04/11/2012 Sunday Politics North East and Cumbria


04/11/2012

Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Including UKIP leader Nigel Farage, and David Willetts on Lord Heseltine's growth plan.


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Could Britain thrive and prosper In the North East and Cumbria:

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The council that's giving 2,000 of its staff a pay rise, despite

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millions of pounds of cuts. Could helping the lowest paid kick-

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2064 seconds

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Hello and the warmest of welcomes do your local part of the show. It

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may be the age of austerity but 2000 staff at this North East

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council are getting a pay rise. It is part of the campaign to give low

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paid workers a living wage. The MP for Redcar, Ian Swales, and

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Durham MP better lap onwards. -- Roberta Blackman-Woods. Wind farms.

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Which side are you on? I support them there. I have opposed one in

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my constituency in A&P Tees got but I am watching an offshore wind farm

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being built Wright. I am delighted to see that development of the

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beach. In the right place, I'm totally supportive of wind farms.

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There are a lot of people in County Durham who like to see the end of

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wind farms. What would Labour do? First of all, it is outrageous to

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have more on this from the Government this week. I have not

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got a clear energy policy will stop we are going to grow our economy.

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Businesses need to know what our energy sources are going to be in

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the future. I do think the Government have to get their act

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together on this. Labour thinks there should be a local decision

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and we want to make sure people are able to use the planning process to

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get wind farms or oppose them as they see fit. We will return to

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wind farms. In these days of austerity, local

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councils are having to make big cutbacks so it might come as a

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surprise that one local authority in the North East in giving a pay

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rise to 2000 of its lowest paid workers. More councils could be an

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act to follow suit. For 15 years, cleaner Marlene has

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helped keep the Civic Centre spick- and-span. Now she will get a pay

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rise, pushing her wages up by a back �170 a month. It will make a

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big difference. You try to cut down on your future pink, your bills,

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everything. That little bit extra, which is a lot, really, is

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excellent for me and everybody else here. She'll get a rise along with

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about 2000 other staff at Newcastle City Council. That is because the

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council has decided to adopt so called living wage. This will be

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sampans 20 an hour, just over �1 more than the national minimum wage.

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It will cost the council an extra �1 million in a year, which will be

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met through internal efficiencies. We recognised in the council be in

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pink people a proper rate for their work and minimum wage is not enough

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to live on. So we thought it was a good idea. Eta has been introduced

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to ten or 12 years ago elsewhere in the country. We asked an

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independent panel to investigate it for us. The council also claims

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paying staff more will keep their local economy a shop in the arm.

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Many that his pay due less well-off workers ends up in the local

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economy. -- money paid to less well off workers. It will be spent in

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local shops. It is not just Newcastle City Council. These are

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my politics -- the Sunday Politics has learnt that Sunderland will

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introduce the idea and other councils may follow suit. But

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surely higher wages brings more cost and less profit? Not so, says

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one fan who has studied be living wage. The makes people more

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comfortable in the drop in the longer term. They are more

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committed to their employer. Attention, sickness, all of these

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things that build towards private dignity -- productivity, benefit

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the business. His bakery opened earlier this year. It is run by

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Neil Le Flohic. He is weighed down by a VAT, National Insurance and

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business rates. He would like a bit more help from the Government and

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council. Until then, he cannot afford to pay a living wage. At the

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moment I was paid less than any one of white staff. If there was more

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money I would like to pay my staff more. Unless I am paying living

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wage either will be difficult to keep them wrong turn. But if there

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was a little more flexibility in the way things go in business I

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would be able to do that. A living wage for workers could pay

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dividends for the economy, boosting spending and bringing in millions

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in revenue for the Treasury. But there is a fear that bringing up

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council wages means it is less attractive for people to work in

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the private sector. Let's talk to Ted Salmon, regional

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chairman for the Federation of Small Businesses in the North East.

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You have heard the arguments. Why can't the private sector adopt

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this? What you will find really is that the minimum wage is the

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requirement and the giving weight is the aspirational part of it. For

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a lot of small businesses, they paid significantly above the

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minimum wage because, as the gentleman was saying in the film,

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it adds to the retention, to the motivation of the staff.

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everyone is doing this. everyone can afford to but where a

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business can afford to, a small business, they tend to do that.

