01/04/2012 Sunday Politics South West


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In the South West - the parents in Torbay who hope for more Grammar


Schools and the people who fear for the future of these fields outside


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2173 seconds


Although,, up on the Sunday Politics in the South West. The


parents her would like to see more grammar school places in South


Devon. And for the next 20 minutes I am


joined by Neil Parish, the Conservative MP for Tiverton and


Honiton, and Darren Cowell, Labour MP for Torbay. Welcome to the


programme. This week the Government has faced criticism for introducing


VAT to hot food. Do you think this is a good move?


As low as it is a Devon pasty but are not a Cornish one, because


Devon pasties are much better. It is only tightening up on operation


to make sure everyone pays VAT on hot food, because some pasties are


already being charged, therefore it is only at tidying up. I know it


has captured the imagination of the public, but some pasties already


served hot are charged VAT. We as weekend the Government may be


thinking themselves unpopular and thinking it perhaps maybe not worth


it. -- this weekend. It has been one of those things


that has borne out of control. My imagine the Chancellor will look at


it, but some shops and takeaways are already having to charge VAT


and others are not. Perhaps it is not such a terrible thing, but look


at it in the cold light of day again and see what the reaction is.


There is certainly confusion and muddle around this. What is ambient


temperature? In January it is probably different to August. There


is a huge amount of confusion. What is most important is that any


measures don't impact upon our important food industry. It is not


just pasties, it is sausage rolls, anything that can be served hot or


potentially cold. We cannot damage that trade. Thank you for your


thoughts on that. There were fears that cutting red


tape in planning would lead to developers -- and Development


Charter. The function of sustainable development is no water


down, and the onus is no one councils to decide where to build


thousands of homes in the South West. There are still some who


think the countryside is at risk. With a view like this, Ian Hubbard


says it is hard not to be a proud Truro resident. Where we are


standing we can actually see green fields, and you cannot say that


about many cities in this country. He is a campaigner for sustainable


Development, which has just got the go-ahead for the local council. He


is still worried about the future despite concessions on the use of


brownfield sites first. I liked the bit about the viability


of town centres, I like the bit about out-of-town supermarket being


a last resort, but does it actually mean what it says?


Rejecting top down housing targets, the new guidance puts emphasis on


local plans. Local authorities will decide how many new Houses are


needed and in town and parish councils communities themselves


will prioritise where and when Houses shall be built.


Cornwall council is working towards a target of more than 40,000 new


homes over the next 20 years. It is decisions taken over the next 12


months that could affect fields like these on the outskirts of


Truro. Consultation in Cornwall is still


under way and across the South West: authorities are finalising


plans. In Devon, and need for around 75,000 new homes has been


identified. In Somerset the figure is 47,000. And in Dorset there is a


provisional figure of around 12,500. Councils have one near to get


communities engaged and plans in place or leave themselves exposed.


If we do not identify a land in the core strategy, developers will


cherry-pick parcels of land easier for them to develop and get away


with it. We have unique decisions on where housing will goal, a waste


will goal, and planners will be able to tell any developers this is


where it will goal, you cannot build there.


A countryside campaigners could struggle to meet demand in drawing


up local plants and question the need to build so many homes at all.


A think we have development, but when you think of it, Cornwall is a


pfennig area. Although this national planning policy framework


calls for councils to earmark land, 5% of land for future development,


it will not take many years before Cornwall is used up, and then what


happens? He we with around 23,000 people on Cornwall's housing


register, average prices nine times average wages, and a growing


population, affordable housing campaigners say the new approach is


long overdue. When people see endless,


unattractive housing estates circling historic, beautiful tones


and ruining them, they get I write about it. -- beautiful towns. A


hope the new framework will mean that better schemes can go forward


more easily and more quickly. We will get the homes people need, but


unattractive schemes that destroy open spaces that people care about


are less likely to warhead. There are warnings developers could


rush now to try and exploit the new relaxed rules before local plans


are put in place. Although it is unclear how the new guidance will


be implemented, some campaigners say this could be a lawyer's


charter. To discuss this from our Truro


studio we have Stephen Gilbert, Lib Dem MP for Newquay and some Borstal.


Welcome to the programme. Will thus become a lawyer's charter?


