09/02/2014 Sunday Politics East


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morning, folks, welcome to the Sunday Politics. Rising flood water,


a battered coastline, the winter storms forced the Government to take


control. Is it hanging the Environment Agency out to dry?


Embarrassment for the Government is the Immigration Minister resigns


after he discovered he was employing a cleaner with no right to work here


for seven years. Ed Miliband promised an end to what he called


the machine politics of union fixes in the Labour Party,


Here in the East: The new plans in Essex aiming put an


end to domestic violence. And hospice care in your own home


brings help to those in need. And hospice care in your own home


In London after two days of disruption in the capital the Mayor


Boris Johnson will be talking to ask about strife on the Underground.


Boris Johnson will be talking to ask about strife on the Underground All


of that and after a week of very public coalition spats can David


Cameron and Nick Clegg keep the coalition show on the road? Two


senior party figures will go head to head. And with me, Helen Lewis, Nick


Watt and Iain Martin who would not know they Somerset Levels from their


Norfolk Broads, but that will not stop them tweeting their thoughts.


We start with the strange Case of the Immigration Minister, his


cleaner and some lost documents Yesterday Mark Harper tendered his


resignation, telling the media he had discovered the cleaner who


worked for him for seven years did not have the right to work in the


UK. The Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said he had done the


honourable thing. I was sad to see him go, he was a strong minister.


Had he been a member of the public he would not have done anything


wrong, but he set himself a very high standard and he felt that


standard and honourably stood down. This would seem like a good


resignation, maybe unlike the Baroness Scotland one years ago on a


similar issue, but have we been told the full story? We wait to see that.


Labour have picked up saying he is an honourable man, that the reason


why he resigned is these very owners checks that landlords and employers


will have to perform on employees over their documentation. The most


interesting line is that, we do not require them to be experts or spot


anything other than an obvious forgery. The suggestion that there


is the document he was presented with originality, which he lost was


on home office paper and was perhaps not entirely accurate. That is the


embarrassment. He is the minister putting through a bill that will


demand tougher checks on people and he himself did not do enough checks


to discover she was illegal. There is an odd bit where he involves the


home office later to check her out as well. He writes a resignation


letter and he has to hold himself to pay higher standard. He has done the


David Laws approach to this, resign quickly and he can come back. David


Cameron wants him to return swiftly to the frontbenchers. He is a state


school educated lad. He is the kind of Tory that the Tories are in short


supply of. He is a rising star. I would caution on this idea that it


is customary that whenever anyone resigns, it is always thought they


will come straight back into office. If only the outside world worked


like that. It is not, in a company if the HR person resigns, he is such


a great chap he will be back next week. There is a silver lining for


David Cameron is he has been able to move Harriet Bond up as he moves


everyone up. But nobody will see her in the whips office because she is


not allowed to appear on television. And if you three want to resign Do


And if you three want to resign? Do not hate you are coming back next


week. But we will do it with honour. It has been a hellish week for


residents of coastal areas with more storms bringing more flooding and


after Prince Charles visited the Somerset Levels on Tuesday the


Government has been keen to show it has got a grip on the situation at


last. For last weekend's Sunday Politics I


made the watery journey to the village of Muchelney, cut off for a


whole month. Now everyone has been dropping in. First it was Prince


Charles on a park bench pulled by a tractor. He waded into the row about


how the floods have been handled. Next it was the chair of the


Environment Agency, Lord Smith, who faced angry residents. Sought the


river is out. That is precisely what we are going to do. Where he faced,


a resident, he did not need that many. David Cameron went for a look


as well and gave the region what it wanted, more pumps, more money and


in the long-term the return of dredging. There are lessons to


learn. The pause in bridging that took place from the late 1990s was


wrong and we need to get dredging again. When the water levels come


down and it is safe to dredge, we will dredging to make sure these


rivers and stitches can carry a better capacity. The Environment


Secretary Owen Paterson has not been seen again because he is recovering


from emergency eye surgery. In the meantime the floodwaters rose ever


higher. Some residents were told to evacuate. In Devon the railway was


washed away by the waves leaving a big gap in the network. Look at the


weather this weekend. If you can believe it, the storms keep rolling


in. What is the long-term solution for flood prone areas of the


country? I am joined from Oxford by the editor of The Ecologist


magazine, Oliver Tickell, and by local MP Tessa Munt. Tessa, let me


come to you first. What do you now want the Government to do? I want it


to make sure it does exactly as it promises and delivers what every


farmer and landowner around here knows should have been done for


years. First, to solve the problems we have right now, but to make sure


there is money in the bank for us to carry on doing the maintenance that


is necessary. Was it a mistake not to do the dredging? When the waters


start to subside does dredging become a key part of this? Yes, of


course. It is something the farmers have been asking for four years.


