15/07/2012 Sunday Politics North East and Cumbria


Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news and debate, including interviews with Liberal Democrat minister Jeremy Browne and shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper.

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 15/07/2012. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



In the North East and Cumbria - full coverage of yesterday's Durham


Gala. Plus how many children are really benefitting from the


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1798 seconds


Government's "pupil premium"? Hello, and welcome to the Sunday


Politics in the North East and Cumbria. Coming up. What difference


has the pupil premium made to children at schools in our region?


We've got an end-of-term report from Teesside. My guests for this -


our final programme of the series - are Durham North West MP, Pat Glass,


and Newcastle Liberal Democrat councillor Nick Cott. And we start


with the Durham Gala - a celebration of the North East's


mining heritage. But there was a time when it was also a key event


in the political calendar, attended by Prime Ministers such as Clement


Attlee and Harold Wilson. In more recent years, Labour leaders have


stayed away - perhaps embarrassed by the Gala's connections with more


left-wing unions. That's was until yesterday - when Ed Miliband


addressed the crowds in Durham. Our reporter Fergus Hewison was there.


A babe in arms, a smile and a wave. After a 23-year absence, the miners


gala welcomed back a relaxed looking Labour leader. Ed


Miliband's appearance is seen by some as an attempt to reconnect


with core Labour supporters, but, of course, it risks handing out


ammunition to opponents who accuse him of being too close to the


unions. When he took to the stage to speak, Mr Miliband paid tribute


to those very people who put him where he is today, the trade union


members who voted for him and helped him gain the leadership


ahead of his brother, David. trade unions founded the Labour


Party. Our party is stronger because of the 3 million nurses,


engineers, shop workers and all of the trade union levy payers who are


part of that movement. Previous Labour leaders stayed away from the


gala, afraid perhaps of aligning themselves too closely with the


trade union movement. So has Mr Miliband damaged the brand by


agreeing to speak? The unions have their job to do, we will disagree


from time to time, as we have done over the last 18 months or so. But


the link we have to trade unions and to ordinary people in this


country is a really important link. Today is not just about politics,


it is about celebration of community. Anyone who watched the


marching of the banners, the idea that some of this is a bunch of


militants. Frankly that is nonsense. Almost all of the great and good of


the Labour Party and trade union movement in the region were at the


gala. Most were relieved to see a Labour leader at the Big Meeting


surrounded by minders. He is certainly not in the pocket of the


trade unions, as any Labour leader has not been in recent years, but


he does listen to the trade unions, of course he does. But it is a


healthy relationship. I find the reasons that Labour leaders have


not been here for that period frankly inexplicable. Frankly, why


would you not come? The speech were short and did not offer much in the


way of policies but discern the left Labour supporters with smiles


on their faces simply by turning up. Fergus Hewison reporting on


yesterday's Durham Gala. Now to our local councils, which again are


making cut-backs. This week Durham reduced opening hours at 38 of its


libraries as part of its efforts to save nearly �190 million. But can


such cuts be made in a way that's both fair to local residents and to


the most vulnerable? It's a big challenge and one council - Labour-


run Newcastle - has set up its own independent "Fairness Commission"


to try and help. Its report is due out tomorrow. But the opposition


Liberal Democrats have already dismissed it as a political gimmick.


It is a little bit about public relations, a little bit of


politicking. Nobody is good be against extending bareness, but it


would be more convincing if this council and the other hand full of


Labour councils had set up there fairness commission when there was


a Labour government. It seems to me to be a device that they have


created two not the coalition government for the tough decisions


that it is home to take in the light of the difficult inheritance


that it had. So is that fair? Well the deputy leader of Newcastle


Council, Joyce McCarthy, joins me now. Is this about political


posturing and coalition bashing? clip the not. I refute everything


that David said in that statement. We believe that it is wrong that


about one in three children in Newcastle would in poverty. We


believe that it is wrong that people will lose 10 or 12 years of


birdlife. Hour Fairness Commission, which, as you said, is independent,


is in partnership with Newcastle University and the city council and


the partners on not just from politics but from the Church, from


education, from higher education and from the community and


voluntary sector. We invited them to have a look at these issues and


help us to find a way through wit. All those things you said about


life expectancy but true under a Labour government. Were you


shouting just as loud about it then? Absolutely, but under a


Labour government the Government understood the difficult to which


we were having. But they were still the same problems. It did reduce


National League Child poverty, perhaps not far enough. What we are


trying to do in Newcastle is insure that with our partners we have a


clear direction. The Fairness Commission does not tell us what to


do, it gives us some principles to work to an suggest that every


decision should be considered with affair in this perspective.


