14/04/2013 Sunday Politics East


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The county council election campaign builds up, and UKIP,


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2186 seconds


protest vote for party on the verge Welcome to the local part of the


Sunday Politics, I'm Andrew Sinclair. Coming up, the local


elections: What has accounts Account will -- what has the county


council ever done for you? Apart from looking after the roads,


waste-disposal... UKIP is taking these elections very seriously.


Nigel Farage was back in the region. How seriously can we expect his


counsellor to take the day-to-day grind of local politics? Very


seriously indeed. One of the reasons we have risen in the polls,


I have got this travelling around the country, people say that we


speak for them. If people place their trust in us, we need to do


the job well. First, let's meet our guests. Bernard Jenkin has,


Conservative MP, and Kelvin Jenkins, Labour MP. There has been only one


story, the death of Baroness Thatcher. I heard you speak quite


movingly about Baroness Thatcher in her later years. Sometimes it was


hard to believe this small, frail lady once held the world in the


palm of her hand. Yes. Everyone is testament to the fact that she was


a colossal political figure. She dominated not just British politics


but global politics. The frigid we have seen on the television screens


have been greeted by Soviet leaders, President Reagan... -- the


television footage. This country roads in the imagination and


respect of every country around the world as a result of her leadership.


You used to visit her regularly, what did she talk about? It came


and went in later years... You always needed to be on your mettle,


because occasionally you would just get a flash of the old market, --


the old Margaret Thatcher, she would pick you up on something,


excoriate the weakness of your argument, the lack of logic, the


great brain under there was still powering away, even though she was


not as a live to current events. She was really interested in


talking about the past, childhood, upbringing, that was very


interesting. You are trade-union officer in the 1980s, why did you


not go? I'm a democratic socialist and it would be hypocritical to pay


respect to someone like did not agree with. -- someone who I did


not agree with. She was very popular. If you look at Luton, it


had to Conservative MPs. Different boundaries, democratic changes. --


two Conservative MPs. Just because somebody is popular it does not


mean they are right. In retrospect, many people have been popular and


years later have been proved to be very unhelpful, wrong and damaging


to Sidey. Lady Thatcher's death men lots of campaigning was put on hold.


-- damaging to society. It is less than three weeks until polling day.


If you live in a unitary authority, you will not get to vote this year.


This will be an important set of elections, not least in Essex. It


is being dominated by the Conservatives. Our political


reporter has been looking at the issues. County councils are not


usually high profile. Essex has been the spotlight for the wrong


reasons. Former Conservative leader Lord Hanningfield was jailed for


fiddling his expenses. He stepped down, but will that episode cast a


shadow over these elections. I think people need to recognise that


this is about the county of Essex, on behalf of 1.4 million people in


Essex. People want to recognise what are competent Conservative


administration may have had here. It has saved, although the last


four years, �364 million. -- or the last four years. We have already


provides roads and schools. They have also branched out, launching a


scheme to save post offices in rural areas. High-profile schemes,


but they were all expensive. They have all been scrapped. The focus


is back on main issues like roads. In north Essex, the Liberal


Democrats want a high street pedestrianised. It is one of their


main issues, even though the county council suspended a temporary trial


that this week. The town is a Lib Dem fortress in a largely blue


county. The vehicle ban is controversial, so will it harm them


here? One of the major reasons is the air quality in the high street


was very bad, it will affect people with asthma. If we do not reduce it


we will be fined by the mayor -- by the European Union. Will they care


about it? It will be something they care about it if their council tax


goes up. The council tax saving affects 50,000 potholes, but Labour


say there are still problems. should be more priority given to


pot or repair. One of my constituents damaged their park to


the cost of �2,000. I had reported that before he did it. People get


angry. In the south of the county, shoppers look for bargains. People


in Basildon are among those who will decide the result of this


county council election, but will they vote on local issues or will


they be swayed by the factors? Council tax. Anything else?


Immigration. People coming into the country and sponging off the


government is my main concern. Keeping Basildon clean, keeping the


council tax down. Keeping crime down, that sort of thing. When it


comes to benefits, at the end of the day, it is one of those ones,


people are suffering. Conservatives dominate with 59


seats. The Liberal Democrats have 11. This time there is no European


election, which may well mean a lower turnout. With UKIP and the


Green Party's standing more candidates in Essex than ever


before, they will be hoping to win seats at the expense of the bigger


parties. The Conservatives have saved millions of pounds, but they


lost lots of money on those schemes. Is this a record to be proud of?


