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want going ahead because the contracts cost too much to ditch,
Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2330 seconds
North Norfolk back Devon. The same in the East. I'm Etholle George.
Coming up in your local part of the programme. The tale of the waste
incinerator. Lots of people don't want it but it's going ahead because
it's too expensive to break the contract. That's the story in Devon
but the same thing could happen here.
Basically, they let the community down, they fundamentally let the
people of Plymouth and south-west Devon down.
Plus, the mental health service in turmoil. Swingeing cuts to
front-line services. �20 million savings and now without a Chief
Executive. We are designing a service that is
fit for purpose that we believe will provide the same, if not a better
standard of care within the constraints of the environment that
we are in. But first, our guests this week
Kelvin Hopkins is the Labour MP for Luton North and Vicky Ford, a
Conservative Member of the European Parliament for the east. Let's talk
first about one of the biggest political stories this week. The
South Suffolk MP Tim Yeo has stood aside as Chairman of the Energy and
Climate Change Committee. While claims he used the role to help a
private company influence Parliament are investigated. In a recording, he
appears to suggest that he told a businessman what to say to his
committee. So how serious is this for Tim Yeo? This is what the
Conservative blogger Iain Dale thinks.
If the Parliamentary standards committee finds against him, I think
he's in a great deal of trouble. If you look at what has happened to
Patrick Mercer, he resigned as the Conservative whip and it was fair
called. We will see what happens. Tim Yeo may have to have the same
view. He is denying it all, he has got to be given a fair hearing in a
chair and is to clear his name. How serious is this for him? It is
quite serious. We should have had a register of
interests a long time ago. MPs get paid a salary to look after their
constituents not to take money from companies to lobby for the
interest. What is the situation in Europe for
committee members like this? Committee members in Europe have an
enormous amount of power because they help to shape legislation.
There is a declaration of interest. As British Conservatives, when I was
first elected in 2009, we did not think that were strong enough. I now
disclose every meeting that I have if it has been set up with a
business and people can look at that on my website. Once every six months
we disclose everybody that we have had a meeting with so you can see,
in my view, it transparency is key. As an MP, had you feel about
newspapers going about their business in this way?
It is a little bit tasteless bed they can do me and they will not
find that anything. I do believe we have got it wrong. 2500 years ago,
Plato said those in government said that those in government should be
people in gold who have no commercial interest.
Tomorrow, councillors in Norfolk will vote on whether to scrap the
planned waste incinerator for Kings Lynn. It's a huge project, worth
�500 million and bitterly opposed by local people. The only people who
seemed to want it were Conservatives on Norfolk County Council and now
they've lost control at county hall. Simple you might think the new
coalition can just scrap the project and walk away. But breaking the
contract could cost �90 million. Andrew Sinclair has been to Plymouth
where last year they faced the same dilemma.
Beside the navy dockyard at Devonport - the new waste
incinerator is taking shape. Despite years of protest and an election -
the scheme is going ahead. Unlike Kings Lynn the site is next to
hundreds of homes, in one of the most deprived areas of Devon,
residents like Stuart Wilson look down on the work. It's pretty
horrendous. The noise is deafening from eight in the morning until six
at night. The house vibrates when they're using the heavy gear and it
feels like being a prisoner in your own home. As with the Kings Lynn
incinerator this was a controversial development. More than 6,000 people
signed a petition against it but the Conservatives who were then in power
dismissed the protest and approved the plans arguing that they would
save the council �8 million a year. The issue dominated last year's
local elections. Lots of people voted for Labour believing that
they'd overturn the incinerator. When they got in they said there's
nothing we can do. They let people of Plymouth and south west Devon
down. Labour tried - as soon as it got into power here at the civic
offices it commissioned an independent report but was told by
the lawyers that to pull out now would leave it open to legal action
and compensation payments of more than �400 million. The council
leader said he was frustrated but there was nothing he could do.
would bankrupt the city, �430 million we would be up for being
sued for, it is not just the construction, it is the costs and
profits of the company. Our neighbours, Devon and Torbay, are in
this partnership. It's a sign of how sensitive an issue this still is
here in Plymouth that no-one from the ruling Labour group would be
interviewed for this film while the Conservatives told all their
councillors not to speak to us. As one person said to me, this is still
very controversial, feelings are still raw. Campaigners, though,
argue that the council didn't try hard enough. It's really difficult
once you've signed the contract but I think you can go to Europe or go
to court and find ways to say this is the wrong solution. And history
could be about to repeat itself again in Norfolk. Two weeks ago the
council's scrutiny committee was told that to pull out of the Kings
Lynn waste contract could cost the authority �80-90 million.
