12/05/2013 Sunday Politics East


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our services. We are the fastest-growing region in the


country, but councils are left struggling to pay for new school


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1875 seconds


Politics. Pressure on services, why our councils are having to dig into


their pockets to pay for more school places. We've just been up at 22


million over the next couple of trunk road. Could one council's


decision not to pay up threaten this massive project? We don't see the


income coming to us from the improvements on the road and that's


why it is very difficult to put any back in. Let's meet our guests,


Andrew Lansley, former Health Secretary and Julian Huppert, local


MP Liberal Democrat for Cambridge. Let's talk about Europe. Nothing in


this weeks Queen's Speech about a referendum on UK membership of the


EU but two of our Euro-sceptic MPs on the east are trying to keep it at


the top of the agenda. Conservatives John Baron and Peter Bone have


tabled an amendment to the Queen's Speech expressing regret at the lack


of an EU referendum bill. There is expected to be a Commons vote next


week. Let's talk about this, Andrew Lansley, do you support it? It's not


a case of supporting it but it's not objecting to it because in a sense,


from the Conservative party's point of view, I don't speak for the


coalition as a whole, but from the Conservative party's point of view


there is a sense of regret in establishing the legislative


framework for what we're going to do. As a party, after the next


election, following the negotiations in Europe, we intend to give the


people of this country the opportunity to decide our future in


this referendum. If they work, this side of the next election, it could


be positive. We are part of a coalition, so if I put my coalition


hat on, we weren't able to do it. Julian Huppert? I don't support it,


the Conservatives have a history of being split by Europe. I think we


are just seeing another. It's a great shame because there are far


more important issues for this country. We need to get jobs and


growth, and the protracted discussion about the EU is a


distraction. What about the pressure this is putting on the coalition?


hope Andrew will take a sensitive -- sensible line when the vote comes


around. There are about 3 million jobs within the UK that rely on our


trade in Europe. We wouldn't lose all of that but we would put that at


risk and that's the wrong thing to do. Are you annoyed by this, Andrew


Lansley? No I'm not. It's simply expresses something that clearly


many conservatives feel. It's not in that sense objectionable. The point


is we don't know at this stage whether it will be one of the


amendments selected because eventually in the house amendments


are selected on behalf of the official opposition. So you don't


foresee it producing more rifts within your party? No because from


my party's point of view there is a consensus, a consensus that we want


to have a negotiation with Europe to get the new settlement leading to a


referendum. At the point at which there is a referendum, there will be


people who want to vote to be part of that reshaped Europe, others who


don't. We will come back to you shortly.


This week the Queen's Speech introduced measures to tackle


immigration. It's one of the reasons why UKIP did so well in the local


elections. In this region we seen an increase in migration which has put


pressure on all our services, but schools have been hit particularly


hard. Deborah McGurran has been to Peterborough to see of the scheme


that replaced it is keeping pace with demand.


It's clear Nene Park Academy has seen better days with narrow


staircases and in poor repair, the school is showing its age. It


should've been rebuilt under Labour's loathing schools for the


future programme which the coalition axed. We were disappointed because


all the schools and the north of the city have been modernised, rebuilt


refurbished. We were one of the two that got cancelled at the very end,


so the school and the community here are known in catchment area so I


understand why we've been waiting. In Peterborough, three school


buildings were lost, 18 projects in Essex were cancelled, six were


abandoned in Hertfordshire, 13 more in Luton and the same in Suffolk,


and six went in Cambridgeshire. He rips Nene Park Academy there is a


new �14 million building due to open in September and existing buildings


have been refurbished since the school became an Academy two years


ago. They've said they got a lot of new utilities for science


especially, so looking forward to that. The art department is going to


be a big studio with massive windows so there will be a beautiful view of


the area. New technologies can help you learn and you can achieve better


grades. The Council of had to pick up the tab for the developments


here. We have been offered �22 million over the next couple of


years which is really helpful. We need �108 million over the next five


years. We are having to borrow it, it's as simple as that and there is


a cost for that. You borrow a million, you've got to find money to


do it. This school down the road is fortunate to have a former


children's home being up graded. have an opportunity to become to


form entry primary school, look at the new curriculum coming our way


and look at how structures can help us do that in a positive way.


pressure on school places is immense in Peterborough were the growth in


population is the sixth highest in the country. There is predicted


shortfall in school places of 8000 x 2018, and how many projects have


been started under the new school building project, none. That's the


same figure for the rest of the region. We've seen a growing


population in recent years, and it's what we would consider to be a


phenomenal wave of children coming through. What about the governments


new project, the priority building programme? It's very welcome that


the government has introduced more funding to support schools. We have


put in requests to bid for money pot. They are not looking to start


until September 2017, my immediate needs are known. The timing is not


perfect for what we need to do. seems to be taking a long time to be


getting going. There were a lot of bureaucratic procedure is


reminiscent of the old systems to be honest. It tends to come in fits and


starts, one minute everything is happening, the next minute


everything goes quiet. But it is taking longer to move that one than


it did when we started to move on with this building here with this


building herewith the City Council. Peterborough councils borrowing


looks set to continue. In the past five years they have created 5000


spaces, in the next five years another 8000 are needed.


