01/07/2012 Sunday Politics North East and Cumbria


01/07/2012

Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news and debate including the Leader of the House of Lords, Lord Strathclyde, on plans to reform the second chamber.


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In the North East and Cumbria. Is the Government planning to pay

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lower levels of benefits to people living in this region? A Lib Dem

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1684 seconds

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Minister tells us he won't support Hello, and the warmest of welcomes.

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My guests, Roberta Blackman-Woods and James Wharton. I suspect they

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will not see eye-to-eye on our big talking point, the Government plans

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to cut �10 billion from the welfare bill. Also, the onward march of the

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wind turbines, have councils in our emir are learned lessons from

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Scotland and ligature in their efforts to stop developments like

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this. First, the government has revealed radical thinking about

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benefits and who should receive them. Scrapping housing benefit for

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under 20 fives is one idea, but are ministers are also considering

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paying lower benefits to people in parts of the North? The idea was

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floated at, but during a visit to Teesside, one Cabinet minister told

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us he was not prepared to support Dis week, Danny Alexander has been

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taking the long view. From 250 feet up at the top of this chemical

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plant. The Chief Secretary to the Treasury was here to discuss plans

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for dozens of new jobs. He is not the only one who has been gazing

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into the distance. David Cameron has also been looking ahead at what

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he sees as the next big challenge. How to generate not just work but

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also the work ethic by cracking down on the benefits culture. Among

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the ideas he has floated, the axing of housing benefit for under 25 and

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a cap on benefits to families with three or more children. They are

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also looking at possible local rates of benefit that could mean

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lower payments in the north and in the south. To the Liberal Democrats

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decree in the need to get tougher? They might be other changes that

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are need -- that are needed, but we will have to debate it in the

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normal way, and if we think changes are needed, we will bring them

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forward. What about local rates of benefit? There is no prospect of

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the Government introducing regional benefits. We have looked at local

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market facing pay in the public sector, an issue which we have

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asked the independent bodies to consider, but they need to come

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forward with overwhelming evidence to make us move in that direction.

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In terms of Richard Rowe lies in benefits, there is a non-starter.

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In this part of Middlesbrough, 40% are on benefit. Less than half are

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in work. You might expect people living here to be against the idea

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of cuts to welfare. But opinion it is divided. The people who are

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straight, they do not get treated right. It is the people who play

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the system that get the cream. if he was on the door, how would he

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like it? It is not on. Some people do not want to work. Definitely,

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they are scared of work. They are frightened of craft. They do not

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know what work is. They do not appreciate money, they have never

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bandit. Differences in the government mean they have to tread

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carefully on welfare reform. But evidence of public frustration in

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areas like this suggests a more radical approach could win votes as

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well a save money. With me now, Robert McDonald, an

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expert in poverty and the benefits system. What is the Government

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trying to achieve with these ideas? Is it about cutting spending or a

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radical reform to get people back to work? One of the things I would

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say, for me, too many of these ideas about reform, whether from

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politicians or the sort that you hear in the tabloid press, they are

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too often based on anecdote and myth and exceptional stories. Danny

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Alexander used the word evidence. What I would stress, any talk about

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welfare reform needs to be based on the evidence that we need it. In

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this case, in terms of discussions about regionalisation and

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incentivise Asian of benefit, we need to look at the evidence --

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incentivising benefit. Our evidence is that people are desperate for

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work, rather than lead in pushing or having their benefits cut

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further in order to look for work. What about the idea of regional

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benefits? Could that work? The government will look for ways to

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cut the bill, which is massive. There are various things that we

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can do. It seems that this is governed against the thrust of what

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I understood what one of the key planks of the welfare reform, which

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was to simplify benefits and the system. This would be introducing a

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complex set of new rules about where we might draw the line

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geographically between one neighbourhood and another one. I am

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not sure that it is really a serious suggestion, given the

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complexity of the latter. -- the matter. Any government will talk

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about reducing the Bill, that is quite right, but the key way to do

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it is to help people move away from benefits. The point that I would

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differ on, we do that by cutting benefits, but we need to create

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more jobs opportunities. There is a high rate of unemployment here.

