18/11/2012 Sunday Politics North East and Cumbria


18/11/2012

Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news, interviews and debate including conservative party chairman Grant Shapps and shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper.


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In the North East - who is to blame for the low turnout in a Police and

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2387 seconds

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Crime Commissioner elections? Is at The am very warm welcome. Coming up

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- is it the end of our public libraries as Newcastle announces

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plans to shut 10 amid criticism from local operas. -- authors. With

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me, the MP for Gateshead. On whether to give prisoners be bought.

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-- of the vote. Where you stand on this? If people Larraine prison but

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on demand, they should be allowed to vote. The interesting thing

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about this is how many people within the prison population were

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registered to vote before going into prison. If they were register

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they have up. But if not, what is the fuss about? We have to listen

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and do something about this, do we not? It is not a question of

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ignoring Europe. We have decided historically that when you go to

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prison, certain of your liberties are removed from you. I hope people

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will maintain that position that regardless of what is the creed

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from the human rights lobby. -- decreed. Five out of six people in

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the North East did not vote in the Police and Crime Commissioner

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elections. People also seen to be turning their backs on the idea of

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elected mayors. Check out the victory speeches - the winning

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candidate criticising the election she has just one. This result is

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down to the bungling incompetence of this Tory government aided by

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the Liberal Democrats henchmen. became in Northumberland's first

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Police and Crime Commissioner. general election guarantees that

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any candidate gets one at least it through everybody's door. I blame

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the government's completely and it is not the public's fault for the

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low turnout. Up the local elections in May it sought her mitts of 34.6

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per cent and Carlisle. Not exactly fantastic figures but if you

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In Cumbria, while the Conservatives triumph, the Liberal Democrats

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finished 4th. The Government should have done a great deal more ahead

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of the elections to describe what a Police and Crime Commissioner would

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actually do. Although the electorate have said they are

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concerned by crime, they were indifferent to these elections.

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is perhaps the way in which it has been implemented and the public are

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thinking they are voting for somebody who understands the needs

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of communities and can represent their diverse interests, by making

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it a political appointment, in effect. That alienated a lot of

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people. A only 18% took part in the vote in Hartlepool. Less than one

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in five people bother to go out and bought. The first and possibly the

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last elected mayor in Hartlepool. The turnout is disappointing, no

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doubt about it. The turnout in the parliamentary by-elections have not

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been good either. What about free mailing? The candidates were able

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to contact the public and there was nothing stopping them from that. It

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is not just that at all. The turnout is disappointing but for

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the first time, we have people who are actually elected into the

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important role of controlling our police. We never had that before.

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People have only been appointed before and the public were not

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aware of what was going on in their name. People will want to know why

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parties like your own did not get many leaflets out, surely it is up

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to you and not to the public purse? Party members worked high is like

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to get leaflets out on behalf of our candidate but this is the point

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in terms of at the FT election leaflets were all. It would have

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cost another �30 million. We would have then had 41 Police and Crime

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Commissioner us with some legitimacy to them rather than

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being seen as a waste of time. Labour won the three of these on

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low turnouts. Do they have a mandate or have they to be careful?

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Given the low turnout, I would encourage them to be cautious and

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they have to ease into the role and get a public behind them. There is

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a lack of legitimacy here. The Conservative when in Cumbria

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effectively got the backing of less than 5% of the electorate. Up what

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Hamed would be it -- would be accept for legitimacy. Were local

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council elections. So Police and Crime Commissioner as can just

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carry on as if they had 40% of the electorate? What point would you

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take? 40%, 60%? There was an electoral process which was not

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available to people before her. There are lots of independent

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candidates who have won the elections and we have a real job to

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do and I hope they do it well. I have every expectation misaligned

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up being a successful exercise. lot of people are mystified. Your

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party said this was not about politicising the police but on the

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ballot paper there were lots of political parties. It does not mean

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people are going to let them. John Prescott was not elected even

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though he has a very high profile as a politician. There was an

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independent who came second in Durham - would be better with

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independent commissioners? Given the level of political

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representation in the expected levels of local and national

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government in the area, it would be perverse for a party like the

