07/07/2013 Sunday Politics North East and Cumbria


Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news, interviews and debate.

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appetite for a European referendum? And National Parks accused of


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Is there an appetite for a European referendum among James Wharton's


Stockton constituents? We'll be finding out, while the


chairman of UKIP in the North East, Richard Elvin, I think we know how


he'd vote, and Conservative Peer, Lord Bates, give us their view.


Also, they look after some of our most beautiful landscapes, but are


the people running our National Parks guilty of ignoring the


concerns of local people? We report from the Lake District. We start


with a topic that I imagine will happily shouting at the television.


Should our MPs get a �10,000 rise? I cannot hear any yeses. Many of those


MPs say they do not want to accept it anyway. Michael Bates, this is an


issue you feel strongly about. It cost you your job at one stage.


in similar circumstances. An independent body came up with a


recommendation for a 30% increase -- 13%. When you are in parliament, you


are a public sector worker. You must lead by example and that is what I


think MPs should do. You voted against it then and only got sacks,


which I suppose is a change of culture, really, isn't it? Most MPs


wouldn't spare to say that they deserve this. Times have changed. I


do understand some of the members who get very frustrated at the guy


who oversees their expenses and gets paid more than them. He seems to


feel that they get paid too much. I understand the frustration, but the


point of the matter is that these are very difficult times for many


people. People are seen their wages under pressure. If you have two


retained that trust, you must lead by example. Richard Elvin, I'm sure


that you agree, but this was taken out of MP 's hands. You can't win.


Someone else says that they deserve a pay rise, why not give it to them?


Yes, it is independent, so the MPs have to accept the recommendations,


but Parliament can introduce emergency legislation to override


that. I would hope that Mr Cameron would do that. How much wood and MP


-- how much should an NPB page? Apparently, there was a survey done


of all the people in the UK and the general consensus was that MPs pay


should be cut by �10,000 per year, not increase. I would agreed that a


pay cut could be in order. We need to look at the pay and the expenses


and I think there is a big argument to say that they should be paid one


lump sum of money and that is it. RNAs you have to be careful that you


don't skew the system to those who are independently wealthy.


suggestion on this is that it should be done Parliament to Parliament. He


sets the rate for the job and if you are elected by your constituents,


you go on and you serve. A new set of terms and conditions will apply


from the next general election and the law, what Bill would you put


before Parliament? James Wharton got that opportunity this week. On


Friday, he puts forward his bill to make sure a referendum is held


before 2017 on whether we want to stay in the European Union. Many


conservatives have supported him, With the MP round here making his


own law, what do his constituents think of his priorities? Is able


European referendum to their taste? There is a continental atmosphere


here. Downstairs, local voters are tucking into their tap class and a


European referendum is not everyone's priority. Housing, I


would suggest. There are many developments that have been paused


that I don't think have been right to the town. That would be more of a


priority. Immigration is quite important, not many jobs here for


our own, so that would be my thoughts. But also a group of is


this leaders who are preoccupied with the parking charges in the


town, so you may think that the Europe bill would be irrelevant to


them. Wrong. I feel that it is an issue for a lot of people and the


debate needs to be had. We have been dictated to by Brussels, when we


should be dictating our own direction. I welcome having a


referendum. Whether you are for it or against it, there's no doubt that


you are talking about a massive issue. It will drive the debate.


What people think about this matters here. Stockton South is a marginal


seat. His majority in the last election was only 332 votes. Despite


the support his vote Bill got from MPs, it could this is one of the


issues that matter. People deserve to have a say on this. It has


changed out of all recognition. The time has come for that referendum.