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Over 20 jobseeker's for every job. We need to create opportunities for

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the people who want and need them. There was a bit of anger from a

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working-class community, Middlesbrough. People think enough

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is enough. We do need to look at the system and in particular we

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want to get a contributory principle back into the system, so

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you pay in and get money out. All political parties have to think of

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this. But what the professor said, this is unworkable, but it is also

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undesirable, because it will further exacerbate the divide

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between north and south, it will take money out of a local economy,

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and that is not a policy we want the government to pursue. They need

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to concentrate on getting more jobs into this region and others.

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Everybody agrees, but actually, is there a disincentive for people to

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work? When there is a system where the pay is lower here than ours

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where cover it is marginally beneficial for you to leave the

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benefits and... We need more confidence back into the economy,

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so jobs are being created, and then you can look to give people the

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skills and support them into employment. That is the way we

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should go forward. We know that that worked until 2008, so we don't

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-- so we want the Government to concentrate on getting people into

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work. That is the criticism, these are mad schemes, but not a serious

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platform policy. We have heard from Danny Alexander, there is little

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prospect of this going ahead. But benefits are already partially

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regionalised, through housing benefit, but that is a non starter.

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Do you think it should have been a non-stop to? Chris Grayling said it

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was right to have a debate. It is right to have a debate about all of

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the options, but the problems about which you draw the boundaries, how

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you identify areas in which the cost of living is higher or lower,

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the potential knock-on impact to a regional economy, there are so many

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problems and complexities, I would be very surprised if the end result

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of any review all debate was an agreement that this was a good way

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to go forward. We should look at everything, of course, we should

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keep options open. But your advice would be to leave it alone? We have

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heard from Danny Alexander, the government is unlikely to go down

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this route. There are so many things we need to sort out, changes

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to reform the system, but this is not one. The problem is, the Labour

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Party are perceived as being on the side of people receiving benefits,

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and there is anger that people exploit the system. When we were in

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government, we did a lot to get people off benefits and into work.

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Made up of people on incapacity benefit. For those who are able, we

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want a supportive system that is compassionate. We do not hear about

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compassion from the Conservatives. We need a system that encourages

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people into work. What about housing benefit for the under 25?

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would give an example, if you have got two young people with two

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children, are they supposed to be back into the parental home? It is

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an in-work benefit as well, it is paid to people on low incomes,

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including people who work. It is an unworkable suggestion. You are

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attacking benefits for younger people and leaving the benefits for

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older people. This is one of the problems, people simplify and

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exaggerate. If we are going to the cut housing benefit for people

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under 25, there is a reasonable reason for looking at that. It has

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not been we would say to every bond, you cannot have housing benefit --

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it does not mean. There would have to be a system in place. You are

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supposed to be simplified the system. You could not take housing

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benefit away from people coming out of care. Should you look at

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licences for pensioners, cold weather payments, but go to

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millionaires? The issue of the means testing of benefits, the

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problem is means testing that would cost nearly as much as it would

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save, and the government is committed to retaining those

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benefits, because that was a pledge it made.

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It was rain that made the headlines this week, but that does not always

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the case. The number of wind turbines built recently have lodged

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-- changed last parts of the area. But authorities are telling

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developers enough is enough. Phil Wilson taking the chance to

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get around his bit of County Durham. It is a pleasant environment, I

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grew up here. I know the area, I am proud of it. He is worried about

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the landscape. What we have got behind us, 17 wind turbines, two

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wind farms together. If it was just the 17 turbines in the area, it

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would not be a problem, because I am not against them totally, but we

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get several applications, and the impact on the landscape is getting

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desperate. The some of his constituents feel desperate as well.

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The Duke is lovely, and it will be ruined. -- view. An energy company

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wants but 24 wind turbines here. -- wants to put 24 wind turbines here.

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The decision will be made by the Secretary of State, sitting in

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Westminster, with no idea about this area. The people who make the

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decision should be elected by the people affected by it. We are

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losing our democratic right to control what happens in our county.

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But the industry says if local councils have power to decide the

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fate of every wind farm, the result will be chaos. Why should they be

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treated any differently from any other development? The system that

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we have applies across all types of development, energy, roads, housing,

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etc. You are looking for a decision based on policy, not on single

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issues, 50 vocal opponents campaigning to their local

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councillor. That is not democracy, that is too ready. Despite what the

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industry says, councils are putting their foot down about these things.