I don't think my concern is that it will become a lawyer's charter, we


now have one year for local authorities like Cornwall to put in


place their core strategies and neighbourhood plans. At that point


local people will have much more control over the planning system


than they have over recent years. Until then, my concern is that


developers will put in speculative applications, appeal for non-


determination where local planning committees either take too long or


come out with a no, that what we will see is the localism principle


that should be embedded in our planning system being overridden by


developers... So sorry to interrupt you, but there are strategies in


place in this new policy to stop this from happening.


Yes, but we have a hiatus for one year, while quote -- local


neighbourhoods gather their core strategies. It is right that this


is an urgent task for local authorities and local people. For


too long we have had a top-down, regionally led, unaccountable


planning system that has dumped development -- developments that


communities have not wanted. Do you think Stephen is right about


having concerns on the implementation of this policy?


In his, I think towns, villages and hamlets must get at their local


plants in place. -- local plans in place. What is important right note


is to stop... The last Government had at 250,000 target on the South


West for homes and that was imposed on Devon and Cornwall and that is


not right. Now we have a villages and towns that can look for


affordable housing sites and put them in the planning process.


Darren, do you think this is a good thing? Do you think it was all top


down under Labour and the Conservatives have got this right?


For Ashley, at last the Government actually listen, the first draft


was a bit of a dog's dinner and badly thought I would. In Torbay we


are very much undergoing the neighbourhood planning process


already. A but will it provide enough homes? Will you get as many


homes needed in Torbay as you would have done with the targets Labour


had in place? I think there were sufficient


numbers of new homes and jobs. Apparently we are looking at half


the number of new homes that were to be introduced under the target


system. But it is providing sufficient


homes for the actual forecast population growth in any given


region. There is no point building on greenfield sites when you can


provide the number of properties you need to House people using


properties that are brought back into use and using brown fields.


Will it end not in my back yard feelings? Surely you're giving that


more power, our review? I go things will, I don't think giving power to


people to the people in the community will do that.


There are many people in Cornwall who are determined to provide


affordable housing for the 20,000 people on the waiting list, or the


entire generation who are priced out of the housing market now in


the South West. What is important is that it goes where local


communities go -- wanted to go, that's not what builders want the


trouble. The his way, councillors in Kent


backed a plan for the first major expansion of a grammar school in


England for 50 years. This will give hope to parents and


the South West to look at the remaining grammar schools today,


more pupils. The concept of expanding grammar-school education


remains controversial. After a long day at school...


Homework beckons for 10-year-old Tom. But it is not just school what


he has to do. On top of that, he is preparing to set his 11-plus


examination, which means extra homework. P does not seem to mind,


as getting a place at Torquay's grammar-school is his main goal.


The facility is our amazing and I just think it will be really good


fun to go there. -- the facilities. And a his mum is


working hard to support him, paying for weekly private tuition. She has


not worries about grammar schools expanding as she thinks they could


potentially cast their nets further. By would not be against it. If they


can share their skills and abilities and more children can


benefit, I don't think there is a problem with that. Neither does


Kent County Council. On Thursday, councillors supported plans for the


creation of a satellite grammar school in Sevenoaks, possibly on


this site. 2,500 parents in the area have already petitioned for


rich trouble ahead. It would be the first major expansion of selective


education for 50 years. But it is controversial. In 1998, Labour


banned the opening of any new grammar school, and the coalition


Government has done nothing to change that law. But it is allowing


good schools to expand. Records published in February give schools


the power to take on more pupils without consultation.


This week, a Liberal Democrat peer, Baroness Wolseley, asked the


Government to clarify its position. The Minister told her there would


be no new grammar schools, but she was not satisfied. A thank my noble


friend the Minister for restating that policy, however I don't see


how that stacks up with the potential for doubling the number


of school places in which a selection operates in certain areas.


