27/10/2013 Sunday Politics East


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Morning, folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics. Hope you enjoyed


the extra hour in bed, and that you've realised it's not 12:45. It's


11:45! It's getting stormy outside. But they're already battening down


the hatches at Number Ten because coalition splits are back, with


bust-ups over free schools and power bills. We'll speak to the Lib Dems,


and ask Labour who's conning whom over energy.


EU leaders have been meeting in Brussels. But how's David Cameron


getting on with that plan to change our relationship with Europe? We


were there to ask him. Have we got any powers back yet? DS!


Foreign companies own everything from our energy companies to our


railways. Does it matter Here in the east, the GP shortage.


It is a leading to consultations In London this week, there are twice


as many daily journeys made by bus than by tube, so why is the planned


investment in buses not keeping pace?


And with me, three journalists who've bravely agreed to hunker down


in the studio while Britain braces itself for massive storm winds,


tweeting their political forecasts with all the accuracy of Michael


Fish on hurricane watch. Helen Lewis, Janan Ganesh and Nick Watt.


Now, sometimes coalition splits are over-egged, or dare we say even


occasionally stage-managed. But this week, we've seen what looks like the


genuine article. It turns out Nick Clegg has his doubts about the


coalition's flagship free schools policy. David Cameron doesn't much


like the green levies on our energy bills championed by the Lib Dems.


Neither of them seems to have bothered to tell the other that they


had their doubts. Who better to discuss these flare-ups than Lib Dem


Deputy Leader Simon Hughes? He joins me now. Welcome. Good morning. The


Lib Dems spent three years of sticking up for the coalition when


times were grim. Explain to me the logic of splitting from them when


times look better. We will stick with it for five years. It is


working arrangement, but not surprisingly, where there right


areas on which we disagree over where to go next, we will stand up.


It is going to be hard enough for the Lib Dems to get any credit for


the recovery, what ever it is. It will be even harder if you seem to


be semidetached and picky. The coalition has led on economic


policy, some of which were entirely from our stable. The one you have


heard about most often, a Lib Dem initiative, was to take people on


blowing comes out of tax. The recovery would not have happened,


there would not have been confidence in Britain, had there not been a


coalition government with us in it, making sure the same policies


produced fair outcomes. We are not going to leave the credit for any


growth - and there has been very good news this week. We have played


a part in that, and without us, it would not have happened. Does it not


underline the trust problem you have? You promised to abolish


tuition fees. You oppose nuclear power, now you are cheerleading the


first multi-billion pounds investment in nuclear generation.


You are dying out on your enthusiasm on green levies, and now they are up


for renegotiation. Why should we trust a word you say? In relation to


green levies, as you well know, just under 10% is to do with helping


energy and helping people. Unless there is continuing investment in


renewables, we will not have the British produced energy at cheaper


cost to keep those bills down in the future. At cheaper cost? Explain


that to me. Off-shore energy is twice the market rate. The costs of


renewables will increasingly come down. We have fantastic capacity to


produce the energy and deliver lots of jobs in the process. The parts of


the energy bill that may be up for renegotiation seems to be the part


where we subsidise to help either poor people pay less, or where we do


other things. Too insulated the homes? Are you up to putting that to


general taxation? Wouldn't that be progressive? I would. It would be


progressive. I would like to do for energy bills what the Chancellor has


done for road traffic users, drivers, which is too fuelled motor


fuel -- to freeze new to fall. That would mean there would be an


immediate relief this year, not waiting for the election. So there


is a deal to be done there? Yes We understand we have to take the


burden off the consumer, and also deal with the energy companies, who


look as if they are not paying all the tax they should be, and the


regulator, which doesn't regulate quickly enough to deal with the


issues coming down the track. We can toughen the regulator, and I hope


that the Chancellor, in the Autumn statement, was signalled that energy


companies will not be allowed to get away with not paying the taxes they


should. And this deal will allow energy prices to come down? Yes How


could David Laws, one of your ministers, proudly defend the record


of unqualified teachers working in free schools, and then stand


side-by-side with Mr Clegg, as he says he is against them? David Laws


was not proudly defending the fact that it is unqualified teachers He


said that some of the new, unqualified teachers in free schools


are doing a superb job. But you want to get rid of them? We want to make


sure that everybody coming into a free school ends up being qualified.


Ends up? Goes through a process that means they have qualifications. Just


as we said very clearly at the last election that the manifesto


curriculum in free schools should be the same as other schools. It looks


like Mr Clegg is picking a fight just for the sake of it. Mr Clegg


was taught by people who didn't have teaching qualifications in one of


the greatest schools in the land, if not the world. It didn't seem to do


him any harm. What is the problem? If you pay to go to a school, you


know what you're getting. But that is what a free school is. No, you


don't pay fees. A free school is parents taking the decisions, not


you, the politicians. We believe they would expect to guarantee is,


firstly that the minimum curriculum taught across the country is taught


in the free schools, and secondly, that the teachers there are


qualified. Someone who send their kids to private schools took a


decision to take -- to send their children there, even if the teachers


were unqualified, because they are experts in their field. Someone who


send their kids to free schools is because -- is their decision, not


yours. Because some of the free schools are new, and have never been


there before, parents need a guarantee that there are some basics


in place, whatever sort of school. So they need you to hold their hand?


It is not about holding hands, it is about having a minimum guarantee.


