21/10/2012 Sunday Politics South West


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 21/10/2012. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



In the South West: Delays in the benefits system.


New figures show our region has the highest proportion of people


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2293 seconds


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


for them at the Walker -- notorious didn't work -- plans for the


notorious... It is a tale of two cities with


today's guests. Oliver Colvile, Conservative MP for Plymouth Sutton


and Devonport and Ben Bradshaw, the Labour MP for Exeter. Welcome, both


of you, to the programme. There were momentous scenes at County


Hall in Truro this week as Cornwall Council sacked its Tory leader Alec


Robertson with a vote of no confidence. He lost his job over


large-scale plans to privatise council services. And for


apparently wanting to push them through in defiance of the


council's majority view. Here is the man who has replaced him in the


There has been a lot of concern about the lack of member


involvement, and the members had their day to day. They have come at


it from various angles, and for the first time they felt empowered. One


councillor said, as she left, in 41 years at County Hall, I have never


seen so much drama in a single day, and that is true.


Oliver, are we seeing a miss, even Conservatives, reacting against the


Government's message and austerity -- message of austerity? They have


to make sure they are bringing value for money as far as the


taxpayer is concerned. It is important delicate of the way of


doing that and making sure it is delivered. But there is a broader


issue here, under way in which the previous Labour government tried to


introduce lots of members in the decision-making process. You're a


great campaigner for democracy and the constitution. Do you approve


Thatcher government introduced a system that allowed this kind of


thing to happen? A leader pursue something through, completely at


odds with the majority of the council? Well, it didn't go through.


Most local authorities manages -- managed to exist perfectly well.


This is a classic example of the poor Corniche being let down again


by their county council. If you go back many years, Kent -- Cornwall


County Council has been a shambles. People in Cornwall have an


opportunity next May to put some Labour councillors in their to


bring commonsense. But under the rules, Alida could theoretically


bring something through. Only if they are scrutiny chairs. -- a


leader could bring something through. If the Conservative group


of Cornwall County Council were functional and not totally


dysfunctional, this would never have got through. I just have to


say that what should have happened is they should have been an amount


of discussion with the Conservative group in order to do it. We need to


make sure that actually local authorities are managed in a much


better way, making sure that the group's come to a collective


decision. It sounds like that did not happen, and a few people made


up the decision which did not work. We must move on.


A growing number of people in the south-west are relying on food


handouts from charities, and according from one group the region


has the highest proportion of people using them. It is happening


in some surprising places the -- some surprising places.


This has been opening three minutes, but they have already dealt -- Six


cases. This man says he would have starved if it was not for this.


There are so many people applying for the same vacancy, and only so


many people get through the see the process before calling anyone.


people through the JobCentre can use the service. This week, it


emerged that in the last six months, the South West branches of this


charity had been busier than any other region. Across the south-west,


some 13,500 people have used for banks operated by the trust since


April. In Plymouth, the number of people using the service has


quadrupled over the past four years. But there are also signs that


people are struggling in areas that are traditionally seen as a fluent.


This week, the Conservative lead South Hams District Council tweeted


it would help start a food bank for families in crisis. There are great


pockets of this area where there is a need, and all the little villages


around the district. With things like a paper mill closing, there


could be a lot more hardship, so it is good to have things in place for


people to get help if they need it. Unemployment and the rising cost in


food and fuel bills are all factors, but there are calls for the


Government to do more. Relying on young people debating, that is


great that young people do that, and we do volunteering very well,


but not being able to feed itself, I think that is an embarrassment to


the government. Batten Plymouth, one of the


problems is linked to the delays in benefit payments. Dan did not get


any payments for weeks after he signed on. It is in a fortnight


currently without money, and there was a problem at the start, too.


And the people providing the services that he is not alone.


wish I could say this was an odd example, but it is not. It takes a


long time to get these things set up and running, and you think


everything is going along fine when suddenly something happens and


there is no payment. It is not until you go and ask what has


happened that they say you have missed an appointment or at the


loss you sit 0 or something similar. There is no notification that there


is not going to be any money. -- lost a sick note.


They say that they never claimed times have remained consistent,


with most claims being turned around and 16 days. It says it is


reforming labour's broken welfare system to make work pay, and lift


thousands out of pores of -- poverty.


He is she right to say this is an embarrassment to the Government?


do not think it is. We need to make sure that what we have got is the


economy settles for people can get But it is the fact that this is


happening on the scale it is the problem. We need more jobs in to


Plymouth and more investment, we need to make sure that we have


better skills as well, and that is the argument I have been saying for


a while. I know you are a Plymouth MP, this is happening and what many


people would see as the highly affluent Conservative-run South


Hams. There is an issue to see that we get more jobs into the area.


What about the help in the meantime? Anyone who has an issue


or a problem can come and talk to me about it, and there has


obviously been some delay in people getting the benefits. A lot of


people, the trusts is 43% of people they deal with. I am willing for


them to come and talk to me, and we will clear up the mess to do with


benefits. You have left them in a mess. We did not have food banks


under the Labour government! We have had one in Exeter over there


last year, and it has trebled. Fuel prices are going up, benefits and


wages are going down, and people are facing this hardship. There has


been the abolition of emergency grants, so people who are in hard


Japan do not have their benefits through a do not get anything, so


they are desperate. -- people who are in hardship to not have the


benefits through. People who deserve benefits are being messed


around for weeks. It is about making sure we have more


investments will be can get people back into jobs. But people should


be getting the benefits that they deserve first. If anyone has an


issue in my constituency, they can come and speak to me about it, and


I will take up their case. We have got a benefits problem that we


inherited of the previous Labour government, and it became much more


dependent upon the state, and we need to make sure we sort this out.