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Labour Party not to stand candidates. Even on low turnouts,

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resounding victories all cards for Labour candidates will sup --

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candidates. This was a way of letting the current government know

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what they think of their policy cost up the speed of council cuts

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is picking up once again as local authorities begin to finalise local

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budgets and libraries appear to be in the firing line. Gateshead says

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five branches will be offered to local people to run and the

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Newcastle, 10 could be closed. Writers are accusing Newcastle are

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using libraries as soft targets. It is story time and toddlers are

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having their imaginations imbued with tales of hiding Lyons, for

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also on locks and cats with magic hats. They are colouring in at

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creating and making things. It is as much for me as it is for my son.

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It allows me to socialise and meet other parents. It gets in used to

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reading bits because I loved books. This library will help to provide

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an amazing setting for the fantastic tales told here. This

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library is on the list of proposed cuts being considered by

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Middlesbrough Council. It would save the authority �64,000 a year

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but people say it is worth much more to them. I go there with my

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grandchildren on Saturday mornings. You are not going to learn anything

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if they close the library. We only have a few little shops that this

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is where all the kids come, you have story times and everything.

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is a meeting place for people as well. I cannot believe it is close

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thing. The baddies in this grim tale are the local government

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according to this MP. It is about explain to people, with the

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Government saying we are all in this together, but Teesside council

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were hit harder than most. libraries have been taken off the

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bits at North Yorkshire. Two communities in Hartlepool lost

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their branch. Gateshead wants five of their libraries to be taken over

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by volunteers and Newcastle libraries is proposing to continue

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just eight of its 18 libraries. initial reaction has been shot.

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Libraries have been protected and valued banned although they still

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are, there is a limit now with the funding we have. The eight plans

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have shocked local writers as well. I am just so shocked that Newcastle

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and Gateshead are considering closing libraries and giving others

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over two volunteers. It could be the only form of art many people

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here have access to it. We're talking about access and the

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quality of opportunities and we're closing libraries! We're closing

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access to different perspectives on live.

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It is not just libraries of up the Newcastle draft budget also

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proposes closing the city swimming baths and ending grants to the

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Theatre Royal and the Tyneside cinema. Argued treating libraries

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as an easy target? Not at all. Up we have to make some extremely

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painful decisions as a result of the unfair cuts we're getting from

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government. It is services right across the council including the

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ones I am particularly concerned about, which are services that

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protect vulnerable adults and vulnerable children. The city

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council is losing one third of its budget. It is impossible to

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conceive -- to continue all the services. One writer said Mrs like

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stabbing yourself in the heart. You'll end access to these

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resources that could help make doctors and politicians and

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everything else. I am furious about this. If Newcastle was treated

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fairly, we would have �22 million more next year alone. We are still

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going to offer a core library service of eight live reviews

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across the city. -- libraries. have make some choices. It is �1

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million to pay a living wage to staff. That could have kept

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libraries going. The living wage is about supporting our most of rest

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economies. The living wage is helping to protect our local

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economy it as well as valuing the work people do. You could have used

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some of that money to keep the libraries are open? You have

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already saved more through it management costs and the living

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wage will pay for itself over time in the improved efficiency and

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sickness absence. The Big Issue is the unfair cuts as a result of the

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decisions taken by the Tories and the Liberal Democrats in

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Westminster. I am furious. Would you accept this as a general

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assault? Culture has been a big part of Newcastle's economy. What

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other ways can be look to? We are already cutting services to the

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vulnerable and at are reducing to fortnightly in collections. We're

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looking at closing swimming pools. There are no easy options here.

