19/05/2013 Sunday Politics South West


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 19/05/2013. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



one of those Tory MPs who wanted Europe in the Queen's Speech.


And ministers are told they must do more to protect our railway from


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2161 seconds


Hello. Coming up on the Sunday Politics in the South West: The


warning that ministers are not doing enough to stop the region being cut


off by extreme weather. And for the next 20 minutes, I am


joined by the Conservative MP Mel Stride and the Labour peer Lord


Whitty. Welcome both of you to the programme. Let's start with this


week's jobs figures, which once again showed a fall in the number of


people out of work and claiming benefit. Significantly the claimant


count is down year on year in every part of the South West.


This appears to be good news. face of it, it is good news. But


there are odd things with the statistics. Employment figures are


going up and down. A lot of new jobs are very part time, even zero hours.


People are moving into self-employment. I think we should


welcome it strongly. We need proper jobs, serious jobs, better going to


be long-term for people of the South West and the of the country.


underemployment is a problem in your constituency? I don't think so. A


job as important, as opposed to being out of work. We have seen a


movement from part-time to full-time work as a trend. We have seen a


movement from temporary to permanent work as well. We have seen women in


work increase. That masks these figures of employment because


actually unemployment has risen and yet the numbers of people claiming


has actually gone down. If you look at the number that have been


unemployed over the previous period last year, the record has not been


too bad. Most economists have been slightly confused by that, but it is


one of the aspect of our record that I think has been more positive than


negative. Unemployment hasn't played as big a part in this recession as


the 1980s. Thankfully employers are hanging on experienced Labour. But


we also have these odd sort of choirs eyedrops the economy. --


quasi-jobs. But some of these jobs are vulnerable in terms of looking


after your family. The European drum has been banging


away all week at Westminster. Among the Conservative MPs pressing David


Cameron for a more solid commitment to an in-out vote were six from the


South West. Our reporter has been getting reaction to the row from


business people in Cornwall. Some politicians think it is the


burning question. Europe, in or out? In, out, shake it all about.


Entrepreneurs are meeting here to swap ideas, hungry to grow their


businesses. Export is a key theme. Europe is a hot topic. We have many


small businesses that need to collaborate together to get exports


anyway. To put anything that puts that at risk is crazy. More than any


other county in the country, we have 22,000 small businesses that need


all the help they can get. As far as having a common market is concerned,


it makes perfect sense for businesses to be trading on a bigger


field. Ultimately, what we have now is not what we voted for when we


first voted to join the Common market. We now have federal Europe


by the back door and the aspects that Europe bring our less


palatable. In Cornwall, Europe is not just about trade, fishing quotas


and farming subsidies. The Eden Project, combined universities and


Newquay airport I've all had a slice of �1 billion of European grants


since 1999. There is more cash on the way. Despite this, UKIP polled


15% of the vote in local elections in Cornwall. It is about economy and


jobs. I am not a xenophobic not. I am speaking for our country and the


vote for UKIP showed it. We have to wake up in this place. Richard Drax


was one of six Tory MPs in our region to join the gang of rebels


urging for a stronger position on the in out referendum. The Prime


Minister has beefed up his promise of a vote by 2017. It was clearly


not enough to make this question go away. The hokey corky. In, out.


That's what it's all about. Joining us to discuss this we have


Councillor Steph McWilliam, leader of the UKIP group on Cornwall


Council. I wanted to send the message that we could not have a


commitment from the Coalition Government in the Queens speech to


have legislation in this Parliament to undermine our commitment as a


party to have a referendum by no later than 2017. I think this issue


is extremely important. Hasn't Europe proved a disaster is issued


for the Tories generally? Especially for factor in the previous


government. Cameron has said in the past that he would like the Tories


to stop banging on about Europe. think we have arrived in a strong


position which is now that we have a clear sense of direction as a


party. The Prime Minister has made it clear that we have a commitment


to a referendum. If there is a majority government elected, we will


attempt to push for a referendum. I will send the message through my


voting and also with this amendment. It undermines the government. You


could have waited for the Private Members' Bill. I don't believe so.


