23/09/2012 Sunday Politics South West


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And in the South West: The prominent Liberal Democrat -


packing his bags for conference and calling for his leader's


And in the South West: The prominent Liberal Democrat -


packing his bags for conference and calling for his leader's


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2019 seconds


Good morning.. We will discuss Nick Clegg's pledged to restore trust in


# I 'm sorry, I'm sorry. # the next 20 minutes I am joined by


Labour's Alison Seabeck and the conservative Oliver Colvile.


Air power that you had been dressing up in military uniform?


went off to the mock Wharram Percy. I under which each uniform?


done the same thing, having shoe? It really does give you first-hand


experience. We will get you to dress up and come in and show was


the uniform sometimes. We have a packed programme, starting with the


news that a UKIP at a conference. Nigel Farage tells us that he is


increasingly possum -- optimistic about winning a seat in the south-


west. The massive gap it used to exist


between her and European elections cause and our general election


scores is narrowing. We are up in the opinion polls and people are


beginning to trust us more. Their understanding that we do not just


talk about who governs Britain, but we are also talking about how that


Britain should be governed. We have a broader agenda, whether we're


talking about fisheries or a wind farms. These are issues which are


huge and the south-west. Could it be you see that he has his eye on?


I do not been so. But he has targeted it is in the past? Yes,


but he has never actually made a breakthrough. The UKIP candidate


last time was disappointed that they did not make any more progress.


The issue here is that I am a Euro- sceptic, but I am not year-old


suicidal. We have to make sure that if we have -- that we have a


relationship with a run European neighbours. But we also do not want


to be told exactly what to do by the European Commission. Were she


agree to that question mark you think there is no threat to plummet


from you honourable gentleman? are talking about doing deals with


the Conservatives. I honestly cannot see David Cameron wanting to


hook up with another minority party, adding further deals. I'm quite


confident that the Conservatives will stand in every seat in the


south-west and Nigel Farage's which will not happen. But what about


UKIP as a viable alternative to those disillusioned with all three


main parties? You always have a degree of protest vote. Usually at


by-elections, not always at general elections. If you look at the


appalling, UKIP did not do very well in the south-west at the


general election. The Liberal Democrats, because they are in


government, are no longer the dustbin vote. UKIP are now being


perceived as doing that. I am sure Nigel Farage will be delighted to


have been called a dustman. Coalition believes that if it can


kick-start the construction industry it can create thousands of


jobs and potentially get the economy out of recession. It has


returned once again to the crucial area of planning.


This man has been fishing out of the poor at four or 20 years. In


that time, traditional coronal -- Cornish fishing villages have


become hot property areas. When it comes to owning his own home, he


fears that he has missed the boat. A I am a fisherman, I want to stay


here in this village, four generations of my family come from


here. One day I might have to move out of this village, may be made


inland a bit more weight it is cheaper. For years, affordable


housing has been a key method of helping people like David Guy.


Affordable means sold or rented at a below market value. The


government says it is going to spend �300 million building 15,000


affordable homes, but at the same time it is relaxing the rules next


year so that firms can start building risky commercial


developments without having to provide a affordable home. We are


telling the housing companies to get on and build. I want private


houses built, I once social houses built, we want to get Britain


building. Community benefits, parks and playgrounds, I things that


developers have to provide. initial plans for the site just


over here included two affordable homes, but the developer managed to


get those dropped. It is an example of what we could see more rock when


it comes to the new rules regarding section 100 and sex requirements.


Section 106. It to be a travesty of Labour to


made to some kind of idea of reservations, we only those who are


hugely wealthy can afford to buy. When I first read it government's


proposals, my immediate thought was, what about the affordable housing?


If they government will not make developers provide it, then who


else will? My concern is that we may have some Belmont but it might


not solve any of the housing worries, because it might not


provide affordable housing. David is left wondering what he


gets. We are joined by a property


developer Robin Furby. Well can to the programme.


It was your development on the Lizard that we just on the film.


