28/04/2013 Sunday Politics North East and Cumbria


28/04/2013

Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news and interviews, including deputy prime minister and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg discussing the local elections.


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In the North East and Cumbria: The towns and cities hardest hit by

:01:20.:01:23.

cuts. And, we're on the campaign trail in South Shields as the by-

:01:23.:01:33.
:01:33.:01:33.

Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2288 seconds

:01:33.:39:41.

election campaign enters its final Hello and a warm welcome to your

:39:41.:39:45.

local part of the show. With just four days to go until the county

:39:45.:39:49.

council elections, the big hitters have been in the North. The Prime

:39:49.:39:51.

Minister, David Cameron, met workers at the Pirelli tyre plant

:39:51.:39:55.

in Carlisle on Friday as part of a rapid run through Cumbria. While

:39:55.:39:58.

Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg, was focussing on the contest in

:39:58.:40:02.

Northumberland with a campaign visit to Berwick. But we're

:40:02.:40:05.

concentrating on a different election this week - the contest to

:40:05.:40:08.

be David Miliband's successor as MP for South Shields. With me in the

:40:08.:40:11.

studio to discuss that - and the rest of the week's news - North-

:40:12.:40:17.

East Euro MP Martin Callanan and the MP for Hartlepool, Iain Wright.

:40:17.:40:21.

Let's start briefly with Hartlepool. It was named in new research this

:40:21.:40:25.

week as the North East town that's been worst-hit by the cuts. Doesn't

:40:25.:40:30.

this tell us what we already knew that basically Hartlepool was too

:40:30.:40:33.

dependent on the public sector at the start of this process so it's

:40:33.:40:37.

not surprising? I don't think it does say that. It shows and

:40:37.:40:39.

demonstrates very vividly the failure of Government economic

:40:39.:40:42.

policy at the moment. You can't have the public sector working in

:40:42.:40:46.

isolation with the private sector, that's not how a modern economy

:40:46.:40:50.

works and the whole of the North is feeling the effect of that, but

:40:50.:40:52.

particularly Hartlepool. We are losing with a combination of

:40:52.:40:55.

welfare cuts, cuts to local Government and other Government

:40:55.:41:00.

contracts being lost, losing in the region of about �725 per person,

:41:00.:41:04.

that's having a huge impact on the private sector and we are seeing

:41:04.:41:08.

that with rising unemployment. list that includes Hartlepool also

:41:08.:41:13.

high up in that list, Middlesbrough, Sunderland, it shows areas already

:41:13.:41:17.

deprived are the ones being hit the worst by your policies. Well, it's

:41:17.:41:21.

a consequence of the fact that those areas have high levels of

:41:21.:41:25.

public sector dependency, high levels of welfare, etc, when we are

:41:25.:41:28.

having to take painful decisions to get the national books in order

:41:28.:41:34.

from a deficit that Labour left us with, obviously those areas will

:41:34.:41:37.

suffer disproportionately. We need to get people off welfare, get them

:41:37.:41:42.

into work, into the private sector so they're not dependent on public

:41:42.:41:48.

sector handouts in the future. Thank you very much.

:41:49.:41:51.

Now, there's a by-election in South Shields next week. But careful you

:41:52.:41:55.

don't blink or you might miss the entire campaign. It's one of the

:41:55.:41:57.

shortest ever - which means the nine candidates don't have much

:41:58.:42:01.

time to grab the attention of South Tyneside's voters. I went to find

:42:01.:42:04.

out how the race to succeed David Miliband is shaping up. Got a pen

:42:04.:42:07.

and Heathrow Airport handy? Prepare to take note of the Labour by-

:42:07.:42:12.

election victory recipe. Take a smattering of activists, a sprinkle

:42:12.:42:17.

of Shadow Cabinet stardust, a very local candidate and mar inaid over

:42:17.:42:21.

a short campaign. This could be seen as a contrast to campaigns for

:42:21.:42:24.

