29/04/2012 Sunday Politics North East and Cumbria


29/04/2012

Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news, interviews and debate including Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman.


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In the North East and Cumbria... Voters have an opportunity to

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deliver a verdict on the Government's handling of the

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economy at the polls on Thursday. What can the parties expect? We're

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1674 seconds

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Hello and a very warm welcome to your local part of the show. Coming

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up... Should the Department for

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International Development and its 1,600 civil servants be moved from

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here in London to Tyneside? We speak to an MP about his

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parliamentary campaign to ship jobs out of Whitehall. Talking about

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that, the local elections and the renewed recession, my guests Bishop

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Auckland MP Helen Goodman, Newcastle Lib Dem Greg Stone, and

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Scarborough and Whitby MP Robert Goodwill. Welcome one and all.

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First, voters across much of the North East and Cumbria go to the

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polls on Thursday. They may be called local elections but

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inevitably the outcome will also be seen as a verdict on the

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performance of David Cameron's government. It's likely to prove

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testing for both the coalition parties, while Labour needs to show

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its message is getting across. In the week that the economy

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officially went back into recession, Mark Denten travelled to Hartlepool,

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a town with its fair share of economic problems, to gauge the

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mood of voters. Hartlepool. It is traditionally a

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Labour town. The council has cut �19 million from its budget over

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the last three years. The place has the second-highest unemployment in

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the region and to port has just missed out on a multi-million pound

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international order. If that sounds a bit grim, today, the weather is

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doing a passable imitation of November even though it is the end

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of April. We're in a double dip recession as well. So what is the

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top issue of the mines -- on the minds of people at this local

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market? The cost of living has gone up so much. You find yourself with

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less every day. We just have to tighten our belts. My son has been

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on the dole for nearly one year. He does not get a letter in the door

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to say sorry, we cannot take you or are there is nothing going. He has

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just struggling at the moment like everyone. - Nahki is just

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struggling. -- he is just. Hartlepool's port recently missed

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out on a 125 million pound project, but could have bought badly needed

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jobs to the area. The contract for the wind turbines went to Scotland.

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While Labour say they are plenty of local issues around, these

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elections are mostly about passing a verdict on the Government.

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Hartlepool is hurting at the moment. We have seen some savage cuts. They

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have increased the poverty in the town. Just with the tax credit

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changes, that has taken �2.6 million out of the economy. The

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shops and businesses could potentially close. Then it would be

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a ghost town. At the moment, the Conservatives and the Lib Dems have

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six councils between them. But both parties reject claims that

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coalition policies have made this time's economic problems worse.

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Labour were in power for 13 years before the coalition Government

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took over. That was not even two years ago. Unemployment was still

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on the rise even then. Hartlepool has suffered, but I do not believe

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it has suffered any more than many other towns in the country. The

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coalition Government have had to make some savage cuts. We all

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accept that. When you take over trillions of pounds worth of debt

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from the previous Labour Government, they had little choice.

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regional growth fund has paid �1.5 billion in the region. Pensions are

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up 60% since the coalition was formed. I can only see the time

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going up, not down. And there are some positive economic signs in a

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yard just outside the time. Hartlepool steelworks has just

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secured a in multi-million pound contract for the Gulf of Mexico. It

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will safeguard 700 jobs. But I cannot get more or economic reasons

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to be cheerful? According to the smaller parties fight in the

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selection, the answer is, ditch the main parties. Massive cuts to the

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local Government expenditure has left the council in Hartlepool with

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an awful choice of making certain cuts. But the local Labour Party in

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Hartlepool have exacerbated the situation by overspending for here

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on year for the last 10 years. are at the bottom of every single

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deprivation League, a bad health, we are sitting at the bottom. If we

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need to send a message to the main parties that they have let us down

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and we want them to do something about it. Hartlepool - a battered

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economy and some voters are bound to deliver their verdict. They will

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be delivering the verdict on the people who run their time, and also

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the country. The sentiments we heard there are

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typical of what many people are thinking, which is that they're

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hurting and they're blaming the Government.

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The economic situation is not good. We saw that we are and technical

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recession. If you live at the unemployment position in the North

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East, although we have 24,000 more people employed than two years ago,

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but there was in 9,000 drop and youth unemployment has stabilised.

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It is good news from here, good news from the British Steel site,

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and good news for other investments in my constituency. We can see the

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private sector jobs coming through to replace the jobs and the state

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sector, but we can no longer afford to fund. Voters consensus have

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moved on from the effects of cuts to the fact that the strategy at

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the moment is not working on a national scale because we are in

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recession. This time last year, it was forecast that the Conservatives

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would lose hundreds of consuls. If we gained councils. Is that you're

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predicting this year?! Only a month ago, in Scarborough Borough, will

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be to concede that we had not previously held and to control of

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the council. We got more votes than all the other parties put together.

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There are people still prepared to go wide there and vote Conservative.

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Stabilise the wisdom of what we're doing. If you see what is happening

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up to other countries who are trying dispenser way out of the

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recession... A America, for instance? American growth is

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slowing. Spain, Italy, and number of other European countries that

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are in recession. You cannot spend one's way out of debt. He might

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want to make this a referendum, but this should be about local issues.

