27/05/2012 Sunday Politics South West


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In the South West - as the school building programme is cut, one head


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1688 seconds


teacher says he needs a cash boost Hello and welcome to the Sunday


Politics in the South West. Coming up in the next 20 minutes: The


school with a leaking roof and the head teacher who says the


Government needs to fix it. can't open windows in some and


can't close them in others. The heating system had a new boiler put


on but the a pipework bleu all the joints. The roof doesn't keep the


rain out. It makes life very difficult. My guests this week are


Sheryll Murray, Conservative MP for South East Cornwall and tireless


campaigner for the fishing and maritime communities and Tudor


Evans, the Labour leader of Plymouth City Council. The pasty


tax back in Parliament this week. Stephen Gilbert had a debate. The


Government says it is listening, Nick Clegg was here a week ago


pushing the line they were listening. If the Government does


backtrack, can the Liberal Democrat say we have used our leverage to


nip a nasty Tory policy? No that amendment was supported by all


three serve MPs for Cornwall and the three Liberal Democrats. We


have all been lobbying equally on this point. I have to say that we


have just had a skutation, the consultation has only just ended. I


myself meat with the Chancellor this week in a different capacity


and I can assure you they are looking at it and I hope that we


will see a very clear line, so that the tax can be enforced properly,


if it is introduced, because ambient temperature is so ambiguous.


In a sense, not taking in pasties in the way they're usually sold. I


can't remember whether you were taking a leaf out of book of Ed


Miliband and taking a picture outsaid pasty shop. Will the pasty


prevail. I'm not one for hanging around pasty shops to be honest.


But I do... Should they have been? Well you know, the worst thing in


the world obviously is to have a photo opportunity that goes wrong.


I think they raised the issue quite well. Everyone's talking about it.


Don't forget it slipped through in the budget almost unnoticed. If it


mpbt been for Cornwall and Devon, I don't think anybody would have made


anything of it. But it is a lifestyle tax, certainly for us in


the west Country. Kafr Yar is still zero rated as far as I remember. --


calvier. It is not just pasties, there are meat and potato pie


makers, so it is a nationwide. is a big issue in the north of


England. The Government's welfare to work programme - which aims to


cut the welfare bill by getting more people into jobs - is having


all kinds of problems. One of the scheme's biggest providers


nationally has been stripped of its contract and is facing a fraud


investigation. It was also, incidentally, founded by somebody


who until recently was an adviser to David Cameron. Here in the South


West, one of our major contractors has gone into administration and


two others have mysteriously dropped out of the scheme. John


Danks has been straining every sinew to find out more. It is the


Government's �5 billion project to get more than three million people


into work. But is it working? Almost a year into the scheme and


figures suggest it may be underperforming. The aim of work


programme foirs providers to find sustained work for 36% on scheme


after two years. This week the body that represents Welfare to Work


providers said on average 22% of those on the programme have start


work. The Government says it is a good start. I tried to find out how


many people in the South West had found work, but was told this


information wasn't available. Three organisations who had signed up to


deliver the programme in the region were no longer doing so. Grand work


South West had been praised for their work by the employment


Minister. The voluntary sector is doing fine in the programme in the


South West. I have visited charities like Ground Work.


they're in administration. The BBC understands challenges relating to


its work programme contributed to this. The North Devon MP raised the


problems facing another contractor, in this leaked letter to Chris


Grayling. The funding model is in trouble, he wrote. The work


programme was plooned when the forecast for UK growth was 2.6%.


The forecast for this year is just 0.8%. The longer the economy flat


lines, the more difficult it is is for organisations to do their job.


And what about those other two proidviers - providers who Left the


schemement would they tell me why? No, they had all signed contracts


with gagging clauses. The department for work and pedgess


The providers that remain say they're increasingly concerned by


the state of the economy. A Government spoke person said it was


inevitable that some contractors will fall by the way side. That is


not good news for job seekers who are furtherest from the labour


market. Sheryll Murrray we heard the minister saying that the


voluntary sector is doing well in the South West in this context. I


was tempt -- that was temperaturing fate wasn't it? Yes I think it was.


