01/04/2012 Sunday Politics North East and Cumbria


Andrew Neil and Richard Moss present. Including an interview with health secretary Andrew Lansley about his proposed reforms to the NHS and what they would mean for patients.

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In the North East and Cumbria: Ludicrous and over the top. A


Northumberland MPs verdict on plans to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2163 seconds


by re-naming this Westminster Hello, and a warm welcome to your


local part of the programme. Coming up: Could millions of pounds of


European money earmarked to help create jobs in the North East go


unspent? We've a special report. And with me for the next 20 minutes,


Labour Euro-MP Stephen Hughes, and the elected mayor of North Tyneside,


Conservative Linda Arkley. We start with the Queen's Diamond


Jubilee, and one MP has broken ranks over the celebrations which


he says are way over the top. Blyth's Ronnie Campbell is a self-


confessed Republican who says he resents being ruled over by "fifth


generation Germans." This week he dismissed as "ludicrous" the idea


of renaming St Stephen's Tower at Westminster, home to Big Ben, in


honour of the Queen. Mark Denten spoke to him and asked him what was


wrong with the idea. It was built in Victorian years, not 10 hair


time, so it should be Victoria's tower really! The tower will always


be like St James's Park, it will always be called Big Ben. Even if


it was renamed, it will be called Big Ben. He said you do not like


being rolled over by Fifth Generation Germans, who changed


their name from Battenburg to Windsor. A lot of royalists might


be profoundly upset by that. sorry to tell them, that is the


truth. They changed their name in the First World War and that is the


truth. If they do not like the truth, I am sorry. I apologise if


people are offended. You are family not a royalist, you are a


Republican. -- You were firmly not a royalist. Lots of events taking


place this summer to celebrate the Queen's anniversary. I have seen it


before. Some people over plates. We are going through a hell of a


struggle in this part of the world. I think it is not on a lot of


people's's mind. Will you go to any of the street parties? A I'm hoping


to get their way for the weekend. You are not staying in the country?


I am looking forward to getting away. I do not know where. It is a


minority view, would you accept, that you do not want to celebrate


the anniversary? The Queen has got support, but royalty is slipping.


Maybe in an eccentric, I think it will be gone altogether. -- maybe


in the next century. It is dying all over Europe. They are just


there as tokens. Linda Arkley, I assume you share that view?


Certainly not. I am a royalist. In North Tyneside, we have had many


street parties over the years, and we will be having many for the


Jubilee. The Queen is the greatest public servant we have ever had. I


think it is a great opportunity for everyone to have what they feel is


appropriate. Is he wrong to question this, or is that his


democratic right? I think it is his democratic right. Steve and Hughes,


is the Jubilee something that can lift the gloom -- Stephen Hughes?


think people have more important things on my mind. We are in the


midst of a recession, but hopefully, it can lift the mood a bit. I share


the view that the Queen herself has a very good job. Prince Philip as


well. I am not sure but the extended family around them. My


mother is very much a Republican, so she will not like what I am


saying! I think it is right to mark the anniversary. Linda Arkley, at


the Jubilee celebrations something down to individuals to organise, or


should the council be putting anything into it? A lot of


residents are getting on with the organising their street party. We


have helped in some respects. Not financially. We are not giving them


money. We are making things easier, such as road closures and things


like that. Stephen Hughes, the Queen does seem to have public


support, but is this an institution that will die out? I do not think


so. I think it is wrong, with respect to rally, to say it is


dying out in Europe. -- respect to Ronnie Campbell. Thank you both.


Now, imagine having �100 million to spend before next year. Well,


that's how much money there is in a European Commission pot with the


North East's name on it. The aim is to fund projects that will create


jobs. But strict rules mean the money can only be spent if local


councils, Government departments or businesses match-fund the cash


pound for pound. And that's not easy in the middle of an economic


crisis. And with the clock ticking to 2013, some MPs fear the cash may


go unspent. Here's Fergus Hewison. You can see into offices, but it


brings you back to this court that. It is a hi-tech space designed for


21st century digital businesses, in a former toffee factory. The woman


who looks after the place, Lisa, is showing me around. Newcastle's


refurbished toffee factory was refurbished using money from the


European Regional Development Fund. Lovering Gateshead, the creative


process is also at work. This place was built for the help of �225,000,


also from the Regional Development Fund. There are places in Newcastle


and elsewhere in the region, but no where permanence in Gateshead.


