21/04/2013 Sunday Politics East


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 21/04/2013. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



green, or beware until the economic slump came along. How can voters


care about saving the planet when they are struggling to pay their


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1900 seconds


That is probably reasonably accurate. If you give these people


guns, and more of them guns, a lot more of them will die.


The problem at the moment is we cannot force Assad to go into


transition. Nobody wants to see a violent overthrow where the country


goes to the dogs. It is happening in slow motion right now. The reason is


because he has enough power to hang on without being forced to


negotiate. We need to change the terms of trade on the ground. We


need moderate forces there. That is the only guarantee that we can get


pressure on Russia and Iran to change their mind. He says you need


to break the logjam in the ground. But not by increasing more deaths in


Syria. Even Syria can use chemical power in order to maintain its


power. What is the guarantee? It knows it would meet the full


weight of the United States if it did that.


The only way to pressure Assad is to pressure Iran and Russia in order to


involve it in a more political solution.


But that pressure just has not worked.


It can work if there is more pressure from superpowers such as


America and Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Having this solution in Syria will


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1900 seconds


Marathon today, congratulations. On the 2nd of May that is another race,


this one to elect new County Council is. With 11 days to go, we assess


the chances of voters here springing a surprise at the voting station.


Plus, if you are struggling to pay this month electricity bill, will


you are struggling to pay this month electricity bill, with UK about


recycling targets? We ask the Greens if they are still relevant with


comments business on Tuesday. The MP for Peterborough has a question for


the communities secretary about controversial new planning laws.


I am sure you will agree that local Government families is good in parts


and good in others. Will he not agree with me that the issues that


he raised would have been ventilated to a much better degree had the


consultation period on longer along with Cabinet office guidelines? And


that the department itself would come to a second consensus after 16


weeks, which has not happened. I have always regarded local


Government as an omelette of happiness and consensus and it is my


hope that by the time I sit down I may have spun together a dish that


the honourable gentleman would happily eat.


I am delighted to say that Stewart Jackson is here alongside the


Liberal Democrat MP for Cambridge. Talk of eggs there, but you believe


Eric Pickles now has eggs on his face?


I don't believe he has cracked the issue. We are very concerned to make


sure that householders had not a beetle, but a meaningful say on


development in back gardens and it is up to the Government to come


forward with proposals. It was not satisfactory and I hope ministers


have listened to the very legitimate concerns of people on this issue.


Local authorities and Government associations want them to change the


policy. Freddie you stand on this? -- where


do you stand on this? We largely agree here. I was very


pleased that Eric Pickles said he would have concessions to change


what the rules look like. But we have not seen exactly what they are.


If they are not enough, it will cause a huge problem. If it is just


a little bit of seasoning, it will not work. It needs to really space


up the dish. We will have to stop the food analogy is there that


banks. -- but thank you. We may think that


the case for green policies has never been clearer as the ice caps


melt. But the environment can often take a back-seat when the economy is


going along the bottom. In a moment we will speak to the Leader of the


Green party the Green party has been a success over the past few decades.


A few years ago, they got their first MP in Parliament. Their


success has forced the main parties to take green issues far more


seriously. Cycling is now commonplace and there are tax breaks


for energy efficiency. We all have efficient light bulbs in our homes.


But despite all of this, environmentalists worry that green


issues are slipping down the agenda. This is the first time that I've


seen the green agenda going into reverse as the Government tries to


lean more and more towards the market. They are trying to tear up


regulations and remove Government from the process of protecting the


national environment. What do you put this down to?


I put this down to a combination of ideology and ignorance. And then


there is planning. A controversial scheme for 1100 new


homes has just been given the go-ahead here in Norfolk, despite


protests that it will increase the size of the time by 50%. The


Government is leaning on councils to build new homes. Planning policy has


been changed in favour of development. The Chancellor will not


mind if Britain misses its carbon emission targets.


Britain makes up less than 2% of the world's carbon emissions to China


to save the planet by putting our country out of business.