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In it should be. But the two things are linked. So the cuts that the

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local councils are having to implement, and in Hartlepool, it is

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�132 per person, are because of the decisions taken by George Osborne.

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So what the Government is doing is hiding behind the cuts that they

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are making and forcing the local authorities to make them. In a

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Surrey, a much wealthier area, �2 per head. It is just not fair.

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may be able to trade on some dissatisfaction, but does it mean a

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lot if you have a number of councils in Hartlepool and

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Sunderland unless you breakthrough in places like Carlyle and North

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Yorkshire, where you vote is not strong? Across the North, people

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are concerned about the state of the economy and the squeeze on

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their living standards. In our regions, what we see is nine people

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chasing every job. But are you about to make the breakthrough when

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you need to commodities the places where you have not been winning in

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the past? We do have to wait and see. It is not my job to make

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forecasts. It is my job to point out to people that it really is

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worth going out and Rodin. These are very important local elections.

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There is a lot at stake. People need to send a message to David

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Cameron. This is going to be another hellish

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you for your party, is needed? The council is losing because of your

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party's decision to go into Government. But this situation was

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granted to us by the Labour Government. This situation arose

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from a Labour's problems. For boaters and seem to think that wave.

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-- Botha's. Who these are cuts that would have happened if they had won

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the election as well. We are having to deal with this. He predicted

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economic growth and it has not happened. We're trying to stabilise

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the economy, which is difficult to do in the North East. The situation

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I'm saying, I work in the private sector, I think there is optimism

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might there about the prospects for the North East. As Robert said,

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there has been some significant announcements in terms of large-

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scale manufacturing jobs and the North East. That balance of getting

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the private sector healthy and strong in the North East is one

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that Labour did not do well on. They had massive growth in the

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public sector on Labour Party payroll, but we need proper private

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sector jobs. Outside parts of North Yorkshire,

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due will be in retreat in places like North Tyneside, Sunderland,

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Carlisle - that has to be worrying? We are fighting for every vote. But

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Conservative councils to give people better value for money. Just

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look at some of the crazy salaries being paid to council officials

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under Labour. If I can get your answer the question, if your party

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is in retreat in these places, or where support was built up during

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the time of Labour, that is a problem for a party that wants to

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be a national party, isn't it? Let's see but the results are on

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polling day. This Government helped us freeze the council tax two years

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ago. That is helping people in every single household and the

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North East. That is something that people have noticed. They do

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realise that whilst everyone has been squeezed, the Government are

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trying to help in that way. Other than the label councils, who

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are trying to take credit for this freeze,... There is there is a

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negotiation between be councils. But I just want to come back to

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private sector jobs and public sector jobs. This is really crucial

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to understanding what is going on. When you make cuts in the public

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sector, they also have knock-on impact on the private sector. This

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Government cut building schools for the future. That affected 103

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schools in our region. But also building firms, joiners. It has

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knock-on effects. Why haven't we seen Nick Clegg

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defending the Government in Newcastle? He is not and the

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country. We are the ones you're making it fairer, greener and more

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liberal. We have increased the pensions as well. The situation on

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the tax has been unfortunate in my view. We have been distracted by

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the media and their stories about Pastides. But thousands of people

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across the North-East have been taken out of paying tax. That is a

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real difference that the Liberal Democrats have made.

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Well, one way the Government could boost the region's economy is by

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transferring some of the tens of thousands of civil service jobs out

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of Whitehall to the North. The idea's not new. The last Labour

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government says it moved around 1,300 such jobs to the North East.

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But is it time to be a bit bolder and shift entire government

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departments out of London? Here's Fergus Hewison.

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London's landmarks - bringing in tourists. The success of

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governments have sought to move civil servants out of Whitehall and

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the south-east. -- successive governments. But how successful

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have they been? In 2010, Marine management organisation move into

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this building behind me in Tyneside, bringing with that 100 jobs. In the

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last nine years, at least 1,300 civil service posts have moved from

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the south and the North East. Not common for the weather, were there?

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But now, one MP has a more radical idea. I would like to see every

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region getting a Government department. It would be a huge

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cost-saving, taking jobs out of London. The real estate will then

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be available to sell or lease out and it would make a significant

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difference to Government revenues. So will, where could some of them

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go? Transport could go to Birmingham, education to Nottingham,

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communities and local Government to Liverpool and the Department for

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International Development and at 1,600 jobs to Newcastle. But some

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unions are not happy with the idea. We would welcome a more civil

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service jobs in the North East of England. But we would not welcome

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them on the basis of colleagues losing their jobs elsewhere in the

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country. We certainly wouldn't welcome them on the basis of the

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introduction of regional pay rates. This idea may never see the light

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of day. But it has produced for the debate about the centralised nature

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of Britain's Government. You have been a civil servant in

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London and you have been an MP. Do you agree with this idea? I think

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it is a good idea to have more jobs in the region. I don't know whether

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this is quite the right way of going about it. We have plan to

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move 20,000 jobs. I would like the business Department in our region.