Our party made clear at our conference that this is a priority


for us. Nick Clegg reflects the view of the party, and I believe it is an


entirely rational thing to do. Nick Clegg complained that the Prime


Minister gave him only 30 minutes notice on the Prime Minister Buzz 's


U-turn on green levies. That is almost as little time as Nick Clegg


gave the Prime Minister on his U-turn on free schools. Aren't you


supposed to be partners? Green levies were under discussion in the


ministerial group before Wednesday, because we identified this as an


issue. We do that in a practical way. Sometimes there is only half an


hour's notice. We had even less than half an hour this morning! Simon


Hughes, thank you. So the price of energy is the big


battle ground in politics at the moment. 72% of people say that high


bills will influence the way they vote at the next election. Ed


Miliband has promised a price freeze after the next election, but will


the coalition turned the tables on Labour, with its proposal to roll


back green levies. Caroline Flint joins us from Sheffield. It looks


like the coalition will be able to take ?50 of energy bills, by


removing green levies. It is quite clear that different parts of the


government are running round waking up to the fact that the public feel


that this government has not done enough to listen to their concerns.


Last week, there was a classic case of the Prime Minister making up


policy literally at the dispatch box. Let's see what they say in the


autumn statement. The truth is, whatever the debate around green


levies, and I have always said we should look at value for money at


those green levies. Our argument is about acknowledging there is


something wrong with the way the market works, and the way those


companies are regulated. Behind our freeze for 20 months is a package of


proposals to reform this market I understand that, but you cannot tell


as the details about that. I can. You cannot give us the details about


reforming the market. We are going to do three things, and I think I


said this last time I was on the programme. First, we are going to


separate out the generation side from the supply side within the big


six. Secondly, we will have a energy pool, or power exchange, where all


energy will have to be traded in that pool. Thirdly, we will


establish a tougher regulator, because Ofgem is increasingly being


seen as not doing the job right I notice that you didn't mention any


reform of the current green and social taxes on the energy bill Is


it Labour's policy to maintain the existing green levies? In 2011, the


government chose to get rid of warm front, which was the publicly funded


through tracks a scheme to support new installation. When they got rid


of that, it was the first time we had a government since the 70s that


didn't have such a policy. What is your policy? We voted against that


because we believe it is wrong. We believe that the eco-scheme, a


government intervention which is ?47 of the ?112 on our bills each year,


is expensive, bureaucratic and isn't going to the fuel poor. I am up for


a debate on these issues. I am up for a discussion on what the


government should do and what these energy companies should do. We


cannot let Cameron all the energy companies off the hook from the way


in which they organise their businesses, and expect us to pay


ever increasing rises in our bills. There is ?112 of green levies on our


bills at the moment. Did you vote against any of them? We didn't, but


what I would say ease these were government imposed levies. When they


got rid of the government funded programme, Warm Front, they


introduced the eco-scheme. The eco-project is one of the ones where


the energy companies are saying it's too bureaucratic, and it is


proving more expensive than government estimates, apparently


doubled the amount the government thought. These things are all worth


looking at, but don't go to the heart of the issue. According to


official figures, on current plans, which you support, which you voted


for, households will be paying 1% more per unit of electricity by


2030. It puts your temporary freeze as just a blip. You support a 4 %


rise in our bills. I support making sure we secure for the future access


to energy that we can grow here in the UK, whether it is through


nuclear, wind or solar, or other technologies yet to be developed. We


should protect ourselves against energy costs we cannot control. The


truth is, it is every fair for you to put that point across, and I


accept that, but we need to hear the other side about the cost for bill


payers if we didn't invest in new, indigenous sources of energy supply


for the future, which, in the long run, will be cheaper and more


secure, and create the jobs we need. I think it is important to


have a debate about these issues, but they have to be seen in the


right context. If we stay stuck in the past, we will pay more and we


will not create jobs. How can you criticise the coalition's plans for


a new nuclear station, when jeering 13 years of a Labour government you


did not invest in a single nuclear plant? You sold off all our nuclear


technology to foreign companies Energy provision was put out to


private hands and there has been no obstacle in British law against


ownership outside the UK. Part of this is looking ahead. Because your


previous track record is so bad What we did decide under the


previous government, we came to the view, and there were discussions in


our party about this, that we did need to support a nuclear future.


At the time of that, David Cameron was one of those saying that


nuclear power should be a last resort. And as you said, the


Liberals did not support it. We stood up for that. We set in train


the green light of 10 sites, including Hinkley Point, for


nuclear development. I am glad to see that is making progress and we


should make more progress over the years ahead. We took a tough


decision when other governments had not done. You did not build a new


nuclear station. When you get back into power, will you build HS2?


That has not had a blank cheque from the Labour Party. I am in


favour of good infrastructure. Are you in favour of?, answer the


question? I have answered the question. It does not have a blank


cheque. If the prices are too high, we will review the decision when we


come back to vote on it. We will be looking at it closely. We have to


look for value for money and how it benefits the country. Have you


stocked up on jumpers this winter? I am perfectly all right with my


clothing. What is important, it is ridiculous for the Government to


suggest that the answer to the loss of trust in the energy companies is


to put on another jumper. The coalition has taken a long time


to come up with anything that can trump Ed Miliband's simple freezing


energy prices, vote for us. Are they on the brink of doing so? I do


not think so. They have had a problem that has dominated the


debate, talking about GDP, the figures came out on Friday and said,


well, and went back to talking about energy. My problem with what


David Cameron proposes is he agrees with the analysis that the Big Six


make too many profits. He wants to move the green levies into general


taxation, so that he looks like he is protecting the profits of the


energy companies. If the coalition can say they will take money off


the bills, does that change the game? I do not think the Liberal


Democrats are an obstacle to unwinding the green levies. I think


Nick Clegg is open to doing a deal, but the real obstacle is the carbon


reduction targets that we signed up to during the boom years. They were


ambitious I thought at the time From that we have the taxes and


clocking up of the supply-side of the economy. Unless he will revise


that, and build from first principles a new strategy, he


cannot do more than put a dent into green levies. He might say as I


have got to ?50 now and if you voters in in an overall majority, I


will look up what we have done in the better times and give you more.


