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In the South West: Will the revamped right-to-buy
leave the region with fewer affordable homes?
Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1738 seconds
And fury at plans to build Dorset's Hello and welcome to the Sunday
Politics in the South West. Coming up: The rural revolt against plans
for Dorset's first onshore wind turbines. With me to discuss that
and everything else today are Sarah Newton, the Conservative MP for
Truro and Falmouth and, very unusually, one of her constituents.
Not just any old constituent, though, but the former trade union
leader and Labour peer Brenda Dean. Yes, I am one of her constituents
or stop -- constituents. You are both residence in Falmouth. There
is a trial about to start. For once and for all, we will be able to see
that we can have commerce and conservation in Falmouth. A fair
trial led by experts. I am confident we will get a good result.
Falmouth needs extra investment. We know that it will bring it. We have
got a coalition year on this one. George Osborne held this up as an
example of the environmental concerns holding up economic
development. We have to be careful that it does not. We want to keep
our good environment. But people have to live and bring their
families up in the area. This development in the harbour will
bring a lot of inward investment which can be done imbalance with
the Environment. Giving council house tenants the right to buy
their homes was a defining feature of the 1980s - along with big hair
and shoulder pads. Unlike those fashion statements,
though, the Right to Buy has never entirely gone away. David Cameron
has now given the Iron Lady's flagship policy a revamp. Discounts
are being increased to make the prospect of buying easier and more
attractive. But many fear that will make the present shortage of
affordable homes even worse. Matt Pengelly reports.
Right-to-buy was one of the cornerstones of Margaret Thatcher's
policies. But it was not always popular. In recent years, sales
have dwindled. But now the Right to Buy his back. This is a great
scheme or. 2.5 million families have been given the opportunity to
buy their own homes and the opportunity for local councils to
build new homes. To reinvigorate the right-to-buy programme, David
Cameron has announced discounts of up to �75,000 on council properties
with a clear commitment that any proceeds from those sales will be
reinvested on building new affordable housing. But there is a
great deal of scepticism about that. What we receive from the Government
will not give us enough money to replace the House is that we sell.
We would have to sell four houses it to build one. It is reckoned
that 40% of Cornwall's council housing was sold under the right-
to-buy scheme. But this man was not interested in buying his house.
do not agree with council houses being sold. They were built for
social housing and that is how they should stay. So many social houses
have been sold that there is not enough houses to satisfy the needs
of people who need the House -- need a House. They is Women has
direct experience of right-to-buy, she has done it twice. Now her son
is living under her roof saving a deposit to buy and you might house
-- to buy a new House. It is a fantastic house. Locals it want to
live locally. Right-to-buy it was a good idea. It is great if that
helps people to own their own property. Everyone should be able
to do that. Especially if you work hard for your money and you wanted
to go somewhere, not being thrown away on a rent. The rebirth of
right-to-buy has had a cool reception. Labour say that there is
no guarantee of housing being built in the same areas. This has been
dreamt up to placate backbenchers who they get is a good idea. One of
the reasons behind the current housing crisis is right-to-buy
scheme. This new initiative does not get rid of their problems.
there are worries about whether the banks will lend. The National for
housing a federation -- National Housing Federation wants a
timescale for rebuilding new homes. And joining us to discuss this, the
Liberal Democrat councillor Alex Folkes. How will this work? We
asked the Government about the figures, and they have agreed that
it does not mean that the receipts can pay for like for like housing.
I think it was wrong in the past. But what about this proposal, will
it work? Each property will be replaced. How will they pay for it?
Cornwall council's housing strategy shows that they have budgeted for
the money to be able to do that and they do have the money... But how
will the short fall be made up? They retained the receipt. They can
use that money towards building a new one. It is not the only thing
that is going on. Cornwall council now owns all his own council houses.
That means about the... Cornwall Council will be able to borrow
against future housing schemes. The community needs family homes. It
will be the local decisions made in Cornwall as to how the housing will
be built. I think it is a terrible idea. We have 20,000 households on
the waiting list in Cornwall. We should be concentrating on building
a new council houses for them to 11, not selling are the ones we have
got and diminishing the market even more. We desperately need council
houses. We are all we talking about 1000 new homes every year, but we
have 22,000 people on at the waiting list. We cannot afford to
get rid of their houses we already have. But those receipts can be
used to build new homes. You Arran favour of the Right to Buy. -- you
are in favour. I do not think there will -- the one for one will work.
I cannot see how a couple who want to buy it is going to release money
for more houses to be built. There are some social issues here. Do you
want to continue having social housing in one a particular area a?
You want to have a mixed communities, people who own their
own homes and people who rent. I do not think this policy will do a lot
for that. If you sell one house, you will not have the money to
build one. And even if you do, there are 22,000 families who
desperately want a home. Cornwall signs up for this, money
from the sale of those council houses has to be spent in Cornwall.