And what about eco-friendly power? Many Conservative MPs are openly


opposed to onshore wind farms. Last month plans for a wind farm in


Northamptonshire were rejected. But it is all -- but is it all the


Government's fault? The concerns of people, not


surprisingly, I dominated by the economy. Jobs, wages, these kinds of


things. And green issues and concern for the environment is at quite a


low level. Natalie Bennett is leader of the


Green party. While ago I put it to her that surely, with things so


tight, there is a case for putting business before the environment.


We very much believe about worrying about the economy and bringing our


economy back from globalisation. We want to build strong local economies


around shops and businesses. We want to create jobs that gives workers


real job security and no zero are contracts. What we're doing is


working towards a kind of economy that really works for people. Also,


it is interesting that this week the IMF has come out and said that


George Osborne's austerity programme is entirely the wrong direction, and


that is what we have been saying since 2010.


Let's look at a graph from the University of Essex. It shows how


your popularity has happened since 2010. There is a comparison to UKIP


there. In comparison, you do not seem to be doing as well.


I think the situation is that UKIP has a very simple popular message


and also people do not know much about them. I hope that during this


campaign a little more light will be shown on them, for example, I do


think many people know that their policy is to completely privatise


the NHS. That is the opposite of our policy. I think if you look at the


Eastern region specifically, we currently have around 40 councillors


across the region where as you can only has a handful. We have strong


local parties working year after year, campaigning and going


door-to-door, running campaigns on local issues, so we are really


embedded in the community in a way that UKIP is not.


Let's talk about some local issues. Let's talk about the nuclear power


plant in Suffolk. A major construction project which could


generate thousands of jobs and of course help to meet future energy


needs. As things stand, on the face of it, it sounds as though it might


be difficult to argue against it. I find it extremely easy to argue


against it. We are looking at negotiations still being described


as long and difficult. And we are looking at a potential �40 billion


worth of subsidies, that is �1 billion per year that would come out


of people 's energy bills. Nuclear is very expensive. Gas is very


expensive. Renewables, and energy conservation, can provide many more


jobs and really tackle fuel poverty, keep our costs of energy within


reasonable bounds, and of course cut our carbon emissions.


What about renewable energy that comes from wind turbines? People


seem to think it is a good idea, and yet they do not want one in their


own backyard. I think something that we are in


favour of, and what happens on the continent, is community initiative


wind farms. That makes it look and feel very different. If the


community, a town or village, actually owns the wind farm on the


hill, and the profit slow-down into the village, that is very different


to when you have a large multinational energy company. We


have found with at least one of them recently, they were not paying any


tax in this country. Profit simply blow away in the wind. What we want


our community energy schemes. We find that community's fight among


themselves to say, we want the scheme, no, we want the scheme.


What village can afford to buy a wind turbine?


What you can do is you have community bonds, you know what the


return is going to be from these kind of scheme so it is perfectly


possible to have local investment. Indeed, I was on the Isle of Lewis


and earlier this week where there was a huge solar array that has been


put up by the community with community investment and the returns


are going back into the community. That is the kind of approach which


can really deliver and of course, give us the energy we need. So, do


you think that when turbines are currently, do you think the


Government is going about it wrong? Very much so. We have the Energy


Bill in Parliament just now and we call operating with people like the


Association Of British Industry, which is saying that the Government


is getting energy policy all wrong. Thank you very much. Natalie


Bennett, speaking to me earlier. What you think of this idea of towns


and villages owning wind turbines? I think it's a great idea. We have


to see more of these. Having more of the profits flowing to the people


who live near them is great. The question is not whether or not we


can afford to invest in these energies, it's whether we can afford


not to. As Natalie was saying, the Confederation Of British Industry,


Not A Pro Environment Organisation, , says it could be great for this


region. Stewart, you are not such a fan.


No. I think we have to look at whether or not it has a direct


impact on peoples bills and the long-term issue of carbon capture,


of reduction in CO2 emissions, things like that. At the moment, the


Government has not made a case for the level of subsidy which is


currently happening in terms of onshore wind energy.


