10/02/2013 Sunday Politics North East and Cumbria


10/02/2013

Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Guests include environment secretary Owen Paterson and energy secretary Ed Davey.


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In the North East and Cumbria... The new police commissioners set

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out their budgets, but can putting up council tax to pay for the force

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2458 seconds

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really be justified? That is coming Hello and a warm welcome to your

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local part of the show. Coming up...

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The new Police Commissioners across the North East and Cumbria set

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their budgets, but can some of their planned increases in council

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tax really be justified? My guests this week are two women

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with their eyes on a seat at Westminster. Conservative Anne

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Marie Trevelyan, who contested Berwick at the last election, and

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Anna Turley, who will be fighting Redcar for Labour in 2015.

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Let us kick off with Middlesbrough mayor Ray Mallon and his latest

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idea to attract business back into the town centre - offering free

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parking at two of the council's main city centre car parks. Could

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free parking catch on? Goodness revived East city-centre as

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We have seen experiments in certain areas where this has really

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increase trade. I would support his attempt to see if this can draw

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trade into Middlesbrough city centre. It is a gamble and a way,

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because it could cost the city �300,000 in lost revenue. I admire

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Ray Mallon to try and stimulate the local economy, but we have to look

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a cross a broader cuts a cross the place and we it up. What is good

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for Middlesbrough, but it might not be for other people. It could be

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banned for the likes of Redcar, if it drew people away from there into

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Middlesbrough? At absolutely. The problem at the moment is that the

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economy is flat lining and the Government has chosen not to reduce

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Value Added Tax. These are the sort of things that could tell people

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and shops. By one of the problems with this is that you could as they

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have something of a free-for-all. Yes, but you have to listen to the

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business community and if they say that the lack of free parking is a

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disincentive then you have to listen to that.

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Our top story this week is the cost of policing: Three months into the

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job, the five new Police and Crime Commissioners for Cumbria and the

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North East have set their budgets. In Northumbria, Vera Baird is

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putting up the force's slice of council tax by 3.5%, one of the

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biggest percentage rises in the country.

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Other forces say they are also increasing the charge, to offset

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funding cuts. Yet, the government wanted police commissioners to

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offer a council tax freeze. Bobbies on the beat, it is what we all want,

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but it is not cheap. We all pay a slice of council tax to make it

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happen. But Vera Baird is picking up the charge by 3.5%. It is

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causing some consternation. It is an assured that the Police and

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Crime Commissioners met at gave Vera Baird a tough time or over the

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rise of 3.5%. This was after a council tax freeze was promised,

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but everyone will now pay more because of the extra police charge.

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Vera Baird was unrepentant. council leader has said -- the

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police have said they are that breaking point with regard to the

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cuts. Four fifths of the people we surveyed said they would be

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entitled to pay 10p per person to increase the number of police

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people on the beat. But there are different laws apply to different

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forces from Northumbria. She has two key the rise to less than �5

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for a Band D property. She is able to charge less than other forces

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because Northumbria has always had the lowest council charges. In

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Durham, the Band D property bill will call up by 3.7 -- �3.70.

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Cleveland's bill will rise by �3.89. Only in North Yorkshire will there

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be a freeze. But there bill of �205 is already �120 higher than

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Northumbria. Some believe the rises are unjustifiable. Instead, they

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say that Police and Crime Commissioners should look for

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different ways to save money. chief ghost constable came to the

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City Council and said they would protect the council tax free use.

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The net figure they should be looking for for savings is �700,000

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out of the budget of nearly �300 million. The one thing they can

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agree on is the bonus of having extra officers on the streets. But

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at the moment, should we really have to pay more to keep them

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there? Another one of the Police

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Commissioners increasing council tax is Durham's Ron Hogg and he is

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with me now. There is a view that there was a moral duty to implement

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this council tax freeze. Why have you not done that? I do not agree

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with that. Our main aim is to deliver an efficient police service.

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The council tax increase by having posed will bring me in less than

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�500,000 per annum. If you look at the council tax we gather from

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policing, it is we Gillott the national average for council tax.

