30/06/2013 Sunday Politics North East and Cumbria


Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news, interviews and debate, including the latest on fears of power blackouts with energy minister Michael Fallon.

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 30/06/2013. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



of the show. This week, a warning that


Middlesbrough could be heading towards bankruptcy if cuts continue.


Durham MP Roberta Blackman-Woods and North East Euro MP Fiona Hall join


me in the studio to give us their take on the spending review.


And they are here on loan from tomorrow, but is it time the North


East got the Lindisfarne Gospels back for good?


Let us start with the Mayor of Middlesbrough Ray Mallon, who has


hit out at Communities Secretary Eric Pickles for failing to


understand the scale of the problems facing the town. He warned that


further cuts could push Middlesbrough towards bankruptcy.


These cuts are too quick and too deep. They are savage to a place


like Middlesbrough. As it stands, we are heading towards bankruptcy. This


is happening all over the country to local authorities. I am sure they


will echo my comments. Look at the brass tacks. The budgets are


re-juice yet the age of the adult population is growing. The amount of


people needed here is growing. We can estimate that they ended future


years, the vast majority of our budget will be spent on adult social


care. It is complete nonsense what the communities secretary is seen.


He needs to see at first hand what people are having to live with. I


stand for value for money, efficiency and effectiveness. But I


am not a magician. Unfortunately, it seems that Eric sometimes thinks he


is a magician and can just weave his magic wand. Will councils be able to


cope with this? Well, we have seen this before and councils have


managed to adapt. We are not getting the full story here. There has been


a storm money for many aspects of council spending, such as the adult


social care that Ray was talking about the. Sorry is not telling the


truth in this? I understand that many councils are under pressure to


make the cuts required, but there are also opportunities for them to


come together and share costs like some have done. The actual amount of


spend that councils have is actually only down by 2%, which is not


catastrophic, is it? I think what we should ask is why they were out the


dispatch box seeking more cuts. To me, it just shows that they have


failed. And the trouble is that the people who'd be the brunt of that


feel you are communities, particularly in the North. And it is


taking away from the councils who have the greatest needs. The


government is complacent and has no regard for the deal difficulties of


people. People rely on council services. But when you look at the


cuts in some government departments are as high as 10%, surely local


councils have to take their share of them? What we have seen is the cuts


being applied very unfairly. It is mostly northern councils which are


suffering the most. So what can our town halls do to


save money, apart from cut front-line services? Some believe


they need to think more radically, by sharing work with neighbouring


councils, or perhaps we should consider scrapping some local


authorities altogether. A council printing works in stock and. These


days, it is busier than ever. promotional leaflets and folders and


also do general formwork, the likes of the annual tax bill. Although


this unit is the based in Stockton, it also does the printing for


Darlington Council. The sheer package saves Darlington �1 million


a year. Over the last three years, the council in Darlington has faced


the 14 million cut in its funding. Over 400 jobs have been lost and


jobs have been hit in the likes of the arts Centre, which closed. There


is a further �40 million cut coming in the budget. If Darlington where


to stop cutting the grass, entering the bends, closing leisure centres


and museums and libraries tomorrow, that would equate to the �14 million


we have two fame. It is a significant challenge, particularly


for the likes of us. How are you going to manage this? There are


certain savings we can put into place, but that will only take so


far. We have had already 400 members of staff made redundant over the


last few years unlucky at the scale of cuts we have defined, there could


be a similar number coming up. some of these arguments get short


shrift. There are so many councils. So many of them could may urge. The


good meals together and share the services. Every business has to go


through cycles where you have to adapt to these changes. Why can they


not do that? We are in this position, so is it not time for them


to think more radically? I think we had already seen local authorities


working in a much more co-ordinated day. We do of county council should


have got together to try and have certain functions sheared. You could


not get rid of the whole load of councils could you not? Well, you


have to be very careful about that. Everything comes at a price. People


want to have local representatives. I think councils are taking very


effective action to try and take money away from the backroom


functions and to try and reduce the cut to front-line services as much


as possible. This is really challenging. This is the most


challenging financial environment ever faced by local authorities and


of cuts keep coming year on year, we are going to see local councils


simply not able to provide the services they do at the moment.


