15/07/2012 Sunday Politics South West


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This morning the Prime Minister has appealed to backbenchers and


In the south-west, the latest round in the battle between concrete and


countryside. And the cider makers who say minimum pricing could put


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1809 seconds


Welcome to the Sunday Politics in the south-west. Coming up.


Createding over 25... We will be reliving the moment a Devon


backbencher became the darling of the Parliamentary sketch writers.


With me this week are the Labour MP Alison Seabeck and the Liberal


Democrat peer John Burnett. Welcome back to both of you. John, you are


one Liberal Democrat who doesn't share your party's enthusiasm for


the Lord's reform bill. Do you any after this week it is off the


agenda in practise? I think that is very likely. I was delighted to see


the result in the Commons, and I said well done members of the House


of Commons. Independent MPs is something that the public don't


realise but it is growing a great deal. Some it is calls


rebelliousness n the last Labour administration we had a few


rebellions, and, in this, 2000 10 intake, there are some very


thoughtful, very independent MEPs of Parliament. You have always been


independently minded, what do you think the message the electorate,


the people you want to vote for you are getting from your leadership's


perceived obsession with this issue? It is going to be confused.


We have to put an end to that sharpish. We have two-and-a-half


years before the next general election, but the whole business of


the Lords reform, we, most of us support Lords reform but not these


proposals, it very much like the euro argument, I have opposed the


euro, and people were saying, oh, go into the euro, forget the


consequences. It's the same. It's the same mind set. Go into House of


Lords reform, forget the consequences. Alsong, you basically


support Lords reform, aren't you playing a potentially dangerous


game supporting the Tory rebels? What is important here, and John


has made the point very very clearly, and well, is that this is


a complex issue, it has to be properly thought through, it has to


be properly debated, and our big beef about the the way it was being


put forward was it was going to be pushed through, at enormous haste,


through the House of Commons, without a chance to really get


under some of the key worries that we have in the Commons about where


primacy will sit, you know, which House will be the twhaun is final,


takes the final decision and so on, those issues have to be properly


resolved. Otherwise we will end up with an entirery unproductive body,


that is constantly ping-ponging backwards and forward. I have to


ask you, do you share your Liberal Democrat colleague Lord Oakeshott's


sthrue the present House has a lot of "Has beens and deadbeats" in it.


Speaking for myself, probably yes. I really don't they is a helpful


view at all. There are wonderful people in the House of Lords,


distinguished, knowledgeable, learned. I mean, it is a pathetic


comment to make. That is the strength of the place. That is bun


of the things that needs to be taken forward. We need to ensure


you have that degree of experience, and ex feerz. We need to take the


programme forward. Now the Government says making more


decision locally is crucial to solving the affordable housing


skrie, but what happens when the locals are in bitter disagreement


as o whether new houses are needed or unsnes in west Cornwall a


planning row is heading for the high Court. It may be watched


carefully else are. -- elsewhere. This Cornish field may look


ordinary enough, but it is at the centre of a legal row that could


have implications for planning policy across the County, and


beyond. Thvingsfrpblgts is about a local community, -- this is about a


local community having what it want, localism rests in the community,


not in Truro County Hall. Last year, Cornwall Council gave the go-ahead


for 25 affordable homes to be built just outside the village near


Redruth, but the parish council is arguing show only half that number


is needed and it has won the right to a judicial review in the high


Court. All the evidence we have is no way are they going to fill 25


homes with people, from the village. The first basis for the legal


challenge is that Cornwall Council's policy at the time


indicated only round 12 homes should be bit on a slight this. The


second is that councillors based decision on data that exaggerated


local housing need. This is the application form for home choice,


the system the council uses to allocate social housing akos the


County. It's the use of that register as an argument for


development that is under scrutiny. The council says there is currently


25,000 people across Cornwall on the housing register. And it says


the number with a kebgsthoun the village easily justifies the 25 new


house, one of those who agrees is 30-year-old Nigel greenle. She


still living with his mum in the village, despite working full-time,


can't afford place of his own with his pregnant girlfriend. There is a


lot of people on the housing bloist have been here all their lives and


getting placed up Penzance or round further out I would be nice to be


back in the village. Lawyers for the parish council say not everyone


on the register is such a clear-cut case. Headline data is used, and


there is insufficient drilling down on it to establish what real local


need is based on that data. If we win, then Cornwall Council will


have to review its use of the data across the County. The parish


council says the community supports legal action, but one resident who


happens to be the councillor in charge of planning doesn't.


spend �6,000 money when there is weeds, play equipment that needs


repair, the pressure council ought to prioritise where they spend


their Monday. I don't believe as elected member for that area and


resident of the village, that the parish council is acting


responsibly. This new development is the kind of thing plans in the


village. The councillor says the housing register is an accurate


measure of need and homes like the are needed there. If the scheme is


lost in the high Court, 25 families, not people, 25 families with a


local connection will not have a house to live in in the village.