When you wander along a footpath by a river and you see trees growing


and there is 60% of the capacity only because there is silt, it needs


to have a pretty dramatic action right now and then we need to make


sure the maintenance is ongoing. Oliver Tickell, was it a mistake to


stop the dredging? If the dredging had happened, the land would not be


covered in water for so long? Clearly it is necessary to do at


least some dredging on these rivers and in particular because these


rivers are well above ground level. They are carrying water that comes


down off the hills well above the level of the flood plain on the


Somerset Levels. They naturally tend to silt up. But the key thing is


that is only a small part of the overall solution. What we need is a


catchment wide approach to improve infiltration upstream and you also


need to manage the flood plain on the levels and upstream so as to


have active flood plain that can store water. This idea it is just


about dredging is erroneous. Dredging is a part of it, but it is


a catchment wide solution. Dredging is only a small part of the solution


he says. Yes, of course it is. But look here. With the farmer is


locally, the landowners, they know this land will carry water for a few


weeks of the year, that is not a problem. But this water has to be


taken away and there is a very good system of drainage and it works


perfectly well. In my area there are serious problems because the


dredging has not taken place. There are lunatic regulations around were


when they do do some of dredging, the Environment Agency is asked to


take it away because it is considered toxic waste. This is


barmy. We need to take the stuff out of the rivers and build the banks up


so we create protection in the future. We have to make sure the


dredging is done but make sure the drainage works well and we have


pumps in places and we have floodgates put onto the rivers. We


need to make sure repairs are done more quickly. All right, let me go


back to Oliver Tickell. Is it not the case a lot of people on your


side of the argument would like to see lands like the Somerset Levels


return to natural habitat? Looe I would like a degree of that, but


that does not mean the whole place needs to turn into wilderness so it


will remain agricultural landscape. Everybody, all the interested


parties who signed up to a document called vision 2034 the Somerset


Levels envisages most of the area of the Somerset Levels being turned


over to extensive grassland and that is what it is best suited for. Let


me put that to Tessa Munt. Have you signed up to this where you will end


up with extensive grassland? I have seen it, but grass does not grow if


water is sitting on this land for weeks and weeks. What you have to


remember is a lot of the levels are managed very carefully and they are


conservation land and that means cattle are allowed to go out at


certain times of the year and in certain numbers. It is well managed.


Do you accept it should return to grassland? Grassland, fine, but you


cannot call land grassland in the flipping water is on it so long that


nothing grows. It is no good at doing that. You have got to make


sure it is managed properly. Drainage has been taking place on


this land for centuries. It is the case the system is there, but it


needs to be maintained properly and we have to have fewer ridiculous


regulations that stop action. Last year the flooding minister agreed


dredging should take place and everything stopped. Now we have got


the promise from the Prime Minister and I thank Prince Charles for that.


Is it not time to let the local people run their land rather than


being told what to do by the Environment Agency, central


Government and the European Union? The internal drainage boards have


considerable power in all of this. They wanted to dredge and they were


not allowed to. The farmers want to dredge that is what is going to


happen, but they have signed up to a comprehensive vision of catchment


management and of environmental improvement turning the Somerset


Levels into a world-class haven for wildlife. It is not much good if


your house is underwater. The farmers themselves, the RSPB, the


drainage boards, they have all signed up to this. The real question


now is how do we implement that vision? You give the money to the


drainage boards. At the moment they pay 27% of their money and have been


doing so for years and years and this is farmers' money and it has


been going to the drainage boards and they pay the Environment Agency


who are meant to be dredging and that has not happened. We have to


leave it there. We have run out of time.


Last week saw the Labour Party adopts an historic change with its


relationship with the unions. Changes to the rules that propelled


Ed Miliband to the top. Ed Miliband was elected Labour leader in 2010


Ed Miliband to the top. Ed Miliband was elected Labour leader in 20 0 by


the electoral college system which gives unions, party members and MPs


one third of votes each. This would be changed into a simpler one


member, one vote system. A union member would have to become an


affiliated member of the party. They would have to opt in and pay ?3 a


year. But the unions would have 50% of the vote at the conference and


around one third of the seats on the National executive committee. The


proposals are a financial gamble as well. It is estimated the party


could face a drop in funding of up to ?5 million a year when the


changes are fully implemented in five years. The leader of the Unite


trade union has welcomed the report saying it is music to his ears. The


package will be voted on at a special one of conference in March.


And the Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna joins me now for the


Sunday Interview. Welcome back. In what way will the unions have less


power and influence in the Labour Party? This is about ensuring


individual trade union members have a direct relationship with the


Labour Party. At the moment the monies that come to us are decided


at a top level, the general secretaries determine this, whether


the individual members want us to be in receipt of those monies or not so


we are going to change that so that affiliation fees follow the consent


of individual members. Secondly, we of individual members. Secondly we


want to make sure the individual trade union members, people who


teach our children, power via -- teach our children, power via -


fantastic British businesses, we want them to make an active choice,


and we are also recognising that in this day and age not everybody wants


to become a member of a political party. We haven't got much time.


to become a member of a political party. We haven't got much time The


party. We haven't got much time. The unions still have 50% of the vote at


Labour conferences, there will be the single most important vote, more


member -- union members will vote than nonunion members, their power


has not diminished at all, has it? In relation to the other parts of


the group of people who will be voting in a future leadership


contest, we are seeking to move towards more of a one member, one


vote process. At the moment we have the absurd situation where I, as a


member of Parliament, my vote will count for 1000. MPs are losing...


