21/10/2012 Sunday Politics North East and Cumbria


21/10/2012

Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news, interviews and debate including Home Secretary Theresa May on the plans for new Police and Crime Commissioners.


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Transcript


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In the north-east: Tributes to Middlesbrough MP it's a Stewart.

:01:42.:01:46.

And we get face-to-face with the candidates who want to be the new

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 369 seconds

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They have been fewer robberies in most of the region. In Durham, the

:08:06.:08:11.

figures dropped by 19% and went up by 2% in Northumbria. There is a

:08:11.:08:21.
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mixed picture on car crime. Overall, crime figures are improving. There

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is a continual demand for more on the streets. It is an issue

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everywhere the police crime commission has have to work very

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closely with police. There is a massive challenge for all five

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people to become police crime commission has in our region. They

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will have to cut crime would less money and few offices. Office

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numbers are expected to fall by 7% in Cumbria. One other major issue,

:09:08.:09:13.

because all our police forces budgets are being squeezed. Cleadon

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needs to save �14.2 million by 2015. Yorkshire needs a �28 million

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saving. It is a real challenge they are facing. Each police and crime

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commission will have their own approach. The row -- the worry for

:09:34.:09:38.

as is that a lot of money may be put into preventative measures, but

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we have to make sure victims of crime and not forgotten. We want to

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make sure that it is still important to provide those police

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services. The sheer size of the areas they have to cut but is a

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problem. Durham police have don't find crime in cities and rural

:10:00.:10:05.

areas. Police crime commission has have to know the levels of problems

:10:06.:10:10.

they are dealing with, so to ensure they have the accurate figures. Yes,

:10:10.:10:14.

there are more people living in towns, but guess what? They like

:10:14.:10:19.

going to the countryside. Unless we tackle crime in the countryside

:10:19.:10:22.

will not be an attractive place. you would like to find out more

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about the police and crime commission her collections in the

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 369 seconds

:10:36.:39:57.

Hello, and a very warm welcome to your local part of the show just

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for the North East and Cumbria. Coming up: Victims of crime on

:40:01.:40:04.

Teesside put their views to the politicians who want to be be

:40:04.:40:08.

Cleveland's new police commissioner. And we talk to Middlesbrough mayor

:40:08.:40:11.

Ray Mallon about his intentions following the death of Sir Stuart

:40:11.:40:16.

Bell. My guests this week: Sunderland Labour MP Julie Elliott

:40:16.:40:19.

and Conservative Lord, Michael Bates. And the papers have been

:40:19.:40:22.

full of the chancellor mistakenly perhaps travelling first class on a

:40:22.:40:25.

second class ticket. But there also seems to be a loophole allowing

:40:25.:40:34.

some of our MPs to travel first class frequently. Julie Elliott, is

:40:34.:40:39.

it justifiable for MPs to travel first class on expenses? I think if

:40:39.:40:44.

you get a ticket less than the cost of standard class, yes, it is. That

:40:44.:40:49.

is within the transparent, open rules. I suppose less than standard

:40:49.:40:54.

class, we are talking about the top standard class fare? Which is what

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we have to pay if the changes are made and we have to buy a ticket on

:40:58.:41:02.

the day of travel. Often, if you book a day in advance, you can get

:41:02.:41:06.

a first-class ticket cheaper than a standard class, because they are

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less popular. So it is swings and roundabouts. I do think the

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Telegraph is trying to make a story out of something that isn't there.

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Michael Bates, the problem it is related to what has happened in the

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past. Do you think it is justifiable? Well, the rules were

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changed in 2009. For parliamentarians, sometimes you get

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a clamour, a change in the rules, people abide by the rules and then

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there is an instant like a George Osborne and people want to change

:41:41.:41:45.

the rules again. If people want to say no first class under any

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circumstances, most MPs would say, fine. The roles are there at the

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moment. It is strange at this time that the Chancellor of the

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Exchequer is berated for travelling first class when his civil servants

:41:58.:42:08.
:42:08.:42:09.

would trouble in first class. Let's be sensible. -- would travel.

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Now - have you been unfortunate enough to have your house burgled

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or your car stolen? Well, when the new police and crime commissioners

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start work in 2014, they will be responsible not just for setting

:42:18.:42:21.

priorities for policing - but also for looking after victims of crime.

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So how will those standing for election next month put that into

:42:24.:42:27.

practice? To find out, we invited three of the candidates standing in

:42:27.:42:30.

