14/10/2012 Sunday Politics North East and Cumbria


Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news, including an interview with the Conservative Party Chairman Grant Schapps and a debate on the future of Scotland.

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Here in the North East, the rights and wrongs of wonder. MPs react to


the new football sponsors. Is the region losing up to Scotland in the


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2170 seconds


Hallow and a warm welcome to your local part of the show. Coming up,


online shopping giant Amazon was going to bring hundreds of jobs to


North Tyneside but they ended up in Scotland instead. We will be asking


if we can compete with our economic rivals north of the border. My


guests will chew over that. I am joined by Nick Brown. You were at


the Conservative conference when David, and launched his speech.


think it will strike a chord with voters across the country. People


who are out there trying to get on with their job and do well for


their families and build a better future for them, at think the


message I hear more than anything in the North East is I want better


for my children. That is the challenge that David Cameron wants


to crack, to make sure that the framework is there for families to


get the best out of whatever it is they want to do with their lives.


He is on your side is in't? If he means it, a has to get that


practical effect. There are people in this region who want to work but


cannot find jobs. He has to help the region rebuild the private


sector economic base so that there are jobs for people who can do them


and for people who want to do them. Thank you very much. Let us move on


to one of the biggest changes ever made to policing, the election of


new police and crime commissioners. For the first time, voters will be


able to elect the person leading the police forces. They will set


spending priorities and hire and fire at the Chief Constable. The


government is standing accused of not doing enough to tell people the


elections are taking place. On 15th November, you will have the vote.


You might have spotted this advert on television this week, it is an


attempt by the Home Office to encourage us to vote on 15th


November, but how many people know about the next date with the ballot


box. Do you know what is happening on 15th November? Have not got a


clue. I know I have not missed anyone's but they. What is


happening on 15th November? Were do not know. It is the Police and


Crime Commissioner elections. have heard about it. I did not


realise it was that day. It is the election for the Commissioner for


the police. That is right. How much do you know about it? I have not


seen any flyers or anything. Do you think there has been enough


information? No. Up knowledge is a little bit hazy, but that is not


really surprising. There are no free postal drop so we will not get


information about candidates unless they pay for it themselves. In a


large rural county like Cumbria, it is difficult if not impossible for


campaigners to visit every street, so it seems it might not just be


the weather putting people off next month. Information about the


selection is mainly based on-line, but if you live in an internet


blackspot like this area, forming an opinion is a bit tricky. This


particular election, we cannot get any access to it, we cannot get the


internet and I must admit I was unaware that there was an election


because of the lack of news. We just cannot get on the internet to


access any information about who is up for election or to put our votes


in or anything. Team voters like this man can phone at the Home


Office and asked for a candidate information to be posted to them,


but the information will not be sent out until November and there


are concerns that the lack of publicity now could have a lasting


impact on our police forces in years to come. The it is a huge


change in the dynamic of policing with the public having a stake in


someone who is holding the police to account. These areas are huge


compared to my MP's constituencies. If the turnout is low, less than


one in five people know this is taking place, and if we get an 18%


turnout, then it really will cause doubt in terms of the hold


principal of represents a -- of selecting people to represent the


community. This is your party's flagship policy on policing, but it


does not have been publicised. agree, I think we need to raise the


profile so that all our candidates will have the chance to be heard


and to show why they are standing. Was it a mistake in not to allow


free postal drops? A I have not had that discussion with the Home


Office. I think it would be a hugely difficult challenge. Our


candidate has got 2 million people to talk to so finding ways to do


that in a short space of time is difficult. The government had


agreed to fund a free postal drop, it would have been simple. It would.


There is a case for that. We need to make sure that we can sell the


whole idea which is accountability and making sure that you can have a


stake in how you -- your area is being policed. I hope the BBC will


give us all the opportunity to hear our candidate speak. Here we are.


You can see the government's., spending �30 million on a mailshot


does not sound like a good use of money. Most of the candidates are


from political parties, the parties can fund them count they? They


cannot, they do not have the money. I would have preferred to see a


mail drop if we were going to have... Even though it would cost


�30 million? You either agree with having add directly elected police


commissioner and the functions of the old police committee being done


by a single person that the public have chosen, or you do not. If you


do agree with it, you have to agree that the people will know the


election is on and understand what it is they are being asked to


decide and will get some information about it, democracy


does not come cheap, and other forms of government are more


expensive. It is even tougher for an independent to try and leaflet


people. That is more generally true and I think that is a good thing. I


think the political parties to a good service in choosing a


candidate that members of the political parties have confidence


in. A ensure you have an excellent candidate! I am going to move on.