Would you want a turbine in your back garden?


I am not sure it would fit. What we must do is find a way of getting


that energy. Stewart is right that people care about what their bills


are. Energy bills are shooting up because we are dependent on gas


which is increasingly imported from overseas. If we do not very


seriously find alternatives, bills will continue to go up and up and


up. Up I reject that analysis because I think it is fair to say


the Government is either so buying sources. We are looking at nuclear


energy and the Green Investment Bank. We're looking new tariffs. I


think the idea that we're going backwards on the environment is not


the case. Thank you. Let's take a closer look


at the County Council elections. Voters in Northamptonshire have an


interesting scenario. They have the lowest Council tax bills in England,


which is great, say the ruling Tories. But opponents say it has


been achieved at the cost of massive cuts to services. Let's have a look


at how the parties currently stand. The Tories have a commanding 54


seats. The Liberal Democrats have ten, and labour six. On the 2nd of


May, there will be 16 fewer seats to contest, which could make for a more


uncertain outcome. Northamptonshire is a county of


contrast. Rolling countryside dotted with large centres of population.


Traditional industries exist alongside motor sport and high-tech


engineering. Like all candles, Northamptonshire has had to make


cuts. Streetlights have been switched off and lollipop patrols


axed. It is Labour's time. People are fed


up with this happening in Northamptonshire, people out of


work, the police being threatened, lack of jobs. If we cannot make


gains and take control of this County Council now, then I don't


think we ever can. The Liberal Democrats also feel that the axe has


cut too deeply. They also believe that under the


stewardship of the Conservatives, standards in the county's children's


services had dropped to unacceptable levels.


We have had disastrous reports. The Ofsted report in hope they look


after young children, for example. For years we have word that these


cuts will cut too far. And here we are, we have a County Council that


is inadequate in all categories. I think that is disgraceful.


The Conservatives say that, overall, they have a record to be proud of.


The county was recently voted the most enterprising in England and


despite having to make cuts, they say they have done all they can to


limit their impact. As result of each year tenure here,


we have the lowest Council tax in England. All of those sort of things


really way in with people when they are thinking about their own


livelihoods and their own households.


This year 's elections will be very different. Because of boundary


changes, the number of councillors elected will reduce from 73 to 57,


which means that predicting the outcome will be harder than ever.


And to some extent these changes are dictating the way the parties are


fighting these elections. Labour will be targeting Northampton and


Kettering. And the more rural areas, both the Conservatives and the


Liberal Democrats will be working hard to maintain their support as


well as in some urban strongholds. But the real challenge to all


parties is managing the potential impact of UKIP whilst also heading


off the threat of border apathy which could throw up some surprising


results. We are joined by the regional court


nature for the Green party. Pretty you strike a balance between


providing services and providing a reasonable level of Council tax?


As was said in the report, we don't want to have a small reduction in


Council tax which leads to a big cut in services. The Green councillors


in Northampton have been strongly resisting Conservative cuts which


have been damaging crucial services such as mental health services and


social services. We have been the real opposition to the


Conservatives. On this issue of streetlights. Would


you turn streetlights of? Again, if I use my experience from


Norfolk, Green councillors have defended areas where residents did


not want their street switched off. We have proposed that we should have


solar tariffs for the streetlights instead of turning them off in


certain areas. But having said that, I do think it is terribly important


that politicians treat this kind of issue responsibly. I am very


concerned that some politicians are going around fear mongering about


the issue of crime. It is very important to note is that police


officers, for example, have said to me that sometimes having lights on


and can encourage groups of jobs. This is a complicated issue.


Let's talk about the Tories in Northamptonshire. Clearly, they have


made cuts, things like crossing patrols. The public will pass their


opinion on the 2nd of May. How well do you think they will do?


You have got to remember that they were at the top of the electoral


cycle at 2009 and the last Government was enormously unpopular.