But the reason that perhaps a lot of people are flagging up the


difficulties now with the system is that we are paying by results. The


last Government threw a lot of money into this scheme and they


were paying the money up front, or now... A lot of people, including


Nick Harvey say one of problems is you are paying by results. The


small charities in the rural South West can't survive under the system


where they have to wait six months to get most of their money. You're


saying that is a virtue of the system. We were left with a huge


amount of debt and we have a responsibility to get value for


money for British taxpayers' money. You want to get people into jobs.


We want to get people into real, long-term jobs what. Was happening


under the other scheme was somebody could join a scheme for a month and


then they would fall off the way side. And it wasn't producing real


results. I have to say to you that the reason we're paying by results


is to make sure that people are getting real training, they're in,


it is going to lead to real employment and we owe it to the


British public to provide a value for money for taxpayers. Tudor,


value for money, not paying people up front that is not value for


money. That is the standard operational line from the


Conservatives. Anybody who has had anything to do with the voluntary


sector can you tell you it is not in a position to cash flow and wait


until the end of a programme before is receive -- receiving money.


Partly because there has been a squeeze on voluntary sector for a


long time. The last decade and a half has seen transformation of


voluntary sector funding into project and results of orientated


work. That has not left a lot of surplus in bank accounts of


voluntary organisations to get from A to B. The tragedy is that this


was flagged up at the start of the work programme. We said that this


would happen. And the contrast between Labour's first two years in


office... It doesn't seem to be working that is the key thing.


scheme has been in place for 12 months. It's not doing very well.


The figures that there's no accuracy to those fi,, because it


hasn't been running for long enough. But some of these, you highlighted


the investigation, the fraud investigation case, that was down


to the last government scheme and at the end of the day we haven't


got a cedid card any more. We have the Chief Secretary of the Treasury


leave a message when he left office saying the pot is empty, there is


no money left. The first two years of the Labour Government compared


with the coalition Government, the idea that we were left, weren't


left a deficit in 1997 is prepos Prowse. You weren't. We're tray


straying into an enormous debate. We haven't got time to move into


that. Ten Devon schools were told they'd get new government funding


to update dilapidated buildings this week. Cornwall, Dorset and


Somerset though were all sent away empty-handed. The money for the


lucky schools comes later than promised and it's part of a massive


reduction in the Government's budget for new buildings - which is


depressing news for head teachers still desperate to see the back of


their crumbling classrooms. Tamsin Melville reports. Look at and have


a look at this, the state of window ps... Dealing with leaks and jamed


win do is is part of -- jammed windows is part of job for the head


of Cornwall's biggest community college. That wire is exposed. It


is a real difficulty. Built in the fits with a flat roof and riddle


with asbestos, this block is well past its sell by date with the


budget slashed by 80%, it is a battle keeping the classrooms safe.


This teacher says it is not uncommon for water to come through


the ceiling. By the end of the day there were buckets filling with


water. I wouldn't -- couldn't empty them quick enough. The problem was


the drips I kept walking into and a cold. When the first floor was


found to be crack five years ago, temporary classrooms were brought


in. The head said the whole thing needs knocking down and rere - o'


rebuilding. But he says they have been left in the lurchly the


Government. I have been in schools in the third world with better


classrooms. Hope of new classrooms were dashed within weeks of the


coalition take power, a �55 billion by Tony Blair to rebuild or


refurbish all the secondary schools were scrapped A move that triggered


national protests. The coalition pro re deuced this to a �2 billion


pot of private finance and this week announced where it will be


spent. Ilfracombe arts college is one school to benefit. Critics say


the scheme is not enough. When I was schools minister we were


spending �7 billion on school capital, about half was on building


schools. This is only a �2 billion scheme. That money will fast


disappear, huge as it may seem on first hearing. While missing out on


other funds this head teacher play have hopes the local authority


could help, but central government cuts means Cornwall's spending has


been slashed by more than a third with �10 million to spent across


the whole count y. Not enough for a rebuild here. This school isn't


enough in struggling with crumbling classrooms it is thought the back


lag log is nearly �80 million. The education Secretary has been


invited to see the state of some building, but he has had a reply


saying Mr Go is too busy. They're teaching children in cloak rooms


and special educational needs children in corridors. This is 2012.