Yes. Essex has always been a very tightly funded council. To strip


out �360 million without fundamentally affecting public


services, particularly with burgeoning demand on children's


services, social services, it has been difficult but they are running


a tight ship. I hope people will bear that in mind. When these seats


were last up for grabs, it was to those in the nine, Gordon Brown was


on his way out, David Cameron was coming in. -- 2009. You are correct,


this a high-water mark. We are bound to lose some seats across the


whole country. I would be absolutely shocked if we lost


control in Essex, but I expect to see some casualties across the


country because we are coming from a high water mark. Tory councils


are very good at saving money, millions of pounds, they are also


good at keeping down council tax. I do you campaign against that?


of them are in areas where people are much more affluent, have less


difficulty than we do in Luton, for example, where there is lots of


pressure on local authorities. We have a very young population,


children's services are very expensive. I hope we see a big


surge in Labour support in Essex. Your party leader is back here.


You're hoping to do well. It is a conservative region by majority but


we have held up to 22 parliamentary seats. I think we will men -- we


will win many more. Picking up on one point in that film, how much at


ease about local issues? Inevitably, national issues play a part. People


are worried about employment, living standards are falling in


real terms. By common consensus, the party to watch this year will


be the UKIP. Their great breakthrough came in the 2004


elections, taking 16% of the vote. At the next year's general election,


they got less than 3% of the popular vote. In 2009 they were


above 16% in the European election, but down to 3% in the general


election. But in last year's Corby by-election they got more than 14%.


In Eastleigh, they came second with more than 27%. A recent survey put


support at 21%. That is higher than anywhere else in the country. Now


they are fielding more candidates than ever before in local elections.


Critics say they are for protest votes. Nigel Farage disagrees. I


spoke to him earlier this week. are growing political party, we


have succeeded in European elections, we are beginning to do


well in parliamentary by-elections. We now need to establish a base in


local government. Goodness me, there is a need for it. There is a


need for do you Kip -- need for the UKIP vote. We will explain what the


impact of the immigration board is. A you want to get out of the EU, if


you are talking about immigration. These are not county council issues.


Yes they are. It is county councils to pick up the bill. Think about


policing, schools, hospitals, the former police commissioner of


Cambridge said we do not have the infrastructure to support people


coming here who cannot speak English. If you to control, you


would not be able to change that. Local politics can have a big


impact on national politics. We are on the verge of opening the door to


the whole of Romania and Bulgaria next year and these county councils


are a very good means of telling the coalition government we do not


want that. So really, these are not about local issues. It is about


both. One is a big national issue. We are absolutely the only party


opposed to the building onshore and offshore of these ugly discussed in


wind turbines, and they will fight against that. Cutting to use


services in Norfolk, spending on youth services has gone in Norfolk.


Do you support that? If you look at what has happened to the pay of


people work for local councils, an explosion in pay and pensions.


Money is being wasted by county councils on climate change officers.


Would you find you've services? you manage the budget correctly,


and apply a pragmatic businesslike approach, you should be able to cut


money out of the administration to leave more money for frontline


services. We have to accept we are living in straitened times, the


economy is rough, there are going to be cuts. What about the proposed


waste incinerator for King's Lynn, argue in favour of that? No, I am


not. There are plenty of landfill sites, but what has happened, what


has Europe got to do with it? Because of the European union's


landfill director of, councils they use land will have to pay a fine


for doing it, and that is why they are moving towards incinerators. --


directive. Once you have set up an incinerator you need to keep


feeding it. What about the out sourcing of services? Is that a


good idea? All I want is for us to get bank fraud but, for us to have


public services that give us the best possible results.


confident are you feeling? Sensibly optimistic, by which I mean, first


past the post politics is difficult for a party that draws its support


from across the board, without specific geographic locations, but


the trend that has emerged across the last couple of years is the


East of England is our strongest area. Why is this? Is it the spirit


of Cromwell? I do not know. Is it the effect of the migration? Is it


the fishing industry? It could be a combination. We have already


managed to win seats at county council level. I would be


disappointed if we get results we did not expect, a smattering of


county council seats. Thank you very much.