is the reality. What we saw in Darlington is that councils can


think of a lie, but still they are struggling to cope and are stealing


down cannabis. They asked councils who could save. We have heard the


likes of the amount of money spent by some councils on consultants.


these are fiddling round the edges. What is left for the councils to


cut? There's not so much for them to cut. We have seen the letter. It is


not nice. It is not easy to have to live through butter has to be known


that Newcastle were still receiving a lot more money than some of the


wealthier councils down south. is absolute rubbish. What you are


trying to say is these cuts and there are still a lot of scope for


local councils to make changes to services. That is not true. It is


the councils in greatest needs. The true risk Council in the country,


Liverpool, has been given the biggest cut. The councils who are


coping with areas of the biggest deprivation are receiving the


biggest cuts. You have to target the communities with the greatest needs.


You have to look at the overall figures. The councils in the North


are still getting -- the North East are still coping very well in


comparison to the likes of the North West. It is difficult, but we come


back to the fact that this is needed. Would you prefer councils to


have the freedom to argue for a council tax rise in order to protect


services? Generally, we should give more power to local government. The


government is passing down a lot of responsibilities to local


government, for example in the Administration of benefits. But it


is not giving them the resources to do that. At a general level, I think


we should be sent to local government, make your case out, try


and make your money go further, but what the adults are doing and it is


really important we do not leave lose sight of this, they are being


very imaginative to come together and plan for the future. Councils


are trapped here. BR having budgets cut but you're giving them the


freedom dashed not giving them the freedom to raise council tax. Is


that unfair? We have seen the role that communities can pay. I am going


to stop you just fear. Because that is the story we are about to come


When Newcastle Council announced last year it wanted to shut all but


eight of its local libraries, the protests were long and loud. Yet the


story did not end there. Four out of the five libraries due to close for


good this week will in fact be reopening, under the control of


local people. Let me tell you a story that begins in a place not far


from here. For library lovers, it was a horror story. Protests earlier


this year about council cuts, among them proposals to close five


libraries in Newcastle and see more by 2015. No, that script has


changed. This is one of the library is slated to close, but will stay


open run by volunteers from the local community. We raise money from


a number of events. This is a beautiful building and is very well


adapted for the likes of concerts, lectures, children's activities and


suchlike. It has been very well maintained by the council up until


now, so it is not as if we are taking over our building that is on


its last legs. This building is a beautiful facility. Under the


original plans, a libraries would of close by 2015. -- eight libraries.


Four have been rescued and there are plans for the community to take


others on. One of them has shut for good, much for the annoyance of


local users. Pretty disappointing. Josh knows they are virtually every


night. The man in charge of the service in the city is relatively up


heat. We have been able to give support to community groups of the


transferrin buildings and the stock. It is a partnership of community


organisations and the council which has very well for years. So ugly


fears of libraries shutdowns unfounded. Was the local council


playing politics with libraries over the cuts? We have to make


large-scale cuts over the next few years, so it is unfair to say we


were playing with this. We were being very realistic and honest and


upfront. In County Durham, the council is in the process of handing


over dozens of community centres to local groups to run as part of its


evening routines. Gemma practises hard and shootings in one of them.


But with this comes great responsibility. The council will


continue to pay for repairs on the Arisaig, but the part of that is


that they will only pay for 70% of that and we have defined the other


30%. There was an upside to the spending


review this week and it came in the shape of some extra money for road


improvements, like the A19. Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny


Alexander also promised a feasibility study into dualling the


A1 north of Newcastle. London gets a variety of projects. We get a update


on a previous I cancel programme and the talk of a feasibility study. Is


that really good enough? I am pleased that the study is going to


take place. Previous governments have failed to do this with regard


to the A1 and we have had that confirmed today by Danny Alexander.