Cleveland to meet some of those whose lives have been affected by

:42:30.:42:37.

crime. How will they faced a grilling by those they will be

:42:37.:42:43.

charged with protecting? Ron has had two petrol-bomb attacks on his

:42:43.:42:48.

home. To date, nobody has been prosecuted. My family have been

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tortured but 10 years with very little help from the agencies. I

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want to know what you would do for victims, because victims get a very

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broad deal. As a commissioner, I would not accept that continuing.

:43:03.:43:09.

OK, it is the chief constable's responsibility to prevent it

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happening, but we have to take action to stop that. We need to

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stop looking at crime figures as figures and look at victim figures.

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If you change, for example, 41,000 times for -- crimes into victims,

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that changes your focal point. will be up there with the police on

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the streets, I will make sure we will work together to tackle the

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problems. We will make the criminals not vulnerable minority.

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Next, Wendy. She suffered years of domestic violence and now runs a

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charity, but is struggling. funding is gone. Where do we get

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the money to keep these services going? Domestic violence is not

:43:59.:44:03.

going anywhere. We've made progress recently and it would be wrong if

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that progress was eroded because of lack of funds. The commission a's

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role is primarily about listening to the community and providing what

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the community needs. You mentioned earlier at the back to you that a

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lot of enthusiastic volunteers. I think we need to capitalise on that.

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She is from a community group in South Bank. Its offices were burnt

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down by vandals. They have new offices now that crime is still a

:44:34.:44:41.

problem. One of the big issues is the apathy in our community. There

:44:41.:44:46.

is a serious under-reporting of crime. It takes far too long to

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ring up and make that call. As far as I'm concerned, any victim of

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crime it must get a police officer visit, and I would make sure that

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happens. If presence is required by a police officer, it should be done,

:45:04.:45:08.

within a day or the hour. I think we should make it easier for

:45:08.:45:13.

victims to report incidents. candidates also faced problems on

:45:13.:45:18.

drugs and help the young people. But in the end, were their

:45:18.:45:22.

inquisitors convinced they could make a difference? If the police

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couldn't do it, I cannot see one person making a difference. It is

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more American-style. I wish we had the sentences that America does.

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just wonder whether they realise how bad the communities are. Often,

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people standing for these jobs do not live in what I call the inner-

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city areas where all the deprivation is. I think as long as

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the people and the voices of the people get bored into the role

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itself, then that person will be successful. -- brought into the

:46:01.:46:11.
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role. The election is on November 15th. Michael Bates, you read some

:46:13.:46:17.

scepticism there. Why should we believe that one individual over a

:46:17.:46:22.

big area can make a difference to victims of crime? At the moment,

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there are 17 people on the police authority. People will struggle to

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remember the names of any of them. People don't know where to go to

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contact somebody with their real concerns. The very fact we are

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having a debate here with people who are supposed to be protected by

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the police talking about policing in their area would people who will

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now have the power to hire and fire the chief constable and set the

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level of spending in their area is surely an advance. Those people

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will be held to account for what they do or don't do by the people

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that they serve. That has to be a step forward. But they're not going

:46:59.:47:03.

to be able to secure a stiffer sentences, for instance. Is this

:47:03.:47:08.

raising expectations they cannot meet? There are two points to it.

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The Prime Minister has made an announcement on the sentencing side.

:47:14.:47:17.

Victims of crime be a commissioner can do something to make things

:47:17.:47:24.

tough that the criminals. Can they? It is about making somebody visibly

:47:24.:47:28.

accountable for policing in a given area, so there is it a go to person

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who is accountable through the ballot box. I think that chimes

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with what a lot of people want, and as time goes on, we will see those

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roles will be taken more and more seriously. Julie Elliott, Labour

:47:42.:47:46.

did not support the idea of police commissioners but they are saying

:47:46.:47:55.

they can make a difference to the role now. I think it very -- I

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think it is a hugely costly exercise. But seeing as we're here

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now, I think there is an opportunity, because, as Michael

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said, they are a focal point. They will engage with communities to try

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and probably enhance what we have already. Northumbria, I do think we

:48:14.:48:19.

have a good liaison between the Community and the police. Crime

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figures are falling, so how can they do better? The figures out to

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the minute of falling as a result of Labour policies. It will be

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interesting to see what happens in a few years. The problem is,

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candidates will be tempted to talks tough about getting people off the

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street, when the reality is that people are safer. I think crime

:48:46.:48:56.
:48:56.:48:59.

novels are falling. But -- levels are falling. I think people need to

:48:59.:49:09.
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address the fact that people are not so afraid anymore. There are

:49:09.:49:13.

people who are not from traditional party political backgrounds

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standing as candidates, that has to be welcomed. The fact they will be

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directly responsible, working with the chief constables, is going to

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make a difference on the streets. What is this concern about stoking

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beer on crime? All politicians have to take this responsibility. When

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you hear candidate saying they will be out on the streets? Really

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sticky, you cannot be out with 1.1 million people all the time. But

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you can set up structures that engage more with the general

:49:48.:49:52.

population. But to stoke up via is a dangerous thing and I don't think

:49:52.:50:02.
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anybody should be doing that. -- stoke up fear.

