01/04/2012 Sunday Politics North East and Cumbria


01/04/2012

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

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

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2163 seconds

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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being rolled over by Fifth Generation Germans, who changed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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the Jubilee celebrations something down to individuals to organise, or

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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councils, Government departments or businesses match-fund the cash

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

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

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

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

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

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

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refurbished toffee factory was refurbished using money from the

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European Regional Development Fund. Lovering Gateshead, the creative

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

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

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

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

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

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people can work and hopefully exhibit them and performing these

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

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

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

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

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desire to promote economic growth and competition. Money from the

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fund has to be matched locally by other organisations, including

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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with the money that flows from Brussels. Otherwise money that

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brings in jobs and investment could come unstuck.

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

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

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

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

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the commissioner responsible for this and he said we have allocated

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Labour is not blamed for scaremongering. Project had been

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

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

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

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

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

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

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much for now. Now, the Government says our big

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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what would a city deal mean on Tyneside and for neighbouring

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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specific powers. Newcastle council things it could also help them

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lobby for other things, like lobbying the government for

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improvements on this bypass. Councils were confident the deal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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priorities continue to flourish. Stephen Hughes, Labour talk the

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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greater autonomy. Places like Gateshead would have to swallow

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

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

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

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and brought people together, talking about how it could benefit

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

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ministers and have good relationships with them.

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

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

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

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

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

:55:45.:55:55.
:55:55.:56:01.

Tammy Craig Thomson is calling for better transport for disabled

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

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

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The sale of illegal cigarettes has threatened to undermine efforts to

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

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in Hartlepool, Middlesbrough and Darlington are among those benefit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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