Stewart Agnew is the UK add peat m e p for the region. -- UKIP MP. I


understand you slept on the way to a by-election and broke a leg.


was the first casualty of a campaign that we felt we did very


well indeed in. There are always casualties in every campaign and I


am up for it. It has pretty well healed up. Is it a metaphor? What?


Will you see a party not do well? Quite the reverse, we have never


feel that so many candidates. We get to recognition -- we are


getting recognition and people are realising the impact of the


European Union on their lives. They are clearly conscious, they were


quite willing to risk votes for us and European elections, they are


beginning to do so at by-elections, and this is a big build up to what


we really need, a significant number of seats in Westminster. It


is a long road to travel but we are encouraged. These are local


elections about local issues. Nigel Farage kept coming back to


immigration. That is all he would talk about. This illustrates that


you are policy light. No, it indicates that you have a supply of


local services and demand for them. Immigration is creating a massive


extra demand for our services and we have no control over it, and no


idea how many immigrants will come here, how many languages they will


speak, and yet the local authorities have to cope with that.


It makes it difficult for them. In the past we have had three parties


that sweep it under the carpet. We are pulling the carpet back and


showing them where the problems lie. Let's talk to one of those parties


argue losing sleep over it the UK I p -- losing sleep over the UK


Independence Party? We should all be concerned that the extremes are


getting more tempting. You said you will lose seats, are you going to


lose it to them? They are picking up support from all political


parties, Liberal Democrats lost a great many votes in the Eastleigh


by-election, so this problem is facing all political parties. The


problem is, they are a one-trick pony. They were talking about


immigration as though there was a click of the finger and you can


solve all this by voting UKIP. Ironically, if it costs


Conservative seats in the selection, that this election, they will get


precisely what they don't want, if they form a coalition instead of us.


I was in Suffolk the other day and several Labour activists were


saying they are worried about UKIP. We have to accept they are a party


of the right-wing. There is a big They have made a mistake if they


want support across the board by pursuing a right-wing corner


monarch -- economic policies. If they won support across the board,


they should have actually not portray themselves as a party of


the economic right, which is where they are. Is that how you portray


yourself? We are pleasantly surprised at the level of support


we are getting from what you might call Labour, people work hard for a


living and find their lives are being given no future at all by the


fact that their jobs are being taken, their children cannot get


houses because of emigration. I keep coming back to it but it is a


major problem. We are getting a really good, solid ground support


from old Labour because New Labour have led Old Labour down. You look


at the leaders of New Labour, can you really say they let present --


represent a horny-handed sons of toil? They do not look like


representatives of the working man. They are losing the support of


their bedrock. There is an article in the Spectator that says they are


moving into territory used used to have -- you used to have. I am a


Euro-sceptic of the left, but I am a socialist and I look at the


struggles and I can see why many people a Euro-sceptic. We are


opposed to the kind of free market capitalistic economic policies


pursued by UKIP and the Conservative Party. There is a


message from Margaret Thatcher, but if you want to attack Labour votes,


it is not by attacking to the letter, it is by standing for


people to work hard, save hard, want to do the right thing.


election campaign features heavily Maria Miller breezed into Basildon


this week. She watched an Olympic Legacy project designed to hook


young people into sport. What we are seeing from schools and


community sports activities is there is issued a passion for sport


in this country. Martin Bell is hoping to make dispatch -- to make


a splash. They won more independent candidates. Politicians are all


grey. We need people were fearless. The Labour leader chose Ipswich:


She -- Jaws Ipswich to launch a campaign. We have come to Suffolk


to launch our campaign. It was suspended on Monday following the


announcement of Lady Thatcher's death. Tributes poured in for the


former Suffolk MP. Margaret Thatcher was a very beautiful woman.


She had beautiful plants and she had lovely ankles, and she knew


precisely how to use both. She was more than just a politician. Will


you be at her funeral? I will. It will be quite an event. 2000 people,


leaders from around the world, and her political friends and many of


her political enemies will be gathered at the invitation of her


own family. Kelvin Hopkins, what will you be doing? Political work


in the constituency, and chairing a meeting of the Parliamentary


Science Policy, which is my main issue. Then I will be at a select


committee meeting. You will not be going to any of these parties?


not like personalised politics, I'll be dealing with issues rather


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