What was it that we are providing only two affordable homes on that


site unviable for you? Three have to add up the cost of the site, at


it cost of building houses and some that theory -- fairly standard


spreadsheets which you get you are allowed to make around 15 per cent


as a profit. If you make less than 15 per cent you are allowed to go


back to local authority and after meeting the affordable housing


department, they accepted that ever scheme was not viable. To you think


that now that these rules had been relaxed, that a lot of affordable


housing elements will be dropped? They is a misunderstanding of how


housing rules work. There are three types of affordable housing, social


rent, intermediate and now the college affordable rent. I think it


is a change in the next year, because some of those types of


affordable housing actually cost more to build than you can sell


them to a housing association for, whereas others are OK, they wash


their face and they make a small profit. It's a this will help the


construction industry? I think it is a positive move, but it is not


really a huge change. The mechanism already works, in that you can


negotiate the type of affordable housing that you want to provide.


But the thing is, you are, from a property developer's point of view,


going to say that. It does benefit to because if the rules are relaxed


than a lot less affordable homes will be built. I do not in that is


so. A two year will not be built in the Wizard that were going to a


belt. That is true. Oliver, do you think we are going


to lose in the mind of affordable housing? I think we need to make


sure that we need to start out people being able to get money to


buy houses. The mean the bank's lending? The that is the key issue.


No political party has got their policy right on that. Robin is not


going to continue developing affordable homes if he does not


have the market to sell to. What is going to be significant is that


there will be more supply and more demand as well. Alison, what is


your take on this? Will there be more jobs? This proposal is, I am


afraid, adding further confusion into the whole process. We had a


complete revamp of planning and there the government is saying that


they are going to change it all again. What we are not getting a


enough affordable homes to meet local needs. In Cornwall there are


particular the difficult circumstances. The developers are


already all making significant profits whilst making fewer units.


If you look at many of the big developers, they are all making


very substantial profits. The think that they are using the recession?


What they're building RTR four- bedroom walls. What they're not


bending -- 3 R four-bedroom homes. What they are not building other


types of homes that are needed here in Cornwall. Alison is saying that


there will be less homes built, that you cannot say that there will


be more in that you are profiting out of the recession here? You have


to draw a line underneath the big house builders, who do seem to have


been doing well, and a lot of the smaller and medium-size firms who


really struggle. The banks have a role, my own experience of the


banks is that they are not really bangs at all, they do not really


lend anyone any money any more, so I don't know why the government has


not intervened. We have to move on, but thank you for joining us. Every


politician knows that broken promises do not go down well with


voters. Nick Clegg has now said sorry for failing to deliver his


promise to scrap tuition fees. He has made a political hot cast which


has already been turned into the song. -- broadcast. # There's no


easy way to say we're sorry. # But a number of members in the


south-west believe that the only way to rebuild trust is to see Nick


Clegg go. Andrew Bridgwater is a man on a


mission. I want to say to him now, police consider your position in


the interests of the country and the party, and please resign.


Lifelong liberal Andrew is not unhappy that there is a Coalition,


but failure to contend with the Conservatives on issues of tuition


fees and 10p tax, shows that the leader is not up to the job. We'll


let the party leader to do difficult things and we do so in


the light at the time of the fact that we think they are capable of


doing it. Nick Clegg has let the party and the company down. Andrew


is not the only one worried about what Clegg's leadership will mean


for the party's electoral prospects. He has been accused by one MP of


bumbling along. It is not about personality, it is about how Nick


Clegg is doing rationally about representing Lib-Dem values. The


time has come when he is now an issue, and it will have an impact


coming into the general election. It will certainly have an impact in


Cornwall, where next year all their seats will be up for election.


So serious questions are being asked about whether support from


the voters will still be there. There is a strong liberal tradition


here, but the people I spoke to were not treating the party's


chances. What have they done for you? I am not aware they have done


anything for me. I think their support will be down in the next


election as a result of what has happened. A lot of people are


disillusioned. We need to get someone in his a bit more forward-


thinking. We're very proud of what we have


achieved in government, getting people out of poverty, restoring


the link between pensions and earnings. I'm sure we will be


mentioning those within our campaigning.


Three Lib Dem councillors in Cornwall did not share his optimism,


and have defected in recent months. Particularly due to their tuition


fee U-turn. We need a pledge, we did not stick to it, and for that I


am sorry. But this is too little too late for


Andrew, who is urging other party members to speak out. A what we


really need to do is do what I am doing, coming out and stating my


views publicly, and not shielding my identity. Because then the


leadership will have to step up and take notice. Nick Clegg says he is


staying put, but it seems that choppy waters are ahead.