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That would help us to peace our exports.

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This sounds like a good idea. The BBC made a bold statement. It moved

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departments to Salford. Couldn't the Government did the same? There

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were problems with that. We lost Jan Williams of breakfast TV

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because she would not move. It is not always easy for people to move

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because they have spices and other jobs and children in schools. If it

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was such a good idea, why didn't the previous governments do it? We

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do have a lot of Government jobs in Swansea and since Newcastle. We

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have a lot of jobs outside the capital. But the Government

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departments themselves, the minister going and with his

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officials, it does need to be in London. Because that is what

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Parliament is and that is where the Cabinet meetings are. This was

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raised in Parliament recently. We are looking to save money by

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closing down buildings in London and if there are obvious ways in

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which we can keep people there we will do it, but it is not proper

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via -- top of our priorities. Wedded to the region any favours or

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heighten our dependence on the public sector? That is the issue.

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The Liberal Democrats called for her jobs to be moved appear under

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the previous Government and we got a few hundred jobs for the Work and

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Pensions Society. Not all departments. The fact that those

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jobs are are on offer could be a good thing. But one of the problems

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and the North East is an over all dependence on the public sector. It

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is on the ball like this. We need to have that rebalance the economy,

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which has a stronger private sector. More public sector jobs and the

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North East is not the way to go. thought the unions would be in

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favour of this, but they're saying it is robbing Peter to pay Paul.

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Their main concern is about regional pay. We are opposed to

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paying public servants less. Are they are opposed to moving whole

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departments as well. That is clearly controversial. It might not

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be the most sensible way of doing things. But what we do need to

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remember is that what this Government has done is cut public

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sector jobs in the North East far more than public sector jobs in

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London. Now, it's been a wet old week. You

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might have noticed. But Mark has finally dried out from his

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experiences in Hartlepool and here he is to bring you the rest of the

0:45:530:46:03
0:46:030:46:04

political news in 60 seconds. Ed Miliband has accepted an

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invitation to speak at the miners' colour in July. He will be the

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first Labour leader to attend since Neil Kinnock in 1989. Hundreds of

0:46:130:46:17

because of March to London to protest at the BUPA's the tax. The

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petition has been signed by nearly 500,000 people. Residents in West

0:46:210:46:26

Cumbria are not getting enough of the same nuclear we storage. That

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is according to town and parish councils. Conservative MPs di Ofcom

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has called for a fairer deal for schools in his constituency. I'm

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represent schools in Northumberland who looked enviously at counties

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and cities are where they have a greater degree of funding.

0:46:470:46:52

change is not an option. parliamentary inquiry has found

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that people in the North East and Yorkshire received fewer honours

0:46:550:46:59

such as obese and knighthoods, of which is blamed on a number of

0:46:590:47:08

senior civil servants and military top brass to live in the south.

0:47:080:47:12

Is there anything to be read into this decision by Ed Miliband to

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come to Durham? People have a good time. The important point is that

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in the past, people have accused New Labour of ignoring the

0:47:230:47:27

heartlands and of taking some people for granted. This shows that

0:47:270:47:33

Ed Miliband is not doing that. are ignoring the unions, maybe. He

0:47:330:47:37

who pays the piper calls the tune. Ed wants to return some of the

0:47:370:47:41

death or getting the job that he has. I had an invitation to attend

0:47:410:47:45

the gala as well. Were you be going? Given the prospect of all

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new mining jobs in North Yorkshire, I suggested it should be held

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there! But Roberta said maybe you should come up. If it pulls out, I

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will stand in! What you make of this? As Robert

0:48:010:48:06

says, Ed Miliband is a creature of the unions. He is dependent on them.

0:48:060:48:10

If he wanted to avoid that, which he has done in the past, he would

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not go. I think it is more important for Ed Miliband to a rack

0:48:200:48:23

up votes in Devon and Derbyshire and everyone else. I think he is

0:48:230:48:26

making a case to be seen as the next Prime Minister. If the North

0:48:260:48:33

East will go down this route, which I would regret, I think it is more

0:48:330:48:36

about her plans rather than appealing to the country as a whole.

0:48:360:48:42

It is not their 21st century, is it? I have just been to their

0:48:420:48:46

miners' gala recently. It is a fantastic festival. It is about the

0:48:460:48:49

culture of the North East. It will include international elements and

0:48:490:48:52

going up to the cathedral, it is wonderful.

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And that's about all from us. If you want to keep up-to-date with

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the results of the local elections, you can join David Dimbleby on BBC

0:48:580:49:02

One and on the News Channel from 11.35pm on Thursday night. I'll be

0:49:020:49:04

in Hartlepool bringing you the picture from across the North East

0:49:040:49:07

and Cumbria. The Newcastle mayoral referendum won't be counted until

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Friday. But we will be there for that, too. You need to tune into

0:49:100:49:13

BBC Two from noon. I'll be tweeting like a good 'un

0:49:130:49:17

throughout the two days to keep you up to date, and we'll bring you the

0:49:170:49:20

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