There are all sorts of things here. But there is no where to fill them


within -- from within Gateshead, so we have created a place where these


people can work and hopefully exhibit them and performing these


places. Nick says without being able to match funds, things may not


have got off the ground. To be able to match find the money we had got


has made the project so much better -- match fawned. He in the north


face, the European Regional than a month and is worth �328 million. A


desire to promote economic growth and competition. Money from the


fund has to be matched locally by other organisations, including


councils. It must be allocated to projects by 2013, or the


outstanding cash can be taken back by Brussels. There is still over


�100 million in the pot, waiting to be spent. There are some concerns


his remaining cash will not be spent before the deadline. It is


down in part to the abolition of a regional agency. We have the


regional growth fund. It is smaller, but it is there. The Government's


is not allocating funding to match fund the projects. Any two projects


here in the North East have used that. -- only two. We are wasting


money, and didn't get back to Brussels when we could use it.


Department for... It is confident that funding will be allocated


before the 2013 deadline, and spent in the two years after that, as


required. It has led to accusations that Labour are scaremongering.


There is around �100 million left. We have around �60 million of that


committed. Some of the match funding can come from the new


regional growth fund. It is likely to be the way we will find some of


those projects over the next few years. Europe funding has played a


role in many projects. There must be enough cash locally Sudan up


with the money that flows from Brussels. Otherwise money that


brings in jobs and investment could come unstuck.


Stephen Hughes, let's talk about this issue of scaremongering.


is a possibility the money will not be spent. I hope it will. We need


to prove we are worthy of funding beyond the end of 2013, and the


best way to do that is to fully commit and spend his money. I met


the commissioner responsible for this and he said we have allocated


roundabouts 60 %, Scotland has allocated over 90 %. Wales were


about 80 %. We are trailing quite badly. The other thing he said that


concerns him is that it is worrying that if you change funding and


delivery structures midway through a funding period, and that is what


has happened with the demise of one agency. Linda Arkley, it would be a


lack of planning if we lost millions of pounds that the North-


East needs because the government has pulled the book on this match


funding. I do not accept that. We spend two-thirds of that allocated


funding, and there is �40 million to be spent. There are many people


who have applied for the European funding, and I think all of that


money will be spent. I think that the North East Local Enterprise


Partnership has been quite active to ensure that people are aware.


Sure, but they do not have the money. They have �25 million. What


we have to do is ensure that funding is used, and that we


support those people who, and I certainly have. North Tyneside was


successful in receiving �900,000 for a business enterprise. Stephen


Hughes. I think it is important that Labour is not so -- that


Labour is not blamed for scaremongering. Project had been


pulled off the shelf. Some people will say, this is our money. If we


came out of the EU, we could just an anomaly of our projects. We have


been here before. We had a Conservative government in the past


that was hostile to the idea of regional government and spending of


money like this. We had good, strong Labour councils and we


managed at that time. I hope we will do it again. Thank you very


much for now. Now, the Government says our big


cities are the key to unlocking economic growth. It's one reason


why ten of them, including Newcastle, are getting the chance


to vote in May on whether to have a city mayor. And the Government


offered an extra incentive this week. At a Downing Street reception,


David Cameron unveiled plans for a "mayor's cabinet" which would meet


at least twice a year with the Prime Minister. But the policy of


empowering our cities isn't only about elected mayors. Ministers


have just agreed a so-called "city deal" with the local council in


Manchester giving them extra powers, and Newcastle wants the same. But


what would a city deal mean on Tyneside and for neighbouring


councils? Mark Denten went on a quick tour of the city to find out.


According to the government, Newcastle is an engine of growth.