Cornwall Council is standing by its interpretation of the pre-policy,


and is consulting on a new strategy, with a target of 48,000 new homes


over the next 28 years. The review will be held in October and is


being watched closely. John, doesn't this just prove that the


more local you make the decision making, the fewer homes you get


built? I am afraid that is true. That is absolutely true. The facts


of the matter are there are is a big picture, in housing, and then


there is the local picture the big picture is, we have household


growths of 230,000 per year, last year planning permissions granted


were 90,000, houses built 100,000 - - 100,000, we are in a housing


crisis, the south-eastern we face up to that the the better. We


produced new planning policy, because of the NIMBY objections,


a NIMBY case in your view? I am not saying that, because I don't know


enough ant that, but I understand the councillor defending his area,


that is his job. It is not his job see the big picture that,st


Government's job to see the big picture, his job is to look after


his electorate, and his electorate, lect him to deal with matters such


as the matters that within councillors's purview, in Britain


at the moment we have a colossal need for housing, and if we don't


meet that need, it is going to cause more and more problem. We


have a rolled up problem. Alsong, I don't think you are going to


disagree, you a keen advocate of Labour's top down tar fete for


house building when you were in power. Find. That is why you a


strategic overview policy. If you take the figures from the south-


west, but in 2010 there were 20,000 homes being built, by the time we


got to 2011/12 you are down to 13,000 homes being built. We have a


need for 27 thousand new, we have 27 thousand new households being


formed in the South Westry year. There is an enormous short fall. We


have half the housing we need, and therefore, every decision that is


taken locally, which a cuts numbers in half again, is putting enormous


pressure on, and the localism bill, we were clear, sorry Martin to


persist on this, we were clear that the changes that were being brought


in by this Government on planning would lead to more action in the


Courts. This is the first exam thooful localism. You talk about


figures, the figures are hotly disputed -- disputed generally. Nez


are Government figures. What about the sthaition the housing waiting


list season an accurate gauge. People exaggerate their


circumstances to get on it. There is an issue about the accuracy but


a lot of Local Authorities... much of an issue A significant


issue, depends on the competency of the council. They may well, in all


honesty, have a jn win case, because if you look at Portsmouth


for example. Went through the list and they managed to take 5,000


households out of it. But that still left a significant demand


over and above the houses being built, so there is a job of work to


be done on some Local Authority housing lists to ensure they are


accurate. I can't comment on Cornwall, I don't know. It doesn't


get away from the fact we have a housing crisis. I try to be


objective. You weren't billing enough house, it's a finance


problem as well. We o have to get to grips with it. It's a major


problem for the poor young people of today. This week the Government


said it was delaying consultation on minimum pricing for alcohol.


That is small consolation for traditional cider makers in the


region. They claim it could be disastrous for their businesses. We


forced Matt to spend a day surrounded by cider, to find out


more. This should be a peaceful time of year for cider makers, it


is too late the prune and much too early to pick. Especially given the


rotten weather. All you do is keep an eye on the crop, and hope for


some sun. But cider makers in the south-west are worried about


proposals for a minimum unit price on the alcohol they sell. The same


to stop supermarkets and shops from offering very cheap booze, but


since traditionally made cider is quite strong, the new rule could


have a dramatic effect on price. This is a typical purchase from the


shop. This is a 20 litre box, that is often purchased for parties,


barbecue, sports events, this retails at �40. But if minimum


pricing were introduced, this is likely to set anybody back an extra


�30 or �35. Scotland the minimum unit price has been set at 50 pence.


A consultation exercise is under way to set a level for England. It


is expected to be round 40 pence a unit. But campaign groups like the


National Association of Cider makers say higher price also have


no effect on binge drinkers but could drive members out of business.