decides what those principles are? What is fair to some is not fair to


others. Kenny, with the set of rules that says this is fair?


have looked at ways in which we might look at burners. The sectors


have set up about 10 principles in a report and we would use those to


guide us through the difficult decisions in the future. Amateurs


this commission costing? Not very much. The only actual cost is a few


1000 pounds that has been spent on research evidence that helps us


identify the evidence that backs up the decisions or we will make. If


we are looking at fairness, it is unfair that bankers can walk away


with millions of Pounds and we are making cuts in services.


Nick Cott, these are the biggest cuts councils have ever had to make


so was it not right to take a step back to look at how you can do it


as fairly as possible? It is a laudable aim for any public body to


be looking at issues of fairness. I have no objection in principle to


the eye deer of 810 Fred. What I am concerned about is the necessity of


having a commission to actually investigate these issues. I think


there is plenty of research that has been done in relation to


fairness, and it can mean different things to different people. We have


to be very careful about how we present fairness and what


expectations are could be raised. It is unreal issue that the Labour-


run authority has a particular view about fairness that relates to


geographical locations over and the Bath tackling disadvantage where


disadvantaged manifests itself, which I think is hidden behind this


smokescreen of the Fairness Commission. Pat Glass, is it ever


possible to make the cut but are having to be made fairly? One of


the things we never hear in Parliament noun is that we are all


in this together. The ship has sailed on but one. If the


government wanted to be fair it would not be giving tax cuts to


millionaires error it would be making Bankers and companies pay


their taxes. I do not want to commit a Newcastle City Council,


because I am at Durham MP. What I do not think is fair is that every


man, woman and child in Durham county has had cuts of more than


simply paints and yet people in Surrey and Devon have got increases


of � two each. What ever councils do, there is a perception that


there is an unfairness in the source of these cuts from the


Treasury. The amount of money through government grant that comes


to Newcastle is five times more than it is per person, per head of


population, than it is in a number of Surrey councils, which often


used as comparison. Win or austerity comes, when cuts need to


be made, that will unfortunately have an impact on people. What


local authorities and national government and other public bodies


need to do is to work out how they will protect those who are most


vulnerable and those most in need. It is unfair to castigate the


government has eight government which is basically bashing people


in need rather than bankers. Councils also biding despite these


cuts and the perception is that there was that stick at. But think


it is amazing that Nick is depending people in Surrey. I'm


sure there are 100 times more millionaires in Surrey and there


are in Newcastle, said those kind of comparisons... I find it amazing


that you are defending Surrey in comparison to Newcastle. I was


talking recently, we meet regularly the MPs in Durham and the leaders


of Durham County Council, and they are telling us that we have more


cuts to come. There are business rate cuts which will mean in Durham


County an extra �80 million taken out of the local economy. The


government is talking at regional benefits and breach will pay which


will take massive amounts out of the local economy. The council in


Durham are telling me that in years to come they will struggle to even


deliver their statutory functions. Whatever might have happened in the


past, we are facing a real crisis in the region.


Now, ask any Liberal Democrat what difference they've made in


government and it's a fair bet the words "pupil premium" will soon be


on their lips. It's their flagship policy for schools - designed to


raise the educational achievements of the poorest children by


directing extra money to every pupil who receives free school


meals. North East schools received some �38 million this year - with


another �4r million going to Cumbria. But is it the best way to


deliver improvements in our schools?