count for 1000. MPs are losing. . They still have a lot of power. I am


a member of the GMB union and the Unite union, also a member of the


Fabians as well so I get free votes on top of my vote as a member of


Parliament. We are moving to a system where I will have one vote


and that is an important part of this. You asked how many people


would be casting their votes. The last time around, under the


old system, up to 2.8 million ballot papers were sent out with prepaid


envelopes for people to return their papers were sent out with prepaid


turnout. The idea that you are going to see a big change... Even if


your individual party members. In one vital way, your purse strings,


your individual party members. In the unions will be more powerful


than ever because at the moment they have to hand over 8 million to


than ever because at the moment they fraction of that now. They will get


to keep that money, but then come the election you go to them and give


them a lot of money -- and they will have you then. They won't have us,


as you put it! The idea that individual trade union members don't


have their own view, their own voice, and just do what their


general secretaries do is absurd. They will make their own decision,


and we want them to make that and not have their leadership decide


that for them. Let me go to the money. The Labour Party manifesto


will be reflecting the interests of Britain, and the idea that somehow


people can say we are not going to give you this money unless you do


this or that, we will give you a policy agenda which is appropriate


for the British people, regardless of what implications that may have


financially. They will have more seats than anybody else in the NEC


and they will hold the purse strings. They will be the


determining factor. They won't be. Unite is advocating a 70% rate of


income tax, there is no way we will have that in our manifesto. Unite is


advocating taking back contracts and no compensation basis, we would not


-- there is no way we would do that. How many chief executives of the


FTSE 100 are backing Labour? We have lots of chief executives backing


Labour. I don't know the exact number. Ed Miliband has just placed


an important business person in the House of Lords, the former chief


executive of the ITV, Bill Grimsey. How many? You can only name one


Bill Grimsey, there is also John Mills. Anyone who is currently


chairman of the chief executive? With the greatest respect, you are


talking about less than half the percent of business leaders in our


country, we have almost 5 million businesses, not all FTSE 100


businesses, not all listed, and we are trying to get people from across


the country of all different shapes and sizes. Let's widen it to the


FTSE 250. That is 250 out of 5 million companies. The largest ones,


they make the profits and provide the jobs. Two thirds of private


sector jobs in this country come from small and medium-sized


businesses, and small and medium-sized businesses are an


important part of a large companies supply chains. So you cannot name a


single chairman from the FTSE 250, correct? I don't know all the


chairman. Are you going to fight the next election without a single boss


of a FTSE 250 company? I have named some important business people, but


the most important thing is that we are not coming out with a manifesto


for particular interests, but for broader interest. Let me show you,


Digby Jones says Labour's policy is, "if it creates wealth, let's kick


it" . Another quote, that it borders on predatory taxation. They think


you are anti-business. I don't agree with them. One of the interesting


things about Sir Stuart's comments on the predatory taxation and I


think he was referring to the 50p think he was referring to the 5 p


rate of tax is that he made some comments arguing against the


reduction of the top rate of tax from 50p. He is saying something


different now. Digby of course has his own opinions, he has never been


a member of the Labour Party. Let me come onto this business of the top


rate of tax, do you accept or don't you that there is a point when


higher rates of income tax become counter-productive? Ultimately you


want to have the lowest tax rates possible. Do you accept there is a


certain level you actually get less money? I think ultimately there is a


level beyond you could go which would be counter-productive, for


example the 75% rate of tax I mentioned earlier, being advocated


by Unite in France. Most French higher earners will pay less tax


than under your plans. I beg your pardon, with the 50p? Under your


proposals, people here will pay more tax than French higher earners. If


you are asking if in terms of the level, you asked the question and I


answered it, do I think if you reach a level beyond which the tax burden


becomes counter-productive, can I give you a number what that would


be, I cannot but let me explain - the reason we have sought to


increase its two 50p is that we can get in revenue to reduce the


deficit. In an ideal world you wouldn't need a 50p rate of tax


which is why during our time in office we didn't have one, because


we didn't have those issues. Sure, though you cannot tell me how much


the 50p will raise. In the three years of operation we think it


raised ?10 billion. You think. That was based on extrapolation from the


British library. It is at least possible I would suggest, for the


sake of argument, that when you promise to take over half people's


income, which is what you will do if you get your way, the richest 1%


currently account for 70 5% of all tax revenues. -- 75%. Is it not a


danger that if you take more out of them, they will just go? I don't


think so, we are talking about the top 1% here. If you look at the


directors of sub 5 million turnover companies, the average managing


director of that gets around ?87,000. Let me narrow it down to


something else. Let's take the .1% something else. Let's take the 0.1%


of top taxpayers, down to fewer than 30,000 people. They account for over


14% of all of the income tax revenues. Only 29,000 people. If


they go because you are going to take over half their income, you


have lost a huge chunk of your tax base. They could easily go, at


tipping point they could go. What we are advocating here is not


controversial. Those with the broadest shoulders, it is not


unreasonable to ask them to share the heavier burden. Can you name one


other major economy that subscribes to this? Across Europe, for example


in Sweden they have higher tax rates than us. Can you name one major


economy? I couldn't pluck one out of the air, I can see where you are


coming from, I don't agree with it. I think most people subscribe to the


fact that those with wider shoulders should carry the heavy a burden. We


should carry the heavy a burden We have run out of time but thank you


for being here. Over the past week it seems that


Nick Clegg has activated a new Lib Dem strategy - 'Get Gove'. After a


very public spat over who should head up the schools inspection


service Ofsted, Lib Dem sources have continued to needle away at the


Education Secretary. And other senior Lib Dems have also taken aim


at their coalition partners. Here's Giles Dilnot. It's unlikely the


polite welcome of these school children to Lib Dem leader Nick


Clegg and his party colleague schools minister David Laws would be


so forthcoming right now from the man in charge of schools


Conservative Michael Gove. Mr Laws is said to have been furious with


The Education secretary over the decision to remove Sally Morgan as


chair of Ofsted. But those who know the inner working of the Lib Dems


say that's just understandable. When you have the department not being


consulted, it would be possible for him to not publicly comment. The


remarkable thing would be if he hadn't said anything at all. We


should be careful to understand this is not always part of a preplanned


decision. There is a growing sense that inside Number Ten this is a


concerted Lib Dem strategy, we also understand there is no love lost