I am sure he will do that. It might be ?50 of the Bill, but it will be


?50 on your general taxation bill, which would be more progressive


They will find it. We will never see it in general taxation. The


problem for the Coalition on what Ed Miliband has done is that it is


five weeks since he made that speech and it is all we are talking


about. David Cameron spent those five weeks trying to work out


whether Ed Miliband is a Marxist or whether he is connected to Middle


Britain. That is why Ed Miliband set the agenda. The coalition are


squabbling among themselves, looking petulant, on energy, and on


schools. Nobody is taking notice of the fact the economy is under way,


the recovery is under way. Ed Miliband has made the weather on


this. It UK has a relaxed attitude about


selling off assets based -- to companies based abroad. But this


week we have seen the Swiss owner of one of Scotland's largest


industrial sites, Grangemouth, come within a whisker of closing part of


it down. So should we care whether British assets have foreign owners?


Britain might be a nation of homeowners, but we appear to have


lost our taste for owning some of our biggest businesses. These are


among the crown jewels sold off in the past three decades to companies


based abroad. Roughly half of Britain's essential services have


overseas owners. The airport owner, British Airports Authority, is


owned by a Spanish company. Britain's largest water company


Thames, is owned by a consortium led by an Australian bank. Four out


of six of Britain's biggest energy companies are owned by overseas


giants, and one of these, EDF Energy, which is owned by the


French state, is building Britain's first nuclear power plant in a


generation, backed by Chinese investors. It's a similar story for


train operator Arriva, bought by a company owned by the German state.


So part of the railways privatised by the British government was


effectively re-nationalised by the German government. But does it


matter who owns these companies as long as the lights stay on, the


trains run on time, and we can still eat Cadbury's Dairy Milk?


We are joined by the general secretary of the RMT, Bob Crow, and


by venture capitalist Julie Meyer. They go head to head.


Have we seen the consequences of relying for essential services to


be foreign-owned? Four of the Big Six energy companies, Grangemouth,


owned by a tax exile in Switzerland. It is not good. I do not think


there is a cause and effect relationship between foreign


ownership and consumer prices. That is not the right comparison. We


need to be concerned about businesses represented the future,


businesses we are good at innovating for example in financial


services and the UK has a history of building businesses, such as


Monotypes. If we were not creating businesses here -- Monotise. Like


so many businesses creating products and services and creating


the shareholders. Should we allow hour essential services to be in


foreign ownership? It was demonstrated this week at


Grangemouth. If you do not own the industry, you do not own it. The


MPs of this country and the politicians in Scotland have no say,


they were consultants. Multinationals decide whether to


shut a company down. If that had been Unite union, they are the ones


who saved the jobs. They capitulated. They will come back,


like they have for the past 150 years, and capture again what they


lost. If it had closed, they would have lost their jobs for ever. If


the union had called the members up without a ballot for strike action,


there would have been uproar. This person in Switzerland can decide to


shut the entire industry down. The coalition, the Labour Party, as


well, when Labour was in government, they played a role of allowing


industries to go abroad, and it should be returned to public


ownership. Nestor. It has demonstrated that the Net comes


from new businesses. We must not be... When Daly motion was stopped


by the French government to be sold, it was an arrow to the heart of


French entrepreneurs. We must not create that culture in the UK.


Every train running in France is built in France. 90% of the trains


running in Germany are built in Germany. In Japan, it has to be


built in that country, and now an energy company in France is


reducing its nuclear capability in its own country and wants to make


profits out of the British industry to put back into it state industry.


That happened with the railway industry. They want to make money


at the expense of their own state companies. We sold off energy


production. How did we end up in a position where our nuclear capacity


will be built by a company owned by a socialist date, France, and


funded by a communist one, China, for vital infrastructure? I am not


suggesting that is in the national interest. I am saying we can pick


any one example and say it is a shame. The simple matter of the


fact is the owners are having to make decisions. Not just


Grangemouth, businesses are making decisions about what is the common


good. Not just in the shareholders' interest. For employees, customers.


What is in the common good when prices go up by 10% and the reason


is that 20 years ago they shut every coal pit down in this country,


the Germans kept theirs open and subsidised it and now we have the


Germans doing away with nuclear power and they have coal. Under the


Labour government, in 2008, the climate change Act was passed. Well


before that, and you know yourself, they shut down the coal mines to


smash the National Union of Mineworkers because they dared to


stand up for people in their community. Even if we wanted to


reopen the coalmines, it would be pointless. Under the 2008 Act, we


are not meant to burn more coal The can, as if you spent some of


the profits, you could have carbon catch up. That does not exist on a


massive scale. You are arguing the case, Julie Meyer, for


entrepreneurs to come to this country. Even Bob Crow is not


against that. We are trying to argue, should essential services be


in foreign hands? Not those in Silicon round about doing start ups.


I am trying to draw a broader principle than just energy.


Something like broadband services, also important to the functioning


of the economy. I believe in the UK's ability to innovate. When we


have businesses that play off broadband companies to get the best


prices for consumers. These new businesses and business models are


the best way. Not to control, but to influence. It will be a disaster.