In the south-west we have the biggest gap between earnings and


house prices, that is the problem. I think it is a case that we have


got to make sure we sort out the benefit matter and we make sure


that people get back into work and there are no jobs. In terms of


sorting this in the shorter term, people having to wait six weeks or


two months to get their money, can something not be done to get some


of -- some organisation into that? People can come and speak to me


about that. You will have a lot of people knocking on your door.


is fine. I am happy for this. Changes to constituency boundaries


probably leave most people accept characters like us distinctly


underwhelmed. Unless it involves giving a big chunk of Cornwall to a


Devon MP. Two days ago the Boundary Commission came up with his latest


thoughts on the new map, but where to draw the lines now looks like a


sideshow to a huge row at the heart Uproar over the notorious Devonwell


constituency struggling the D-Mark has dominated the boundary review


in the south-west. -- straddling The big question is, whether all


the clever people at the Boundary Commission are simply wasting an


awful lot of time and effort. I think these are the zombie


boundary changes. These are the walking dead proposals which will


never see the light of day. In the summer or a lot of Conservative MPs


scuppered the Lib Dems plan of reforming the House of Lords. Nick


Clegg said his party would no longer support boundary changes,


and there has been speculation that the Tories might try to tempt them


back with a deal on party funding. But Nick Clegg said this week, this


is an issue on which he will not budge. Because of a failure to


deliver a wider package of reforms we had agreed within the coalition


government, including the House of Lords reform, when it comes to a


vote, the Liberal Democrats will not support the changes ahead of


the election in 2015. Even without those presumably crucial Lib Dem


votes, the Prime Minister told me just a couple of weeks ago that it


still is full steam ahead. Do you have any hope of pushing


through the constituency boundary changes? They are coming forward


for a vote and a House of Commons, and my message to the MPs of all


parties is that I think it is right that we cost -- cut the cost of


politics and reduce the size of the House of Commons from 650-600. We


say that every constituency has the same number of voters and it.


attempt to achieve this through a deal on party funding might get the


Prime Minister into trouble with his own troops. What I hope is not


going on is that behind the scenes there is not some rather sordid


trading on an unprincipled basis to buy the Liberal Democrats ascent.


Would you be voting against it if it comes back to the Commons?


I would. It would be completely wrong for us to attempt to secure a


principled arrangement, a new electoral settlement, with an


unprincipled the tea trade behind the stairs. -- dirty trade. This


month would see his constituency changed completely -- disappear


completely of the saw the light of day.


I know your reputation for loyalty is legendary. But would you


consider voting against this if it is bought by the shabby, dirty


deal? The key thing is we need to reduce the number of members.


you vote against? We would need to see what the proposals are going to


be. Ultimately, I want to reduce the costs. I know why the


Government wants to do this, but would you consider voting against?


I am not going to answer a hypothetical question. He says we


know what fuss was caused by plans to reform the House of Lords. He


says any changes to party funding would be much more or unpalatable.


I do not think we will go down that route, and Grant Shapps, chairman


of the party, made that quite clear. That is not what is going to happen.


We need to reduce the number of the Members of Parliament by 50. We


need to save some money as far as the taxpayer is concerned and we


need to make sure that is what we deliver. That is what we have voted


for in Parliament in order to achieve. We come to the principal


issue. All around the Prime Minister say that this makes things


fairer and cheaper. But Oliver cannot vote against the changes


because he banned -- benefits massively. I have made it quite


clear that I would relish to fight the constituency on the current


boundaries, I have always made that happened. It does not look as if


the changes will go through, if Nick Clegg is going to vote against


him, David Cameron has to cobble together a massive majority. So why


on earth are we spending millions of pounds still doing it? And we


have this uncertainty for the next few years. You make a point of


being a constitutional reformer. David Cameron says this makes


things fairer and more democratic. We have the boundary reviews every


few years to make things fairer. The Boundary Commission make sure


that constituencies are a similar size. But what we have got here is


a clear gerrymandering, a reduction of 50 seats, a number that does not


hurt the Conservatives but had several other party, when we


already have 3 million people, mainly in inner-city areas, not


even on the electrical -- electoral roll. He would make sure he got


these on the electoral roll of he was concerned. The constituencies


do not have even number of voters. Some people say that 20 more seats


would not make any difference because you have so many rebels.


Now, the regular round-up of the Former defence minister Nick Harvey


prices the nuclear button at Prime Minister's Questions the stock will


the Prime Minister keep an open mind on how to replace the nuclear


deterrent? If you will have a nuclear deterrent, it makes sense


that the you have something that is credible and believable, or there


is no. And having won at all. -- there is no point in having won a


Day centres are all under threat, there is nothing sacrosanct, so we


have to make sure that we protect the Serb was his. Meanwhile, the


tree is dwarfed by the 20 metres pregnant women. Anything that


provides business into the town will be good for us. When her water


bricks, I do not know what will happen.


Handing out food to people in food Bangs, should the Tory council in


the poorest part of the south-west be spending �20,000 on a garden


decoration? We are trying to get people to come and visit the place


because that would mean more money in the economy, and in Plymouth


money to make sure we make more use of her -- our naval heritage.


has a strong counter-argument. not think this will make a


difference to the tourism trade. The Angel of the North was


controversial to start with and has been a huge success. Ed Miliband


suggested that the conference that there would be a consideration of


reviewing the results. Of course we will consider the results. But


Nuclear Disarmament position was at reviewed recently, Fang the this.


And we will retain the nuclear deterrent, I am afraid Labour has


got form in this regard. They talk about how they gave up in the past


on the nuclear deterrent, and I wonder if that is a point of


Download Subtitles