between Nick Clegg and Michael Gove to say the least, and a growing


frustration that if the Lib Dems think such so-called yellow and blue


attacks can help them with the election, they can also damage the


long-term prospects of the Coalition post 2015. One spat does not a


divorce make but perhaps even more significant has been Chief Secretary


to the Treasury Danny Alexander's to the Treasury Danny Alexander s


recent newspaper interview firmly spiking any room for George Osborne


to manoeuvre on lowering the highest income tax rate to 40p. All this


builds on the inclusion in Government at the reshuffle of


people like Norman Baker at the Home Office and Simon Hughes at Justice


people who are happier to publically express doubt on Conservative


policy, unlike say Jeremy Browne who was removed and who has made plain


his views on Coalition. It is difficult for us to demonstrate that


we are more socialist than an Ed Miliband Labour led party. Even if


we did wish to demonstrate it, doing it in coalition with the


Conservatives would be harder still. Nonetheless a differentiation


strategy was always likely as 2015 strategy was always likely as 2 15


approached, so is there evidence it works? Or of the work we publish


shows the Lib Dems have a huge problem in terms of their


distinctiveness, so attacking their coalition partners or the Labour


Party is helpful in showing what they are against, but there are


bigger problem is showing what they are for. And one Conservative MP


with access to Number Ten as part of the PM's policy board says yellow on


blue attacks are misplaced and irresponsible. At this stage when


all the hard work is being done and the country is back on its feet, the


Lib Dems are choosing the time to step away from the coalition. That


is your position, but do you suspect coming up to the next election we


will see more of this? I think the Lib Dems are about as hard to pin


down as a weasel in Vaseline. And with the public's view of


politicians right now, and wants to be seen as slicker than a well oiled


weasel? And we have Lib Dem peer Matthew Oakeshott and senior


Conservative backbencher Bernard Jenkin. Matthew, the Lib Dems are


now picking fights with the Tories on a range of issues, some of them


trivial. Is this a Pirelli used to Lib Dem withdrawal from the


coalition? I do not know, I am not privy to Nick Clegg's in strategy.


Some of us have been independent for some time. I resigned over treatment


of the banks. That is now being sorted out. But what is significant


is we have seen a string of attacks, almost an enemy within strategy.


When you have Nick Clegg, David Laws and Danny Alexander, the three key


people closest to the Conservatives, when you see all of them attacking,


and this morning Nick Clegg has had a go at the Conservatives over drug


policy. There is a string of policies where something is going


on. It is difficult to do an enemy within strategy. I believe as many


Lib Dems do that we should withdraw from the coalition six months to one


year before the election so we can put our positive policies across


rather than having this tricky strategy of trying to do it from


within. Why does David Cameron need the Lib Dems? He probably does not.


The country generally favoured the coalition to start with. Voters like


to see politicians are working together and far more of that goes


on in Westminster then we see. Most of my committee reports are


unanimous reports from all parties. Why does he need them? I do not


think he does. You would be happy to see the Lib Dems go? I would always


be happy to see a single minority Government because it would be


easier for legislation. The legislation you could not get


through would not get through whether we were in coalition or


not. The 40p tax rate, there probably is not a majority in the


House of Commons at the moment, despite what Nick Clegg originally


said. It does not make much difference. What makes a difference


from the perspective of the committee I chair is historically we


have had single party Government that have collective responsibility


and clarity. The reason that is important is because nothing gets


done if everybody is at sixes and sevens in the Government. Everything


stops, there is paralysis as the row goes on. Civil servants do not know


who they are working for. If it carries on getting fractures, there


is a bigger argument to get out. If it continues at this level of


intensity of the enemy within strategy as you have described it,


can the coalition survived another 16 months of this? It is also a


question should they. I never thought I would say this, I agree


with Bernard. Interestingly earlier Chuka Umunna missed the point


talking about business support. Business is worried about this


anti-European rhetoric and that is a deep split between the Liberal


Democrats and the UKIP wing of the Tory party. That is really damaging


and that is something we need to make our own case separately on.


and that is something we need to make our own case separately on Do


you get fed up when you hear constant Lib Dem attacks on you?


constant Lib Dem attacks on you What makes me fed up is my own party


cannot respond in kind because we are in coalition. I would love to


have this much more open debate I would like to see my own party


leader, for example as he did in the House of Commons, it was the Liberal


Democrats who blocked the referendum on the house of lords and if we want


to get this bill through it should be a Government bill. We know we can


get it through the Commons, but we need to get the Liberals out of the


Government so they stop blocking the Government putting forward a


referendum bill. And put millions of jobs at risk? I am not going down


the European road today. It strikes me that given that the attacks from


the Lib Dems are now coming from the left attacking the Tories, is this a


representative of the failure of Nick Clegg's strategy to rebuild a


centrist Liberal party and he now accepts the only way he can save as


many seats as he can do is to get the disillusioned left Lib Dem


voters to come back to the fold? the disillusioned left Lib Dem


voters to come back to the fold The site is we have lost over half our


vote at the last election and at the moment there is no sign in the polls


of it coming back and we are getting very close to the next election. I


welcome it if Nick Clegg is starting to address that problem, but talking


about the centre is not the answer. Most Liberal Democrat voters at the


last election are radical, progressive people who want to see a


much fairer Britain and a much less divided society and we must make


sure we maximise our vote from there. We know what both of you


want, but what do you think will happen? Do you think this coalition


will survive all the way to the election or will it break up


beforehand? I think it will break up beforehand. Our long-term economic


plan is working. The further changes in policies we want to implement to


sustain that plan are being held back by the Liberal Democrats. When


will they break up? It has lasted longer than I thought it would, but


it must break up at least six months before the election. Do you think it


will survive or not? The coalition has delivered a great deal in many


ways, but it is running out of steam. It depends what happens in


the May elections. If the Liberal Democrats do not do better than we


have done in the last three, there will be very strong pressure from


the inside. You both agree. Television history has been made.


You are watching the Sunday Politics. Coming up: I will be


looking at Hello and welcome to Sunday Politics


in the East. Coming up later in the programme:


New plans to help victims of domestic violence raise questions


about why they are taking so long. It has been progressing but I would


say, from my perspective, it has not been progressing enough. And there


is no place like home ` the growing number of people receiving hospice


care in a familiar setting. I think people think hospitals are the best


place but sometimes home... More often than not home.


