27/10/2013 Sunday Politics South West


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Morning, folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics. Hope you enjoyed


the extra hour in bed, and that you've realised it's not 12:45. It's


11:45! It's getting stormy outside. But they're already battening down


the hatches at Number Ten because coalition splits are back, with


bust-ups over free schools and power bills. We'll speak to the Lib Dems,


and ask Labour who's conning whom over energy.


EU leaders have been meeting in Brussels. But how's David Cameron


getting on with that plan to change our relationship with Europe? We


were there to ask him. Have we got any powers back yet? DS!


Foreign companies own everything from our energy companies to our


railways. Does it matter who In the South West, the plan to cut


mobile library services. And the wind farm opponents who say they


haven't got the stronger voice as many daily journeys made by bus


than by tube, so why is the planned investment in buses not keeping


pace? And with me, three journalists


who've bravely agreed to hunker down in the studio while Britain braces


itself for massive storm winds, tweeting their political forecasts


with all the accuracy of Michael Fish on hurricane watch. Helen


Lewis, Janan Ganesh and Nick Watt. Now, sometimes coalition splits are


over-egged, or dare we say even occasionally stage-managed. But this


week, we've seen what looks like the genuine article. It turns out Nick


Clegg has his doubts about the coalition's flagship free schools


policy. David Cameron doesn't much like the green levies on our energy


bills championed by the Lib Dems. Neither of them seems to have


bothered to tell the other that they had their doubts. Who better to


discuss these flare-ups than Lib Dem Deputy Leader Simon Hughes? He joins


me now. Welcome. Good morning. The Lib Dems spent three years of


sticking up for the coalition when times were grim. Explain to me the


logic of splitting from them when times look better. We will stick


with it for five years. It is working arrangement, but not


surprisingly, where there right areas on which we disagree over


where to go next, we will stand up. It is going to be hard enough for


the Lib Dems to get any credit for the recovery, what ever it is. It


will be even harder if you seem to be semidetached and picky. The


coalition has led on economic policy, some of which were entirely


from our stable. The one you have heard about most often, a Lib Dem


initiative, was to take people on blowing comes out of tax. The


recovery would not have happened, there would not have been confidence


in Britain, had there not been a coalition government with us in it,


making sure the same policies produced fair outcomes. We are not


going to leave the credit for any growth - and there has been very


good news this week. We have played a part in that, and without us, it


would not have happened. Does it not underline the trust problem you


have? You promised to abolish tuition fees. You oppose nuclear


power, now you are cheerleading the first multi-billion pounds


investment in nuclear generation. You are dying out on your enthusiasm


on green levies, and now they are up for renegotiation. Why should we


trust a word you say? In relation to green levies, as you well know, just


under 10% is to do with helping energy and helping people. Unless


there is continuing investment in renewables, we will not have the


British produced energy at cheaper cost to keep those bills down in the


future. At cheaper cost? Explain that to me. Off-shore energy is


twice the market rate. The costs of renewables will increasingly come


down. We have fantastic capacity to produce the energy and deliver lots


of jobs in the process. The parts of the energy bill that may be up for


renegotiation seems to be the part where we subsidise to help either


poor people pay less, or where we do other things. Too insulated the


homes? Are you up to putting that to general taxation? Wouldn't that be


progressive? I would. It would be progressive. I would like to do for


energy bills what the Chancellor has done for road traffic users,


drivers, which is too fuelled motor fuel -- to freeze new to fall. That


would mean there would be an immediate relief this year, not


waiting for the election. So there is a deal to be done there? Yes We


understand we have to take the burden off the consumer, and also


deal with the energy companies, who look as if they are not paying all


the tax they should be, and the regulator, which doesn't regulate


quickly enough to deal with the issues coming down the track. We can


toughen the regulator, and I hope that the Chancellor, in the Autumn


statement, was signalled that energy companies will not be allowed to get


away with not paying the taxes they should. And this deal will allow


energy prices to come down? Yes How could David Laws, one of your


ministers, proudly defend the record of unqualified teachers working in


free schools, and then stand side-by-side with Mr Clegg, as he


says he is against them? David Laws was not proudly defending the fact


that it is unqualified teachers He said that some of the new,


unqualified teachers in free schools are doing a superb job. But you want


to get rid of them? We want to make sure that everybody coming into a


free school ends up being qualified. Ends up? Goes through a process that


means they have qualifications. Just as we said very clearly at the last


election that the manifesto curriculum in free schools should be


the same as other schools. It looks like Mr Clegg is picking a fight


just for the sake of it. Mr Clegg was taught by people who didn't have


teaching qualifications in one of the greatest schools in the land, if


not the world. It didn't seem to do him any harm. What is the problem?