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We get about 25 % of our policing budget from council tax. Therefore,

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the reductions in our funding a much more acute. We were

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constrained any amount we could actually increase. What we did, we

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carried out a survey among the community and over two-thirds

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agreed with this. We had significant backing from the

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community over this. Now, people are saying they did not like the

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idea of Police and Crime Commissioners. Second leg, up one

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of the first things you do when in office is to say they are going to

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have to pay more council tax? I can understand that. But what this will

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do well give us more police officers on the streets. But when

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4/5 of your budget is eaten up in staff costs, you have to look at

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other ways to cover the costs. We are creating 60 jobs in a row

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community. We have the Capitol building projects which will again

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see work going into the local communities. Money will be going

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out, but significant money will be coming in. No, we have heard about

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the wildlife problems which have caused the delay in the building of

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the headquarters which has cost you something like �250,000. We have to

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take these matters seriously and into consideration. We want to move

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out of the current headquarters and if we move into the new ones, we

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will save �750,000 per annum. That is my commitment to reducing the

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costs for the local community. In the current climate, is it

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acceptable for Labour commissioners to put up council tax? I've think

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it is an incredibly difficult time. I think I'll councils and police

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commissioners should do everything to keep prices down as much as

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possible. I you convinced that they are doing that? I had my sympathies.

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They are being forced into this by the government cuts. They have very

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little choice as to what they can do. Both Conservative and Labour

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police commissioners are being forced to implement these cuts, so

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I do not see it as a party political issue. I am frustrated on

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their behalf. That is the reality of this, isn't it Anne Marie

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Trevelyan? This is cuts imposed by the government. You cannot blame

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him? I agree. I think Ron set out a very clear argument. The reality is

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the council's but trying to maintain council tax freezes. I was

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speaking to people in Derry yesterday and there question was,

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are we going to see more policemen in Berwick? This is not going to be

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for the rural areas of Northumberland. The rural

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populations, who are struggling from all sorts of pressures such as

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the cost of fuel, this is another drawback. They will not see the

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benefit of this. There are going to be extra officers, and they could

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be all over the pack should. As Vera Baird says, people are

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prepared to pay it if they're going to get better policing.

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certainly, if that was the case, but people in rural Northumberland

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do not think they're going to see the benefits of this. If they can

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explain how rural areas will benefit, because we tend to be left

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out of the sort of things. �700,000 worth of savings could have

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delivered this council tax freeze out of a budget of �300 million.

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Would have been so difficult to find the saving elsewhere? A thing

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there real pressures on councils, not just from the policing point of

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view. There are having to make a look at all their assets and the

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best management of them to avoid people having to pick their hands

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in their pockets. But crime is falling a cross the regions, so

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where is the justification for this rise in police officers? The things

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are improving and the police are doing a fantastic job, but the

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issue here is, we are seen less visibility of police officers. We

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are seeing a loss in police officers and a cut in staff. This

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is going to have an impact on the community and on victims. You're

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were talking about people in rural areas who want to see people more

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visible. But Vera Baird said that to try and make up for the cuts of

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one 5th they have had, they would have to make cuts a cross the board.

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I support asking our public services to work as efficiently as

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they can to use the resources that are available. They have to use

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them as effectively as possible to provide the services we need. I

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think Northumbria has done a very good job in streamlining services,

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but I do not think that Vera Baird is going to make a great

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improvement in the policing and especially not in the rural

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policing, as I have said. By key both very much. -- and Frankie both

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And if you want your say on the police council tax rises, there is

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more on my blog at bbc.co.uk/richardmoss.

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The vote over gay marriage may have been overwhelmingly passed in the

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Commons, but its legacy could be a toxic one for Conservatives in the

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north. The region's Tory MPs were divided over the issue, while some

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of their party members believe David Cameron was wrong to raise it

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in the first place. Here is our Cumbria political reporter Megan

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Paterson. Marriage means something different to all of us. We want to

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get married and spent the rest of our lives together. I want to get

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married and make that solemn vow in front of God. It is important to be

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with somebody. It is not just a case of living with someone. To be,

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it is the all come at that side of things. Been married is important.

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It is important to me. It is no secret that planning any marriage

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can cause tension and the Bill for equal marriage seems to cause

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division among Conservative MPs in the North East and Cumbria. John

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Stephenson is not convinced there is a niche for change. I do not

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think the issue is necessary for this Parliament. I felt restate his

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call would have been perfectly fine, sticking with civil partnerships. I

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do not think there was any need for change. He was one of five MPs from

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the area who voted against the Bill. Three Conservative MPs voted in

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favour - William Hague, Rory Stuart and Gary Orr Harman from Hexham.