First though, let's meet our guests ` Alistair Burt, the MP for


Bedfordshire, and Tim Young, Labour's Parliamentary candidate for


Clacton. Let's start with the deselection of South Suffolk MP Tim


Yeo this week. He of course lost a vote among all constituency party


members after being accused by its executive of being virtually


invisible. I think it is just a lack of visibility. I think a lot of


members felt that we needed a little bit more input. And South Suffolk


and Suffolk generally, being a blue area, really hasn't had


infrastructure investment and I think we would have liked to have


seen a bit more of that coming through. I believe... I have had a


home there for 31 years, I have led campaigns to keep the health


facility in Sudbury. I took part in the joint campaign to stop the A14


from being tolled. I protected the countryside in my constituency being


covered in electricity pylons. I think anybody who cares about those


issues will know I did the best possible job for the constituency.


Alistair, David Cameron backed Tim Yeo. Does it look like he is losing


control of the party? Is this a Tory spring, do you think? No, I don't


think so. In any case of deselection, there are usually


long`standing issues. We have a very democratic party. They make the


decisions about who the candidates are and I don't think it designates


anything more than the normal run of these things, where you would see


one or two deselections in a parliament. Tim Young, Labour of


course not immune to these type of wrangles. How do you keep the


constituency members happy? I think you have to work with them and be


visible and I think that is one of the criticisms that has been


levelled at Tim Yeo. But I do think it does show a rightward shift of


the Conservative party. Because people like Tim Yeo, he had light


views on climate change, in favour of gay marriage and I think, you


know, they have got rid of him. I think that is part of the reason. I


will be very surprised... Is that part of the reason? I would be very


surprised if there is not a rightward shift in the person they


do select. Alistair? I don't think so. Again, knowing something of the


background with the deselections that have taken place recently,


these are long`standing issues where an association has been in


discussion for a lengthy period of time with their MP. I am not going


to get into that. I mean, these are my colleagues. But... All right. You


have been the Foreign Minister, you have been away for a couple of


years, in the Middle East. Are you worried about neglecting your


constituents? I have not been away for a couple of years. I have been


doing my constituency business every weekend. I have been home. I was on


Government duty abroad as a minister. This week I have been at


the local hospital, a power station, handling a school problem, dealing


with an issue of the supposed moving of the Magistrates' Court from


Bedford to Luton and I have already been reselected by my association.


Very briefly. First Anne Macintosh and now Tim Yeo, moderate


Conservatives, mainstream Conservatives, both reselected.


There does seem to be a pattern emerging. I think you want to stick


to your own party. OK. Work out your problems in Falkirk and leave us to


sort out ours. All right, we will leave it there. Thank you. Now to


the issue of domestic abuse. Over the last few years, there have been


four high`profile deaths in Essex where the police have been


criticised for not doing enough. It is believed there are 44,000 victims


in the county each year. Now, there will be special advisers in local


hospitals to spot the signs of abuse in people who may be too scared to


ask for help. The initiative is part of a community budgets pilot


designed to get public bodies to work together to tackle the problem.


It started in the county in 2011 but we have been told that progress in


tackling domestic abuse has been too slow.


It wears you down to a shell of a person. You just become a robot.


There is nothing inside at all. You just wait for it to happen and then


once it is over, it is over. For nine years, this woman, who we're


calling Lucy, was in a relationship that became progressively more


abusive. And was the abuse physically violent? Not until I


became pregnant. That is really when it became physical. I remember I


used to snore really, really badly and I remember waking up to this


sharp blow to the stomach because I was snoring. And then I was like...


It was like I was too scared to sleep. I was too scared to fall


asleep, really. I wanted to protect me and my child but I knew that I


couldn't sleep, not when he was around. I was too scared. Lucy was


lucky. She escaped. Maria Stubbings, Jeanette Goodwin and Chrissie


Chambers, along with her daughter Shania, were all killed by abusive


partners in Essex. All three cases led to critical reports from the


Independent Police Complaints Commission and to a rethink of how


police, councils and others can help victims and catch perpetrators.


Independent domestic abuse advisers are now on maternity wards and in


Accident and Emergency departments in Essex hospitals, hoping to make


contact with victims who would not otherwise seek help. It is really


important that we do it here. We have access to clients who are in


hidden groups, who would not normally go to a domestic abuse


agency. They would always go to their hospital or GP and maybe


disclose domestic abuse. So what we are doing is closing the net to


catch all of the victims. We are asking them at an earlier interval


so it is early intervention. We have been able to reduce the risk, make


different arrangements for their well`being, their accommodation and


so we are keeping the residents of Essex safe. The idea would be that


we would wear these and it would record pretty much what we see and


experience when we go to an incident. Since last month, Essex


Police officers have been using body`worn video cameras when they


attend domestic incidents. It is trying to capture the evidence that


might have been missed otherwise. The exact comments made to us at the


scene. Often we will arrive at an incident that may still be


occurring, for instance may still be being committed when we arrive


there. And hopefully it will lead to more convictions for domestic abuse


that may otherwise have not led to a conviction. Essex is one of the


areas where the Government's community budgets are being piloted,


aiming to get public bodies working closer together. And there is a


specific focus in Essex on domestic violence. Every single medium or


high risk incident of domestic abuse that is known about in Essex is sent


here, to the Central Referral Unit, where police work with Social


Services and charities to make sure that victims get the support that


they need. You talk about how everybody is now


working together across Essex. We have had community budgets here as a


trial for several years. Should that not already have been happening? It


has been impacting in some areas. I don't know the full extent of them


as it has happened before I came on board as such. And there have been


some key successes in other areas of the community budgets, in relation


to troubled families, family solutions and others. But as far as


domestic violence goes, it has not been successful? No, it has been


progressing. But I would say, from my perspective, it has not been


progressing enough. Do you think the work that is happening now in Essex


can stop us seeing a repeat of the domestic murders that we have seen


here in recent years? I don't think we can ever say never. But we can


certainly develop a process and hopefully a system that is effective


and efficient. Lucy says if she hadn't escaped her abusive partner,


she would not be here today. The question is whether the work


happening now in Essex is enough to save others in her situation.