It may be spent in a different part of Cornwall, but that will be a
local decision. There are other opportunities as well for Cornwall
to be able to build more social housing which we all agree we need.
My constituents do know what to see our small pot of council houses
disappear and be replaced at the other end of Cornwall. That is no
good to anybody. They might as well be built in Nottingham. We need to
keep them local. The opposite is true. The transfer of the ownership
of the council housing back to Cornwall, repatriating Babak to
Cornwall, debate those events in Cornwall -- keeping those rents.
Wind turbines are always controversial. Much of the South
West, with the notable exception of Cornwall, has stoutly refused to
have anything to do with them. One such county is Dorset, which is
currently windfarm free. Now, though, its residents are
contemplating a double whammy. Plans for a huge windfarm off their
world heritage coast and separate proposals from the county council
for onshore turbines as well. If that's not causing enough of a row,
all of this is driven by Government policy in favour of wind power
which is infuriating many of its own MPs. Amy Cole reports.
Blackmore Vale, this stunning landscape has proved to be a
wonderful inspiration for author so. -- authors. This landscape has
remained unchanged for decades. Brian it Trueman it lives on a
village -- Brian Trueman lives in a village on the Blackmore Vale.
has campaigned it was at the Risley against wind turbines. But the
issue is more prominent now than ever before. He is not against wind
energy in principle, but feels it is not right for dos it and is
worried that the County Council is even considering it. Having read it
ought 66 pages of that strategy, wind has to be part of the proposal.
Wind is the least cost-effective way of producing renewable energy.
It saves the least amount of carbon. And I feel it is a flawed argument.
Much of Scotland and Wales has a more wind than we do. There are no
wind turbines in Dorset, despite several applications. Reliable
energy experts say the county has the potential for 360 onshore
turbines. Dorset County Council is keen to stress that is a
theoretical figure. But they say they will have to find a room for
some wind turbines to meet government targets. Earlier this
year, backbench MPs signed a letter calling on the coalition government
to withdraw its subsidies for onshore wind development. The
majority of those MPs were Conservative. In at the
Conservative heartland of Dorset, eight Conservative MPs signed that
letter. In recent months, the wind industry has gone to great lengths
to target sceptics. In Dorset, the Conservatives lead... We have got
some good schemes, a whole range of things. I would not want anyone to
think this is about wind energy alone. Part of the strategy shows
quite clearly in the document that wind energy would only play a small
part in this. There are lots of other schemes which will have great
benefit. The strategy has already been approved by the council's
cabinet. It says it has now been put out for consultation with local
partners. One of the Tory MPs who signed that
letter of complaint is Sarah Newton. I am all in favour of local choice.
I am not in favour of a huge subsidies being given to
multinational companies to build a huge wind farms when there are
already enough of them. The government has already said that to
meet our obligations, there are enough planning applications across
the country for onshore wind. I think money should be spent on for
better things like the renewable heat or solar schemes. It is up for
local councillors and local councils to get involved. Are there
not enough and Cornwall? -- in Cornwall? I think we all have to do
our bit. What Cornwall can provide as part of the mix, if it we can
use our wind power, that is are a bit. It is better than having a
nuclear power station in the middle of Cornwall. Let's do our bit. They
will be multinational companies. We cannot rely on community efforts.
We need big companies because we need to power not just Cornwall,
but the whole of the United Kingdom. Labour was pretty keen on a large
scale wind farms. Yes, they were, but it has to be controlled. If you
look at the number of consultations from companies to that it was a
good money maker, but we cannot destroy our environment. Wind does
have its place, but it does not have a prominent place. There are
other schemes and we have to have a mixed energy policy. When the
Government launched its policy, we talked to the umbrella body, who
said they were keen on wave power, and possibly offshore wind, but to
meet targets in the short term, the only technology was onshore wind.
do not accept that. The problems with wave power were also there
with wind power and we will find a way through them. In at the next 10
years? Yes, and we are already on track to exceed or obligations.
Deep geothermal could produce 17% of the UK's energy. It is a proven
technology. There are better ways to spend money. At the size of some
of these turbines! Thanks, Alex. Now our regular round-up of the
political week in 60 seconds. A council of war in the Truro to
fight plans to put VAT on past days. -- pasties. They are living in
cloud-cuckoo-land. Best teachers will be attracted to areas where
pay is higher. The dispute over search-and-rescue helicopters.
Devon County Council has announced it has shed over 2000 jobs and are
now they are announcing to turn of street lights. -- trun off.
Should the teachers' strike about local pay? As a trade union, it is
one of the last freedoms about you have it will stop it is up to them
to decide whether they are going to or not. But if pay is going to be
reduced, as the government say they intend to, what else can we do? But
no one wants teachers to go on strike. But this statement that the
government has made is most unfair. We are a small country and a
national pay is something that is fair. If the government do this,