It would be foolish of me to say there will be no losses for the


Conservatives. However, they have a very strong local record and that


balance of delivering strong local services while keeping Council tax


them. Quite rightly, we are looking not just that a challenge from


Labour but you can as well. UKIP or protest party. Labour do not have a


coherent and credible alternative for the Council tax payers of


Northampton. It is a fine line, is it not,


between keeping services and keeping Council tax low.


Absolutely. Council taxes people who can sometimes struggle to pay it.


What I have seen is Conservative and Labour councils around the country


spending money they could have saved. For instance, we have the


guided bus subject which is now a multi-million pound dispute with


tens of millions of pounds likely to be spent on legal fees. We have the


leader of the County Council who says that, while times are tough, is


also trying to have a 25% increase in councillors allowances. There is


money being wasted on interest payments. There is a lot more that


could be done. Rather than spending money on communications and legal


fees, you could spend it on better services, so Cambridgeshire could


have much better cycle routes and six pavements and a whole range of


things. That is happening across the country for a whole range of things.


You mention people who are struggling to pay Council tax. What


about those who have been asked to pay it for the first time because of


changes to benefits? We in the Green state that Council


tax be abolished. Council tax is a very un-progressive tax. We favour


moving to a system where it would be much more proportional to your


ability to pay and we also favour bringing in land value tax, when


those who are enormously wealthy because of land that they all will


pay their fair amount. Could there be an alternative?


I think you have to see that change in Council tax in the wider


context. Universal Credit, for instance, the bedroom tax. Really,


basically, focusing on the idea that work should always pay and trying to


get people off of welfare dependency and into training or work that is


meaningful and changes their life for the better. I think people


understand that that is what we are about.


I just want to ask all of you what your feelings are about an election


which is 11 days away. What is the best the Liberal Democrats can hope


for? I think that we can gain seats


around the region. In Cambridge City Council we managed not to hit anyone


with a new Council tax, so there are solutions. I hope it will make a


difference. And the Tories? I think they may take some from the


Liberal Democrats. Some loyalists may go to UKIP. It will not be as


good as 2009 but not a disaster. And the Green's?


We are looking to break through in Suffolk and we have a real prospect


in Northamptonshire with the former Labour MP, Tony Clark, joining as


last month. Thank you. Of course, it has been a


momentous week in Westminster with the funeral of Baroness Thatcher.


And in Suffolk, a family tragedy which opportunity. Chris will round


it all up. The death of a young mother and her


children and Lowestoft shocked the region this week.


The community is very close-knit. They have very much pull together in


difficult times and are giving the family all of the support that they


can. Meanwhile, while spread the


management failures and the resignation of the region's


ambulance chief were laid before the Health Secretary.


Can he joined me in calling for the Trust to also reflect upon their own


position? Elsewhere in the NHS, the campaign


to keep services at Kettering continued.


We must maintain a proper Accident and Emergency service in Kettering.


It was thumbs up from a local MP as the culture secretary signalled the


start of better broadband in secretary. And among mourners at


Saint Pauls Cathedral this week was an Essex artist with a special


collection of portraits of Lady Thatcher.


With that final portrait, I was able to see a very quiet, retiring,


reflective side of Lady Thatcher. Clearly, Lady Thatcher's funeral was


a very momentous event this week. There was a lot of discussion about


it in the run-up. Was it the right way to do it?


I think it is important to have a funeral to mark somebody who was a


great figure in British history. People will look back and see that


she made a big difference, some good things, some bad things. I drew up


-- I grew up in a period that was defined by disagreeing with her. We


should be clear about what these funerals will look like. It would be


nice to have a standard pattern. Do you think we will see another


funeral like that for a politician? Probably not. She was a unique


figure. I believe she led with principal and integrity, not just a


domestic politician but clearly an international stateswoman. The


ceremony, which I was honoured to be a part of, was absolutely perfect.


What was it like to be there? It was so long, but at the same time


uplifting. I thought the words of the bishop were gracious and


beautiful and reflected a great national occasion and even those


people who were opposed to her and wanted to demonstrate did it, I


believe, in a respectful and appropriate way so I think it was a


Download Subtitles