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Should more of them do it? Ideally, yes. Tell us what is stopping some

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businesses. It comes down to all the requirements that are on

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business, and people will say, though, it is just another �1 an

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hour but you have fuel costs that have gone up, you are elected costs,

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business rates, next year we're going to have HMRC bringing in the

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live accounting element, so that is going to take up more staff time,

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so that is another drain on resources. It is a bit like the

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principle of, oh, back will only take five minutes. There is only a

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finite amount of five minutes. you see these making it up harder

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for the private sector of the -- can you see these making it harder

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for the private sector to retain staff? No, 80% of people looking

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for work are going to get a job in the private sector. 95 % of those

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are going to be in the small and micro business sector. It is not

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such a problem, in your view? less of a problem than some people

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think. Would you like to see Durham committed this? Very much. I am

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pleased Newcastle City Council is leading the way in the region. I

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think that from the beginning of November, paying the living wage is

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a really important concept because I think it helps us understand the

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amount of money people need to be paid to be able to meet their

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everyday living expenses and it is really good that local authorities

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are also thinking about how to use their procurement processes so when

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they are pig during services from the private sector, they look at

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whether those private sector organisations can also pay the

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living wage. Isn't this rather strange that the council's

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marketing jobs and everything and certainly they can add �1 million

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to get wage bill. I did not think they find it easily. But they find

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it. I understand it is from cutting management costs, but it is a

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really good set of priorities for them to have because this is

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putting more money into the local economy. It should reduce the

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amount that people are having to climb on tax credits, and it is

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giving people a living wage which is important. Ian Swales, do you by

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the economic arguments for this, that it will stimulate grades?

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Sudhir pier putting more money into the local economy is a good thing.

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We have not talked about taxes. One of the good things that the Labour

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Government did was to bring in the minimum wage but I cannot forgive

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them for giving a �1,000 tax bill to people on the minimum wage.

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living wage, do you agree with it? It is an aspiration, as the FSB is

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there. I aspirations seldom happened! This is one figure for

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the entire country, so what people need to live on depends a lot on

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where they live, accommodation costs, transport costs. He dues a

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different figure for London. Yes, �1 and the hour mall. If councils

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can afford his money, shouldn't they pass it on to the council

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taxpayer? That is another way but you help that does not just help

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the workers of the council. Yes, but some council workers are paid

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to extremely low Paris. Council-tax payers are extremely hard pressed

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at the moment. A lot of North East councils did not freeze a council

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tax and they are giving that many await you workers. This will

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infuriate people the basic council workers getting pay rises whereas

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council tax goes up next year. said, a lot of councils are trying

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to use their procurement policies to ensure that these goals and them

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to the private-sector where it is possible to do that, and council

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tax bills have been frozen pretty much across the piece. But you

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could offer a cut. You put his �1 million into a budget. You can even

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save a service or but the council tax. Instead councils are choosing

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to pay their staff more. But my point is his and important to be

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moving towards a wage that means people can feed their families well,

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clothe their families well, and as a society we should be moving

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towards paying people a living wage?

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You may well remember the terrible events of New Year's Day. The

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County Durham village of court and where three people were shot dead.

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The man who did it, Michael Atherton, had a licence to own his

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firearms quite legally and that has prompted an MP to demand action.

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Susan McGoldrick and Alison and Tanya Turnbull, all shot on my

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year's Day. The families believe their killer, Michael Atherton,

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should never have been allowed to go and the shop and he turned on

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them. They are petitioning for the gun laws to be strengthened. -- the

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shotgun he turned on them. I would not want anyone else to go

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through what we went through it. It is the worst possible thing ever.

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When you find out it could have been prevented, it is just a double

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blow. The people you loved the most in the world could still be with

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you had it not been for mistakes that were made. That is why I want

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them to be corrected. David and his family have the support of their

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local MP, Grahame Morris, who backed their calls in the Commons

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this week. It is difficult to understand why someone would need

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access in the domestic setting to firearms. What the MP and the

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family want is a single authority to take over the licensing of

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firearms for the different police authorities. They want them to be

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able to do medical checks on applicants and to check with

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partners and ex-partners of applicants to see whether they are

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a suitable person to have a shotgun in their home. Some of the laws are

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tight enough already. They just need to be applied probably to

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prevent more bats. -- deaths. can see how much bother it might

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cause to consult partners and ex- partners. The problem we -- with a

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bureaucratic hurdles is that they create diversions. Ministers say

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gun laws remain under review but no decision will be taken until the

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report into the Horden shootings is published next year.

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What the family are swaying -- St Bees the Government is dragging its

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heels. -- what the family is saying is that the Government is dragging

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its heels. This was a tragic case. Frankly, these cases are rare, that

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legal guns are involved. But each case is tragic. Certainly, we have

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some are the strongest gunwales in the world in this country but there

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is always room for improvement. -- gun laws. I am sure you will be

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sympathetic as well, but there are 34 pieces of legislation

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controlling the M licensing. Do really need any more legislation?