Well, earlier I spoke to Nick Alston, Essex's Police and Crime


Commissioner, who made domestic violence his number one priority in


his manifesto. I asked him whether enough progress has been made. Well,


I would say... I think we have made a lot of progress over that time. Of


course I only came onto the scene 15 months ago. It took me a few months


to, you know, understand the priority. You heard what the


councillor had to say in the film. He has reservations. You're working


with him and he says that it is not progressing enough. Well, he is


sitting on the Essex Strategy Board with me. He makes a great


contribution. He brings that County Council perspective. And frankly, I


think we are really making progress. A lot has happened since I


took over that board in June. We now have the criminal justice agencies


working together to make sure we can make the court processes easier for


the victims. We've got housing meeting now, seeing how can we think


about housing to support them. We're working with a wonderful women's


refuge movement to free the women refugees we've got in Essex. How can


we supplement that by looking at housing? What about the


perpetrators? You know, if we can get the perpetrators taken away from


the victims, how are we going to house those? The Health Service have


stepped forward, really stepped forward really well in the last few


months. You saw in the film about the work that Safer Places are doing


in hospitals. I put money from my budgets into working with GPs. We


are putting money into trying to identify the problem before the


women, it often is women., you know, suffer 30 or more incidents of


domestic abuse before they contact the police. Let's get them


signposting earlier. Let's get them telling people about their problems


and getting those problems sorted. So I think Dick was saying, you


know, the first two years might have been a bit slow but the last year, a


lot has been happening. What about those community budgets? It is hard


to see how they have improved things. Is the money being used well


enough? For me, I mean community budgets did not mean too much to me


until I came to really understand it. What we have to do is spend our


money more sensibly to get upstream of the problem. Nick, I know you're


very well aware that one in four calls to Essex Police is about


domestic abuse. They are not all from women. Some are from men. When


will you be in a position so that things will change for these people


who are affected? They are changing now. They need to change faster and


we need to go further but there are changing. You're quite right to


highlight the problem, victims can be men. But we want to make sure


that we respond quickly, effectively every time. We want to reduce the


number of repeat incidents of domestic abuse and I think we are


making a difference. Are there guarantees? There will never be


guarantees. It always has happened and always will but the response is


getting better and will continue to. Thank you for joining us. So let's


talk about community budgets, first of all. Tim, you're very well aware


of these budgets. It is welcome money, is it not? It is welcome


money but where is the evidence that they are working? The thing about


pilots is that they are a test and then get rolled out if they are


successful. There is not a lot of evidence that the community budget


pilot in Essex has been successful. In Slough they don't seem to have


saved any money but I think domestic violence, Nick is also right, it is


the right area to concentrate on. `` they have been slow. Alistair, why


extend a pilot when we're not sure whether they have worked properly,


sufficiently well? There are only four of them in the country and they


essentially attempt to bring services together so they can be


handled in a more cohesive manner. I think it takes time to prove these


things on the ground but the evidence of what both your


correspondents were saying just now, in relation to domestic


violence, is that here is an area which has brought together to


services and advisers and the Government is spending ?40 million


to support advisers and specialist services for domestic violence. It


has brought together the issues in relation to housing. Bringing in the


issues relating to reporting. Because only one in four incidents


of domestic abuse is reported. All of these things are actually coming


together. So I would say you need time to see if this pilot is going


to be successful and learn the lessons. Tim, Nick also said he was


happy with progress on this. Are you happy? Over the last 12 months,


there has been progress and Nick has led some of that so I would agree


with that. This has been two, nearly three years now. I ask again, where


is the evidence that it works? I think there was criticism there,


from Essex County Council's representative, that progress has


been too slow. Alistair? We have to be very careful about where we lay


the blame here. The blame is with those who perpetrate violence. It is


unacceptable. And the change in culture that is necessary to allow


people to feel they can come forward and can report, they're going to be


treated in a better way, this is a long`term, cumulative process. It is


better now than it was, as everyone reports, but is still not good


enough. The climate of fear in relation to this has got to be


overcome. There has got to be much more confidence in people, in terms


of talking about it. And also agencies and all the support that is


going in, and there is over 100 different action plans. The


Government is working on one very long`term programme which commenced


in 2010 and has been through two action plans since. It is cumulative


in changing the culture and atmosphere to make sure that


perpetrators feel they are wrong, not those who experience violence.


We will move on. Thank you. Perhaps we do not to dwell on it but


we will all have to decide how we would like to end our lives. The


hospice movement, which provides support for tens of thousands of


people across the region is changing, caring for more and more


of us in our own homes. Gareth George reports.


Nearing the end of his life, Christopher needs round`the`clock


care. Because Chris's pain is often quite high, we give a flat dose


injection of pain relief and anti`anxiety medication. For


Christopher, time is extremely precious. Because he is at home, not


in a hospital or a hospice, he sees his two`year`old son Euan every


single day. Just being at home with my family... With my possessions


around me... And do you think other people should be given the


opportunity to stay at home if they want to as well? Yeah, absolutely.


Christopher's wife Karen is his full`time carer. She wants him to


die in his own home. Yes, definitely. And how important will


that be for you? Extremely important. From the minute we met,


just we promised each other that we would be there. That I would be


there. That's what we intended to do. It's very difficult. The


emotions that he swings through in a day just leave you absolutely


emotionally exhausted. `` that you swing through. You can go from being


angry to being happy to being full of, "Why? Why is this the way it


is?" You know, Chris and I have only been together for a short period of


time and so whatever time we can have together is important to us. It


does not make it easy but it is important to us. Yes. Chris and


Karen are supported by nurses from the Arthur Rank hospice in


Cambridge. For Chris and I, the hospice team, it is not just the


physical help that they give us or the medical help but the emotional


support. It is really important. I think people think hospitals are the


best place or hospices are the best place. But sometimes home. More


often than not home is the best place.


