10/06/2012 Sunday Politics North East and Cumbria


10/06/2012

Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news, interviews and debate including Shadow Education Secretary Stephen Twigg.


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In the North East and Cumbria: Can police budgets really be cut

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without crime rising? In Cumbria they are stopping the public going

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into their local police stations. Will it work? Find out more at

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1704 seconds

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

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Coming up: Is it time to set up a network of North East banks to help

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drive investment into the region's businesses? Local banks work in

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Germany so was it a model we should follow you? Hexham MP Guy Opperman

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is one of those who believes in breaking the stranglehold of the

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big four banks. He joins me in the studio. And also you to talk

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through the week's political news is the medals for up South MP Tom

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Blenkinsop. First - how do you maintain a frontline policing when

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budgets are being dramatically cut back? Well in Cumbria one solution

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is to stop members of the public going into the local police

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stations to report a crime are handover loss proper date. The

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police stations will remain, but the so-called front counter service

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used by the public will be moved elsewhere, perhaps to the town hall

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or fire station. It is all because Cumbria's forces need to save �20

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million by 2016, the equivalent of 20% of its budget. The Chief

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Constable says this is one a way of doing it without affecting

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frontline policing and Crump -- and crime funding. -- crime far to --

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crime fighting. No stone is being left unturned. We are looking at

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everything. What we're trying to do is to provide affair facility, that

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matches people's needs. But at the same time we are ensuring we are

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much more available through the telephone and internet so people

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can talk to us at a time that suits them and we can get to them as

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quick as possible. The trade union Unison represents

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the civilians who work in the police station. Re Brown is a nurse

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studio now. What are your concerns about this? The Chief Constable has

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to say that it will not affect frontline police. That is his job.

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In reality if you are going to close frontline services, how will

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it not affect the public? They don't just do with the public as

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they come through their door, they deal with lost property, found

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property. Especially in the tourist area, they get tourists coming into

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ask for directions. The elderly sometimes have communication issues

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so dealing with them on the telephone or a computer can be

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difficult. They like to going to the local station, they know the

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people behind the counter and trust them. They have already now saw

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some frontline services in Carlisle, there are already issues arising

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there because if you have none police staff delivering police

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services it is a grey area. Our staff have access to all sorts of

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systems. What do they share a what do they not sure? I can understand

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why it might appeal to some. At a time when finances are tight, it is

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a luxury. What it does not affect his crime-fighting. The frontline

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staff don't just do customer or services. The deal with petty cash,

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they deal with their calls they provide many services. If they are

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not there to do that, if you want to pay over �30,000 for an officer

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to d'Administration, fine. I am not happy with my money being spent a

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way. The police are going to as the public about this. The priorities

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are bobbies on the street, it is not frontline staff. They are a

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good employer and the make the best of a bad job. They do not want to

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be doing this. I think it is important to get that point across.

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The public have this misconception that there is a big divide between

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the front line and the back of us. Without the back office, the

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frontline end up doing that work. That is not good use of money are a

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resource. Thank you very much. Guy Opperman, I will make it clear, it

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is not just Cumbria we're talking about. All police forces are being

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faced with tough decisions. Northumbria Police have lost more

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than 200 last year. Guy Opperman, is it possible to do that, to take

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those officers that without affecting levels of crime? We have

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done that in North Cumbria. You look at the statistics for a 2011

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and 2012. She has cut our budgets and cut crime, in excess of 10% for

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burgle rate, criminal damage and overall crime is down 8%. It is

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possible to be done. Speaking for myself, I would far rather have

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officers out on the beat and stuck behind a desk, sitting there all

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day waiting for a few people to comment. Tong Blenkinsopp, do you

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agree that it is possible to cut services without having an effect

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on frontline services? -- Tom Blenkinsop. This was a Government

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that promises evidence led policy. What we have as an ideologically

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altered policy, a 20% reduction which will reduce offices across

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the area. Her is there evidence that that will lead to an

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increasing crime? Within 2009 and 2010 crime was reduced under Labour.