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agree with Ian at incidents such as this one Aap frankly Barry rare in

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this country but I was very disappointed with the minister's

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response to Graham's excellent debate. He braced for very

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interesting and straightforward points, that the whole system needs

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to be simplified. There is too much regulation that police forces need

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more guidance so that areas consistency, and we need to

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understand more why some people need guns. It seemed to me that

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once a set of very sensible proposals that could be paid for by

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up in the licence fee for having guns. I be the Government could

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implement the sensible proposals easily. The danger is it causes

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immense problems in bureaucracy because if you have this idea of

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getting your ex-partner, for instance, to sign the form and if

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they do not there will be an investigation, that will have

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police in besting the people who -- investigating people who are

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innocent. The need to understand better why some people the guns and

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they should be more investigation, but what Grahame Morris was calling

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for is the cutting of bureaucracy. There are lots of different systems

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operating at different pieces of legislation. It would be much

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better to streamline the process. Ian Swales, can we ever legislate

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to prevent incidents like this? There always be some particular

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circumstances, and a lot of guns are obtained illegally. That is

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:52:24.:52:26.

right. The majority of gun crime is illegally obtained guns. Did is not

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a crime at the moment to lend A8 gun to a criminal who is done

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registered. Where you have people few legally owned guns, you cannot

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ever legislate for a single rogue person carrying back some a trustee,

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unfortunately. In the days when Britain was an

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economic powerhouse, it was places like Sunderland, Middlesbrough and

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Gateshead that often lent the way. Now it seems the Government he

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drank to turn the clock back a bit. Here is more on that and the rest

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of the week's political news. Sunderland is one of 20 CAA is

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invited to bid for new powers on the City Deal programme. Heseltine

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says it is time to unleash the prop Newcastle and other crack it cities

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and end the over-dependence on London. He urged in a report the

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Government to give extra money to Local Enterprise Partnerships.

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they are not doing it well enough, help them become stronger because

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what you really have got to try to get hold of is the dynamism of

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England's provincial cities and the states abandoned. Do south --

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Stockton Southend MP joined Conservative rebels who called for

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a cut in the EU budget this week. A plea to help the great British

:53:53.:54:01.

pub from Hartlepool MP Mr Wright. Labour will this afternoon select

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their candidate for the Labour that -- Middlesbrough by election.

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Not many people in this part of the world will disagree with lord

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Heseltine that his time to balance the over-reliance on London. Isn't

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Michael Heseltine trying to solve a problem that your Government

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created? You scrapped the regional development agencies. The old

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system was one size fits all and there were any 12 regional

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development agencies. We have already had La Cenerentola its city

:54:40.:54:50.
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deals and this is for another 20,. -- we have already had eight deals.

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Michael Heseltine is right, is keen not, they have not even the Local

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Enterprise Partnerships the resources they need? The most

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important part of local enterprise partnerships is that they are just

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that, partnerships. Under-resourced and underpowered? In many parts of

:55:17.:55:21.

the country they are doing very good work already, including BT's

:55:21.:55:27.

Aleph. One are the most important things is all regions to decide for

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themselves. Westminster will not tell the region's what to do in the

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way it used to. Isn't it worrying that the vision here is coming from

:55:41.:55:48.

a accepted in -- septuagenarian Tory peer rather than Ed Miliband?

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What is important is that CAA -- he sees the role of Government

:55:52.:55:57.

differently to the commission. He says the Government needs a Prior

:55:57.:56:02.

growth strategy, they need a growth council to drive through changes

:56:02.:56:07.

that will support businesses, and of course they want more powers

:56:07.:56:12.

given, and more money given to Local Enterprise Partnerships, or

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to a level below them. Hesleden is not sure that they are the right

:56:16.:56:22.

level. Will Labour Pool B its money where its mouth is by saying, we

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will do this? The sad think I find reading it is that it is about

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having one pot of money and not the system we have under this

:56:32.:56:36.

Government. It is about having a five-year regional economic

:56:36.:56:41.

strategy which seems to me to be a really good thing to have and it is

:56:41.:56:45.

all of those things that were lost when we had the regional Duvall at

:56:45.:56:49.

that age has done away with. Local Enterprise Partnerships are not

:56:49.:56:56.

delivering. I hope that both Labour and this Government take the sport

:56:56.:57:00.

seriously, because there is a lot of good stuff in it. The problem is,

:57:00.:57:08.

to be blunt, you would not like to see a lot of this implemented,

:57:08.:57:12.

because of the Galarza B of your coalition partners. I would not

:57:12.:57:21.

agree. Hesselink says the Government's goal is to step back

:57:21.:57:28.

from the economy and let the regions do their thing. We have

:57:28.:57:33.

been putting a billion pounds in two regions like arts and 100

:57:33.:57:39.

McReady �5 million into the North East just two weeks ago. Is no

:57:39.:57:43.

strategic oversight. No printing money to particular sectors of the

:57:43.:57:48.

economy that will really deliver growth in the future. It is a

:57:48.:57:55.

scattergun approach. It is what we know it's there in the region.

:57:55.:57:59.

irony is that lord Heseltine is chair of the Regional Growth Fund.

:57:59.:58:06.

He is saying we must amalgamate. There are 14 budgets in the region.

:58:06.:58:11.

He is saying we need a single but it and it needs strategic direction

:58:11.:58:15.

and local control as far. That is reasonable.

:58:15.:58:21.

That is acute. Before we go, details of special police -- that

:58:21.:58:28.

is it. Before we go, gig as are a special programme on the police

:58:28.:58:35.

derision at elections. That is Horden -- that is Police Elections

:58:35.:58:42.

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