We can afford the Olympics, but we can't afford something for our


children and their future. If this continues of course, our backlog of


�80 million in maintenance will shoot through the roof. Cornwall,


Somerset and Dorset all missed out this week, but Mr Gove says by next


autumn a survey by of all schools means that those in need of


renovation will be addressed. But this is subject to funds, so leak


roofs are likely to be a part of lessons for a while. It is all very


well for Jim Knight to talk about what you were spending in office,


but the shadow Secretary said you would be cutting and he has


conceded thated bying schools for the future was great for the lucky


schools, but it was inefficient. is ironic, we're being accused


today of fixing the roofs while the sun was shining. Lurbl I... But it


wasn't the most efficient way. have got a system now, let me put


this point to you, Plymouth didn't apply. Tory Plymouth, which I have


taken over from, did not apply for this funding. Because it is only


for those schools where the cost is 70% of a rebuild cost. In other


words it is not about the state of the skoorblgs it is not even about


the deprivation around it. It is all about this formula that they


have created. That meant that Plymouth didn't bother. And it is


outrageous when you see schools in that state and there are schools


like that in Plymouth that don't qualify for this funding. I have


got a picture on my wall of Ed Balls given a cheque for �78


million for building schools. That would have been been able to


transform a school and it was taken from us by go and instead we have


got -- Gove and instead we have got King James Bibles. We used to cut,


but this is one of biggest cuts I have come across, a 55% cut in the


school building budget. Well the thing is again if the money's not


there you can't spend it. Nobody wants to see children go to


school... You're taking one of biggest cuts. Nobody wants to see


children going to school in poor school buildings, but we saw a lot


of waste under the last Government's PFI programme. It was


way under budget and eight years behind schedule and something had


to be done. What we have done is... Cutting the budget?Y school on the


list was surveyed by a qualified surveyor. That is how it was done.


It was done in a practical way and the Secretary of State himself has


said that as there is more money... As it is available. It is not much


of a guarantee. Efficient councils like Plymouth, I commissioned she


vn new schools when I was in charge. We have had a structured


maintenance problem are being punished by this new funding regime


of Gove's. They're punishing those who have been fixing the roofs.


Which schools, which new schools in Plymouth did you build? All the


ones that were opened to a fanfare two year ago were commissioned on


my watch. They may have been, but unfortunately the last Government's


PFI building schools for the future scheme was hugely overbudget and


eight years behind schedule. Stkpwhra we're overtime. But we


have got time for a rund up of political week in 60 seconds. Peers


called for the new superwatchdog to have more teeth. The adjudicator,


the large retailers... Lord tevson listed the number of people who


need to be consulted before a fine can be impose. One or more person...


In the commons Gary Streeterer was back on message after his local


election revolt. Does this not demonstrate that our commitment to


increasing health funding and our health reforms are beginning to


bear fruit. One or more personing appearing to represent the


interests of consumers. Richard Drabgs told the Government to


rethink its coastguard cuts. And Dan Rogerson said the Olympic


committee should apoll jies for snatching the flag from this --


apologise for snatching the flag from this torch bearer. We're up to


nine billion at that point. Sheryll Murrray, I'm intrigued, as to the


circumstances in which you may find yourself at Prime Minister's


questions and come up with a variant of the question I wonder if


my friend would agree he is doing a wonderful job running the I country.


I have that is something that... The kind of question you would ask.


That needed to be high light. If I wanted to get a point across, yes.


It wasn't a constituency irissue. The message we want to get across


is that we have a very united Conservative Party, whose


priority... Do you think he wrote it himself? I think he did. I know


Gary and I'm sure he would, because he cares about health. But it shows


the message we want the get across is we're a united. Quickly, if we


saw Tudor Evans on the Labour benches would you ask a question


like that? Clearly I do it all in the time in the council chamber.


But I must say that was one of some question. It was a triumph and if


he doesn't get a job in the reshuffle I would be surprised.


he making amends. I don't think there was amends to be made and


Gary does care about the NHS. If 0 look back, he has concentrated on


the NHS all the time. So yes, if somebody that we're doing as a


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