There was not a 3-way split. People voted for it or abstained. It is all


part of getting that message across to the public. Be under no


illusions. If a Conservative government is elected in 2015, there


will be a referendum before the halfway point of that parliament.


That is a problem for UKIP. Cameron is saying that the only way to get a


referendum is to vote Tory. Where does that leave UKIP? What I heard


on the doorstep throughout the campaign is that most of the voters


just don't believe anything they are told. At least with the UK


Independence Party, they know what they would be getting. We have the


European elections next year. That will be really interesting to test


public opinion. This idea that if there is a Tory majority, and if


they are successful at renegotiating, then there will be a


referendum in 2017 is not good enough. People are not happy with


that. They want a say and they want it now. Where do you stand on this?


I am a strong pro-European. I would vote yes in almost any


circumstances. What we have now is David Cameron committed to a


referendum in future and we don't know the outcomes of the negotiating


brief. It is meaningless. The exact position of the Labour Party will


probably not be determined until the time of the European elections.


Don't people want to know now? personal view is that the situation


amongst the public on Europe means we have to have a referendum at some


point. I suspect that will be the position of the Labour Party. But


not the referendum that either David Cameron or Mel and his gang on the


backbenches have left us with because that is pretty meaningless


to the average member of the fittest voting UKIP is that they will assist


labour and the Liberal Democrats in defeating Conservatives in marginal


seats. Will you vote in or out?I want to hear the debate. The


sensible thing to do, and this is where I think the Prime Minister is


right, is we need to have a full and proper debate about what it means to


be in and what it means to be out. Steph, from your point of view,


Cardinal has done very well out of Europe. �1 billion for projects such


as the University of Cornwall and the Eden Project. Surely it is not


the right thing for Cornwall to be out of Europe? What we have to


remember is that the EU doesn't have any money of its own. It only has


the money it has already taken from us. The way I try and explain this


is to hold up a �10 note and say it will anybody give me �26 for this


note? I have not yet had any takers. It relies on the government handing


the money in our direction, rather than to other parts of the country.


That is to do with the MPs that we send to Westminster. In Cornwall, we


have six MPs who are all members of the Coalition Government. That their


job to represent the interests of Cornwall and if they could keep all


the money here we would be able to do more. The other point I want to


make is that when we look at Cornwall's eligibility to all this


European funding, it is because we are below 75% of the EU average GDP.


We have been receiving this money for a very long time. We are still


eligible for it for some time to come. Because we are still below


75%. Whilst we are end, we are still eligible because we are still less


than 75% of GDP, even though a lot of other countries have joined so


the EU average has gone down and we are still not at 75%. This money is


being misspent. What would it mean for the South West? Cornwall have


had a much better reception in Brussels than in Westminster.


long as we are still in the EU, we will be fighting for is not European


funding as we can get. It is our money and we would like it back. It


is just that we would like all of it back. Farmers have done well out of


Europe. What would you tell them if they lost their funding? I think


there have been many challenges. If we are looking at this particular


area of this debate, it is about not whether assistance is given to


farmers, it is about who is giving it. It is quite conceivable that


after renegotiation we might end up in a situation we have control over


raising revenues for transport in the United Kingdom. We need to have


the debate to settle these discussions. We have doing that


particular debate just now. Thank you. -- we have to end.


The South West's transport links are looking a little more precarious


this week with Flybe announcing a possible sell-off of its runway


slots at Gatwick Airport. There was some good news for the rail network.


The Transport Secretary took the train to Dawlish and promised to


safeguard the mainline from the waves. But it is still not clear


what will happen to the line if sea levels rise and some say our railway


Stormy weather. Services along this track are often vulnerable to the


weather. But it is a matters valuable for tourism. Over the last


decade, Network Rail have invested �8.5 million on defences. They


invest �500,000 a year to ensure the sea wall at Dawlish remains intact.


