15/07/2012 Sunday Politics South West


15/07/2012

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This morning the Prime Minister has appealed to backbenchers and

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

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

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1809 seconds

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

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

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backbencher became the darling of the Parliamentary sketch writers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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rebelliousness n the last Labour administration we had a few

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Lords reform, forget the consequences. Alsong, you basically

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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programme forward. Now the Government says making more

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decision locally is crucial to solving the affordable housing

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

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

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

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

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

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have implications for planning policy across the County, and

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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challenge is that Cornwall Council's policy at the time

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

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second is that councillors based decision on data that exaggerated

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

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the system the council uses to allocate social housing akos the

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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repair, the pressure council ought to prioritise where they spend

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

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resident of the village, that the parish council is acting

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

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village. The councillor says the housing register is an accurate

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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produced new planning policy, because of the NIMBY objections,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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are Government figures. What about the sthaition the housing waiting

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list season an accurate gauge. People exaggerate their

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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said it was delaying consultation on minimum pricing for alcohol.

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That is small consolation for traditional cider makers in the

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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National Association of Cider makers say higher price also have

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

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

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

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

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

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

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fantastic rensnans the cider industry, and aping growing in the

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

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

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the Government went ahead and introduced minimum pricing, put a

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

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knew I can. The Government estimated irresponsible drinking an

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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behaviour drinking, but the concerns still remains that an

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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that minimum pricing spwhouant a threat to their very specialised

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

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

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

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

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

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people buying alalcohol. Online purchase of alcohol is rocketing.

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

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

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

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

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

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abiding people, no people must learn to take responsibility for

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:48:14.:48:24.
:48:24.:48:30.

political week in 60 seconds. Flooding misery prompts a visit

:48:30.:48:33.

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

:48:33.:48:39.

billion on bidding new Flood defences, so properties can be

:48:39.:48:43.

better proprotected. But still no Government deal with the insurers

:48:43.:48:48.

to gather protection beyond next summer. Dairy farmers demand better

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

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

:48:59.:49:04.

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

:49:04.:49:06.

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

:49:06.:49:11.

support a further round of applications this autumn and the

:49:11.:49:21.
:49:21.:49:32.

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

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

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

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

:49:44.:49:51.

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

:49:51.:49:55.

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

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

:50:00.:50:05.

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

:50:05.:50:08.

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

:50:08.:50:12.

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

:50:12.:50:16.

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

:50:16.:50:19.

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

:50:19.:50:24.

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

:50:24.:50:30.

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

:50:30.:50:37.

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

:50:37.:50:41.

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

:50:41.:50:45.

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

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

:50:50.:50:54.

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

:50:54.:50:56.

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

:50:56.:51:00.

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

:51:00.:51:04.

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

:51:04.:51:08.

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

:51:08.:51:13.

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

:51:13.:51:18.

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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