And the demand for all hospice services is increasing right across


the region, as our elderly population rises more quickly than


the national average. According to a recent survey carried out by a


hopice, almost two thirds of people over 65 are concerned there won't be


enough hospice care available in the future. It has been hugely


successful as a service. We have been averaging 2000 calls per month,


which has only been running three or four months, so that's a good


illustration of the demand that is out there. We are also starting to


introduce this month a new rapid response element to the service. So


the feedback so far has been very favourable from patients' families


and local GPs. We will hoping to continue to develop and improve the


service and that it will meet the need that is out there. Alistair, a


growing and ageing population yet no more specific funding for hospice


care. That is not right, is it? Well, in a debate in December, the


Public Health Minister made clear that there is more support for


hospices. There has been an extra ?60 million this year. But is it


ongoing? Well, it will be. The whole process of care for those who are


dying has changed markedly over our generation. Many more people now can


go to hospices. There is a growing movement for home care. There are


nine projects going on in terms of adult palliative care, one in terms


of children care to see that what the ongoing costs are and how these


will be worked through by NHS commissioners. This is a process, we


are going to see more of the sort of care we have seen being displayed by


Karen today because there is going to be more need for it. And there


will be more support. But Tim, Labour failed to deliver on its


election pledge in 2005 to double investment in the area. And since


then demand has grown. Absolutely and I do not think this should be a


party political issue. That was a really emotional film and there is a


hospice that does great work in north`east Essex, it covers Clacton


and Colchester. And we saw the chief executive just explain that. The ?60


million capital, that is not revenue money, it is coming from the


Government. Yes, where to find the money from? Only one third of


funding comes from the Government and they do great fundraising


initiatives. Is that balance right? Probably not in this day and age.


But where do we find it? The balance as changed over time. We started


with none whatsoever and it has gradually increased. Absolutely.


What the Government is looking at now with its programmes studying


palliative care is to whether or not that balance still needs to change.


The costs are increasing for care of the elderly right across`the`board


and this will have to be incorporated into it. People's


choice about how they die is going to become increasingly important.


This ?1 million hospices need to find everyday collectively, is that


sustainable? I do not think it is but I think this is something that


should be discussed cross party because this is an issue that is


going to get more of a problem over time because there is more like


limiting illnesses,more long term conditions but people are living


longer. We need to get together, put our collective brains together. Do


you agree, Alistair? And how you divide the care, because it will not


come to hospitals. More comes through primary care and GPs. Then


the stuff that comes through from charities and hospices. It is a


mixture. I think what we have got to remain absolutely centred on is what


the need of the patient is, the need of the family, and trying to provide


it in its most flexible way possible. I think that is right.


Thank you for that. Now, it is all systems go on political round`up


this week, with buses and trains in the firing line.


The millionaire who founded the inspiration trust which runs several


schools in Norfolk is tipped to become the new head of Ofsted.


Parents and ethics might have to pay to send their children to school if


there are bus service is axed. It will come in at about ?500 per


year. will come in at about ?500 per


Financial worries at Bedford Hospital over a contract for


services including hip replacement, which some believe could threaten


the economic stability of the whole hospital. Potentially other services


because no service stands alone. It was the local train service that


came in for criticism from an MP in transport questions. Greater Anglia


railways, who must have the most clapped`out, hearty stock in the


world. The Minister had a suggestion. The bus service


frequently fails to arrive or breaks down when it does. Could I recommend


that Stagecoach orders a new fleet of buses made in my constituency?


Tim, of course you are familiar with the Essex trains, are they as bad as


they are made out? Is maybe the one and only time I agree him! Very


good. The rolling stock is pretty poor and pretty old. I have not


travelled on every railway in the world but it is pretty bad. Greater


Anglia do need to up their investment. Alistair, what about the


concerns of the viability of effort hospital? Just this month, we have


seen the return of paediatric services to Bedford because of great


work they have done to restore those from the problems they had in the


autumn. The issue about orthopaedics falls from a study that is being


carried out by local GPs and patients as to what services they


will want from the community. But are you concerned? Absolutely not. I


think the hospital is long`term absolutely viable because of the


quality of care but not everything will come from the hospital in the


same way as it used to because services are more flexible. We


should listen to the GPs and patients as well as the hospital. Do


you think the economic viability is under project? No, I do not. We have


to wait until the review of hospitals in the area is done. I am


sure that Bedford is a leading hospital and will have the quality


that determines its future. Alistair and Tim, thank you for joining us.


That is all for now. You can keep in touch through our website, where you


will also find lights to the blog. We are back next week. Now,


Londoners and particularly young Londoners who otherwise may not have


a voice. Both of you, thank you so much. Andrew, it is back to you.