With sea levels expected to rise and more extreme weather events


predicted over the coming decades, the future of this route hangs on


some significant government cash. This week, the secretary of State


for transport travelled to Dawlish with the local MP. There are issues


in terms of safeguarding the flying. It is important and there have been


problems. Part of my visit here today is to speak to network rail to


ensure we put in the right resilience to make sure this line is


secure. It is vital we ensure this line is sustainable for the longer


term. Realistically, there is nothing else affordable as an


alternative. In terms of economic payback, it is crucial. A report


carried out by the previous government looked at an alternative


railway line. The scheme is estimated to cost �100 million and


it was deemed to be an viable. are powerful images. The work we


have done shows that that will be okayed for the next three or four


decades. My worry is should we be focusing every bit as much on


getting it right on other stretches of the line where Exeter can get


marooned? That is what happened last year. The line was closed for


several days. A �30 million programme to improve resilience is


underway. Network Rail see it will not prevent flooding. The visit of


the Transport Secretary has been seen as a positive sign that more


investment will follow. But should we be worried that the region will


get enough to ensure we are not cut off again?


There are further discussions going on about the longer term and the


kind of investment that may need to be put into the South West to ensure


that our railways are resilient to function effectively. In the shorter


term, but we have acute problems of flooding, there is a lot of


investment. 30 million will not solve the problems, but it will


improve resilience. When flooding occurs, the real we can be brought


back into use more quickly. We're taking some of the signalling


cabling and raising it so it doesn't get swamped by water. We were cut


off for several weeks from Exeter. This is very serious. The government


takes this very seriously. That is why the Secretary of State was down


here. Ministers are looking at Network Rail and DEFRA and this


whole issue. Do you think enough money is being spent to sustain the


railway? I think rather more systematic money is required by


Network Rail and rail operators in the terminating the resilience of


the South West rate. It is a particularly vulnerable one. Mel is


right that we should tackle the stress points on that line. That


will require quite a lot of money, but I think that is the way to do


it, rather than divert the line all the way around. Are we seeing enough


money in our region as opposed to projects like HS2? If you include


HS2 in your calculations, the answer is no. The volume of traffic is


substantially greater in the Midlands than in the South West.


There is a social reason for keeping better transport links with the


South West as well as the rest of the country. I think the South West


has missed out, to be honest. here would say we have missed out.


It doesn't seem right that a fraction of the money on HS2 could


not be brought down here. question is, who's what did miss out


on? 13 years of Labour government. And the previous 18 years of Tory


government. What about the other route that was looked into. That


would be good for your patch? would and I can't be selfish all my


life. I would love �100 million spent on a route in my constituency.


There are problems that could be done with the Okehampton railway.


But I agree that the level of investment involved there in the


short to medium term will be too onerous. Thank you very much.


Now our regular round-up of the political week in 60 seconds.


A year after the so-called pasty tax was watered down, bakers have been


counting the cost to their businesses. I am charging 20% VAT


when I reheat these but I am not charging the customers. Concern over


the loss of our search and rescue helicopter has been referred to the


ombudsman. Cornwall Council have launched an investigation into new


comments made by a councillor where he appeared to link disabled


children with deformed lambs. believe in the sanctity of life.


Dorset's Police Commissioner revealed he is talking to a private


company about sponsoring his force. There is no more money and we have


to think outside the box. Vault at 16 were proposed by the former


Cornwall MP Lord Tyler. The Police Commissioner of Dorset


has revealed he is talking to a private company about sponsoring his


force. We don't know yet which private company. What is your view?


The reason he is doing that is because the resources made available


to him by central government have been severely cut. They are thinking


of closing local police stations. I don't think it is a particularly


sensible alternative, but I understand the pressure he is under.


Even and Somerset did it some years ago. We saw the local for Threshers


off-licence on the van. Was that acceptable? It is better than


Threshers actually policing themselves. But I don't think it is


sensible. Police forces are doing a magnificent job in making more go


further. Crime is down 10%. Is it a good idea? Do you support this? I


haven't seen the specifics. It seems slightly daft to me in general terms


because I think the most important thing about the police is that they


have the confidence of the public and the public sees them as being


entirely impartial and answering to no private company. If you ask


people whether they would rather see a police van with a local ordinal


Download Subtitles