10/06/2012 Sunday Politics North East and Cumbria


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


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


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


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1704 seconds


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


much more available through the telephone and internet so people


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


quick as possible. The trade union Unison represents


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


ask for directions. The elderly sometimes have communication issues


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


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


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


some frontline services in Carlisle, there are already issues arising


there because if you have none police staff delivering police


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


faced with tough decisions. Northumbria Police have lost more


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


those officers that without affecting levels of crime? We have


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


already seen frontline officers in response teams been reduced across


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


forward. Chief constables have dealt with these matters locally.


Your Government has talked about dealing with these locally. How


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


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


their accessibility counters in and supermarkets. We hold or surgeries


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


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


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


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


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


owned and run in the North East and Cumbria?


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


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


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


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


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


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


keen to see it expand. The Government has given credit


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


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


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


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


could be local bites in more than just name providing serious


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


cannot do this are that. Government has no plans to


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


suggested racial abroad for inspiration to what the Germans do.


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


Many economists think they have kept German small business is


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


from their engagement in providing loans, especially to the smaller


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


High Street remains dominated by multinational names. Some believe


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


German. You are enthusiastic about the idea.


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


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


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


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


that will be more responsive, more accommodating to that community


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


when the Government had an opportunity to launch another


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


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


contraction in manufacturing when we have seen 1% of manufacturing


contract and the Greenbank has missed an opportunity to put it


near industrial clusters. We are setting up local banking


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


have but a local bank in Northumbria which could lend


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


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


immediate improvement to lending for small businesses at this moment


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


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


reduction. The Government had an opportunity to use not just


localise banks but using their model of using societies around the


corporate of model. There was a missed opportunity with the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


managers to make sure those things are happening.


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


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


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


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


came back with this. The Week in 60 seconds.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


discuss the issue. He questions whether their current structure


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


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


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


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


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


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


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