Prices will go up and up as a result. Nissan in Sunderland, a


Japanese factory, some of the best cars and productivity. You want


that to be nationalised and bring it down to the standard of British


Leyland? It is not bring it down to the standard. The car manufacturing


base in this country has been wrecked. We make more cars now for


20 years -- than in 20 years. Ford's Dagenham produced some of


the best cars in the world. Did you buy one? I cannot drive. They moved


their plants to other countries where it was cheaper labour. Would


you nationalise Nissan? There should be one car industry that


produces cars for people. This week the EU summit was about Angela


Merkel's mobile phone being tapped, they call it a handy. We sent Adam


to Brussels and told him to ignore the business about phone-tapping


and investigate the Prime Minister's policy on Europe instead.


I have come to my first EU summit to see how David Cameron is getting on


with his strategy to claim power was back from Brussels. Got any powers


back yet? Yes! Which ones? Sadly, his fellow leaders were not as


forthcoming. Chancellor, are you going to give any powers back to


Britain? Has David Cameron asked you for any powers back? The president


of the commission just laughed, and listen to the Lithuanian President.


How is David Cameron's renegotiation strategy going? What's that? He


wants powers back for Britain. No one knows what powers David Cameron


actually wants. Even our usual allies, like Sweden, are bit


baffled. We actually don't know yet what is going through the UK


membership. We will await the finalisation of that first. You


should ask him, and then tell us! Here is someone who must know, the


Dutch Prime Minister, he is doing what we are doing, carrying out a


review of the EU powers, known as competencies in the jargon, before


negotiating to get some back. Have you had any negotiations with David


Cameron over what powers you can bring back from Brussels? That is


not on the agenda of this summit. Have you talked to him about it


This is not on the schedule for this summit.


David Cameron's advises tummy it is because he is playing the long game.


-- David Cameron's advisers tell me. At this summit, there was a task


force discussing how to cut EU red tape. Just how long this game is was


explained to me outside the summit, by the leader of the Conservatives


in the European Parliament. I think the behind-the-scenes negotiations


will start happening when the new commissioner is appointed later next


year. I think the detailed negotiations will start to happen


bubbly after the UK general election. That is when we will start


getting all of the detail of the horse trading, and real, Lake night


negotiations. Angela Merkel seems keen to rewrite the EU's main


treaties to deal with changes in the Eurozone, and that is the mechanism


David Cameron would use to renegotiate our membership. Everyone


here says his relationship with the German Chancellor is strong. So


after days in this building, here is how it looks. David Cameron has a


mountain to climb. It is climbable, but he isn't even in the foothills


yet. Has he even started packing his bags for the trip?