Labour's previous MP, a man who arrived with no connection to the

:42:24.:42:28.

town. Yet now in this by-election how local each candidate is really

:42:29.:42:33.

seems to matter, even down to what they might have got up to with

:42:33.:42:37.

their bucket and spade on the beaches. Here on her campaign

:42:37.:42:42.

website is Labour's Emma Lewell- Buck enjoying fun on the beach. Is

:42:42.:42:46.

she saying she would make a better MP than David Miliband because she

:42:46.:42:50.

was born and bred in the area? at all. MPs bring different things

:42:51.:42:54.

to the role and David was a different kind of MP to what I will

:42:54.:42:58.

probably be. People in the area already know me, I am local, I was

:42:58.:43:02.

born here and spent my life in Tyneside, people know I will be a

:43:02.:43:04.

strong voice for them and will fight for them in Westminster if I

:43:04.:43:08.

am successful. Almost every door I have knocked on people have been

:43:08.:43:12.

excited to meet me. They're going to come out and vote. They're

:43:12.:43:15.

fighting on the beaches here. Conservative Karen Allen, also born

:43:15.:43:20.

and bred in South Shields is using the bucket and spade, to win people

:43:20.:43:25.

over, too. Is knowing every grain of sand here that vital? It's

:43:25.:43:28.

important that you understand who you are selecting, who you want to

:43:28.:43:33.

be your MP. I wanted to reach out and a a personal level. On the back

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of that leaflet my policies are there in black and white, the hard

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facts of what I would like to do for this town. No, I found it

:43:42.:43:46.

useful for people to connect with me and it is important where I am

:43:46.:43:50.

from and I want to share that. those with more tenuous connections

:43:50.:43:55.

can't resist playing the local card. Lib Dem Hugh Annand says his

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relative ran the local paper, 125 years ago. He now lives in

:43:59.:44:03.

Hertfordshire. He sees that as a positive. People in the town feel

:44:03.:44:10.

they are neglected by politicians in London. I think coming in as an

:44:10.:44:16.

outside Eric be that link -- as an outsider, I can be the link for the

:44:16.:44:19.

political bubble in London and local people up here and represent

:44:19.:44:22.

the entire constituency in that way without focusing on one particular

:44:22.:44:25.

neighbourhood, for example. UKIP don't have much political history

:44:25.:44:29.

in this town. Their candidate does live nearby, though. He has a

:44:29.:44:35.

growing confidence he might be able to spoil that Labour recipe.

:44:35.:44:38.

They've given these various parties a chance over the decades and none

:44:38.:44:42.

have done what they said they were going to do. The people feel

:44:42.:44:46.

neglected. They've become disillusioned with the main parties.

:44:46.:44:51.

They're looking to UKIP for a fresh start. A party which has common

:44:51.:44:55.

sense policies, which resonate with the average ordinary working man

:44:55.:44:59.

and woman in the street. Given this is the shortest by-election

:44:59.:45:03.

campaign for 70 years, it will be tough for anyone new to build much

:45:03.:45:07.

momentum. That may turn out to be good news for Labour, but is it

:45:07.:45:12.

good for democracy? And in addition to the parties

:45:12.:45:14.

featured in our report, there's five other candidates fighting

:45:14.:45:24.
:45:24.:45:35.

Leaving aside the merits of the candidates we saw is it fair to

:45:35.:45:39.

make voters make a decision in a campaign of less than - over a

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fortnight? It's difficult, sometimes parties are dammed if do

:45:42.:45:46.

you and dammed if you don't. My by- election in 2004 was 12 weeks long.

:45:47.:45:51.

I remember it well! People complain it was too long. Given the piece

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about the North being hardest hit by Government cuts it's right we

:45:55.:45:59.

have a representative in South Shields fighting for South Shields

:45:59.:46:02.

and to do that as quickly as possible. Other candidates say they

:46:02.:46:05.

were doing the same. Having a quick by-election to ensure a

:46:05.:46:08.

representative is there fighting is important. If aud postal vote, you

:46:08.:46:11.

almost have to post it off almost as soon as the election is declared.

:46:11.:46:15.

I have been to South Shields to campaign for Emma and have seen the

:46:15.:46:19.

great work she's doing. She is a great local candidate. We haven't

:46:19.:46:22.

got all the representatives here. It's important that South Shields

:46:22.:46:27.

has a representative in parliament as quickly as possible. This is

:46:27.:46:30.

fair game, this is tactics all parties will pursue, go for a short

:46:30.:46:34.

campaign it makes it difficult for any opponent to get any headway?

:46:34.:46:37.

That's why the Labour Party are doing it, of course. We know how

:46:37.:46:40.

strong the Labour Party are in South Shields and south Tyneside.

:46:40.:46:45.

You would do it in a Conservative area. We probably would, to be fair.

:46:45.:46:47.