Councillors accused officers of scaremongering. We are just trying
to make sure that the decision is made that is correct. We want to
make sure that members are fully informed.
Incinerators take a long time to plan and build; companies know that
councils change hands that's why they build harsh penalty clauses
into their contracts. The Government gives very generous grants towards
schemes like this - cash strapped councils don't want to have to give
the money back. I don't trust politicians any more I see them as
people who are out for a career rather than out for the original
meaning of a politician which is to represent local people. In Plymouth
the row over their incinerator has left a very sour taste.
The Northwest MP Henry Bellingham joins us from Norwich. You've
campaigned hard to stop this incinerator, but you can't deliver
can you? I think we can certainly deliver. We
haven't seen the contract and the first in the council must do is
actually disclose the contract in full so we can all see it. To some
extent, we are flying blind. If there is an escape clause for the
council to pull out if there is a change of control, if events beyond
their control take place, they should be an escape clause. What I
would argue if there isn't, there are other ways of mitigating this
cost that the government could talk to Northwick county council --
Norfolk county council. Why should the government step in?
I'm not saying that the government should rescue the county council if
there is the ability to liquidate the damages beyond 20 million yen if
they are legally enforceable, it is hardly like lead that they are.
To inflict damages against Norfolk county council would be counter
reductive. We suggest an independent report looks at this. Also looking
at what alternative technologies might be available. When we have all
of the information, the councils can take an informed decision.
Do you feel that you're letting your constituents down?
16,500 people voted against an incinerator. I made a pledge to do
all of -- all that I could to stop it. Everybody campaign on a pledge
to stop the incinerator. We cannot betray the public. We cannot break
election pledges. Now there is the talk of a �90
million fee to pay if the contract does not go again. Bjork public a
letdown at this stage. You are talking about the reports of
90 million. Where has the report coming from? It seems to have been
plucked from the air. Every incinerator is different. Every
contract is different. Norfolk county council spent �3 million on
accountancy and legal advice free tailor-made contract. We need to see
the contract and have experts will get it to see if there is an escape
clause in to see whether there is going to be a possibility of damage
is more than 20 million. What message does this say about
Conservatives in power, we have had a Tory county council fighting with
a Tory district Council the end a Tory MP fighting with the county
council, what does this say about Tories?
We campaign for what our electorate wanted. I think this is about
localism, local democracy, it is about listening to people, in all of
the report and going on, talking about large figures, even if the
figure was at the higher end of what has been speculated, around about
five, six or 7%. If the worst comes to the worst, I think this will be
enforceable over the 20 million. We have to stand by our voters.
Where do you stand with it? It is a long way away from my constituency.
As I understand it, the company involved at this stage has walked
away from the scheme. There is some doubt whether the scheme will go
ahead. I'm not completely informed of the detail but clearly, I think
the problem is that the local authorities, especially district
councils commit themselves to vast contracts and there is a change of
control, can they commit when I have campaigned against something?
Vicky Ford, isn't it Europe that has opposed these landfill taxes. The
landfill tax is one issue, we hate landfill which is why we recycle.
The issue is here that local people, be that Bedfordshire, Norfolk or
Hertfordshire, the people that live next to them do not like them and
they do not want them. The hearts and minds of the people in the UK
are not on the side of the incinerator. I wonder it bit, we
have announced a change to wind turbine policy that if you do agree
to one, the local people see financial benefit. I wonder, whether
or not we need to think about that. Much more of how you win the hearts
and minds of local people. Is there a enough help available for local
councillors? I do not think so.
Central government must have some role in this. I think there is
something fundamentally wrong. Fears are growing that big cuts in
spending could harm the care of mental health patients living in
Norfolk and Suffolk. The NHS Trust which covers the area, provides care
for everything from substance misuse to learning disabilities. But 500
jobs are expected to go, as the trust tries to save �40 million and
now its chief executive has resigned. All mental health trusts
are having to make big savings but nowhere in the east is facing cuts
on this scale. Kim Riley reports. Former teacher and Libby Sooter has
complex mental health problems. The nine years the Norfolk eating
disorders Association has been her lifeline. I would not be here if it
wasn't for the charity. Absolutely. Totally. Not a shadow of
a doubt. Libby says that under the dress she
had 11 could care coordinators -- 11 care coordinators. The trust is a
big operation, employing some 4500 staff across Norfolk and Suffolk. It
caters for their whole range of mental health problems from
depression to schizophrenia. The growing challenge of dementia as
well. Health sent -- health secretary Jeremy Hunt went to. There
are plans to to close 24 beds at this building in Lowestoft. It can't
get any worse, we have got a wonderful facility here that has
been vandalised and ripped apart for no good reason.