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-- between. By 2015 you will see a 16,000 reduction in police officers

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in England and Wales so you will take officers out of 21st century

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levels. He thinks cuts will affect in his area. I would like to see

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why we can do things in North Cumbria. We have achieved constable

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who can deal with their cuts and deal with the crime. I would

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suggest a Lancashire officer he has will do what he is doing and ask

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why others can do it. Cutting front counter services, it is not just

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about frontline staff. Some of the staff take important burdens of the

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hands of those police officers. If you remove them, it is not as

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simple effect of reducing them. Tom Blenkinsop, you're shaking her head.

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You don't agree. By 2015, we will have 1000 less officers. We have

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already seen frontline officers in response teams been reduced across

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the country. Crime of when the person is up 11%. -- crime on the

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individual person. His policing worse in Newry area than it was

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before these cuts? Mine has improved. I would say the standard

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of policing has always been exceptional. We can always do with

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more police officer are maintaining those numbers. You can do more with

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less resources. I would argue by 2015 across England and Wales when

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you have less than 16,000 officers back to 1997 levels, you're going

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to see the effects on crime. speak to their Chief Constable of

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North Cumbria, she is sorting this out. Chief constables for all the

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sake, with the exception of Lancashire, they will always say

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that they will be able to do the job? No, I'd love you look at the

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statistics. You see that with the reductions that have taken place,

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crime has come down. This is the point that has been raised in the

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film. They are the ones that will save the objectives are going

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forward. Chief constables have dealt with these matters locally.

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Your Government has talked about dealing with these locally. How

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does it help the public? He there are good examples of the police

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going to that committee and holding some of their Texels ability --

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their accessibility counters in and supermarkets. We hold or surgeries

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in supermarkets. Thank you are more very much. It is the big players

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like Barclays, HSBC and Lloyds that continued to dominate her banking

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system. And they have come up and for some serious criticism, not

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least for failing to align to businesses during the recession. So

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is it time for a banking revolution in the creation of new local banks

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owned and run in the North East and Cumbria?

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This woman felt trapped by her debts. She signed up to local

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credit union in South Shields. you cannot pay then you go to the

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credit unit and tell them. They sorted out and another arrangement

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with you. Whereas the doorstep arrangement can get nasty with you

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if you cannot pay it. So it is very good. Thousands like her have

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credit -- benefited from joining Credit Unions. The Government is

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keen to see it expand. The Government has given credit

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unions more freedom. For the first time they can now pay interest on

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people's savings. They are also no longer restricted to one

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geographical area. So in theory the credit union here can compete for

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business anywhere. The Government's hope is that credit unions let this

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could be local bites in more than just name providing serious

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competition to that high street big names. Could they help hard-up

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businesses as well as individuals? I think it is. But it depends on

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where you are starting from. Some of the bigger credit unions already

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offer a full range of financial services. In Ireland they do in

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particular. If you go to Canada, they are indistinguishable from the

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banks. So it is possible but it is a very high mountain to climb from

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where we are at present. With many credit unions intent on survival

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rather than expanding it might be worth looking at alternatives. So

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why not at look at other alternatives. The Post Office ran

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Girobank until it was sold off. Some believe it is time to go to

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the back and make. As his local bank branches. We have over 100

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years of trust. People do not trust big bangs. We know the local people,

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we know why a local businesses, we know our local customers for. So

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we're not someone who's sitting down anonymously and saying we

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cannot do this are that. Government has no plans to

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reintroduce a full banking service back into the Post Office. Someone

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suggested racial abroad for inspiration to what the Germans do.

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-- suggested we look abroad. Most towns and cities have one.

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Many economists think they have kept German small business is

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healthy during the recess and -- recession. The big banks withdrew

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from their engagement in providing loans, especially to the smaller

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business sector. The co-operative banks and the savings banks which

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operate very locally, we're talking here about towns, cities, districts,

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counties not more than that. The provided access to finance and kept

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these companies running. The idea of German-style local banks is

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beginning to appeal to business leaders here. The head of this

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company thinks they could get vital finance flowing again. The existing

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banks, it is a tick box system for businesses. Often the computer says

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not. That personal knowledge and action between a business and that

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bank manager, no longer exists. That has disappeared. A new

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institution has the opportunity to build afresh. For the moment there

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High Street remains dominated by multinational names. Some believe

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the economy could be more -- could benefit from being a bit more

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German. You are enthusiastic about the idea.

