27/05/2012 Sunday Politics North East and Cumbria


Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news, interviews and debate, including shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna.

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Under lock East: what are the chances of saving five factories


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1677 seconds


from closer? The latest in half an Welcome to your local park of the


show. Ken has worked at Remploy for 30 years but will anybody save his


job? We will have the latest on the factories under threat of closure.


And we have been closely following the Government's plans for nuclear


energy this week. More on that. First, government plans to


refurbish or rebuild schools across the region. Long-running campaigns


have been rewarded but plenty others have missed out. Labour


pointed out than 92 schools in the air lost funding when it was


cancelled by the coalition and fewer than one third of that number


were successful this time. It has taken a while to get this funding


in place but investment is starting to flow. Do you welcome this.


was no investment in schools in my constituency. St James? That is an


Barrault. -- in Barrow. OK, that was my fault, but still investment


in other areas. The coalition have had to scale back and you would


have had to scale back. We were clear that there would have been


cuts at we had won the election, but not as far and fast as the


coalition. As a constituency MP I would have been making the case to


retain the funding that I secured for schools in meet in my


constituency. I have a good working relationship with the schools. I am


bitterly disappointed not to get funding this time around but this


is not the end of the road for schools and my constituency. It has


taken the best part of two years to come up with this money. And it is


only one thought of the schools there were in line for rebuilding


of ritually. Not a great move, as it? But it is not the end of the


road. What is going to happen which we have announced is that by a


autumn of this year all schools in the country will have a Survey,


they will be audited to to tear when the estate. Then they will be


put into the next spending review for spending and support as we go


on. Jamie pointed out that he did not know what the cuts would have


been with Labour, it would have been 20% at a minimum. Any


government would have faced that. It is unfortunate, but...


children appear in court -- taught in worse and worse condition over


the next few years. They were promised money, where it they?


from a very badly run the programme. Independent auditors noted that it


was extremely expensive. Three of the directors of building schools


for the future, accounted for �750,000 in salary. It was


ridiculous their load of money the programme was wasting on


consultants. Any teacher will tell you that. You Shadow Education


Secretary admitted mistakes with building schools for the future.


was imperfect, that's for sure. But we were dealing with the decades of


under investment in our schools. It is still there. Let's not pretend


that the latest peace deal announcement will in any way make


people jump for joy. Would you come back to put your money in the


schools then? I can come back to work night and day for the money my


constituents need as long as I am a member of parliament. -- I can come


at. Five at Remploy factories will close this summer unless a buyer


can step in. As our correspondent reports the time for rescue is fast


running out. This has been 10 -- this has been Ken's routine for 30


years. He suffers from epilepsy and the crushed foot but continues to


work. I am not interested and benefits, I am interested in


working. I pay bills like everybody else. It is the pride that comes


from being able to do that rather than depend on anybody else.


works at a Remploy factory due to close. Ministers say that the


�25,000 per year that it costs to keep each employee could be better


spent getting them into mainstream employment. 10 is not optimistic. -


- 10. I am not interested in another job. And been disabled, it


would be difficult to get on. would you do Hajar not work here?


It is difficult to contemplate to be honest. I would be with my


parents possibly living the life of a vegetable. Buyers have until 26th


June to decide if they want to take over the factories. Dublin I say


they have had 44 expressions of interest -- Remploy say they have


had 44 expressions of interest. There is a mixed picture at the


factories across our region. But I understand nor interest has been


shown in this site here. Some sources suggest that the site will


shut completely. The closures would not, as a shock to this charity


which has seen a pattern over the last few years. There should be


disabled people working in mainstream employment at they were


but just because they are meant that doesn't mean you can close a


place like Remploy. Sharon claims that she'll be back when she


started with the taxpayer picking up the bill. -- Janet. It costs the


charity -- the taxpayer more to keep us in benefits than it does to


keep us in work. Cuckoo time is running out for the jobs to be kept.


What are the thoughts about the prospects for employees in your


constituency? There is always hope but that ministers should consider


their position in regard to how this has been handled. If there is


no possibility of a reprieve for the factory in all of our


attentions will turn to what we need to do with the workforce and


getting a move to other employment. This will throw people like came on


the scrapheap. Little chance of a new job. But ethos of the


Government is to have a review of how we work with people with


possibilities. Most charities support the move to integrate


people with disabilities into the mainstream workforce. Your point


about 10 per is that the money - �25,000 per mark Walker, -- pair


Walker., would be better spent... Better spent through access to work.