Joining us now, a man who knows a thing or two about the difficulties


Prime Minister 's face in Europe. Former Deputy Prime Minister,


Michael Heseltine. We are nine months from David Cameron's defining


speech on EU renegotiation. Can you think of one area of progress? I


don't know. And you don't know. And that's a good thing. Why is it a


good thing? Because the real progress goes on behind closed


doors. And only the most naive, because the real progress goes on


behind closed doors. Because, in this weary world, you and I, Andrew,


know full well that the moment you say, I making progress, people say,


where? And the machine goes to work to show that the progress isn't


enough. So you are much better off making progress as best you can in


the privacy of private diplomacy. It is a long journey ahead. In this


long journey, do you have a clear sense of the destination? Do you


have a clear sense of what powers Mr Cameron wants to negotiate? I have a


clear sense of the destination, which is a victory for the campaign


that he will win to stay inside the European community. That is the


agenda, and I have total support for that. I understand that, but if he


is incapable of getting any tangible sign of renegotiation, if he is able


only to do what Wilson did in 1 75, which was to get a couple of token


changes to our membership status, he goes into that referendum without


much to argue for. He has everything to argue for. He's got Britain's


vital role as a major contributor to the community. He's got Britain s


self interest as a major beneficiary, and Britain's vital


role in the City of London. He's got everything to argue for. He could


argue for that now. He could have a referendum now. He doesn't want one


now. I haven't any doubt that he will come back with something to


talk about. But it may be slightly different to what his critics, the


UK isolationist party people, want. He may, for example, have found that


allies within the community want change as well, and he may secure


changes in the way the community works, which would be a significant


argument within the referendum campaign. Let me give you an


example. I think it is a scandal that the European Commission don't


secure the auditing of some of the accounts. Perhaps that could be on


the agenda. He might find a lot of contributing countries, like


Germany, like Colin and, would be very keen. -- like Holland. David


vetoed the increase in the European budgets the other day, and he had a


lot of allies. So working within Europe on the things that people


paying the European bills want is fertile ground. Is John Major right


to call for a windfall tax on the energy companies? John is a very


cautious fellow. He doesn't say things without thinking them out. So


I was surprised that he went for a windfall tax. First of all, it is


retrospective, and secondly, it is difficult to predict what the


consequences will be. I am, myself, more interested in the other part of


his speech, which was talking about the need for the Conservative Party


to seek a wider horizon, to recognise what is happening to the


Conservative Party in the way in which its membership is shrinking


into a southeastern enclave. Are you in favour of a windfall tax? I am


not in favour of increasing any taxes. Do you share Iain Duncan


Smith's point of view on welfare reform? I think Iain Duncan Smith is


right. It is extremely difficult to do, but he is right to try. I think


public opinion is behind him, but it isn't easy, because on the fringe of


these issues there are genuine hard luck stories, and they are the ones


that become the focus of attention the moment you introduce change It


requires a lot of political skill to negotiate your way through that But


isn't Iain Duncan Smith right to invoke the beverage principle, that


you should be expected to make a contribution for the welfare you


depend on? Yes, he is. I will let you get your Sunday lunch. Thanks


for joining us. Coming up in just over 20 minutes, I


will be looking Hello and welcome to the Sunday


politics in the East. Coming up, the fiasco over Norfolk's controversial


waste incinerator and the warning that pulling the plug note could the


county council. The ultimate benchmark is, is this the right


thing for a Norfolk? I think it is and if this makes the unpopular then


that is tough luck. Plus the places where there are not enough GPs. Is


the new clinical commissioning system to blame? The huge


reorganisation and the instability it causes, people are not quite sure


what general practitioners are supposed to do. First, let's meet


our guests. Roz Scott, a former Liberal Democrat peer who started


her career on the Suffolk Council. And Gavin, the Labour MP for Suffolk


Council, welcome to you both. Now, a deal was secured by EDF and


the Chinese investors to build Britain's first nuclear power


station in the generation at Hinkley point in Somerset. That has had the


big knock`on effect here, because EDF are also responsible for a plan


to build a nuclear reactor on the coast. We will build Hinkley first


and then move onto Sizewell. There will be an overlap because it takes


ten years to build Hinkley point but we will move rapidly to follow


Hinkley point with Sizewell. Baroness Scott, you're obviously


fully behind a new Sizewell facility. The party has gone three


journey similar to the one I have personally made. 20 odd years ago I


was opposed to Sizewell, but climate change was not something that we


were talking about them. I still feel quite confident that most


climate change is man`made and finding forms of power that do not


use carbon are absolutely crucial. Sought not another Lib Dem U`turn


on. If the evidence changes then you must change with it. Gavin, should


be worried that we are expanding nuclear energy in this country when


other places are ditching it? There is a shortage in other countries,


like Japan, for obvious reasons. We need decent baseload capacity in the


system and that is what the clear can provide so you can bring in


other the energy forms such as offshore wind and something that I


was in the East know all about. Sizewell, Lake Hinkley, could


generate around 70% of the UK electricity supply. Back in 2008,


plans were put in motion for another much smaller power station at King


's Lynn in Norfolk. The idea was simple, and incinerator to burn


household rubbish, cut landfill and produce electricity. Five years on


it has still not been built and it has caused a political storm that


could land Norfolk county council with the ?20 million will. The local


people and MPs did not want it and know it is with the Secretary of


State for a final decision. Last week, the government withdrew PFI


funding for the project and opponents are deleted. It would be


madness for them to continue with it. The money was only incentive to


go with the most option. I do not believe that the project would have


benefited the Norfolk taxpayer, the economics were very, very


marginalised depended on volcanoes of factors. It is something we have


fought so hard for over the last three or four years and at last we


have some results. You get an idea of the strength of feeling. If the


council pulls out the fees a multi`million pound compensation


bill but equally, if it goes ahead because of the huge, too. The leader


of the Conservatives on Norfolk county council is Bill Barnett and


in his previous role as head of waste he was easily the's big


champion. He told us he believes the case for remains as strong as ever.


Norfolk produces 1 million tonnes of waste every year, a very large chunk


of that is now recyclable but that `` and that is great but there is


still hundreds of thousands of tonnes of waste which in the


foreseeable future will not be able to be recycled sought Norfolk county


council embarked on a project that has brought us to this point. On the


council will face massive costs whether it goes ahead or pulls out.


Yes, that is the way the land lies, I think you have two, you have a


contract that was signed and approved by the Treasury. It had to


meet Treasury requirements in order to qualify for the PFI credits so


the government knew exactly what the outcome for Norfolk would be when


the similarly withdrew them and that is why it is such a body blow for


Norfolk. Why Sony contract that saddles the authority with such


large cost of April out. You have stitched them up. Why sign a


contract if you are going to walk away? In any part of life a legally


binding contract is just that, legally binding. There are penalties


on both sides. If the construction company got up and walked away the


council would be justifiably upset seeing the aspect of this money had


gone forward in good faith. It only reflects the costs that both sides


have spent getting this far. The contract, and I think this is


something that is worth stressing, is not unique to Norfolk. This is


very similar to the contract that was used in the Suffolk to deliver


the Blakenham incinerator and this is something that Norfolk had to get


the agreement of both deaf and her Majesty 's government in the form of


the tragedy and to approve it. `` in the form of the tragedy. The amount


of waste and the investments necessary to deliver it are all


very, very expensive. If the authority decides to pull out on


Monday it will face bankruptcy. This is effectively a power station that


runs on rubbish. And generates, will generate as much electricity is


burning 200,000 tonnes of coal per year. Delivering any sort of power


station is an expensive business. A lot of the nuclear stories we have


had in the press this week show that. Councils have no choice now.


They must go ahead with the scheme or fees a massive ill which could


make them bankrupt. If we go ahead with the project the cancer will


save money, the waste will not go to landfill any more, each seat will be


used to generate electricity on a national level and bring revenue


back into the council. It will do all of the things that is meant to


do and that is why, for example, Suffolk county council are building


a very similar plans new Ipswich to do all the things for Suffolk that


this was planned to do in Norfolk. Do you ever wish you had not got


involved in this? The ultimate benchmark is, is this the great


thing for Norfolk? If it is in makes me personally unpopular then that is


tough luck for me because that is a decision we must make. Gavin Shuker,


there is a fundamental question of democracy here because no one in


West Norfolk once the incinerator but they could end up having it


because it is too expensive to ditch. I have shattered the


environment Department and watch the story unfold. It has been a slow


motion car crash from start to finish. That is why we now have a


Labour administration now running Norfolk county council and the


Conservatives have to take responsibility for what has happened


on their watch. I do not know what will happen on Monday but the


councillors have an impossible situation, set up entirely by the


Tory ministries should. Baroness Scott, do you have any sympathy with


the Conservatives? When they went into that it was with good


intentions, something must be done with Norfolk's waste. We have a bit


of an obsession with big project, and you can actually do small`scale


waste to energy which in many ways are an easier sell the local


community because what many people object to is the feeling that the


the dumping ground for waste. You can do that. It does not excite


people very much to think about energy, be money from energy going


back to the council. If you are treating community buildings and


making life better for local people the debate becomes rather different.