Under the School Standards and Framework Act, 1998, no new drama


stills can open. Can my noble friend tell me, what is the


criterion for a new school, and why the planned satellite school in


Sevenoaks can claim to not be a new school but part of a grammar school


many miles away? David Robinson campaigns against


selective education. He is concerned this could set a


precedent in places like Torbay. can not see any need for them to be


expanding. There is no evidence whatsoever


that people from goal to crammers schools do any better. -- that


pupils who go to grammar schools. There is evidence that pupils who


bought two non-selective schools do better. They are perceived as being


better at educating children because they pick of the most


intelligent children from a wide area. -- they pick the most


intelligent. Last year of the national press


were interested that Torquay Boys Grammar School was merging with a


local school. But this was dismissed as unfounded speculation


in the school's newsletter. No one from the school was available for


comment this week. A Tom faces stiff competition to


get into his local grammar school. Perhaps if they expand in Torbay


future pupils will have a better chance.


Neil, new have a grammar school in your constituency, Darren, you have


Torquay's grammar school in your patch. Could this lead to an


expansion in Devon of grammar schools and should it? A year in


favour of grammar schools? The s, at that grammar school is


excellent, and so is our Community School, as well. -- yes, I am. It


gives parents a choice. If you have an area like Kent, where they run a


huge number of children waiting to go to a grammar school, there could


well be an idea of creating a campus of sight. Parents and


children want choice, and I think it is a case of making sure we


invest in grammar schools and academies. It is doing it by the


backdoor, isn't it? If you say it is the same grammar


school but is ten miles away and will have independent teachers, can


you see it as part of the main Ysgol y Berwyn it I will be


controlled by the head teacher and grammar-school itself.


It could be. The distances could well be a problem. Our Grammar


School, for instance, is in a fine spot where it is at the moment, so


there may be an argument of moving the school gradually. Why not just


abolished the 1998 band and say, let's do this up front and have a


new grammar schools? A number of us would say yes to


that. In including yourself? including myself. But that is not


Government policy. Why do think the whole idea of our education policy


to give parents more choice is good and I think grammar-school is part


of that. Darren Cowell, argue in favour of


grammar schools? Nor, I am not, and in Torbay we had


grammar schools in the 1970s, when there was a very strong campaign to


obtain them against the Labour Government's then wishes. You we


like to see the Torquay Grammar has become part of mainstream


schooling? Absolute life. But, sadly, the


direction of travel in education at the moment with the roll-out of


academies and the number of schools that became a cannabis, the


influence of local authorities and councillors on those schools is


rapidly diminishing. One is it you do not like? Is it


right that 11-year-olds should be put under such pressure?


I think there is a lot of pressure throughout the curriculum now, I


don't think the eleven-plus is a problem. What I was going to come


back on is that the whole education policy is to get parents more


choice and governors choice on how to run their schools. If there is


an area, where there is division, I think in the past we did not invest


enough in secondary education but now we're making sure it is there.


That the is a valid point Monk, because in Torbay we had huge


investment in grammar schools at the expense of the secondary


moderns. We now have a situation where we


have a brand new school in Torbay, a community college, and it is


interesting that grammar schools are showing an interest in that


campus. We now have our regular round-up of


The Defence Secretary came to Plymouth to sign a multi-million-


pound contract which will secured 1,300 jobs.


This will be a our sole location for deep maintenance of submarines.


The States of Jersey announced they will plead -- pay compensation to


victims of historical told abyss. They are people in St Denis


discovered the incinerator plant for their doorstep will go ahead


after the Government won its appeal. The campaigners say they have not


given up. A wave will continue to raise however much money we have to


to carry on the fight. -- we will continue. A centre-right


think-tank administers to reconsider plans for a badger cull.


And that the Prime Minister made the case for the pasty tax. A I a r


pasty eater myself, I go to Cornwall on holiday.


What will Cornwall's MPs queued up to defend at the County's signature


dish. -- whilst Cornwall's MPs. There is Stephen Gilbert enjoying


his pasty. Let's talk about badgers. Neil, you


are in favour of culling badgers. Does this move why you?


-- worry you? A well, we had clear support from


the Secretary of State in the House when she talked about pilot calls.


There is disease in cattle and wildlife that we are trying to take


disease out of the cattle whilst we still have the disease in badgers.


We have to control them. It look slightly this may be reconsidered


now. I'd do not think we will. We have


decided to have the pilot calls that has been suggested, and as


soon as that has finished we will go through to that.


Darren Cowell, are you in favour of it? A be like them to consider a


badger cull, I have always been opposed to it, but the fact we have


a potential for these pilot schemes the likelihood is they will proceed.


The evidence will be that further culling will not occur.


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