But it isn't the single biggest issue, it is one of many. I am


pleased to work on behalf of my constituents. The Labour MP up the


road think this has less to do with Europe and more to do with political


calculation. This is to do with him saving his skin. UKIP are on the


horizon and I think he is looking over his shoulder at them. I think


he is wasting his time. Only eight people have contacted me in the last


four or five weeks about Europe. We want jobs and growth, not to keep


talking about Europe. Should you be congratulating him to


get it into the Commons chamber? is only there because of UKIP's


influence. We brought it to the table. The genie is out of the


battle. We are pleased it is in the domain, but this does not change


anything, it is only reaffirming what Mr Cameron has already said. If


he gets free electricity with a majority and after he has been to


Russells and renegotiated, and he'll give us a referendum. We want a


referendum now. Over the last 25 years we have had four different


treaties signed which have eroded the sovereignty of this nation. And


the great British public has not been consulted. It is long overdue.


Why are we waiting until 2017? want to present a fair choice. We


want to present to people a reason to choice. I hope that we would stay


in Europe, I think it has many advantages. At Italy for a trading


region like the North East of England. -- particularly for a


trading nation. He needs to... view might be that it is a promise


that he may not have to fulfil. It is a ROM is that we hope to fulfil


if we win the election. There's only one party that is offering that at


the present time and hope that people remember that when they go to


the ballot. Actually, there are two whether we are in or out of the EU


is not the issue that matters most to someone who is unemployed.


Economic growth is what matters to them. I couldn't agree more. The


sooner we come out of Europe, the sooner we created that economic


growth. But we are only just having this debate. But what can we do


about it? That is the politicians' agenda at the moment. What they


should be doing is having a referendum now and gets rid of the


uncertainty. Get it out of the way and the uncertainty is over with.


Michael, is this not going back to the Conservatives just banging on


about Europe and not being in touch with constituents? Eight raised this


in the past few weeks and most don't care about it. I think the person


that captured it was the lady that said this has been going on for a


long time. I am 52 years old and I now have never had a vote on whether


we should be part of the European Union. It is a principal part of how


our laws are made. I think we should have a good discussion about how


Europe can be proved to be made more competitive and efficient. Is this


not just about jumping to UKIP's June? It is not about the good of


the country. I member the Green Party coming up as a single issue


group. But shouldn't you you be thinking about the good of the


country not the good of the Conservative Party? I think it is


healthy that UKIP have put this on the agenda. The Conservative Party


and James Wharton have picked it up and run with it and we are the only


once, I would argue, who can deliver it. Richard, if this becomes law,


why bother voting the UKIP? Because, as I say, for it to have any teeth,


Mr Cameron has to have a majority and be the leader of the party. The


point is that we don't want to renegotiate a deal with Europe and I


think a great percentage of the British public don't want that


either. We want to revert back to what we thought we were signing up


travelling on a local trains have been highlighted in the Commons by N


MP who says his constituents are having to be pushed across the


tracks in gaps between high-speed Rory Stewart has used a Commons


debate to call for a better deal for the disabled at his local station,


he said a lift was needed as the existing arrangements are


unacceptable. A19 it involves you being pushed across the great West


Coast Main line in the gaps between trains travelling at 125 mph, not


exactly the best conditions. Army centres close in the region despite


Government plans to increase the size of the territorial Army. The MP


for Blaydon has called by independent public inquiry into


policing during the Miners' Strike. Said many miners were arrested


unlawfully. Students from Ashington High School


have met John Bercow and the Lord Speaker. They were shown around


Parliament in locations connected How can we look after the landscapes


of North Yorkshire and the Lake District while ensuring communities


thrive and tourists visit? That's what our National Park


Authorities are supposed to do. They have to try to protect the scenery


that's made them so special while also deciding how much of it can be


built on and developed. One MP says they are not listening enough. He is


our reporter. -- here is our reporter.