Because there is a question, a really difficult question, but what


we do with all this waste. You must take people along with you. The


council has gotten into a model, hasn't it, Gavin Shuker? Absolutely


but it is not only the council that is to blame, I have shattered this


department. The Treasury and DEFRA must take responsibility as well.


They awarded the money and they took it away. It is a terrible


administration that this administration must work through,


but I am sure they will work through it. The next thing you in Norfolk


realise that your services have been cut, don't forget who did that. That


is a terrible abdication of responsibility from the


Conservatives. We must leave it there.


How hard do you find it getting an appointment at your GP? Not easy?


You'd the bad news. Recent evidence shows it is likely to get worse.


Because that is not enough doctors. It has been blamed on the huge


changes in the health service made six months ago when GPs took control


of their budgets. The problem is particularly bad in Essex.


Doctor Smith here from the Mayflower medical centre. Hello, Doctor. How


are you? I'm fine, the one on my legs has gone down. Instead of


seeing her face`to`face, Doctor Alan Smith speaks to Valerie Watson on


the phone. This new way of working means that doctors can assess


whether a patient action means `` actually needs to come in and if


they do they can be seen more quickly. That is worth taking a look


at today if that is all right. That would be perfect, thank you. They


are short of two doctors at this practice and is now the remaining


ones can spend up to four hours per day on the phone. The old system of


falling AGP, given the number of resources and falling numbers of


GPs, is not working here. We have a two or three weeks with four


appointments. Did you imagine you would spend four hours per day on


the phone? Absolutely not. The traditional model of being a


doctor, dressing people face`to`face and helping them but with the way


things are, I do not see a choice for us as a practice. A recent


survey shows the problem is particularly acute in Essex. Last


year, GPs in north`east Essex had 1587 patients each which was already


higher than the national average. That has now risen to 18th `` that


is now risen to 1000 818 patients each which means fewer available


appointments. We have Cambridge above us and London beside us, so we


will always struggle. It is geography. This is a great place to


live but the attraction for doctors from other areas and doctors


entering the country, if they would get this part of the world, we will


look at London and Cambridge. Cabbie changes exacerbated the problem? I


am sure that. The huge new organisation, the instability that


this causes, people are not quite sure what general practice will look


at in a few years time. People are not sure if it will be here. It is


not just you in Essex there is a shortage, many have given you the


service are no bearing out. One of those is Doctor Tony Hillier, in awe


publisher GP who now works part`time. There is this buzz word


about the transformation of general practice, this idea that if you will


together into larger units and bigger organisations somehow you can


deliver these services and also deliver the Medicare. But that is


still dependent on having a workforce that can do that. That is


another big issue, recruitment and retention of people within the


practice. That is the problem here. It is likely that the way GPs work


will have to continue changing and more of us might face consultations


like this in the future. In an ideal world surely you want face`to`face.


I think so. And various pilot experiments on telly medicine etc


are very `` have very limited success. The Suffolk MP Dan. As a


practising doctor as well as the health minister. I asked if he wants


doctors to work over the phone. We need to see better use of


technology, this type of medicine was mentioned and it has been shown


to work very well in brutal part of the country, particularly Yorkshire,


there's a good example and everyone it has used very well to look after


all people and that is the kind of technology that we need to see


rolled out more widely. It helps take pressure off acute medical


services and allow more from the medical professionals to spend more


time with patients. Surely your diagnosis of when the patient walks


into the room. You must see that person and a telephone conversation


is not the same. It is always good to see patients but sometimes it is


about making sure that UCD patient who really needs to be seen and what


this kind of medicine can do is help give valuable advice to carers and


other people who are looking after people, patients with long`term


conditions like a mentor, and that is how it is working very well in


Airedale and Yorkshire. We have many patients, although patients with


multiple medical conditions through a living in the own homes and it is


important that we provide high`quality care for those people


in their own homes. And we must make sure that there is access to a GP


and medical care when the `` when it is appropriate. It also having the


right technology in place to support the dignity and care at home and in


the community is also important. Why do we not have enough GPs? That is


not actually true if you look at the East of England, there are issues in


Essex and measures being put in place to support people there to


choose to work in Essex but in the East of England we have a very


high, very good GP to patient ratio. Is not just Essex, there are


problems elsewhere. It is not just an isolated case in Essex. You have


picked on, as you would do any programme like this, a particular


situation that is a difficult situation and that is something that


health education in England, the body that recruits and looks after


patients to make sure we have the right stuff, are addressing as a


priority. But the whole of the region we have a very high number of


GPs relative to other parts of the country. This is a well rewarded job


and that is why we have a lot of GPs working in the East of England. In


the government changes responsible? Essex is not an isolated case, we


are seeing fewer GPs and how the government changes responsible?


People don't want to be counters, Commissioners... That is not true.


You are asserting but there are cases in all parts of the country


where there are difficulties recruiting GPs and we know that, but


nevertheless in our region as a whole we have more GPs per patient


than in any other part of the country. Those are the plain fact of


the matter because this is a desirable place to come and work.


