14/07/2013 Sunday Politics North East and Cumbria


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In the North East and Cumbria: How should Labour change its relations


with the trade unions? And plans to allow mining deep under


the National Park in North Yorkshire. Will it create jobs or


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2220 seconds


local part of the show, our final one before the summer break. Before


we hand out the ice lollies, there is a busy political week to get


through with my guests, North East Euro MP Hughes and Redcar MP Ian


Swales. Coming up, 1000 jobs at stake as planners decide whether to


allow mining deep under the North York Moors National Park. Is it an


economic lifeline or could kill off tourism? We will also be talking


about zero hours contracts in the NHS, are they a way of dodging basic


employment rights? Let's start on this Miners' Gala


weekend with Labour's relationship with the trade unions, Ed Miliband


has promised big and historic changes. Stephen Hughes, you are a


committed trade unionist. Do you agree there is a need to change


Labour's relationship with the unions? It has opened peoples eyes


to what goes on in the political parties. The stories we have seen


coming out of Falkirk. We need to modernise the relationship. The


links with the trade unions are vital. I think it is only right that


the trade unions should not be automatically signed up, they should


have the right to make choices as to whether they want their affiliation


fee to go to a particular party or not. That is one thing that Labour


has promised. And also the editor of primaries and selection of


candidates where MPs are standing down, but my be a good positive


development as well. I'd like unions wielded somewhat power over


selection of a posse. -- policy. The relationship between the trade union


and the Labour Party as was been positive. We have had a system of


affiliation fees, unions balloting on is whether they want political


funds or not. But the unions were able to influence the selection.


need to revitalise the Labour Party and we need to make sure the trade


unions want to sign up. One of the things he said was he wants to boots


-- boost this, doing crib -- to increase considerably. Why should


never be ashamed about being influenced by the very organisation


that was there at the start of the Labour Party two -- why should


Labour be ashamed. Time has moved on. In 2010, more people voted, more


trade unionists voted Conservative or a Lib Dem band voted Labour. The


relationship has been breaking down for a long time. And the public do


not want to see vested interests involved in candidate selection or


policy formulation, whether it is big business or trade unions.


you perhaps get a chance for the union members to subscribe...


agree with Stephen, I think somatic affiliation because you are in a


trade union, but strongly need to be changed. -- automatic affiliation.


In the Netherlands, there is a strong trade union movement there.


It used to be cool, but these days we are more likely to be digging not


a of the ground, it used -- it is used to make fertiliser and what is


believed to be the world's the guests supply lies deep beneath the


ground in North Yorkshire. Later this month, planners will the site


whether to allow a 1500 -- if 1500 metre deep mine shaft to be sunk to


get it out. The development would create thousands of local jobs and


bring some economic benefits to do so. But it's worth it will come at a


high price to the environment and to tourism.


There are plenty of opportunities around Whitby if you want to work in


tourism for catering. If you want to work in science or engineering,


opportunities are a little harder to find. Two island like to be a civil


engineer. -- I would like to be a civil engineer. I would like to do


engineering at University. I would like to go into a science -based job


that I do not see it as being in this area. Without places to employ,


it forces you to move away. scientists may soon be able to start


their careers without leaving home. Baxter what is being found beneath


the ground here at the North York Moors National Park. It is basically


a form of fertiliser, the boost this could is, over 1000 jobs. The


injection of over �1 billion in building this project. But would any


jobs created be cancelled out by job losses in the tourist industry? We


are standing about a mile and a half from the proposed site of the mine,


looking across the moor land at the drilling rig. We have undertaken


research on the impact of the proposed mine on the economy and it


has revealed that could be as much as �35 million lost every year


during the construction. That is over a period of up to four years.


Aside from these fears that opening the mine would deter visitors, there


are concerns about the impact it would have on the environment.


Indisputable air, the last thing we want is a major industry, and


intrusion of this size, just over 12 months ago, I asked the company how


much excavate -- excavation would spoil the farm, and I was told it


would be 200,000 tubing meters. The planning application went in, that


was 600,000 tubing metres. Within a month, they made a correction of


saying it was 1.2 million cubic metres of spoil. That is enough to


fill Wembley Stadium to the roof. The company says those increases are


made due to mistake by consultants working for them. They insist they


will take care of the National Park. We have established a track record


of looking at the moment. -- looking after the environment. The National


Park is an important part of the country. It is something we are


working to ensure that it is stronger and better, and it is


getting a more vibrant economy. need to convince the park authority


to allow them to bring heavy industry to this vast expanse of


national beauty. The company will have to prove there is an


exceptional national need to build a mine in the National Park.


The local MP in the area where the miners plan is Scarborough and


Whitby MP. I asked him if every job rated by mining, another could be


lost in the tourism industry. I have was medically we cannot give


potash mining and environmental blank cheque. But they have bent


over backwards to make sure the impact on the environment in the


North York Moors National Park is minimised. There has been some


rather spurious figures published, that would say we would lose 20% of


our tourists, that is ridiculous. I have yet to see anyone turn a car


around when they passed the area. I'm -- I think it would be a shot in


the arm for the local economy, particularly some of the villages,


which I note dominated by second homes and holiday cottages. We will


get some life into those communities. People who work in the


mine will be able to live in the village, use the shop in the winter


when it is often quite a struggle. It will have a positive impact on


the communities and I think the impact on tourism will be minimal.