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You can find out who is standing in your police force area on the BBC

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website. Just go to bbc.co.uk/policeelections. And in

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addition to the three Cleveland candidates shown in our film, Joe

:50:11.:50:14.

Michna from the Green Party is also standing, but was unable to make it

:50:15.:50:22.

to the recording. Now to Sir Stuart Bell, who died

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last weekend at the age of 74. Sir Stuart was the MP for Middlesbrough

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for 29 years and often a controversial figure. Fergus

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Hewison has been looking back at his long and varied career -

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including some lively moments in this very studio.

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This week, the House of Commons paid tribute. His depth was

:50:46.:50:51.

incredibly sudden. The condolences of this side of the House go to his

:50:51.:50:56.

family. The son of a miner, he became a successful barrister,

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working in France before returning to the UK to enter Parliament and a

:51:01.:51:03.

present Middlesbrough. There, he defended families wrongly accused

:51:03.:51:09.

of abusing their children. children can now get on with their

:51:09.:51:12.

lives. They lost their innocence in this crisis and some of their

:51:12.:51:17.

childhood, they have suffered enormous pressures. They have never

:51:17.:51:20.

been able to recover. We later, he famously clashed with the man

:51:21.:51:28.

seeking to be elected mayor, Ray Mallon. He is trying to kill me up.

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I have news - I will not be intimidated. If Ray Mallon is

:51:37.:51:46.

elected mayor, it is you like that. You would have to resign. No, no.

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After that, they made up. remember that particular argument

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extremely well. But what have to say is, from the day I was elected

:51:59.:52:05.

from the mayor, our relationship was perfect. There were still

:52:05.:52:12.

controversy lurking in the shape of MP's expenses. Stuart Bell stuck to

:52:12.:52:22.
:52:22.:52:23.

his guns. Do you agree that MPs who claimed more than that amount are

:52:23.:52:27.

excessive? The this is not a matter of the need. They were entitled to

:52:27.:52:31.

claim what they claimed. Then there was a revelation last year that he

:52:31.:52:36.

has not held a surgery in his constituency since 1997. He held

:52:36.:52:41.

back, saying he had not made one since being attacked at one. But he

:52:41.:52:47.

was dubbed Britain's laziest MP. is totally untrue. We work seven

:52:47.:52:51.

days a week and we have done that the 30 years. We've been re-elected

:52:51.:52:54.

seven times, we have had seven mandates from the people of

:52:54.:53:00.

Middlesbrough. His funeral will be on October 27th. A by-election will

:53:00.:53:08.

take place in his seat, usually a safe one for Labour. I want to

:53:08.:53:11.

protect the interest of Middlesbrough. Therefore, I want to

:53:11.:53:14.

see an outstanding Member of Parliament bought into place for

:53:14.:53:19.

this town. I intend to be the candidate list. If I don't believe

:53:19.:53:27.

that candidate list is high quality, I will intervene. I will stand, it

:53:27.:53:33.

is as simple as that. Ray Mallon could be a man to watch over the

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next few weeks. Michael Bates, what do you remember about Stuart Bell?

:53:40.:53:46.

He had these two images and lives. One was how he was eat in the

:53:46.:53:49.

constituency. But in Parliament committee was huge. A very popular

:53:49.:53:59.

figure. -- in Parliament, he was huge. He was always around with a

:53:59.:54:03.

smile. And also what I admired about him was, when we talk about

:54:03.:54:09.

social mobility, he was the son of a minor who went off, trained as a

:54:09.:54:13.

lawyer, an international barrister, then came back to the House of

:54:13.:54:18.

Lords and served with distinction. So lots of positives out of the

:54:18.:54:22.

great live well it. Julie Elliott, he did become a contentious figure.

:54:22.:54:28.

Did the good out whether that? course it did. He was a very large

:54:28.:54:38.
:54:38.:54:50.

beget. -- did a good away the bad? -- did the good outweigh the bad?

:54:50.:55:00.
:55:00.:55:01.