If turnout, as some predict, is barely 20%, it will be a disastrous


combination of the whole idea. think there is a real risk, getting


people out to vote will be a challenge, there is no doubt about


that. I would have much rather have seen it in May with the local


elections across the country. I am told that there was a battle within


the coalition on that and that the November date was the one that was


fixed. How higher turnout would be acceptable? Assuming our local


councils are around 20 to 30%, that would be a starting point. I'd will


certainly be out and about all the time, talking to people and getting


people to understand what it is about but you cannot talk to 2


million people individually. There is a challenge there. To get any


sense that there is it any public interest in these elections? There


is no real understanding of what the new commissioner will be doing


and what the powers are and what they can expect. When he or she


tell police what to do? Can they give instructions to the chief


Constable? The answer to that is No. The public will say well what do


they do? You have to explain that they are carrying out the functions


of the old police committee. The Labour party consulted on a similar


idea about collecting the whole of the Police Committee and we


consulted on it and there was a lot of resistance to it. I actually


think the old way of doing it was probably better. We are stuck it


that way amid will have to see how the elections go.


If you want to know more about the elections, there is a way, you need


to go to this website. They will be a growing amount of information. On


the show next week, we will have candidates being questioned by


victims of crime. It is always a fierce battle when


it comes to attracting jobs and investment to the North East and


Cumbria and one of our biggest competitors lies just north of the


border. Scotland has its own parliament and a powerful economic


development agency, but does it have an unfair advantage? Our


correspondent reports on the jobs that a region has missed out on. At


North Tyneside Industrial Estate, plenty of empty offices, it might


not have been that way. Amazon was considering bringing 900 jobs here,


instead they went north after Scotland offered a �1.8 million


grant. A gut reaction at the time was the devastation. A lot of


people had worked very hard to bring the jobs here but it suddenly


felt as though our hands were tied and we feel that at the moment the


way that all of the funding is under way that the economic


development programmes have been run, Scotland have an unfair of


vantage which makes it very difficult for us here in the North


East when we see more happening down into the South East rather


than here, so we are being pulled in both directions and missing out


in the middle. The Conservative mayor of North Tyneside was so


incensed at the decision she took the issue to the top. We have made


this an issue to government. I have written to the Financial Times I


have spoken to the ministers myself and we need to have the access to


government which we do. independent Scotland will


inevitably get extra economic powers, where does that leave the


North East? We would have to make a our case to Government and say this


is what we would like. If that is what you are doing and you are


going to allow that, then we would like some of that money to give us


in level playing field. This is what North Tyneside could have had.


Amazon it came to Dunfermline and the fact that they are here has


given the local economy is vital boost. In the town centre, you can


see the differences made, streets are full of shoppers, all told


Scottish Enterprise funds encouraged Amazon to open centres


here and in Edinburgh. The result is 1,600 new jobs. We are in the


middle of the coalfields which have been decimated completely, so it to


see my home town flourished, albeit in a new type of work, has to be a


positive thing. But what is positive for Dunfermline and any


number it might not be for the North East. Overall enterprise and


economic development here is �184 and Scotland compared to �134 per


head in the North East. Scotland can offer regional grants worth


�306 million last year, they are not available in the North East. So


here at the Scottish Parliament, what do the SNP say? Scotland


contributes more to the Exchequer than it gets back out. What you are


talking about really is the success of Scottish development


internationally, that has been so successful in securing money in


from abroad. It is a competitive market. It is unfair! All markets


or unfair. The North East has had a hard times, so has Scotland and it


has to adapt. The differences are that we have a degree of devolution


that allows us to do certain things, a degree of economic freedom.


still some North East office blocks lie empty, increasingly we're after


the same business as Scotland but are we being given a fair chance to


compete? Let us get the view of the chair of the development agency


that was abolished earlier this year. If the North East have the


financial cloud at this time, could it have persuaded Amazon to come to


the North East? Quite possibly. Certainly we had a very successful


time at attracting businesses to this region and you can see them in


North Tyneside which is why the Amazon jobs would have been, the


Tesco bank there, you can see the developments of Nissan and the new


jobs there, so yes we did create a lot of jobs and it is disappointing


to see them going elsewhere. Presumably when this happened,


someone will come in with a bigger incentive, there is no way you


could have guaranteed this? And so that the not. This is a very


competitive market. We are missing the point a little bit. It is a


global market, international investors are looking at a series


of different locations. The issue we have here is not that Scotland


is doing what we would have done in exactly the same circumstances, it


is the fact that the UK now actually has a view that all


they're interested in is bringing jobs to the UK and anywhere in the


UK. There is no specific mandate to create jobs in the region. As long


as they hid their numbers of new jobs in the UK, they get a pat on


the head. What we need to have is some form of regional influence


into the UK system. Let us focus on Scotland, how well to think the


region is equipped to compete with Scotland? The Enterprise Agency is


very successful as was the one and the North East. What we have put in


place in the UK are a local enterprise partnerships which we


support holy. The problem is that they are just a really getting


started. They are trying to find their feet and raise funds and we


have got a difficult time here, where what is happening at the


moment it would not have happened if there had been something in its


place, it is now a two year since the election and we are now only


really getting our act together in the North East. Thank you. There is


a lot of justifiable anger here. Hundreds of jobs heading to


Scotland that would have come here if you're government had not


abolished the regional development agency potentially. A do not think


that is how you should look at it. The private sector is growing and


we are seeing new jobs. What we have seen and we had been very


effective in getting this influence is to get two really good


enterprise zones here which I hope in the next five to ten years will


see a huge influx of private investment into the North East.