If this type of measure were introduced. People wouldn't come


out here, sales would drop and you think you have to close down. If


you don't get the sales. Because the figures being mentioned would


have such a great impact on customer viewpoint. That threat to


San cider makers is worrying some south-west MPs. We have had a


fantastic rensnans the cider industry, and aping growing in the


south-west. We have a lot of sales from farms direct, so it is cheap,


direct to the consume e and these prices would be hiked massively if


the Government went ahead and introduced minimum pricing, put a


lot of producers out of business. summer's evening in the resort of


knew I can. The Government estimated irresponsible drinking an


the soebstheeb so often follows costs the UK �21 billion a year,


and reducing that is the priority. If poem are selling ultra


Cheapsideer direct from the farm gates, then, yes, of course they


would be taken in by minimum pricing, but it won't be reason to


believe set pwhin mum price for one and another for anothers. But the


huge threat to cider makers is ultra cheap chemically based cider,


sold at 18 pence a unit in the supermarkets. Supporters of minimum


pricing say it is a crucial part of the plan to reduce anti-social


behaviour drinking, but the concerns still remains that an


entire cottage industry... Just like this can of cider could end up


down the drain. Alsorpbg I know you support minimum pricing, you saying


along with Sarah Wollaston that any pain the small cider producers have


to endure is a price worth paying for the broader Bennetts? I think


we should try minimum pricing. is what this means. No, I have come


from the camera event, which -- CAMRA event, a huge number of cider


producers there, and they do take a view, the people I was talking to,


that minimum pricing spwhouant a threat to their very specialised


and high quality... It is not really to pubs. I want to see


people back in pubs actually. I think pubs are having a


particularly hard time at the moment. This might be a mechanism


to do that. What do you say to these people? This is more complex


on whether people buy White Lightning. That is their point.


people buying alalcohol. Online purchase of alcohol is rocketing.


We have parents buying high volume alcohol for children, which isn't


responsible. We will have to wait and see, but the Government are


clearly consuls -- consulting on this and I am sure they will listen


to the farm gate producers. I am a true liberal and believe in open


markets and free markets, why punish the vast majority of law


abiding people, no people must learn to take responsibility for


themselves, and responsibility for their children. It's a lesson they


should learn at school. They should learn it at home. That is easy to


say It is easy to say, if they cross the loin, then they will be


punished. Alison, your colleague Ben Bradshaw doesn't share you view.


He says because it is targeting cheap drink this is penalising the


poorest people. It is not the middle class quaffers of fine


wines: Not all the ciders at the farm gate are cheap. They are good


quality and sometimes organic. Sarah is right. You know, yes, they


will be get scooted up a bit, into the mix, but I am not sure how many


young people turn up at farm gates trying to buy Cheapsideer. John, I


wasn't pointing at you, it is time now for our regular round up of the


political week in 60 seconds. Flooding misery prompts a visit


from the Environment Secretary. Government will spend more than �2


billion on bidding new Flood defences, so properties can be


better proprotected. But still no Government deal with the insurers


to gather protection beyond next summer. Dairy farmers demand better


prices for their milk and get a thumbs up from the high Court for a


badger cull and hold on to your seats. Ann-Marie Morris. Thank you.


Instant fame for the Newton Abbott MP as she steals the show at Prime


Minister's Questions. Will the Prime Minister confirm he will


support a further round of applications this autumn and the


funding is available so business, universities... Obviously a sketch


writers had a field day. A few people commenting on the sketches


said this is serious, she was the woman taking on the braiing


disruptive oppressive at mo fear in the House of Commons. Do you agree


with that? Yes, she came out absolutely fighting and a bit like


a volcano erupting, with great passion, and an Marie I know quite


well and she is normally, a little bit more subdued so she felt


strongly about what she was doing, I have to say that place is a bear


pit. Some times if you are not close to the microphone,


particularly as a woman you find yourself shouting, in order to get


over that baying mob, that is sitting there at Prime Minister's


Questions, mine I have no idea quite what was the driver behind


her on this occasion, but, she certainly made her point. Well, she


did! John, I suppose it was quite arguably a clever way of following


the leader of the opposition, and asking what some might describe as


a congratulatory question. I have to make a confe, I don't want tch V.


It's the first time I have seen it in the studio no now. I think, I


have never met her. I think she is courageous but she will have


learned a lesson. What Alison has just said. When you are going to


ask a question on Prime Minister's Questions you must get yourself


under a microphone. Once you have done that, you know what you are


going to say and you stick to it. It's the job of the speaker to


ensure that everyone is heard. it wasn't the case it was just


people yelling too much? There is plenty of yelling but the Speaker


Andrew Neil and Martyn Oates with the latest political news, interviews and debate, including interviews with Liberal Democrat minister Jeremy Browne and shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper.

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