It is terrible, to see this happen. On the other end, the acute section
is also under threat. Edwin Thomas has announced his
resignation. Getting the best price for
everything was going too far. What impact is this going to have four
people getting back in two employment. The assurance I can give
you is that we are designing a purpose that is fit for the purpose.
We believe it will provide the same, if not better standard of care
within the constraints of the financial environment that we are
I know that places like here are funded or part funded by the NHS and
they need a bit of cash, a big chunk gone means that cutting services and
these people are the only people that help.
Libby Sooter ending that report by Kim Riley. Earlier, we put some of
those points to Health Minister and North Norfolk MP, Norman Lamb. He
said the cuts to jobs and services may have to be reconsidered.
I think it's incumbent on the board to review in the light of this
decision the course of action they are taking. What is striking is that
other trust along the country are not taking the sort of action. We
are not seeing proposals for significant job losses elsewhere. It
may be that there is a problem with overspending in the past, maybe, as
they have said, taking clear, decisive action now to redesign the
way that services are provided. It is very clear, actually, that what
we need to be doing is reducing the length of time people stay in
patient beds in hospital because, generally, that is not good for the
individual. Vicky Ford, despite the move to
treat more people at home, we are going to see more people requiring
mental health services if only because of the ageing population.
The good news is we are living longer the bad news is that there
are more people with dementia. My understanding is that one of the
things that we want to see is more help to keep those people at home
with support packages at home and therefore looking at how many in
beds you need. These initial consultation was very rushed, people
do not feel consulted, it is now being pulled back again, there is a
new chairman and there will be a new chief executive. We need to listen
to local people and reconsider. These principles of cutting
services, this was your party? My understanding is looking at how you
look at services. Because of the increased demand, had
you look at having the money that you have got go further because of
the ageing population. What you're seeing, there is more money being
spent on the NHS, today, then there was under the Labour government.
There was also increased demand because we are living longer. I
don't want to stop us from living longer but we need to make sure you
get the service is right. A Labour government would have to do the same
thing? If it was a Labour government, I
would be pressing to spend more. I'm relieved that the cuts are not so
far affecting local health services in my area. Or anybody else's.
On the whole, it is in those services, Maya understanding is that
this would put the purpose of this review, is to look at how you
deliver more in the community. Is there a way to do this better, are
you doing better it in Luton? I don't know, but certainly things
are not as bad as they are in Luton. -- they're not as bad in
Luton. If there were these cats we would not see these problems. --
cuts. We are living longer so the costs
are getting higher and higher. We have defined other ways to deliver
because we all want to have the best treatment.
We are still seeing understaffing in hospitals and we're still seeing
night nurses at too low a level. Here is a 62nd round up of fingers.
-- 62nd round up of the news. The reviewing the performance ran to 31
pages assessing all aspects of the service on or on all accounts it
failed. It's time we got behind a new
management and part of that is investing in the frontline of the
ambulance trust. The Peterborough MP met the Health Secretary over �37
million debts at the city's new hospital.
It may have do lose staff and services. It is a great health care
facility and it will remain open which is reassuring.
Keith Simpson on the panel advising the government on World War I
commemorations. There are going to be those that
will say we must not forget the fact that we went to war for very good
reasons and in many respects we were right. Others will say the opposite.
A bit of political heave Ho for Louise -- Therese Coffey.
Raising money for Macmillan support. Let's talk about the World War I
commemorations. What will be the situation in other countries?
I hope there will be a time when we will remember, that we do not want
to go back to a situation of conflict on the conflict continent .
I think there will be a time for reflection. Clearly, we are in the
massive review of our relationship with Europe. I want that to be a
piece will review and not an acrimonious, expensive one. How
should we commemorate this, Kevin? The war was about the appalling
depths of people. The right and wrong of the war another here nor
there. -- are neither here nor there.
Clearly, it is important that we mark these commemorations. Yes,