It is great news for the North East. It is a commitment which could


easily be going back on. They are looking at a feasibility study. We


have heard this all before. Yes, but previous governments have failed.


But I think we will see it coming pretty quickly. With regard to this


road, this is more than the Labour Party ever did. What I would say was


that the last infrastructure plan from this government introduced 561


projects and so far southern hub in Deal honoured. We need to see


something happening on the ground, not these empty words from the


government. I as the chief secretary and now is whether the road was


going to happen, whether the A1 would happen, what percentage would


come to the North East of infrastructure spending and he could


not tell me. The last time I hear, it was one half of 1%. This region


has been shortchanged by the government. These projects are all


going to happen after 2015. The cover is done nothing to stimulate


economic growth in the short term. There has been broadband investment


and investment in green industries, should be not be praising them for


that? Well, if they actually happened. The record of delivery, as


opposed to what he has been absolutely abysmal from this


government. We need this economic growth though. Local businesses need


support from the government. �2 billion across all the regions is


simply not enough. Lord Heseltine themselves said it would take 70


billion. The government is as usual channelling resources into London


and the south-east and ignoring areas such as this. There has been a


big gap in spending between the South and the North? Of course we


would like more money, but there has been good news for the region. There


is now going to be a special transition region category which


Durham Tees Valley will be in and also because the government has made


the decision, as Durham county council asked, they wanted to have


more local control over spending and that is exactly what is going to


happen. This could see �100 million extra coming to the area.


And now, as they say, for something completely different. The


1,300-year-old Lindisfarne Gospels go on display to the public from


tomorrow, on loan from the British Library, with tens of thousands of


visitors expected to flock to Durham's Palace Green. Local MPs


welcome the exhibition, but think it should be just the start. Here is


Mark with that and some of the other stories making the news this week.


Seven cyclist died on the lords of the North East in 2011. The overall


casualty rate is one of the highest in the United Kingdom. The hospital


in Whitehaven is in hospital again after an investigation by the care


quality commission. The Lindisfarne Gospels go on display tomorrow, but


should be returned permanently to the region according to local MPs.


Why can the British library not establish a base in Northumberland.


They could display them permanently the. And an accolade for Olson in


Cumbria, which is to become the first social enterprise stone in the


United Kingdom. They have even set up their own co-operative. Let us


talk about the Lindisfarne Gospels. We are very thrilled the upcoming


two Durham. We have a more known. Should they be coming here


permanently? Firstly, it is fantastic we have them back in


Durham even for temporary period. People see it as a next ordinary


exhibition. We should start back congratulating the Cathedral for a


brilliant job in bringing them here. But it would be nice to have the


media permanently. We would have to sort out a way of financing that. I


would like to continue discussions with the University and Cathedral


and the British library to receive we can achieve that. That would be


fantastic. But at the moment, it is just great the RPM on temporary loan


along with other important relics. It is very important people let go


and see and important that we celebrate our heritage in this


region. Should they be in this region? Firstly, I agree that it is


fantastic they are here, but I agree that you have to look at the


financial implications of them being here on the time. But I think that


so many people visit them at the British library and maybe they would


not be so many people got exposure to them if they were permanently and


the North East. They are national treasures, so it is rather unfair


for us to claim them simply for the North East. It was interesting in


Parliament house MPs from other regions asked if they could have a


loan of the Lindisfarne Gospels as well, which was rather nice. I think


it's wonderful that people want to celebrate them and know more about


them. If we hadn't permanently there really be able to loan out to other


areas. One thing we want to acknowledge is that we really have


excellent facilities in the North East in order to house the


Lindisfarne Gospels and a lot of expertise in preserving them, so a


should be possible. What we do not have in place a long-term fund which


Ruud have to work on. And there will be a special


programme on the Gospels tomorrow night here on BBC One at 10.35pm.


That is about all we have got time for. It is the BBC news in a moment,


Download Subtitles