They want the campaign as quickly as possible. On the same day as

:46:47.:46:52.

local elections in Northumberland and Durham and it prevents other

:46:52.:46:55.

parties, we are all campaigning in those elections and prevents us

:46:55.:46:59.

bringing activists from other parts of the regions to help, etc. So, I

:46:59.:47:02.

suppose it's fair political tactics, we know what the Labour Party are

:47:02.:47:07.

up to here. Is there scope for setting a minimum time for a by-

:47:07.:47:11.

election campaign beyond a couple of weeks so so this doesn't happen

:47:11.:47:15.

again. It's difficult to do that. To a certain extent I agree with

:47:15.:47:20.

Ian, in some campaigns, certainly the one in Eastleigh in recent

:47:20.:47:23.

weeks people were refusing to open the door, blocking letterboxes

:47:23.:47:26.

because there was so much literature through them. You have

:47:26.:47:30.

to get the balance right. People get sick of it sometimes and low

:47:30.:47:33.

turnouts demonstrate that. The tradition is that the party who

:47:33.:47:38.

holds the seat gets to choose when the by-election is within a

:47:38.:47:41.

reasonable period of time and we know what the Labour Party are up

:47:41.:47:44.

to here. All the candidates in South Shields have made a big play

:47:44.:47:49.

of their local connections, either small or big. But if all

:47:49.:47:54.

constitutes think that way, you don't get Tony Blairs or David

:47:54.:47:58.

Milibands, it's short-sighted, isn't it? I don't think that is the

:47:58.:48:02.

case. Candidates put themselves forward and think of different

:48:02.:48:08.

strengths that they can provide for the electorate and I saw this

:48:08.:48:10.

replacing Peter Mandelson in Hartlepool. People want different

:48:10.:48:15.

things at different times. So to have a huge-hitter like David

:48:15.:48:20.

Miliband was important. But equally, people want to see local, strong,

:48:20.:48:23.

passionate campaigners from the area, as well. Will this result say

:48:23.:48:28.

anything about either your fortunes or Labour's fortunes? I think it

:48:28.:48:32.

will say something if the Labour Party lost, which would be a

:48:32.:48:35.

political earthquake, hopefully will happen. Probably won't, though.

:48:35.:48:40.

History is by-elections don't provide much information. They are

:48:40.:48:43.

short, intense periods. People know they're not choosing a Government.

:48:43.:48:48.

They use them often to send a message to the parties. Turnout is

:48:48.:48:50.

very low. People don't really engage with them. They're great

:48:51.:48:54.

sport for us politicians but I suspect don't give us a long-term

:48:54.:48:58.

message. Will it say anything about the wide irpolitical situation?

:48:58.:49:03.

will send a message to Government in the North - I am hoping we do

:49:03.:49:06.

win, I think it will send a message that the policies are not working

:49:06.:49:09.

for the north-east and they really need to think again and think about

:49:09.:49:13.

an economic policy based upon jobs and growth. We will leave it there

:49:13.:49:15.

and see what the result is on Thursday.

:49:15.:49:19.

And if all that has whetted your appetite for the cut and thrust of

:49:19.:49:22.

the by-election and you'd like to put some questions of your own,

:49:22.:49:25.

there's a chance to do just that in South Shields tomorrow morning when

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we'll be putting the main party candidates in the Look North "hot

:49:28.:49:31.

seat". That's in South Shields near the marketplace from 11.00am.

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I'll be there too to ensure fair play!

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Now it's less than a month since people living in social housing had

:49:40.:49:42.

to start paying for their spare rooms - what the Government calls

:49:43.:49:45.

the under-occupancy charge and its critics described as the bedroom

:49:45.:49:48.

tax. But it's already having an impact. Legal advice centres say

:49:48.:49:51.

they're being deluged with new work. But tougher rules on Legal Aid mean

:49:51.:49:53.

most people won't qualify for financial help to appeal against

:49:54.:49:58.

the decision. Megan Paterson reports from Cumbria. Chris has

:49:58.:50:03.

lived in this flat in Carlisle for 18 months. The Government says he

:50:03.:50:06.

is underoccupying so his housing benefit has been cut and by the end

:50:06.:50:08.

of this month he will owe his landlord money he will struggle to

:50:08.:50:14.

pay back. This is the main bedroom. The flat has two bedrooms, one for

:50:14.:50:17.

Chris and the other is a occasionally used if friends stay.

:50:17.:50:21.