A two-storey time at South Bank Primary in Middlesbrough. The


school is in a deprived area but these children are making great


strides because as well as meeting in groups they often you want to


want help. This very personal approach is only possible because


of the �60,000 the school got the sheer from the pupil premium.


pupil premium has afforded me that flexibility to respond to the needs


of my children where they need the additional support. Without it, I


am not sure my results would be at the level they are at, and without


it by children would not feel motivated, feel confident, and be


able to challenge themselves to raise the aspirations to reach


their potential. With more than half of its children getting free


school meals, it is hardly surprising that some Debbie Clinton


does well out of the pupil premium. A few miles away, Nunthorpe School


is one of those that has had to cut its budget. Only around one in 10


of its people's war on free school meals. It is also one of the most


successful academically in the country. The issue is that the


child is a child and all children have a equal legal entitlement to


equality of opportunity within the education system. While we,


inevitably with a small number of both families defined as deprived,


have every so sympathy with those families with large numbers of


children from families defined as deprived, we feel that the ball


park is not a fair one and has not been for quite some time. How much


difference will money make any way? And recent research by Durham


University raised doubt on whether the way in which the money is being


spent will raise standards. Over the past 10 or 15 years, the spend


in education has increased cutely already. And we have not seen


dramatic increases, it may be no increases at all entertainment


across the board. The research on spending and its relationship with


genuine improvement in learning is very mixed. Sometimes it can have


the benefit, but it is not necessarily so, and it depends of


the money is spent on. Like any story, the pupil premium is bound


to have its ups and downs, winners and losers, but it is far from


clear that this is heading for a happy ending.


If this was a Labour policy, you would be ignored him, and yet


you're criticising it. There are couple of things that need be said


about the pupil premium. In principle, it is a great policy. On


the face of it, money following children who while the poorest


children. The first thing is, it is not new money, it is a


redistribution of what was called additional educational needs


funding. As you can see in Middlesbrough, there has been some


redistribution between secondary and primary, so it is not new money.


The other important issue is that the latest research has shown very


clearly that money is going from those areas where there were large


concentrations of children on free school meals, it took areas where


there are fewer concentrations. So the same amount of money is being


spread out more widely. One of it for teas that is losing ate his


Middlesbrough, also South Tyneside and Liverpool. The authorities that


are gaining, not surprisingly, are Rutland and Surrey! Surrey again!


It is the intricacies of the funding system that means that this


is not working. This is just recycled money. I think it is


highly debatable whether it is new money or not. When a new government


comes into power by a range priorities differently. There were


changes made to the education budget, to council budgets, all


public services had changes to their budget. This is additional


cash which is being used for targeting disadvantage, for ball


rubble people in particular. It follows the child, so there will be


children in Surrey that will benefit from the people premium,


but there will also be peoples in Newcastle that will benefit. Is the


North East disadvantaged in this, do you think? I would not say that.


By 2014, they will be �2.5 billion spent on this initiative across the


country. It means that it goes straight to those schools where


there are children and young people who of disadvantage, he or in need,


who need additional assistance. Labour port record amounts of money


into education and the owners is not there that it achieved anything.


I would disagree with that. Over the years that we were in power,


all children improved. I'm not surprised by the evidence that was


found. I know, after career in education, that the things that


make a difference a good teaching and learning and good leadership


and management. No matter how much money put in, if the teaching and


learning and the leadership and management is not right, you were


not get the changes. If you get that right and put additional money


in then you will get results. bother than about whether many


peers, it is about the quality of the teaching? Honesty, I do not


want money taken out of this region, and it does make a difference, if


you have the right teaching and learning and management going on.


We can get good quality teachers and get the best people in our


schools and we have that money to pay them with.


Now, it's nearly the end of this series of the Sunday Politics. And


we can't go without bidding a fond farewell to the part of the


programme that's become legendary. No Mark Denten this week - the


strain for speed has been so great he just couldn't last the distance.


But peaking perfectly for the finale, here's Fergus with the


week's political stories - in 60 The north-east has seen a big fall


in university applications, down 11.7 %. Sunderland and Teesside saw


the biggest drop though Durham but the trend. Royal Bank of Scotland


Group should be broken up, according to an MP who wants the


network of new community banks. North Tyneside MP criticised the


decision to cut Remploy factories this week. What impact of cutbacks


having on Teesside? MPs were not convinced. In some areas, big or


him to make three separate complaints of anti-social behaviour


before getting a response. Isn't this a symptom of police levels


being cut back to 1974 levels? unlikely rebels were among 91


Tories who defied the boss to vote against Lords reform.


That is about it from us for this week. We will be back in September.


Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news and debate, including interviews with Liberal Democrat minister Jeremy Browne and shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper.

Download Subtitles