Thank you very much. Gavin Shuker, would you be happy to


talk to you doctor over the phone about a problem you had one of your


family members at # in some cases, yes, but we know how the system when


you can see your GP team quickly. You can get treated well. That has a


system inherited by this government. What they have done is, we have put


any vast reorganisation of the NHS and the first effect of that is that


GPs are looking around and saying, when is the certainty and saying,


when is the certainty around and buy .com from? Secondly, we spent seven


years teaching at how to use a scalpel but no time teaching them


how to use a spreadsheet. These doctors are using their time to


manage the NHS when they should be treating patients. Baroness Scott,


Gavin Shuker said it is all your governments fault, the changes are


responsible for the shortage of GPs, is he right? I have been around


longer, and another Tony Blair getting into terrible trouble some


years ago because he was apparently unaware that people were having


difficulty getting appointments with GPs, so I think you actually have to


get the diagnosis right here. There has been a long`term problem of


fewer trainee doctors wanting to become GPs. They going to


consultancy. It is currently 35 or 40%. How do you change that? I am


not sure because for many of them it is more interesting and attractive


option to avoid a special is a much to work that way. I know the


government is aware of this and they say they are going to do various


things to try and persuade trainee doctors to move on, so I think we


must be really careful not to try addressing a long`term problem with


the short political fix. Would later change this model, Gavin Shuker?


This has been ruled out by a number of CCG 's, the problem is that the


government is no directing those. We would repeal this. We think this is


a problem. By Mac `` doesn't this make things worse? Basic problem


here is that at the local level there are not the resources being


shredded adequately. The mass of the organisation of the NHS that is


really happened must be settled down but we must find a weighted equally


the worst aspects of it. An example would be this, the competition


commission is deciding what is best for patients, not the NHS. That


can't be right. If we carry on down that route we will get more of what


we have seen here. I must stop here. It is time for our political


round`up of the week. At PMQ 's comedy the Norwich South


MP Simon Wright hailed the government's dualling of the


elephant. It was a big boost from the's economy. Can I urge the prime


minister to continue to East for the powerhouse for economic growth and


back the opportunities available to invest in the 80s to mainline? The


PM would not be drawn on it but had this to say. For once the shadow


chancellor said something I agree with because he wants to watch the


Canaries and he will be able to get there quicker. In a debate on


airports, some East MPs through the weeping in US city airport in the


Thames. That is not a single objection that has been raised to


stop this airport. Not a single objection. Number and a show


stopper. Nick Clegg went to nursery in Cambridge to trumpet free


childcare for poorer families. Baroness Scott, let me ask you, is


the selection meeting? Lib Dem saying, we're not the


Conservatives! Will we see more of it? I do not see why not. We are


around 18 months from an election in the political parties will start


talking about what the plan. Gavin has been doing it today and that is


quite right. Voters want to know what we are about and watch to make


an informed choice. If the split is there, will the Coalition holds? We


have always been to different parties, I don't know why people


find it so difficult to get their heads in this. We are to parties and


always wear and we remain to parties. As you get closer to the


election the focus moves on to what your policies are for beyond the


election. Gavin Shuker, commentators are saying we are seeing more of a


similarity with Labour and the Lib Dems moving closer together. What do


you think about that? We must judge the Lib Dems on their record in


government, and who has of things such as the schools and otherwise


will not fill voters. Having said that, there are many Lib Dems who


would be very pleased to get Ed Miliband into Downing Street just as


we have. If we end up in that situation then they will line up


behind this. What is the big challenge for the Lib Dems? The same


challenge it has always been, demonstrating that we are an


individual political force with their own beliefs but respecting the


ballot box in 2010, we have very many fewer seats and there is always


a balance at the punching your weight but being aware that we did


not actually win the election ourselves, so you must accept that


you go along with some things that you'd make not do if you are in


government by yourself. Difficult. It is. Do you fancy a coalition?


Would we are set nicely there? Is the possibility of equality, my


personal view is that it will be a Labour government next time round


and we will work hard for that. That is the most likely outcome because


of the structural shift in politics. If we end up in that situation there


are some prominent left`wing Lib Dems who could put up with. Thank


you both very much. That is all for now. You can keep in touch via our


website and you will find links to their to our blog. Goodbye.


website and you will find links to free school area for into that


Is Labour about to drop its support category. Thank you.


Is Labour about to drop its support for High Speed 2, a rail line the


party approved while in government? for High Speed 2, a rail line the


these green shoots? These are all questions for The Week Ahead.


So, HS2. Miss Flint wouldn't answer the question. She's in northern MP


too. Ed Balls is comparing it to the Millennium Dome.