Earlier I spoke to the Education Minister Elizabeth Truss and I put


it to her that this new scheme is too little too late. We are spending


�5 billion in this Parliament on new school buildings and half a billion


of that is going to be in the East of England, so progress is being


made but what we're doing is in a much more efficient way than the


building schools for the future programme. Schools are being built


across the East of England at the moment. As we heard, the timing


isn't perfect and in the meantime councils are happy to fill the gap.


Councils do have responsibility for funding capital for school. The


government's programme is there to help and what this programme does is


target schools most in need, those were the population is growing and


those with poor maintenance at the moment. The previous government's


programme was focused on things like educational performance, and wasn't


targeting those schools in the most need. But at a time when councils


are having to freeze their council tax, is it fair that they are having


to find this money from elsewhere and pay expensive interest? There


are schools being built at the moment, the Thetford Academy is


building this autumn. This new programme will come into being


soon, as you've heard there are going to be two schools in


Peterborough already on that list and more schools across the East of


England. It's important we get value for money from these programmes and


the schools under our programme are going to cost 30% less to build, so


we will be able to use the money more efficiently. We will also be


able to build the school is quicker, so from an average time of three


years to an average time of two years, which means places will be


open sooner. I you concerned that we're creating a gap year? We heard


that birth rate is going through the roof in areas like Peterborough and


as we heard nothing is being done at least at one school until 2017, so


what are the school is expected to do and the council is expected to do


in the meantime? Peterborough Council is funding school building


to take place so that those places can be provided for children. We are


providing 5 billion across the country and have a billion in the


East of England and it's very much focused on those areas that need the


most resources and what we have done in Peterborough in particular is


that the new figures coming through or more accurate about the growth in


population, so Peterborough will get the funding it deserves. You're


focusing your funding on the areas they need the most resources, you


say, and without taking anything away from the north-east, why are


you going to that area next when clearly places are needed right


here, right now in the East? We are funding half a billion worth of new


buildings in the East in this parliamentary session, so there is


money going in across the East of England and new schools being built.


The point is that our programme is entirely based on which schools need


it from the point of view of the condition of the buildings and which


schools need it because the birth rate is growing in the area. The


previous programme was all over the shop. In hindsight, was right to


scrap the building schools for future programme, as it was done in


one fell swoop? Absolutely, it was one of the government's most


wasteful programmes, it didn't work, it wasn't delivering schools quickly


enough, that fitted requirements for local communities. Some of those


schools on that programme are being built under this government but they


are being built much more efficiently, so at least 30%


reduction in the cost of those buildings. It was right to scrap


that wasteful programme and look again at the real needs of towns and


cities in these areas. Thank you very much indeed.


If money for building schools is in short supply, you could say the same


thing about roads. There is a claim that funding disputes are


threatening an upgrade to our busiest and most congested trunk


road the Alpha 14. -- the A14. Parts carry up to 80,000 vehicles a day.


The government announced a �1.5 billion improvement scheme last year


for the stretch between Huntingdon and Cambridge. Part of it will be


told. Work should start in 2018. But business leaders have claimed the


upgrade in Cambridgeshire is being hampered by political infighting.


Under current proposal some of the money would have to come from local


councils because of the economic benefits the road will bring.