He will be missed. He was a very big figure in Parliament. One of

:55:01.:55:06.

the MPs said that Ray Mallon was a bit disrespectful. What do you

:55:06.:55:11.

think? A I think people should wait until after the funeral to comment.

:55:11.:55:15.

Anybody is entitled to stand for Parliament, but they should let the

:55:15.:55:20.

dust settle before the process takes place.

:55:20.:55:22.

Now, national politicians are sometimes accused of ignoring the

:55:22.:55:25.

north. That's not a charge you can level at Nick Clegg. His visits to

:55:25.:55:29.

the North East are becoming almost routine - and he was back again on

:55:29.:55:32.

Friday. Here's Mark Denten with that and all the rest of the week's

:55:32.:55:42.
:55:42.:55:48.

The Deputy PM had the latest visit. More good economic news -

:55:48.:55:51.

unemployment in the north-east is down and, below 10% for the first

:55:51.:55:57.

time since 2010. It is still highest in the UK. Alan Milburn

:55:57.:56:01.

says universities need to do more to recruit students from poorer

:56:01.:56:06.

backgrounds. Based should take some of that money and applied to kids

:56:06.:56:10.

who are studying in disadvantaged schools in hard-pressed areas, to

:56:10.:56:15.

give them a financial incentive. Plans to abolish the Agricultural

:56:15.:56:20.

wages Board have been condemned. The board is the most effective way

:56:20.:56:24.

to insure that regional part-time young and full-time employees in

:56:24.:56:29.

the farming industry and not exploited. And the see that Tony

:56:29.:56:32.

Blair represented - said field could disappear off the political

:56:32.:56:42.
:56:42.:56:44.

Mark Denten. Well, the North East has one of the worst records in

:56:44.:56:46.

getting youngsters from poorer backgrounds into university. And

:56:46.:56:54.

that report by Alan Milburn aims to turn that around. His idea of

:56:54.:56:57.

universities paying grants to encourage students to stay on at A-

:56:57.:57:00.

level, could it make a difference? I think you need a combination of

:57:00.:57:08.

things. I think they are being stopped in education at 16 at the

:57:08.:57:11.

moment. So years focused on the right issue, but universities don't

:57:11.:57:18.

have the capacity to fund it. trying to solve the problem your

:57:18.:57:24.

government has created by getting rid of educational maintenance.

:57:24.:57:32.

think even Alan Milburn wouldn't say Conservatives created it.

:57:32.:57:37.

Education grants were claimed for by up to 40% of students. We're

:57:37.:57:41.

making sure it is focused on those with free school meals. That is the

:57:41.:57:47.

area we need to focus on. We need to be sure we get advancement for

:57:47.:57:53.

the poorest in our society. Where we need to start, and where Alan

:57:53.:57:56.

Milburn the mentioned in his report, we need to raise standards at

:57:56.:58:04.

school level at A-levels. I think we are seeing now with our new

:58:04.:58:14.
:58:14.:58:15.

systems of education. One of the other ideas is to give students

:58:15.:58:18.

from poorer backgrounds low offers to get into university. Would he be

:58:19.:58:22.

comfortable with that sort of discrimination? Personally, I

:58:22.:58:27.

wouldn't. I think we should be raising the standards for students

:58:27.:58:31.

at the bottom, not lowering the bar at the top. That is where we need

:58:31.:58:36.

to focus our efforts. So why would not be in favour of that. Many

:58:36.:58:40.

universities do a fantastic job to reach out to their community and

:58:40.:58:44.

get people into higher education. Julie Elliott, is that an idea to

:58:44.:58:50.

help poor students? I don't think we need positive discrimination. I

:58:50.:58:53.

think we need a broader look at what we need to get to university.

:58:53.:58:58.

It should not be focused entirely on the grades you get at A-level. I

:58:58.:59:02.

think a broader into the process and looking at people's ability

:59:02.:59:07.

looking forward would be much fairer. Alan Milburn did not

:59:07.:59:11.

mention cutting fees in this. He obviously does not believe it is a

:59:11.:59:15.

big disincentive for students. is a massive disincentive. This

:59:15.:59:22.

year, the numbers have fallen this year. People who have gone to

:59:22.:59:25.

university this year were already in the process, the A-level process,

:59:25.:59:34.

when that these changed. And that's about all from us. We're

:59:34.:59:38.

back next Sunday at 11.00am, when my guests will include the MPs for

:59:38.:59:40.

Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news, interviews and debate including Home Secretary Theresa May on the Government's plans for new Police and Crime Commissioners in England and Wales.


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