Nick Clegg himself has dismissed those concerned about his position.


He told us the descent was actually the result of strong leadership.


When you lead in a strong way, people will disagree with you. But


what I think we have done, and I have put my hands up will be have


made mistakes, I have apologised, but John Hall, on the pick


judgments, stepping up to the plate to make sure that the government


has strong leadership, we had been doing the painstaking,


controversial work of bringing the country back from the brink, which


is where Labour left it and I think we had done the right things.


I am joined from Brighton by one South West MP who is sticking with


his leader. Welcome to the programme, Stephen Gilbert. You may


be standing by Nick Clegg, but others clearly are not. Are you


worried? Not at all. But in the vast majority of the Liberal


Democrats blackening to brighten over the weekend, the entire


parliamentary party, ever -- are full square behind Nick Clegg. We


are coming together with ever political rivals, are Conservatives,


to come together when the country needs it. Focusing on liberal


values, taking 2 million people out of income tax, delivering the the


world's first Green Investment back. It is a legacy that Liberal


Democrat should be rightly proud of and it is one that Nick Clegg is


delivering. What about his apology over tuition fees? Would you stand


by that? If I think the apology was the right thing to do. I think what


Nick Clegg recognise was that there was no way that that pledge should


have been made by the Liberal Democrats, by myself. I am sorry


for making that pledge. But it was a core a grassroots policy, and it


seems only to have been dropped so that the leadership could make


their way into the government? Presumably which could then be


justified by policies which it then in the lamented. They only way


which we would have been able to implement that pledged would be if


we were the majority government. We were not in majority government at


the end of the last election. We have a Labour Party he introduced


fees and then tripled the and. The Conservative Party is wedded to


fees. We have had no apology from the Labour Party about their broken


promises to students on this issue. I think it is refreshing that a


politician of his stature has taken a view to say sorry. Is there an


apology from new Alison for what Stephen as a poll -- from what


Stephen is asking you to apologise for? I think they are delusional.


The idea that this is strong leadership is crazy. Most people


who watch the apology have said, why on earth had they done it? I


think it is a PR disaster. We had very clear views on it tuition fees


and they were not the same as the Liberal Democrats, and we stood by


them. Have you come into this Coalition and you are putting their


Liberal Democrat out? We have to remember the reason why the


Coalition came about was because we had to clean up the mess that there


previous Labour government left behind. We are not out of it yet


and we need to continue the job that we started to do. If the


Liberal Democrats want to have a debate about the leadership was the


economy is in such a state, that seems to be self-indulgent. Do you


think that Vince Cable would be better? You think he would be more


popular? I think Nick Clegg is the right man for the right job and


will lead us into the next general election and I think we will fight


that with the legacy of the Liberal Democrat promises that we have


implemented in government and that will make a difference to people's


lives. Now a round-up of the Week in 60


seconds. Is maternity leave to generous? An


MP has asked ministers to ask -- to listen to small businesses to say


that it is. In to have a company of six-12 employees where senior


individual has been absent from the workplace and does not inform their


employer until the 11th hour after a period of a year that they will


not be coming back. The government announced that from October it is -


- its official statistics will recognise Cornwall as a separate


part of the South West. And money-saving plans to switch


off some of the street lights in Somerset were met with amid an --


with a mixed reaction. It will be fine when no one is around, between


the hours of 12-three. But what about people like me to finish work


at two o'clock in the morning? is true.


I have a feeling he will be in the Dog House tonight. What about me at


3am when I walking home? Is it a good way to save money, turn off


the street lights? It is a really difficult one, because I would not


want to be walking late at night with no street lights. Some people


are trialling it, it will be interesting to see what the results


are. Whether there will be an increase in crime or whether road


accidents actually reduce. Personally, I would prefer not to


be turning off the street lights. agree, I think it is right that we


keep our streets as let as well as we possibly can in order to make


sure that we do not see a rise in crime. I think that anybody walking


home in darkened streets, that would be most unhelpful for them.


This maternity leave issue, do you think it is too generous for small


businesses? There is a broader set of issues, we need to look at the


whole idea of regulation. We want to make sure we are not regulating


so much that we are preventing small businesses in particular from


employing people. Body make of it, Alison? A lot of small businesses


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