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Will it make a difference? Yes. You could have a local bank run by that

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local community on behalf of that local community, lending solely to

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the local community, with profits going back to the local community.

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It is going back to how banking should have been. That is a bike

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that will be more responsive, more accommodating to that community

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lending and small businesses would thrive. In Germany, 70% of local

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planning -- banking is through local banks. Let's look at some of

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the potential sources of local banks. Credit unions, many are

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struggling to survive let alone taking on banks. There was a report

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this week that said many are on the edge. Hey yes, but they have an

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opportunity to expand and to be able to have a greater degree of

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products. My local credit unions are doing better. The Government

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has given a more opportunity to expand. The problem I have got was

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when the Government had an opportunity to launch another

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service. We saw the relaunch of the Green Investment back but that

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cannot lend or borrow until 2016. We're a moment of a three-year

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contraction in manufacturing when we have seen 1% of manufacturing

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contract and the Greenbank has missed an opportunity to put it

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near industrial clusters. We are setting up local banking

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organisations. Hampshire Bank has been set up by the local authority.

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You have our organisations that can do this because we have passed the

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Financial Services Act. That is breaking up the old system and

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providing more opportunities. one to be a long haul. Until

:45:18.:45:22.

Germany, -- talking about Germany, those banks have been established

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for 70 years or more. There is tremendous interest and there is

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tremendous opportunity to do this. It would be fantastic. You could

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have but a local bank in Northumbria which could lend

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locally and can be part of that the community. And banking was someone

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you can know and trust instead of a faceless nobody. I hope there is an

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immediate improvement to lending for small businesses at this moment

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in time. We have seen 11 pound reduction in lending. That is

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having an effect on small businesses. -- �11 million

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reduction. The Government had an opportunity to use not just

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localise banks but using their model of using societies around the

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corporate of model. There was a missed opportunity with the

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Northern Rock sale. There is the Post Office and there, Labour have

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plans to reintroduce banking there. In addition when it came to

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Northern Rock, it was sold off. It was turned into what you would like

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to be a local bank. A more interesting one is the Royal Bank

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of Scotland. When that his address, I would like it to be given -- have

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the individual branches given back to the community. Realistically, do

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you think that will happen? I think it is a real possibility. Everybody

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can see that the big banks are not lending as they should be lending,

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so therefore you need to address the problem from the other end of

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the telescope. A uni to get that capital back into the community to

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allow businesses to create that demand. More than 50% of small

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businesses had rejected over drafts. And rejected loans. That is due to

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the decisions of the Government now it and compounded by Europe.

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wanted to ask you about the credit unions and urea, could they be an

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alternative to banks? Potentially end their long-term. But that

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problem is now creating the problem now. -- in your area.

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It is the existing banks that we need to put a boost on. These banks

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are being set up. Local banks are being set up. I am talking about

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the high street banks. They are is tremendous pressure being put on

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them to lend. The likes of us to are going to individual bank

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managers to make sure those things are happening.

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Perhaps you have misstep that there was a certain Jubilee that has

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attracted all the attention of the last rigours. But some politics has

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also been happening. And once Emily Unia was packed away -- has packed

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away her bunting and finish of the last of a Union Jack cupcakes, she

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came back with this. The Week in 60 seconds.

:48:37.:48:46.

Sellafield in Cumbria is to close in 2018. It is hoped many of the

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hundred workers will be found other jobs on the site. Drivers on the

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Tyne and Wear Metro to crack -- strike action on Thursday after

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rejecting a pay offer. Unions said -- local MPs said union should have

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been balloted. They union leaders need to make decisions. As a was a

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revised offer I would like to see the union leaders themselves to

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make the decision on that. It seems rash. How many council should there

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be in Cumbria? The leader has invited the six districts to

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discuss the issue. He questions whether their current structure

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provides the best deal for residents. Quite a week for our one

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Newcastle MP. She is having her place stage this week.

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That is about it for us now. You can keep any tap -- you can keep in

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touch at any time through my blog. You can find that on at

:49:51.:49:55.

bbc.co.uk/richardmoss. You can get in touch by the wonders of Twitter.

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Those details are on the screen now. Next Sunday we will be talking

:49:59.:50:03.

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