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Policies are being drawn up all over the place to try to curtail

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them. In Northern Ireland, a wind farm cannot be within 500 metres of

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a house. The Scottish Borders Council has introduced bevvies of

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constraint, banning them near some historic buildings. Lincolnshire

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Council says no wind farm should be within two kilometres of a house.

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The council has been busy publicising that policy, including

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through this lorry, but the juggernaut is heading this way.

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Next week, the leader of Lincolnshire Council this

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travelling to Northumberland for a summit with the opposition

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Conservative group. Northumberland already has three large wind farms,

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another 13 are either at the planning stage or under

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construction. Some local politicians say it is time for wind

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farms exclusion zones. A national park must be one, and potentially,

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a but least parts of green belt land. It is time for us to look out

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of the box more and not plonk a wind farm in the middle of a

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beautiful piece of countryside, just the same as we would not plonk

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a bungalow in the middle of a field over there, we could not do that.

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We must have the same John Pollard see that prevents that.

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Government says we need a mix of energy to keep an eye lights on.

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Take are increasingly part of it. Changing local landscapes, the

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council has the final say. The problem is, your government was

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a big player about handing power to the local people, but it is a con

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job, and that is why people are getting frustrated. It is a very

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complex of Gibbard, and it is right to say that you cannot have

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complete local control over every type of government, but the big

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issue up with wind farms, we should not build them anyway, because they

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are inefficient, they drive up the cost of an atrocity, this bold

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landscapes, they do not save huge amounts of carbon. -- they spoilt

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landscapes. You were one of the MPs that complained it was impossible

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to defeat applications to the planning system. That has been the

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case for far too long. Your government is overseeing the system.

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You have to have a system that can allow developments to go ahead that

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the local community do not support, otherwise you would never build a

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power station. Should it be changed? It needs to be adapted to

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take account of local need and factors, and that is happening,

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because communities can put up local plans. But the big issue with

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wind farms is that the subsidy that the government is providing is

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causing them to happen. Every us have had enough of wind turbines?

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Durham county council have said they think there are probably

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enough wind farms in County Durham. I agree with them, but I do think

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it needs to remain part of our energy mix. People always say, we

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can have offshore points. I would include onshore, but local

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communities can have -- should have a greater say, and the policy

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framework does not make it easier for local communities to have a say.

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The threshold for referring it to the national policy decision-making

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was set in 1989, and that does need to be reviewed. We did not think of

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wind farms in that context, and we need to. Local committees should

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have more say, but this is too important, one committee should not

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decide. Communities need to consider alternatives. The

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government have cut subsidy to solar energy. We should be

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investing in this. This region is brilliant for that, but the

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government has not invested. We could invest in wave energy. We

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need to have a spectrum of renewables. Is this massively over

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exaggerated? There are huge spaces of countryside, is it really

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overwhelmed with wind turbines? come to my part of Teesside,

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travelling into County Durham, you can see them all over the place. It

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is the number of applications that is forcing this issue. Is it

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because of the spectre of subsidies being cut that might be fighting it

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-- forcing them to get in before it happens? These have been going in

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for a long time, they have to run tests, go through in a longer

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process. A lot of them have been around for a long time. It is

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subsidy that we all pay to allow electric bills. The drive towards

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subsidising wind power has pushed people into fuel poverty and pushed

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our builds up. At this point last week, we made a

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joke about how England might miss a penalty in the game last week. It

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came true, but it was not my fault! Marker's only just recovered, with

:48:10.:48:20.
:48:20.:48:24.

no comments about our prospects at A geologist says this plane could

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be amongst the most suitable places for an underground nuclear waste

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store. The emirs meet international guidelines. A campaign to allow big

:48:33.:48:37.

Great North air ambulance to recover the VAT it pays on fuel is

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to be taken to the Commons. There will be a debate next week to get

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the charity exempted. There have been 65 expressions of interest

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from companies bidding to take over the remainder of these factories.

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The MP said the Government had handled the consultation badly.

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has been a shambles, chaos and confusion from day one. Forget the

:49:01.:49:05.

woes of the English national team, Tim Farron has his eyes set on the

:49:05.:49:09.

lovely, he has tabled a motion calling for three teams to be

:49:09.:49:12.

promoted and three relegated each season between the Football League

:49:12.:49:17.

and the lower divisions, giving up the non-League teams a greater

:49:17.:49:22.

chance of breaking into the big- time.

:49:22.:49:27.

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