He has been told to let that room out if he is struggling with rent

:50:21.:50:24.

and if he doesn't do that, he should move. But Chris is a

:50:24.:50:28.

recovering alcoholic and he fears finding somewhere else to live

:50:28.:50:33.

could unsettle his progress. It's difficult for me because with being

:50:33.:50:38.

a recovering alcoholic I find that I have got myself settled in this

:50:38.:50:42.

area and I feel like the upheaval of moving again could cause me to

:50:42.:50:47.

relapse because it's a stressful thing to do moving house, if I was

:50:47.:50:53.

forced to have a lodger I couldn't have somebody who was a drinker, so

:50:53.:50:56.

there would be restrictions because if they were drinking in my flat it

:50:56.:51:01.

could lead to me relapsing again. In theory, Chris could appeal his

:51:01.:51:04.

underoccupiesancy case with the Department for Work and Pensions.

:51:04.:51:08.

But he can't afford to do that. Last month, that appeal could have

:51:08.:51:11.

been paid for with legal aid. But on the 1st April the Government

:51:11.:51:16.

withdrew funding for all non- serious civil cases so that means

:51:16.:51:19.

for people like Chris legal aid isn't an option any more. It's

:51:20.:51:23.

important that we all understand... Charities specialising in social

:51:23.:51:27.

welfare say the changes to legal aid mean the help they would have

:51:27.:51:32.

once given to solve situations like Chris's are tkrasically limited --

:51:32.:51:35.

drastically limited. Employment disappeared, debt advice

:51:35.:51:40.

disappeared, welfare benefits advice disappeared. Housing was

:51:40.:51:45.

reduced down to just the most acute cases of imminent homelessness. For

:51:45.:51:50.

us that means that we used to be able to offer people indepth

:51:50.:51:54.

specialist advice across that piece and look at their problem

:51:54.:51:58.

holistically and help every aspect. Now to do a funded piece of

:51:58.:52:03.

casework for a client we need to wait until they are facing an

:52:03.:52:10.

imminent threat of homelessness. According to the minute is tree of

:52:10.:52:12.

-- Ministry of Justice support is still available if people's lives

:52:12.:52:19.

and homes are at risk. 1.7 billion a year will still be spent on legal

:52:19.:52:23.

aid and a further �65 million has been budgeted to help charities

:52:23.:52:28.

adapt to funding changes over the next two years.

:52:28.:52:32.

The MOJ says charities can't afford budgetry constraints impacting

:52:32.:52:36.

councils and Government departments. Still there's concern that under

:52:36.:52:39.

the current reductions charities don't have money needed now help

:52:40.:52:46.

deal with demand. Cumbria's already seen the closure of one CAB office

:52:46.:52:50.

due to financial difficulties. think all of the welfare reforms

:52:50.:52:58.

that the Government is trying to bring in needed, however, I think

:52:58.:53:03.

they have dramatically miscalculated the impact of those

:53:03.:53:09.

reforms on individuals and also on the agencies they're relying on to

:53:09.:53:15.

support individuals through these changes. Unless something is done

:53:15.:53:19.

soon to put additional resources in to the agencies who are helping put

:53:19.:53:24.

the reforms through, it's likely the whole thing will collapse like

:53:24.:53:31.

a pack of cards. It's a tsunami heading towards us and it's

:53:31.:53:33.

terrifying. The verdict from the Citizens

:53:33.:53:38.

Advice Bureau in Copeland. A tsunami, perfect storm really.

:53:38.:53:41.

Biggest benefit changes in generations and doubts the advice

:53:41.:53:44.

services that could provide help for these people and cuts to legal

:53:44.:53:48.

aid to prevent people being able to appeal. First of all, you don't

:53:48.:53:51.

need professional legal help, you don't need a solicitor to appeal

:53:51.:53:54.

against these decisions. Tkoubg it yourself. -- you can do it yourself.

:53:54.:53:59.

It's a straightforward process, why should the the taxpayer pay for

:53:59.:54:02.

people to appeal when they could do it themselves. We have the most

:54:02.:54:06.

generous legal aid system anywhere in Europe and the deficit that we

:54:06.:54:10.

have requires some difficult decisions to be made and we have to

:54:10.:54:13.

start getting those bills down a bit. We still are going to have the

:54:13.:54:17.

most generous system even after these savings have been made. Going

:54:17.:54:21.

on to the benefits changes themselves, we need to get this

:54:21.:54:24.

into perspective. This charge has already applied to people that have

:54:24.:54:28.

private landlords for many years and why should taxpayers pay for

:54:28.:54:33.

something they can't afford themselves? �1.7 billion still

:54:33.:54:37.

spent on legal aid. The bill was over �2 billion, it's fair enough

:54:37.:54:42.

to save money? It's fair enough to save money and Government should

:54:42.:54:45.

always look to see where they can make efficiencies, but this is

:54:45.:54:49.

targeting the poorest and most vulnerable. Martin says tkoubg it

:54:49.:54:54.

by yourself, actually some people who will have to appeal aren't in a

:54:54.:54:57.

position to be defend themselves and the job of a good civilised

:54:57.:55:01.

welfare state is to make sure that the legal system is not just the

:55:01.:55:05.

preserve of the rich and elite. legal system is not the same as the

:55:05.:55:10.

benefits system. This is not a court of law. This is just asking

:55:10.:55:13.

the department for welfare to look again at a decision they've made.

