted to adopt lits -- adopt fixed and
penances and be said no. We want to provide tenants with the security
wanted. I respect the decisions for councils to make these decisions.
Those will be voted on by the public. I have a lot of people
asking why bother saving to buy their house when they could have
just got a council house. My answer is you have the choice of where you
live. Often, when the state provides for you, ultimately you
end up losing choices. This is not tended to be punitive, but about
saying we do need to make sure housing stock is used to its
maximum capacity. We shall leave it there and stay with finances. In a
bit of a groundhog day moment, MPs from Norfolk and Suffolk have been
holding their second annual banking summit. They met with senior
figures from the banking industry, and more than 100 business people,
to try to help kick-start the economy of this region. Despite new
figures showing a small increase in lending, many firms are finding it
tough to get affordable finance. A similar conference was held last
year. But small businesses, across the region, like this one in Harlow,
still insist that banks aren't doing enough to help.
We make bespoke kitchens, furniture, fitted furniture and various other
things. We started in 2006. It was just my partner and myself. The
group from a small workshop to this place. We have about five employees.
We decided to refinancing and looked around for a bank loan. We
then discovered that the banks were not lending money easily and look
elsewhere and bound Foundation Easts. That is a not-for-profit
organisation in this region that lends money to small businesses.
The rate was higher than the banks, but the banks were not interested.
At best, it was difficult. At worst, it was downright obstructive. The
banks are looking for a sure bet, not a safe bet or good lane -- plan.
They are looking for something so 100%, why would I want to borrow
money it by did not need to borrow it? I was looking to borrow to
expand rather than prop up a business. I would dread to think
about it would be on a start-up business. I was established, trying
to borrow to expand. I cannot imagine how a start-up would get
financing it looking to a bank. Therese Coffey, you would hosting
this summit. What did it hoped to achieve? It was about bringing
accountability, everything together to talk about problems. We also had
success stories. I think it was a positive day. Undoubtedly, there
are still issues in terms of making sure that businesses get access to
appropriate finance to stop that you had to have a second one?
rather sad you had to have a second one? I think it was successful and
we are planning another one next year. Foundation East, amongst
others, are getting equity. There are also start-up schemes,
particularly for young people. The latest one has been extended to
their peak. What about Corby, anything you can do? We try to work
its closely with businesses. The whole approach as a council is
about economic development. That runs like a thread through all the
stuff we do. We do not have a specific development department,
but make sure that economic development and access to finance
is taken seriously. At a practical level, how can you help that?
can work with developers to make available land. We are not a bank
and cannot lend money. I have come from a meeting with my local
strategic partnership where we were talking about this issue. That was
in relation to the Northamptonshire Chambers of Commerce to have called
on a business bank. It is the difficulty here that businesses are
not getting access to needed money. Those tend to be small businesses
generally. The big companies have money and find it easier. There is
a lot of positive action, but not much happening. Net lending is up
in the region, which is good news, are being used to help companies
grow. There is still more we want to do and try to do it was that are
aspects -- and try to do. One thing to do is help with business
planning. You are not blaming the businesses or lack of lending?
businesses are operating in their overdraft. Others are nervous about
investing when they could get finance. We shall leave it there.
Now, just time for our political round-up. Commuting by train
resumed for many of us this week. But not, it seems, for the Rail
Minister. Deborah McGurran reveals in 60 seconds.
A special BBC investigation by Inside Out found hundreds of cases
of abuse against elderly people in care homes. It is intolerable and
we should all feel confident when a loved one goes into a care home
that they should be safe and well looked after.
And Julian Huppert, MP for Cambridge, finds it intolerable
that the county's funding per pupil is one of the lowest in the country.
Cambridgeshire school children will suffer from underfunding fought
even longer unless action is taken now.
Now the Corby by-election is over, cross party consensus breaks out
over the future of Kettering Hospital. We want to keep the vital
acute health services in the north and Northamptonshire.
Rail Minister Simon Burns faced criticism for using a ministerial
car to get to London instead of travelling by train.
And Derek Murphy, the leader of Norfolk County Council, is stepping
down temporarily to face his critics. It is while he's
investigated by the council's standards committee. I have to put
forward a very effective case to defend my position.
More shortfalls in elderly care. What more needs to be done?
Care Quality Commission was criticised for being unclear about
their remit. I think they are clear. Care should be of the best quality.
I welcome their instant inspections. I am meeting them next month,
because there are some homes in my part of the region that a not doing
what they should be. I am also following up with the county
council to see how be an inspecting. Vital that people in Kear need to
be looked after properly. -- care. It is terrible people in care are
being treated this way? Absolutely. You would expect you are elderly
relatives, when going into care, to be looked after well. The elderly
and very young are the two most vulnerable groups and will deserve
the best. We need to do what we can to make sure that happens. We shall
come back to this on another day. Thank you both very much for
joining us. That's all for now. Keep in touch