You cannot dismiss a National Park Service which suggested that this


mine during construction could cost �40 million a year to the tourist


industry. They asked people whether they would be put off going to the


National Park if there was a mass of mine, and I think 14% said they


might be. The evidence is not like that. If you go to the village at


the top of my constituency, it is within sight of another mine, and it


is still another vibrant tourist community. And we have the impact of


the construction workers, who will be staying in bed and Breakfast in


some cases, in local hotels, so they will be quite a positive impact on


hospitality industry. We need to be careful we do not have too big an


impact on the guesthouses -- and the ghettos as turnover to construction


workers for six or seven months and then lose their tourism trade.


Ian Swales, is it acceptable to put a potash mine in the National Park?


I have been working closely with York Potash and what did not come


from the film is the amazing design they have got which puts the mine


are low ground. The top of the mine, it will be underground. All you will


see is a building like a barn, and a car park. They have cleverly put it


underground. All the mind material will be pipelined to Teeside for


processing. I think they are bending over backwards on the environment


and I think some of the scare stories are just that. There is


concern that having a mine is not necessarily the greatest PR. As I


say, I have seen scale models and photographs, you will barely know


there is a mine. The processing will be done underground. You will not


actually see the typical mining activities above ground. It is a


very clever design. I think it is overwhelmingly positive, economic


leader and I do not accept that people will not visit the North


Yorkshire Moors because of this facility. Stephen Hughes, the North


East has a history of mining, but it is history, does it lead mines for


the 20th -- for the 21st century? Two we have always had a play-off


between jobs and the environment. That has been so for many years.


had a good environment and good jobs. One thing to take into account


is the European habitats directive, in terms of environmental impact


assessment. Other important issues might be visibility, but it might


have an impact on the water table, he could have a profound effect on


the flora and fauna and the habitat generally. It is hard to turn down


that number of jobs. That is the dilemma. There might be some


environmental concerns, but the jobs are very important. You have to bear


in mind as well that this is an international interest. The flora


and fauna, there are some rare flora and fauna in the North York is and


we have a responsible to to protect them as well. Would you accept that


this is a concern, even if they make it look fine, they could be an


impact on the environment that we cannot sell that just for the jobs.


That these to be -- that needs to be properly assessed. I do not think


there is the kind of impact that people might fear, for example,


people who have seen opencast mining, this is nothing like that.


We are talking about 1500 metres underground. And then up to just


under the ground, then piped away. It will not the affecting the woods


and moors around it at all. -- be affecting.


The Prime Minister recently agreed a real terms cut in the European Union


budget, that means inevitably there will be less you might share over


the next few years. In the past, the European structural funds of hot


paper project like the stadium might and the Baltic. But how much will


the region get in the future? I have been finding out.


You probably do not need me to tell you that this time along with buying


any time soon. It is being recycled by a company based at Durham Tees


Valley airport. The firm that would also have been grounded about almost


�1 million of your money. -- you money. It has enabled us to invest


in staff, we will have after completion of our funding, about


eight full-time staff, probably about six subcontractors per


aeroplane at any one time, that probably brings around 30 jobs into


this building. More European funding is on the way. Between 2014 and


2020, the area will get 406 to �5 billion. Tees Valley, 107 �5


million. Cumbria, �78 million. Each will get a greater say over how it


is spent. Crucial to those who are handing out the money. Locally


delivered programmes can affect the particularities of the place where


they are. That makes them much more appropriate for the businesses that


are there, the entrepreneurs, the sorts of sectors being developed. It


is critical in terms of the effectiveness of those businesses.


The new funding might also follow the region to do more work like


this. Welcome to what is gone to become a science centre in


Newcastle, this 32 acre former brewery site is being transformed


model of the biggest regeneration product and not a lovely guy. --


products -- projects in the UK. But the part of EU money available could


have been even bigger. The government has taken �675 million


away from England's EU funding allocation and handed it to


Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. That means all nations face


a 5% cut in grants. Has that left a gaping hole in the deal? Not


according to some. We have to make streaming well, we have actually got


about the same sum of money that came in the last round. -- we have


done extremely well. Considering the changes that have happened, and


everyone says is the North East is the richer economic competitiveness


in Europe, we have done extremely well. European money has already


left a legacy throughout the region. Have we really got the best deal


available? Hard hat and the high viz vest is


now compulsory uniform for reporters. Stephen Hughes, you have


said the North East will miss out in favour of Scotland, explain why.