:55:13.:55:17.

It's a simple straightforward process. You don't have to get

:55:17.:55:19.

professional legal help. Your Government is cutting every avenue,

:55:19.:55:22.

whether it's Citizens Advice Bureau, whether it's debt advice, whether

:55:22.:55:25.

it's the legal aid budget at a time when these biggest welfare changes

:55:25.:55:29.

for a generation are taking place and they are being targeted at the

:55:29.:55:32.

poorest and most vulnerable in our communities. We take the view that

:55:32.:55:37.

you have to get fundamental welfare reform through that makes it

:55:37.:55:40.

worthwhile for people to work and for taxpayers to continue paying

:55:40.:55:44.

those bills. The Labour Party might believe they can continue spending

:55:44.:55:47.

until it was going out of fashion but the raeplt is the -- reality is

:55:47.:55:51.

the country was bankrupt. We have to make savings and it requires

:55:51.:55:55.

difficult decisions. Would it have been sensible to spend money making

:55:55.:56:01.

sure Citizens Advice Bureaus were geared up to get people - these are

:56:01.:56:04.

your rights, you may not get a lawyer but tkoubg this. -- but

:56:04.:56:11.

tkoubg this. -- but you can do this. Anybody facing homelessness is

:56:11.:56:15.

still able to access professional help. They can still get that paid

:56:15.:56:18.

for and legal aid. But we are saying in some cases people should

:56:18.:56:22.

be prepared to fill in a simple form and appeal themselves, rather

:56:22.:56:25.

than using these professional services. Aren't you on the wrong

:56:25.:56:28.

side of the argument with the public? A lot of the public will

:56:28.:56:33.

think I don't mind �350 million off this bill, when a lot is being

:56:33.:56:36.

handed to lawyers? That's a fair point. But no one says that

:56:36.:56:39.

actually when they're saying I would want to see savings in the

:56:39.:56:46.

NHS because the pay is going on nurses. Most people class lawyers

:56:46.:56:50.

as being different from nurses! Certainly I can understand that

:56:50.:56:54.

argument, of course I can. But it's coming down to a fundamental plank

:56:54.:56:59.

of Government policy which is let's cut support, let's cut help for the

:56:59.:57:04.

most poorest and most vulnerable in our societies, whilst at the same

:57:04.:57:08.

time giving a tax cut for millionaires that could have helped

:57:08.:57:12.

pay... Briefly come back on that. What he said is not true. The tax

:57:12.:57:18.

cut he talks about was less than the tax rate that applied under 13

:57:18.:57:21.

years almost of Labour Party Government. What we are doing is

:57:21.:57:23.

taking sensible structured approaches to welfare which says

:57:23.:57:27.

that people should always be better off in work, rather than out of

:57:27.:57:32.

work. Ian should support his constituents being in work rather

:57:32.:57:37.

than being dependent on the welfare state. We have to leave it there

:57:37.:57:44.

and debate about unemployment another day.

:57:44.:57:47.

Now, if the local election campaign leaflets don't always make much

:57:47.:57:50.

sense to you, spare a thought for people in Eden who had reason to

:57:50.:57:53.

scratch their heads when a leaflet from the local Tories landed on

:57:53.:57:56.

their doormat. Here's Megan with that - and some good news on the

:57:56.:58:02.

jobs front - in our regular round- up of the week's news in 60 seconds.

:58:02.:58:06.

The BAE systems factory in Newcastle has been acquired by the

:58:06.:58:12.

Rhys group, 500 employees will be based at the former Armstrong works.

:58:12.:58:17.

More good Newsround in Darlington where the -- more good news in

:58:17.:58:23.

Darlington. Local MP praised the role played by

:58:23.:58:26.

Darlington Council in keeping jobs in the town. These jobs were

:58:26.:58:31.

important to the town. It's managed to stack up a very good business

:58:31.:58:36.

case that persuaded the department to stay so I am very proud of that

:58:36.:58:41.

council today. MPs have criticised a pay-off to the chief executive of

:58:41.:58:45.