This is part of a thorough review. The government had announced a


transition programme. The bottom line is we have to look at whether


an organisation created 66 years ago which isolates people with


disabilities into a completely artificial environment away from


the mainstream workforce, is that right and appropriate? I do not


believe that it is. People with disabilities have a right to work


alongside every other member of the community. And Labour did close


some of these factories themselves. The principle is fine but I think


there is a world of difference from taking work in areas where


companies are doing well. Of the Remploy factory exists in a


different micro environment. -- every. And it will be exceedingly


tough to get this work falls into mainstream employment. It is a loud


double aim but let's not proclaim that it is easy and announce


arbitrary closures. Can you justify �25,000 per employee to keep them


in jobs? What came the society do you want this to be? -- what kind


of society? This Government knows the price of everything and the


value of nothing. We saw in the film at charities that are


sympathetic to the aim of integrating disabled workers are to


the workforce but saying that it has been done in the wrong way, and


too fast. But the majority supported... But it is easy to do


this in certain areas but in others it will be very tough. That is why


the Government will ring-fence... But if jobs are not in area, what


can you do? Ring-fence money for precisely those individuals and for


support in those factories that to close. But there is a tapering off,


and there will be money going in. But we must accept that it is wrong


in the 21st century to have people with disabilities segregated from


the rest of the community. It is difficult but we need to do it.


Coal-fired power stations are closing. They needed to generate


energy in new ways could not be more pressing. But it will come


with the hefty price tag. By the Energy Secretary was that Tyneside


on Thursday to see insulation work being carried out. The threat of


climate change and the need to keep our lights on for our homes and


businesses means that we have to look at all law car and


technologies - renewables, or nuclear. An opinion poll of 3,000


people in Cumbria will go if some encouragement to the government. It


said that 68% of people agreed with the approach. Some believe that is


a mandate for pressing ahead with the plan. Copeland council was


heavily criticised for taking that decision. But this has given us a


very clear mandate from the people. As the fact that half of all


Cumbrians are in favour of the plan enough to press ahead? The critical


factor is the air will a facility would be placed. My constituency,


where 70% of people are in favour. That is indicative and instructive.


But they do think that the figures across the piece are enough, yes.


It does not tell us if it is safe. Day is no question of safety. If


there was any doubt whatsoever it would be ruled out entirely. It is


in the best interests of the local economy and the whole Cumbria.


imposing this levy, it is a subsidy, isn't it? But people must realise


we import around 50% of our energy. What price do we pay too insular


that we have energy we need? We have got to take radical action.


Nuclear as part of the Max but what I will accept as a criticism of the


coalition is the we have not taken the necessary steps and building


regulations. If we improve building regulations, mandatory solar power,


argues say around 75% energy bills for each house in the country.


it should consumers pay a levy on their bills to subsidise an


industry that you pay for itself? have always been very clear that I


support subsidies for Nuclear. It is a difficult debate but must be


had. Every Energis also receives a subsidy of some kind from


government and the consumer. It must be acknowledged that the days


of cheap energy are over. That is a tough message for your constituents.


It is a tough message for everybody in the country. But those most


vulnerable to high bills should still not be unprotected. There


must be work from government to make sure that those least able to


pay are protected and do the seats of discounts. Well government plans


be enough to see this new generation of power stations come


into place? Some developers pulled out. The provision within the draft


energy bill to -- is precisely the right thing. It is what we as a


government would have done and that is what the industry are calling


for. There is hard work ahead to see you nuclear revival but this is


certainly a step in the right direction. I expect to see some has


significant investment decisions within the next few years.


reality is that if we put a lot more effort into saving energy this


crisis would not be as bad. Absolutely. That is the point I was


making about building regulations. We could make them 75% more fuel-


efficient. I do not think any government has done enough on that.


We need to be radical. In terms of building speculation, building


regulations. We are still building houses, basically, in this country,


the same style as 150 years ago. That cannot be good. Any more


windfarms? I am on a planning position and that puts me in a


difficult position. I am in favour of offshore, in short, I will take


each application as it comes. is the week in 60 seconds. Cumbrian


Seafoods announced the closure of two factories with loss of 280 jobs.


Better news on Teesside, is the Secretary Vince Cable was at a


steel plant and said the Return of steelmaking shows the region can


return to its glory days. Britain already has a flexible, co-


operative labour force. We see that here. A warning for ministers from


a four or Paralympian that cuts in disability benefits will prevent


disabled people getting into sport. And at Durham MP also had child


benefit concerns. This is a real mess and one more aspect of a


shambolic budget that must be changed. That is about all from us.


Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news, interviews and debate, including shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna.

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