One of eight course it is vital for the future of our economy. Could it


be right for a city deal, a power transfer from ministers to


Newcastle council? It would get the power to borrow more money. The


council would be able to borrow �151 million before -- to fund


developments on a number of sight. Including this one, and this one.


How will the council get its money back? It will get key -- it will


keep business rates for 25 years. We need government to allow us to


retain those business rates, commit to them over 25 years. That should


generate about 70,000 jobs. city deal is not just about


specific powers. Newcastle council things it could also help them


lobby for other things, like lobbying the government for


improvements on this bypass. Councils were confident the deal


would be signed and sealed and the budget, but Tony Manchester and


Liverpool got do not. People in Newcastle will get a chance to


decide whether they want an elected mayor, but the government said any


city deal will not depend on whether they vote yes or no.


Meanwhile, we all wait. The question for Newcastle now, deal on


their deal? Linda Arkley, is it a problem for some were like


Tyneside? I think it is great for Newcastle. I think it is great for


us in North Tyneside and around the region. There will be a knock-on


effect. There will be opportunity for us all to benefit from that. It


does not just stay within Newcastle. There will be a knock-on effect for


businesses. A doesn't it make Newcastle the premiere council in


the region? It leaves North Tyneside a kind of second division


council. I do not agree with that. We welcome back a shipper Newcastle


already. I would hope our priority is like -- I would hope had


priorities continue to flourish. Stephen Hughes, Labour talk the


talk about handing powers, but give the coalition some credit, they are


giving resources to councils to do something. Let's say what happens


in practice. The whole story was about the pulling back to London of


powers, and away from local government. Power seemed to be


going back to local authorities. Partially, here and there. But not


on the whole scale basis. Localism is a phrase that has been used a


great deal at the moment. People active in local government know the


reality. Cutbacks left right and centre and power has been pulled


back. If this happens, I would welcome it. If it was Manchester,


Liverpool, Newcastle acting as engines for growth, then great. But


this is partial spending. It is a sticking plaster to cover gaping


wounds in the regions. Linda Arkley, to someone in Europe, the idea of


dividing Tyneside into separate places means nothing. Wouldn't it


be better with one mayor for Tyneside? I think it is interesting


thought. Plainly, I would like to see the detail behind that --


clearly. Four Tyneside authorities, they could have won their rather


than four. A would be an interesting proposal. I would like


to look at the small print. Hedging your bets! Stephen Hughes, our


cities could benefit from this. They could. There is this idea of


city regions. By identifying places to be city regions and given


greater autonomy. Places like Gateshead would have to swallow


their pride. I do not think so. We have a strong tradition of


partnership working in regions like ours. When the bid went in for


Newcastle to be a city of culture, and for Gateshead, they reached out


and brought people together, talking about how it could benefit


the region. I gather it would just be city mayors. I Axis government


ministers and have good relationships with them.


disappointed not to be invited into his Cabinet? I already meet with


the prime minister and government ministers. Thank you very much.


Now, as you may have noticed, it's been unseasonably hot this week.


But there's one man who never lets the heat slow him down. Barely


breaking a sweat, Mark Denten's here again to deliver the week's


Tammy Craig Thomson is calling for better transport for disabled


people at she had to get off a train at mid-thigh. Requested


assistance, but not arrive -- Tan 8 Craig Thomson.


The sale of illegal cigarettes has threatened to undermine efforts to


tackle smoking. Even smokers want something done about it. I streets


in Hartlepool, Middlesbrough and Darlington are among those benefit


from �100,000 each to help bring empty shops back into use. This has


been set up in response to a report by the met reporters.


George Osborne can remember the last time he'd bought take pasty --


George Osborne cannot remember the last time he brought a pasty. I do


not have time to us might guess about the past the!


And that's about if from us for this week. There's more about the


Cabinet of Mayors on my blog, so do take a look. That's at


bbc.co.uk/richardmoss. It's the perfect place too to share your


views on anything you've seen on today's programme. Maybe you agree


with Ronnie Campbell and are dreading the the Jubilee, or think


he should be sent to the Tower. Either way, let us know.


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