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These are dreadful and difficult cuts and we are doing our best to

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be fair under the circumstances but the Government is not being fair to

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us. That is the fundamental allegation to you. I do not think

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the two things are directly related. Indirectly, we have to live within

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our means. The budget has been reduced by one-third. They have to

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make difficult decisions but I would say that something like

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libraries is, as the personal priority, as many as possible

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should be kept open. That is a personal priority but we all have

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to live within our means. What do you make of your local council's

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position? Nobody can pretend that we are able to carry on regardless

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with a disproportionate cuts we have had to take compared to many

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Conservative councils in the south- east. Do you accept there is no

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alternative? Getting that a huge amount of money is taken out of the

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unprotected part of the council budget, that part is taking a

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massive hits of up I cannot think of any individual services which

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can be completely safeguarded. If you do not take it out of this, it

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head statutory requirement. Constituents could say they are

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very dismayed, what would you say to them? I would say this is a

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problem created in the Cabinet Office in terms of the way they

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have decided that the cuts would hit northern councils this

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proportionately much greater than many in the south. Places like

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Newcastle and Gateshead are being hit harder than the Home Counties.

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Up if you're going to do that, you might as well blame the last Labour

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government who borrowed so much and everybody is now having to suffer.

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The distribution of the cuts is what he is saying. Newcastle and

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Gateshead seem to have a disproportionate amount of money

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taken it compare to councils in the south. I know many councils are

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concerned and North Yorkshire are concerned as well. Something needs

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to be done? We can look at the formula but it seems to me we still

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cannot avoid the fact cuts and changes are necessary. The fragile

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recovery, slightly out of recession, take more and more money out of the

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economy through this and it will go backwards again. The cuts have not

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helped the economy grow. By money is now representing reality for a

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change. Borrowing money is not a sensible thing for the individual

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people who enjoy libraries. You cannot say that money is not being

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taken out of the economy when you look at thousands of pounds that

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would have been spent in the local economy that are now being spent

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elsewhere in the disproportionate way. That is having a massive

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impact in the public and private sectors. Scotland's First Minister

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made a reappearance in the region this week. Some regard him as the

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arrival but he seemed to be here as an ally, offering political co-

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operation. Eight he said hospital consultant

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is to be co-leader of a new political party. The opposed the

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government's NHS changes. Alex Salmond has held out the prospect

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of closer ties if Scotland votes to become independent. The bonds of

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Trade, family and friendship, business and commerce between

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Scotland and the North East of England are strong at present and

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will strengthen in my opinion after Scotland becomes independent.

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unemployment fell again but David Miliband said too little has been

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done for the young jobless. It is one thing to be unemployed but it

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is another to be told the government will help you out of it

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and they do not. Let's talk Scotland. Do you see

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Alex Salmond as a friend to the North East? I see the people of

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Scotland as good friends and neighbours but Alex Salmond is now

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beginning to understand that England is the market through which

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Scotland have to travel. Up there is a mutual interest. Goods passing

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through it would serve as the North East and Scotland. Was he right to

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say that Scotland and the North East can make common cause because

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they both get a raw deal from the South? He comes across the border

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and informs us what the terms of surrender will be. I think they

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should get themselves back into Scotland and tell Alex Salmond and

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all the Scots the advantages of remaining in the United Kingdom,

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never mind all that nonsense. I hope the North East is not coined

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by this sort of smooth talking. -- conned. He was talking about things

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like high-speed rail, would be South getting it first, why not

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Scotland and the North? Why are we going to get into bed with Scotland

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of a sudden? We would have to formally celebrate all the Scottish

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holidays of up people might like that! Ascot and get the chance to

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cut business taxes, that could be a serious threat to the economy?

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are already seeing the effects of Scotland having a parliament and

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the eradication of our regional development agency means Scotland

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are still doing it economic development but we do not have that

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capacity in the North East. We have seen some good examples of that in

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comparison to us. Does it worry you they would go further if they get

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independence or further evolution powers? His visit here has

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eliminated the fact he sees England at an important market for Scotland

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and we all need to wake up to that will sup I believe he is better off

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in Edinburgh and can argue what he likes about Scottish independence

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but if it ever happens, I think it is the disadvantages to the whole

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of the United Kingdom including the North East. Some people's just

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south of the border might like the idea of the prescription charges

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and an Alex Salmond government. have already seen certain problems

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with people moving across the border because of changes and

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policies that are being done by the Scottish Parliament right now. I

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think we need to consolidate the United Kingdom as an entity and

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anything further down the road would be bad news for the North

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East and other regions will sup thank you very much. That is about

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