It has mountains, sweeping scenery and wildlife aplenty. But all is not


well behind the postcard views. feel frustrated, we feel hampered


every way we turn. Earlier this year, the non-elected members of the


national park planning committee rejected plans to build a zip wire


for the second time. The Lake District is a brand. It needs to


have reinvestment, it needs exciting new things happening to it. Nothing


has happened in 15 years, that I am aware of. We're just sat here as if


we have shackles. When not allowed to move upwards. -- we are not


allowed. He is not the only critic. There was upset here when planners


refused to let this field be used as at at night were vetoed. We don't


think the special planning board lives around here. We are


consulted, and we live here. We don't want the place spoilt. But


when how decisions are ignored sometimes we win some, sometimes we


lose some. But the decisions taken by the board seem bizarre. It is not


already taken and refusals. Most are approved by the authority and some


say more thought is being given to business growth. They have changed a


lot in the ten years I have been working here and they genuinely


listen to the concerns of businesses. They don't always agree


with them or approve the application is that some businesses would like,


but there is a better dialogue and we are content that we can get an


audience and influence and change the way they think. If that thinking


doesn't go your way, there is not much you can do about it. The


members are recruited by district councils and the secretary of state,


Thompson calls for some members to be directly elected. People may say,


that's not build any affordable houses in this village, let keep it


as it is. The local people will say, hang about, how can a local


families and young people bring the lifeblood that we need unless you


build affordable homes. The same applies to farms and businesses. If


you have local people elected to the national park, you are more likely


to get those sensible decisions. Decision-making in National Parks


has been under review uses 2010 and it is hoped the eventual outcome


will allow it to keep that Beatrix Potter champ, as well as let it grow


into the future. -- charm. I asked him if he thought that was


acceptable. It is not a Lake District National Park, it is a


National Park that happens to be called the Lake District. From the


earliest days, this has been a problem. How to be represented? The


solution they found was that the district, the stakeholders in the


park and the county is the territorial stakeholder, ought to be


the majority of people. The serving councillors are appointed to the


park as an outside body, and outside specialist Audie to serve. There is


no question of illegitimacy. I think people in the Lake District may


differ, but they think is that you aren't accountable to them because


there is no act link between them and you and you are making decisions


that affect their lives. We are not the sole body operating. They have


their full quota of County Councils and district councillors. They are


not the people taking planning decisions about their lives.


Accusations we have heard from businesses are stifling economic


development. We are the only national park in England, we work


closely in insisting that Cumbria must have its own .Mac got it in the


end. The National Park has been in the end of that. We are not some


prefer a body that's just dabbles in planning, we are elected local


councillors, three quarters of us, and many of the people who are on


our board are serving councillors. To say we walked in off the road is


ridiculous. What would you say about your record in terms of the balance


between preserving the countryside and ensuring that people can get


jobs? We wouldn't be at the centre. We work in partnership and most of


our work is days and increasingly as the cuts bite, a lot more will be,


it depends on the partnership working. Many of the people in the


bodies are local and some may be criticising us, I don't know, it


works and it is admired. We had a visit yesterday and they went away


shaking their heads in disbelief, not because we are not part of it


but because we are so central to it. Are lucky enough to have other parks


in the area. Is Tim Farron writes to say they should be more accountable?


Is it a good idea to have these positions are electable? I like the


idea of making it more accountable. Half of them are appointed by the


Department of culture, media and sport. I hope that people would take


a great deal more interest in the park and would seek to become


members of that. That would be a first step to have the debate out in


the open. But when you think about it, it is a terrible balance because


we enjoy the most beautiful of scenery. But we recognise that


people had to work and live there. Woody UKIP introduced collections to


national parks? -- Woody UKIP. Absolutely. People want another set


of elections? The police commissioner on elections didn't set


the world alight. The thing about the National Parks authority, it is


basically a Government quango and they are notoriously expensive. The


Lake District National Park get �6 million worth of taxpayers funding


and of that, they only spend 7% on preserving the environment. They


spend 12% on the hierarchy of the people that have the top jobs, that


is �750,000 per year that go on a elected -- that go on unelected


people. People want more homes and jobs. There are many problems going


around in this country and I don't think our national parks that are


envied around the world are one of the biggest problems. What about


people that can't get a house vote? Mac it is not an issue the National


Park to address, it is to do with the local authorities. But It is a


point worth looking at. That is about it from us. Don't forget to


check out my blog online. You will find my profile of the man of the


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