Like -- the test on whether a region get EU funding is a calculation of


what proportion that region has the average wealth of the nation.


take the south of this region, Durham and the Tees Valley, it is


less than 75% of the national average wealth. Scotland, 90%, so


they should be getting much less. But the Secretary of State has


creamed off part of the money from the English regions to distribute to


Scotland and Wales and Northern Ireland. As you have heard, almost


200 million going to Scotland, when it is considerably better off in


wealth terms than the North East. But those nations are facing 30%


cuts. If you look at the level of wealth, the North East as a whole,


including Tyne & Wear, has just over 75% of the average wealth of the


nation has a whole. That is considerably less than Scotland. We


have done a good job using European money, but we do need more. The job


is not finished yet. This money could have been extremely useful.


you share those concerns? I do, but you can see why the Government has


decided to make those cuts. I think we should, as one of your reporters


said, we should look on the price they, the North East has the most


money in the country after London and Cornwall. -- look on the bright


side. The Tees Valley has about the same as Sheffield or Liverpool.


These are huge sums of money, recognising the needs of our area.


The central Government is only taking 5% of the top of these


amount, whereas the previous Government to 50% off the top.


about the money to Scotland, it seems that of a coincidence with an


independence referendum in the offing. It is only a confidence


because they have done exactly the same prep in them, Scotland,


Northern Ireland and Wales. The percentage cut is the same in all


four nations. People want to spin that story about the effect is the


same cut everywhere. You cannot pretend this isn't a good deal for


the North East in terms of the amount of money coming year compared


to other parts of England and the UK. Given our relative poverty, we


should have had more. The only reason we are going to get any money


at all is because we got transitional region status. Our own


Government did not support that. They opposed it. A settlement was


reached at European level. But the majority were in favour.


At least 6000 people in the North East including many shopworkers are


on what is called zero hours contracts. That is where the


employee is not guaranteed any work but is effectively on-call. This


week, Sunderland MP questioned the rise in the number of such contracts


within the NHS. With that, and the rest of the week's little news,


here's Mark Denten. Proposals are 21,000 new homes in


Newcastle by 2030 Abbey published in a plan. 6000 will be built on the


green belt. There will be a public enquiry next year bottle by


deliveries in Gateshead have been taken over by volunteers of the


council said it cannot afford to run them. The council has also scrapped


plans to compensate... Thousands of NHS are losing out on climate rights


because they are on zero hours contracts. Julie Elliott told the


debate it had a detrimental impact on the lives of many workers. Like


the disruption to family life is a result of frequent short notice


requirements to work. It makes so many things, from arranging


childcare to doing the weekly shopping, nearly impossible to


plan. North East MPs are calling propulsive to resolve the dispute on


the Tyne & Wear Metro, they will -- the one staff to be given up living


wage. And Lord Campbell savours is to be greater on the colour of the


University of Canberra. -- Cumbria. Ian Swales, we can talk but the zero


hours contract, hospitals and Sunderland, Gateshead, Hartlepool,


both Cumbria, they are among those using them. They say it is about


being as flexible as possible -- as possible. It needs looking at. The


previous Government looked at it and concluded they should not do


anything. There has been a gross and I think it is time to look at it


again. I cannot say I have had a single constituent raised the issue


with me although I have had care workers raised the issue of reach of


the minimum wage regulations in terms of not being paid for their


travel time between calls, that is something I have taken up with the


minister. Is it a way of avoiding honouring workers' writes two that


is what needs looking at. Let's member, some people want these, this


kind of flexibility because it sees their lifestyle, students for


example. One key question is, is the flexibility to way, or are people


actually being abused, because they are expected to be factual but do


not have the effect that might flexibility in return two I cannot


imagine you are a great fan of this, but this is the real world for


many workers. It means they get work when perhaps they would not do


otherwise. We need to regularise all forms of contract. We introduced the


directive on part-time work, fixed term contract work, agency work. My


own government opposed them, I have today -- I have to say. The UK


Labour market and to devise a body is going to hell and handcart. This


is a major source of abuse of these workers. I have had workers come to


me who are required to be there early in the morning, stayed till


late at night, eight times during the day unpaid, that is in breach of


the minimum pay regulations. -- break times. Is this happening


across Europe? We are seeing various forms of flexibility emerging in all


of the markets. I think it is part of the rest of the body, it has to


stop. People deserve a decent contract of work. I think in the


health service, this is causing major disruption, dislocation in the


care of patients. They do not know who has gone to turn up to take care


of them. Some of these arrangements are already illegal. The thing that


keeps them asleep at night if they know a lot of the members are


actually breaching the minimum wage regulations. I think it is really


important that people who feel abused in that way report the


situation. What can the Government do? Can they stop it happening? A


lot of these contracts are not illegal. There are many types of


contracts out there, some will be fine, some, people will want. But


there are others which you could argue are a form of reviews. For


example, having to be on-call at home and disrupt life without


knowing whether you are going to get work or not. Or being told that you


have a job and then finding it in a whole week you do not earn any


money. Would you accept it is better to do these contracts and save money


for the NHS to spend on patients rather than staff? You have to bear


in mind, the rights of the people working in these jobs as well. They


have a right to a decent contract, decent life. They have been deprived


of that. That is unacceptable. you very much.


That's about all from us, but before we leave for the beach, a reminder


of my blog and Twitter address on the screen now. The you can keep


Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news, interviews and debate including energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey on whether it is time to think again about global warming.

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