a voice. Both of you, thank you so much. Andrew, it is back to you Can


much. Andrew, it is back to you. Can David Cameron get a grip on the


floods? Can UKIP push the Conservatives into third place in


the Wythenshawe by-election on Thursday? Is the speaker in the


House of Commons in danger of overheating? All questions over the


weekend. Let's look at the politics of the flooding. Let me show you a


clip from Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, earlier on


the BBC this morning. We perhaps relied too much on the Environment


Agency's advice. I apologise. I apologise unreservedly and I am


really sorry we took the advice of what we thought we were doing was


the best. The Environment Agency is being hung out to dry by the


Government and the Government has taken over the running of the


environmental mess in the Somerset Levels. It is turning into a serious


crisis by the Government and even more so for the people who are


dealing with the flooding. There is no doubt that what has been revealed


is it is not just about what the Government did or did not do six


months ago. What is being exposed is an entire culture within the


Environment Agency, fuelled often by European directives about dredging


and all manner of other things, a culture grew up in which plants were


put ahead of people if you like. culture grew up in which plants were


put ahead of people if you like All put ahead of people if you like. All


of that is collapsing in very difficult circumstances by the


Government and it is difficult for them to manage. Chris Smith would


save the Environment Agency is acting under a law set by this


Government and previous governments and the first priority is the


protection of life, second property and third agricultural land and he


is saying we are working within that framework. It is an edifying


spectacle, they are setting up Lord Smith to be the fall guy. His term


of office comes at the end of the summer and they will find something


new. But the point Lord Smith is making is that dredging is important


and it was a mistake not to dredge, but it is a bigger picture than


that. I am no expert, but you need a whole skill solution that is looking


not just bad dredging, but at the whole catchment area looking at the


production of maize. It is harvested in autumn and then the water runs


off the topsoil. You see the pictures of the flooding, it is all


topsoil flooding through those towns. What you have got to have in


the uplands is some land that can absorb that water and there are


really big questions about the way we carry out farming. Chris Smith


was meant to appear on the Andrew Marr show this morning, but pulled


back at the last minute. There must be doubts as to whether he can


survive to the summer. Where is the chief executive of the Environment


Agency? I agree with Nick that Chris Smith has been setup in this


situation. David Cameron went to the Somerset Levels on Friday for about


half an hour, in and out, with no angry people shouting at him. You to


a farm. It is agreed he has had good crisis. But we are seen as being a


London media class who does not understand the countryside. You can


imagine David Cameron in a pair of wellies. If this was happening in


Guildford, it would not have dragged on for so long. Looe it is


interesting how they are saying the Environment Agency has put words in


front of everything else. The great-great-grandson of Queen


Victoria thinks people should be sacked at the whim. He is talking


about how the Environment Agency spent ?31 million on a bird


sanctuary. It turns out the bird sanctuary was an attempt to put up a


flood defence system for a village which has worked. That village has


been saved. They compensated some farmers for the farmland they were


not going to be able to farm and put a flood defence system further back


to protect this village and then they built a bird sanctuary. It was


not ?31 million to create a bird sanctuary, it was to save a village


and it worked. But in 2008 the Environment Agency was talking about


dynamiting every pumping agency. There was a metropolitan mindset on


the part of that agency. If it does what Owen Paterson, who is now off


in an eye operation, suggested a plan to fix this, they will find a


lot of what they want or need to do will be in contravention of European


directives. The Wythenshawe by-election. There is no question


Labour is going to win, probably incredibly convincingly, one poll


showing 60% plus of the vote. It would be surprising if Labour was in


any threat up there. The issue is, does UKIP beat the Tories and if so,


by how much? The latest poll was showing it in second place as nip


and tuck, but the feeling I have is UKIP will do better. And they have


got a great local candidate. The Tories have not parachuted somebody


in and they have got a local man in and that will help them. We have all


been waiting to see if the Tories lose their head, but they might go


chicken earlier than that. Will UKIP come second? It looks like that A


come second? It looks like that. A poll this week showed that Labour is


way ahead and UKIP possibly second. But it is an important by-election


for UKIP. If they do well in the European elections, they should


still be on a roll. They did really well in by-elections last year. If


they do not do well, is it because they are not on payroll? Or in


Manchester they have a fantastic leader of the council? Will UKIP


come a good second? I think they will and if they do not, it might


suggest Nigel Farage is losing its slightly. One thing to look out for


is how little Labour are attacking UKIP. Their election strategy relies


a lot on UKIP taking Tory votes. But it could also take Labour votes.


Particularly in the north and we shall see. The results will be out


on Thursday night. The Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bird ,


the House of Commons, John Bird: , his interventions have become more


frequent and something was strange. Have a look. I am grateful to the


honourable gentleman. Order, the Government Chief Whip has absolutely


no business whatsoever shouting from a sedentary position. Order, the


honourable gentleman will remain in the chamber. If we could tackle this


problem. I say to the honourable member for Bridgwater, be quiet,


problem. I say to the honourable member for Bridgwater, be quiet if


member for Bridgwater, be quiet, if you cannot be quiet, get out, it is


rude, stupid and pompous and it needs to stop. Michael Gove. Order.


You really... Order. You are a very over excitable individual. You need


to write out 1000 times, I will behave myself at Prime Minister 's


questions. He was talking to the Education Secretary and it is not


1000 lines, it is 100 lines, at least it was in my day. Is he


beginning to make a fool of himself? There was only one over excitable


person there and that was the speaker and he is losing the


confidence of the Conservative MPs, but he never had that in the first


place. But he is an incredibly reforming speaker. He has this


strange idea that Parliament should hold the Government to account. It


will never catch on. It means very frequently there are urgent


questions. The other day he called a backbench amendment on the


deportation of foreign criminals. He could have found a way not to call


that. He is a real reformer and the executive do not like that. That is


true and he has allowed Parliament to flourish which has given us room


to breathe at a time of a coalition Government when Parliament has more


power. That is all that enough to overcome these increasingly mannered


and some of them may be preplanned interventions? The last one was last


week, and last week the speaker had a rather stressful week with the


tabloids. Something is clearly up. I think it is a real shame. I think


many of us when he was elected did not think he would make a great


speaker and there are people like Douglas Carswell and Tory rebels who


have said he is a fantastic speaker. He has given the Commons room to


breathe and he has called on ministers to be held to account when


they do not want to be. What do you think? He is seen as anti-government


and he is pro-backbencher and that is what people do not like. People


like Douglas Carswell are actually very strongly in support of him We


carry the interventions every week on Prime Minister 's questions and


we see them every week and they are getting a bit more eccentric. If I


was having to keep that under control, I would be driven slowly


mad. But his job is easier than mine. But if you look at his


deputy, Eleanor Laing, she is very robust, but she is calm. Chap who


does the budget is excellent. We are on throughout the week at midday on


BBC Two. We will be back next Sunday at 11. If it is Sunday, it is the


Sunday Politics.


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