Cumbria Council. Carlisle MP John Stevenson raised the issue with the

:58:45.:58:48.

Prime Minister. Would the Prime Minister agree this and similar

:58:48.:58:51.

arrangements are difficult for the public to accept and are certainly

:58:51.:58:57.

not good news for taxpayers' money? Finally, an election leaflet with a

:58:57.:59:01.

difference. Householders were left puzzled when they received this

:59:01.:59:08.

leaflet in Latin. Perhaps it was written by Michael

:59:08.:59:14.

Gove! Now they may have fallen behind

:59:14.:59:17.

UKIP in the publicity stakes, but the Greens believe they can make

:59:17.:59:19.

some headlines of their own at this month's elections. And preferably

:59:19.:59:22.

not in Latin. The party is contesting nearly 900 seats across

:59:22.:59:24.

the country with significant numbers standing for election in

:59:24.:59:27.

County Durham and Cumbria. So what can the Greens offer voters? With

:59:27.:59:30.

me, from South Tyneside Greens, Shirley Ford. What's your realistic

:59:30.:59:33.

target here? At the moment you don't have any councillors in any

:59:33.:59:37.

of these councils as I understand, will it be a success just to poll

:59:37.:59:40.

respectively or to win seats? are aiming to win seats,

:59:40.:59:44.

particularly in Cumbria where we haveish aoufs -- issues like the

:59:44.:59:49.

nuclear waste storage, in Yorkshire, in Durham, that's where we are

:59:49.:59:55.

really realistically focusing. We will be delighted if we poll well

:59:55.:59:59.

because these - a lot of these candidates, particularly County

:59:59.:00:03.

Durham, are young, enthusiastic people who care about making a

:00:03.:00:05.

difference and want to be elect and a couple have already been elected

:00:05.:00:14.

as town councillors so we are on the way. I did look to see on the

:00:14.:00:17.

the Green Party website to see if there was a manifesto, I have to be

:00:18.:00:21.

honest, I struggled to find it. How are people supposed to vote if they

:00:21.:00:27.

don't know what you stand for? it comes to local elections it is

:00:27.:00:30.

very much our local parties that are putting their campaigns out

:00:30.:00:34.

there. So County Durham have their own manifesto on their own website

:00:34.:00:38.

which is a fantastic four-page document, they've really thought

:00:38.:00:42.

through the policies they think will make a real difference to

:00:42.:00:45.

boost the campaign. It's not just about manifestoes on websites,

:00:45.:00:50.

though, it's going out there door- knocking, talking to people.

:00:50.:00:58.

Campaigning. I will leave that to you. What is then the central plank

:00:58.:01:02.

of how you tackle the biggest challenge for councils, which is

:01:02.:01:05.

they are having to manage with less money? They are having to manage

:01:05.:01:08.

with less money. But it is about what do you with with that money,

:01:08.:01:14.

the priorities. What we are saying right across all of the County

:01:14.:01:18.

elections is that the priorities that have been there for spending -

:01:18.:01:23.

for investing in the wrong wrong kind of development on the green

:01:23.:01:26.

belt, things like this, roads, these are the wrong priorities and

:01:26.:01:31.

we need to be investing in jobs, local shops on high streets are -

:01:31.:01:35.

bring in more jobs. How do you do that as councils? They can do a lot

:01:35.:01:39.

to support markets and high streets as opposed to putting up money to

:01:39.:01:44.

lure in developers for big out of town retail. Councils are spending

:01:44.:01:48.

money. They're borrowing money. It's borrowing money for the wrong

:01:48.:01:52.

priorities. Aren't they creating jobs with that? Very few. If you

:01:52.:01:58.

look at the difference and it's not looking at the jobs they destroy in

:01:58.:02:02.

high streets that we currently have. They're more job intensive. Thank

:02:02.:02:10.

you very much. That's about it from us. Those

:02:10.:02:12.

county council votes aren't being counted until Friday morning - so

:02:12.:02:16.

stay tuned to your BBC local radio station and Look North for all

:02:16.:02:18.

those results. There's full coverage throughout Friday on the

:02:18.:02:21.

News Channel, too. And I'll be up all night on Thursday bringing you

:02:21.:02:24.

the result of the South Shields by- election. I'll be tweeting regular

:02:24.:02:27.

updates from the count, too. We're back same time, same place next

:02:27.:02:30.

Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news, interviews and debate, including deputy prime minister and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg discussing the local elections.


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