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Would anyone feel less married because we have a constituents who

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are getting married. I am not yet married. I have yet to find the

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women who would put up with myself! She is out there, I promise you!

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Your perception of the division is not what I see in the House of

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Commons. It genuinely is not. This is the three wart. Everybody

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expresses their conscience. It is not the case, in my it view, that

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this is about defying anybody. If it was, it would not be a fee of

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court. There is concern that it will alienate court party members,

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going against the views of activist and failing to convert non-

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Conservative voters. I think it will do damage to our core

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membership. I think the feeling, the feeling of people I have spoken

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to, feel it was rather unnecessary to have it at this time. I think

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that some will probably resign their membership. Paul Flynn, not

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for ever, but I think as a protest. The David Cameron will be hoping

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that, despite that, they will say Conservative for better or worse.

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If you do have any proposals for him, write to him, not to me! Where

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do you stand at this? I think the whole point was what he said about

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the idea of the fee for it. You've caught with your conscience. But I

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agree with the Prime Minister, you should have the same legal rights

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in union as any other. To challenge, out of seemingly nowhere, the

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concept that marriage which has none between a man and a women and

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not as the population to come with you and think about it, has cost a

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lot of distress amongst traditional Conservative voters. I have done

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more in my e-mail and postbag and this in recent weeks than on any

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other issue. It is not a fear. It is a lack of understanding about

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where this has come from, at the speed it has come up and it does

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not make sense to them. I do not think this bill is coming from the

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right place. I think we should take the whole thing away from me and

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religious context and 80 Civil Union the norm a cross the United

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Kingdom. It is complicated, but I think the Government did not want

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to wade into anything which brought them into more conflict with the

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Church of England. But I think this would have been better than this

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next back we have ended up with. Are you finding members of the

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party saying they have had enough? In the eye on local area, for

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people have written to me to say they are resigning their membership.

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They are really voting on that on it religious basis. Could is a much

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bigger issue than a party political bases. He wants to bring us into it

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and ecosystem abroad, but I do not think this provides for that. --

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and equal system. I think it was the historic piece of legislation.

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I think it was great to see it come through. I think in 50 years' time,

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we will look back on this debate and see it that as being rather odd.

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I think it is the likes of the way that we now look on the Bill to

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pass the legality of homosexuality. I think it is fantastic that we can

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find they have legislation which will give it equal rights to gay

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couples. To you think this could be damaging for David Cameron? A thick

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there eye a lot of issues where he needs to be dragged kicking and

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screaming into the 21st century. But if he managed to offend older

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members of the Conservative Party, is that not going to be a problem

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for him? By are not so interested in that. If people want to play

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party games, that is up to them, but I think it is a fantastic piece

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of legislation. I think David Cameron is genuinely modernising

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his you and make the something that works. The challenge is whether he

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brings the party with them and that is where the time element could

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have been better managed. Now, my lesser-known namesake

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Richard III was back this week, removed from under a car park in

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Leicester. We cannot promise you royalty, but

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our reporter Megan Paterson has spent the week digging around and

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managed to unearth a few political gems. And all in less time than it

:03:49.:03:59.
:03:59.:04:03.

takes to pay a quick visit to see your nephews. Money for flood

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prevention work has been announced by the government, will

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Northumberland council announced a new flood it prepared prevention

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scheme. The leader of Northern Rock has been elected as the peer in the

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House of Lords. The Government was as to be more bold about their

:04:29.:04:34.

reform of the banks will stop why don't we just nationalise the money

:04:34.:04:43.

and good public services? A school near Stockton suffered a setback

:04:43.:04:50.

when the local council refused planning permission. And finally,

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the new arrivals at Newcastle United. In the European Parliament,

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he thanked the French President for the influx of players to the club

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from a cross the Channel. And that is about it from us. There

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is special reports on the BBC all next week about the government's

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welfare changes, starting tomorrow with a look at the so-called

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"bedroom tax". That is on Inside Out at 7.30pm tomorrow evening on

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BBC One. And on the Sunday Politics next

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weekend, we will be talking about how disabled people will be

:05:23.:05:25.

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