you St that those partnerships will be able to compete with his big


Scottish Development Agency and stop something like Amazon


happening again? I have that issue with Manchester and the Midlands


and we will always be the relatively small region fighting


for business. I believe our transport infrastructure is really


poor compared to some of the other regions and we have to fight hard


to make sure that the Department of Transport understands that and


starts to see that we need better investment in this region. This is


the kind of competition for jobs that happens all the time.


Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. That is true of course, but


we are not all at the same starting point. The enterprise zones and the


new partnership arrangements that the coalition government have


brought in just do not have the resources behind them to make a


sufficiently persuasive countervailing offer to the sort of


things... You spend all the money! If the current financial crisis


started as a debt crisis in the United States and went around the


world... And there is still a shortage of money. A you could not


fund it as she did in the past. You could fund a countervailing force


to the natural market forces that shot economies to the centre and in


the case of our country, that is London and the South East. It is


wrong to highlight Scotland as the competition when we had our own


well-funded Development Agency and a Minister, me, that could punch


our weight right at the heart of government. We were able to get our


case put forward with the same effectiveness as the Scots and


Welsh and Northern Ireland. interviewed Ed Miliband and he


would not commit to recreating a development agency saw it is not


necessarily that Labour would have that solution. I am happy for you


to get Ed Miliband on your programme and ask him to set out


his policy. I tried to! I think the development agency worked well for


the region and there is a strong case for this region having a


regional Minister and his own development agency with its own


dedicated funds and that would enable us to make their offers to


Scotland. It is true that be the private sector companies make their


own choices, but they do want to see that there is a regional offer


if they come in and create jobs and make this their home. I asked the


Prime Minister about this and he backed up what my guess just said.


As the Prime Minister, that is very much his position. The should also


take a look that the economy here. We must make sure we develop a


clear voice. I am pleased that Lord Adonis set up his commission to


bring together that important strategic Messaging from the North


East which the Prime Minister is keen to hear about. We want to see


what we consider as a region is the most important thing. He does not


want a list of begging letters, he wants to know what the North East


needs to be at the top of its game. I think he believes that he has


supported and his department had supported quite a lot of


development into the private sector and he is open to hearing what we


want for the North East so we can be as good as Manchester or better


a week ago the more financially secure of us have probably never


heard of Wonga, now people seem to talk of little else.


He was a look at the rest of the news. Ministers say it is giving


parents more choice, but the National Union of Teachers and the


North East say setting up a free schools is creating too many


surplus places and an MP has pledged to will not set foot inside


Newcastle United's ground after it signed a sponsorship deal with


payday loans company Wonga. He says it is a disgrace. It is a Wonga, it


is based on the millions made from people in our region who are


desperate and have not got the money to get into St James' Park


let alone anything else. Shutting this company with the loss of 500


jobs has done little to help the environment, that Tory MPs said


similar plans are being set up in Canada were emissions will be just


as high. It is a long way, but is not a... Let us talk about Wonga,


would you go and what Newcastle United after they are sponsored by


then? I do not go often, but it would not stop me from going. I do


share the reservations about the arrangement, ultimately it is two


private sector organisations and sponsorship is very important to


football. We understand that, but Wonga's interest rates, over 40,000


%, if you annualised a, it is double the rates of other companies.


The fact that they can afford to sponsor a Newcastle United show the


returns they are making. Ahead huge reservations about the way they are


doing it, charging very large sums of money to people who are pretty


desperate. And I am sure they would defend themselves if they were here.


Is he right to be concerned? Should football clubs be thinking about


the community? I share the reservations with any organisation


that is using sponsorship through a business like that, but we do not


use smoking companies any more to advertise racing, but alcohol


companies are still sponsoring things, I do not think there is a


moral question. I am pleased that investment will go into the


football academy. Newcastle United and the North East will benefit


from that, so there is an upside. My mother-in-law is a football


fanatic and she is not impressed. I will just share that. For me, we


should be seeing the support for credit unions and those sorts of


things were people who have financial problems can be supported.


Thank you very much. This week's programme was recorded before the


announcement that Stuart Bell had died aged 74 from pancreatic cancer.


He had been Middlesbrough's MP for 29 years, paying tribute to the


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