too. Ed Balls is comparing it to the minute's silence for HS2? It will


not be quite as crude as that. They will not stand up and say, we


not be quite as crude as that. They senior Labour person said to me it


would be a bit senior Labour person said to me it


that Gordon Brown and Ed Balls set for the euro back in 97. They will


be chucking lots of questions into the air, and the questions will


create doubt, and will create the grounds for Labour to say, at some


point, we think there is a much much better way of spending the money. It


isn't ?42 billion, because that includes a contingency. Let's see


what Peter Mandelson had to say about HS2. He was in the government


when Labour supported it. Frankly, there was too much of the argument


that if everyone else has got a high-speed train, we should have won


too. Regardless of need, regardless of cost, and regardless of


alternatives. As a party, to be frank, we didn't feel like being


trumped by the zeal of the then opposition's support for the


high-speed train. We wanted, if anything, to upstage them. So they


didn't really need it, and we're only talking about ?50 billion. Why


would you take a decision involving ?50 billion in a serious way? For


David Cameron, if it becomes clear Labour is against it, he cannot


proceed. He indicated last week that he wouldn't proceed if the certainty


wasn't there. For Labour, HS2 is really a debate about the deficit by


proxy. They think that if you don't go ahead with HS2, that releases


tens of billions of pounds to spend on other things, such as public


services, without going into boring. I don't think that works because


there was a difference between cancelling something that already


exists to pay for something else, and cancelling something that does


not yet exist and will be paid for over decades to pay for something


here and now. Can Labour do this? I know that the line will be, we are


not going to build this railway because we are going to build


200,000 houses a year. Can they do this without political cost? I think


there will be political costs, but they will play this card of we have


changed our mind. I think Cameron's line has been very clever, saying we


cannot do it without labour. You can put it in two ways. Sorry, we cannot


go ahead with it, but Labour has ruined your chance of prosperity, or


they can tie themselves to it, and then Labour cannot attack it on


great grounds when costs do spire. You can write Labour's script right


now. They can say, if we were in charge, the financial management


would be much better. This raises some really important questions for


the government. They have utterly failed to make the case for HS2


There is a real case to make. Between London and Birmingham it is


about capacity not speed. North of Birmingham, it is about


connectivity. It is a simple case to make, but it is only in the last


month that they have been making that case. It shows really terrible


complacency in the coalition that they haven't done that. We'll HS2


happen or not? I think it will. For the reasons that Nick outlined,


there is not of a constituency for it amongst Northern areas. -- there


is enough of a constituency for it. There is private investment as well.


It isn't like Heathrow. I say no, because I think Labour will drop


their support for it. Caroline Flint said she was in favour of the


concept of trains generally, but will it go further than that? It is


difficult to see how it will go ahead if Labour will not support it


after setting five tests that it clearly will not meet. Some will


breathe a sigh of relief. Some will say, even in the 20th century, we


cannot build a proper rail network. The economy was another big story of


the week. We had those GDP figures. There is a video the Tories are


releasing. The world premiere is going to be here. Where's the red


carpet? It gives an indication of how the Tories will hand Mr Miliband


and labour in the run-up to the election. Let's have a look at it.


These graphics are even worse than the ones we use on our show! How on


earth would you expect that to go viral? It did have a strange feel


about it. It doesn't understand the Internet at all. Who is going to


read those little screens between it? Put a dog in it! However,


putting that aside, I have no idea that that is going to go viral. The


Tories are now operating - and I say Tories rather than the coalition -


on the assumption that the economy is improving and will continue to


improve, and that that will become more obvious as 2014 goes on. We


just saw their how they will fight the campaign. Yes, and at the


crucial moment, you will reach the point where wages. To rise at a


faster pace than inflation, and then people will start to, in the words


of Harold Macmillan, feel that they have never had it so good. That is


the key moment. If the economy is growing, there is a rule of thumb


that the government should get a benefit. But it doesn't always work


like that. The fundamental point here is that Ed Miliband has had a


great month. He has totally set the agenda. He has set the agenda with


something - freezing energy prices - that may not work. That video shows


that the Conservatives want to get the debate back to the


fundamentals. That this is a party that told us for three years that


this coalition was telling us to -- was taking us to hell on a handcart.


That doesn't seem to have happened. The energy price was a very clever


thing, at the party conference season, which now seems years ago.


They saw that the recovery was going to happen, so they changed the


debate to living standards. Some economists are now privately


expecting growth to be 3% next year, which was inconceivable for five


months ago. If growth is 3% next year, living standards will start to


rise again. Where does Labour go then? I would go further, and say


that even though Ed Miliband has made a small political victory on


living standards, it hasn't registered in the polls. Those polls


have been contracted since April -- have been contracting since April.


That macro economic story matters more than the issue of living


standards. The interesting thing about the recovery is it confounds


everybody. No one was predicting, not the Treasury, not the media not


the IMF, not the academics, and the only people I can think of... I fit


-- I thought they knew everything! The only people I know who did are


one adviser who is very close to George Osborne, and the clever hedge


fund is who were buying British equities back in January. Because


the Treasury's record is so appalling, no one believe them, but


they were saying around February, March this year, that by the end of


the summer, the recovery would be gathering momentum. For once, they


turned out to be right! They said that the economy would be going gang


bust is! Where did the new Tory voters come from? I agree, if the


economic recovery continues, the coalition will be stronger. But


where will they get new voters from? For people who sign up to help to


buy, they will be locked into nice mortgages at a low interest rate,


and just as you go into a general election, if you are getting 3%


growth and unemployment is down the Bank of England will have to review


their interest rates. People who are getting nice interest rates now may


find that it is not like that in a few months time. The point John


Major was making implicitly was that Mrs Thatcher could speak to people


on low incomes. John Major could not speak to them -- John Major could


speak to them. But this coalition cannot speak to them. This idea


about the reshuffle was that David Cameron wanted more Northern voices,


more women, to make it look like it was not a party of seven men. When


David Cameron became leader, John Major said, I do not speak very


often, but when I do, I will help you, because I think you are good


thing and I do not want to be like Margaret Thatcher. But that speech


was clearly a lament for the party he believed that David Cameron was


going to lead and create, but that isn't happening. And energy prices


continue into this coming week. We have the companies going before a


select committee. My information is they are sending along the secondary


division, not the boss. How can they get along -- get away with that I


got the letter through from British Gas this week explaining why my


bills are going up, and at no point since this became a story have any


of the big companies handled it well. I will have to leave it there.


Make sure you pay your bill! That's it for today. The Daily Politics is


back on BBC Two tomorrow. I will be back here on BBC One next Sunday.


Remember, if it's Sunday, it is The Sunday Politics.


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