Cambridge city councillors refusing to pay up. The Cambridgeshire


Chamber of Commerce is unhappy, it says A14 congestion costs the local


economy �12 million every month. terms of the city council, we don't


see the income coming to us from the improvements on the road. That's why


it's very difficult to put any backing in. We want everybody be to


-- to be together because of we want the government to improve the road


we need to have a united front and everybody going together. Julian


Huppert, the Liberal Democrats accused of jeopardising this


project, why don't they just pay up? That is simply not true. The key


issue is where the money comes from, Cambridge City Council doesn't get


any benefit from growth in new buildings outside the city


boundaries, the city is already quite full with housing. The city


council doesn't get the �5 million in cash that it is being asked to


put into. I would like to see the road improves, I've campaigned for


that since I was a young County Council. The viaduct at Huntingdon


is well past its design life. The City Council doesn't get the �5


million back to put into it. What about this lost money? It is


absolutely right that national government should be putting money


into this. I don't think the City Council, it doesn't get the money


back, you'd have to take a huge amount out of what the City Council


is currently doing for people. It should be funded nationally and I


had people during the recent elections asking me why is it that


people within Cambridge are expected to pay for it through their city


council tax, County Council tax, through a toll and through NAT --


and not through national funding. Andrew Lansley, how have local MPs


done enough to back this? We have seen MPs working really hard in


other areas, has enough being done for this road? We have worked very


closely with the County Council and local authorities to make sure that


it is backed firmly on the agenda. Going back to the national


infrastructure plan that the government published. The A14 was


the number-1 on that plan. It is essential we do it but the point is


that money is very tight, to make this project run, we're going to


have to do calling. That will bring in more than the �340 million that


is needed. From the Local Enterprise Partnership and local authority.


We're not asking the council to be the only council to contribute, it's


a regional wide commitment. Do you think there could be a domino effect


of one council doesn't pay, what about the others? It depends how


that works. There were talks between the City Council and the County


Council... The then leader of the County Council wanted to have a


political fight over this. The City Council is happy to look at ways of


helping the public transport environments, to make sure that it


does work and I hope we can reach a sensible arrangement. It is


unreasonable to expect a council which doesn't get the cash back to


pay a sum equivalent to almost its entire annual budget. Can I take


issue with this notion that came at city doesn't benefit. Remember this


is not just rebuilding the A14 on its existing track, it's also


including putting it alongside the carriageway. Right across the city


from the northern bypass all the way out through my constituency to


Huntingdon, we get a much better local road network, so commuting in


a note is better -- commuting in and out. We've got to provide houses for


people to work in Cambridge and if we don't have the A14... You're


conflating the benefits from the city. I've campaigned for it for


over ten years, but the city council finances don't get that money.


need to have a unitary council and much more local control. Without the


cash coming in you cant pay it. this whole model going to work? The


M6 toll road has lost money in the past six years. Is this a good


model? It is a good model. If you know the M6 toll well, people make


the judgement that they don't need to use the tool because they can use


the main M6 without paying anything. We're talking about a piece of toll


road which for freight traffic in particular will be the only road to


use, whereas local people in my villages like Long Stanton, they'll


be hoping to get onto the local road and not necessarily pay a tall.


sceptical about it. But I am pleased that there is action on the A14.


About 12 years ago I was arguing we need to sort out some of the


junctions. This government has found money to do very quick things,


improve some of those junctions. are very short of time, 2018, is


that soon enough? I hope of we all pitch in we can. These small schemes


these small schemes can start any moment.


To our round-up of the week. A Conservative MP having paid the


price for jetting off to the jungle. She did the crime, she served the


time, known Dean Doris has the Tory whip again. She was let back in so


she wouldn't be wooed back by UKIP, it's not. -- it's got.


leadership only knew that because they knew me. Nick Clegg came to


Essex to bang the drum for free child care. And our plans for a


controversial new waste incinerator in Kings Lynn falling apart --


Labour warned that taxpayers could lose out by millions of pounds.


need to try and find it from somewhere. The taxpayer may be


landed with it. And with Tesco closing their warehouse, this man


has been fighting for workers rights to make sure their terms and


conditions are not affected. Well, Andrew Lansley, Nadine is back


in the fold, causing trouble for David Cameron again it seems or do


you disagree? There are lots of Conservative MPs who agree with her


about that issue. She was elected as a conservative, she is a


conservative. It's important she served in Parliament as a


conservative. Julian Huppert, where you stand on this? You happy that


she is but back in the caller should. -- back in the coalition?


Well she is certainly not a liberal, she is very much for the


Conservative party. It does exempt of either splits in the Conservative


party if this amendment is selected. It was only about not been elected


to vote. We both know there was a longer history to it than that!


that a concern, not only about Nadine, but about other Conservative


MPs as well? All I know as MIDI herself said she was disappointed,


she wanted to have the whip back. That seems to me to be absolutely


fine. How worried are you, Julian, about people defecting to UKIP?


would be alarming to see it happening from either Labour or the


Conservatives. UKIP of a few messages but they don't have solid


policies. In our region, at the last European Parliamentary elections,


David Cameron band UKIP from being a member of the European Parliament,


but he has defected from UKIP to the Conservative party and I would be


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