If you pay to go to a school, you know what you're getting. But that


is what a free school is. No, you don't pay fees. A free school is


parents taking the decisions, not you, the politicians. We believe


they would expect to guarantee is, firstly that the minimum curriculum


taught across the country is taught in the free schools, and secondly,


that the teachers there are qualified. Someone who send their


kids to private schools took a decision to take -- to send their


children there, even if the teachers were unqualified, because they are


experts in their field. Someone who send their kids to free schools is


because -- is their decision, not yours. Because some of the free


schools are new, and have never been there before, parents need a


guarantee that there are some basics in place, whatever sort of school.


So they need you to hold their hand? It is not about holding hands, it is


about having a minimum guarantee. Our party made clear at our


conference that this is a priority for us. Nick Clegg reflects the view


of the party, and I believe it is an entirely rational thing to do. Nick


Clegg complained that the Prime Minister gave him only 30 minutes


notice on the Prime Minister Buzz 's U-turn on green levies. That is


almost as little time as Nick Clegg gave the Prime Minister on his


U-turn on free schools. Aren't you supposed to be partners? Green


levies were under discussion in the ministerial group before Wednesday,


because we identified this as an issue. We do that in a practical


way. Sometimes there is only half an hour's notice. We had even less than


half an hour this morning! Simon Hughes, thank you.


So the price of energy is the big battle ground in politics at the


moment. 72% of people say that high bills will influence the way they


vote at the next election. Ed Miliband has promised a price freeze


after the next election, but will the coalition turned the tables on


Labour, with its proposal to roll back green levies. Caroline Flint


joins us from Sheffield. It looks like the coalition will be able to


take ?50 of energy bills, by removing green levies. It is quite


clear that different parts of the government are running round waking


up to the fact that the public feel that this government has not done


enough to listen to their concerns. Last week, there was a classic case


of the Prime Minister making up policy literally at the dispatch


box. Let's see what they say in the autumn statement. The truth is,


whatever the debate around green levies, and I have always said we


should look at value for money at those green levies. Our argument is


about acknowledging there is something wrong with the way the


market works, and the way those companies are regulated. Behind our


freeze for 20 months is a package of proposals to reform this market I


understand that, but you cannot tell as the details about that. I can.


You cannot give us the details about reforming the market. We are going


to do three things, and I think I said this last time I was on the


programme. First, we are going to separate out the generation side


from the supply side within the big six. Secondly, we will have a energy


pool, or power exchange, where all energy will have to be traded in


that pool. Thirdly, we will establish a tougher regulator,


because Ofgem is increasingly being seen as not doing the job right I


notice that you didn't mention any reform of the current green and


social taxes on the energy bill Is it Labour's policy to maintain the


existing green levies? In 2011, the government chose to get rid of warm


front, which was the publicly funded through tracks a scheme to support


new installation. When they got rid of that, it was the first time we


had a government since the 70s that didn't have such a policy. What is


your policy? We voted against that because we believe it is wrong. We


believe that the eco-scheme, a government intervention which is ?47


of the ?112 on our bills each year, is expensive, bureaucratic and isn't


going to the fuel poor. I am up for a debate on these issues. I am up


for a discussion on what the government should do and what these


energy companies should do. We cannot let Cameron all the energy


companies off the hook from the way in which they organise their


businesses, and expect us to pay ever increasing rises in our bills.


There is ?112 of green levies on our bills at the moment. Did you vote


against any of them? We didn't, but what I would say ease these were


government imposed levies. When they got rid of the government funded


programme, Warm Front, they introduced the eco-scheme. The


eco-project is one of the ones where the energy companies are saying


it's too bureaucratic, and it is proving more expensive than


government estimates, apparently doubled the amount the government


thought. These things are all worth looking at, but don't go to the


heart of the issue. According to official figures, on current plans,


which you support, which you voted for, households will be paying 1%


more per unit of electricity by 2030. It puts your temporary freeze


as just a blip. You support a 4 % rise in our bills. I support making


sure we secure for the future access to energy that we can grow here in


the UK, whether it is through nuclear, wind or solar, or other


technologies yet to be developed. We should protect ourselves against


energy costs we cannot control. The truth is, it is every fair for you


to put that point across, and I accept that, but we need to hear the


other side about the cost for bill payers if we didn't invest in new,


indigenous sources of energy supply for the future, which, in the long


run, will be cheaper and more secure, and create the jobs we


need. I think it is important to have a debate about these issues,


but they have to be seen in the right context. If we stay stuck in


the past, we will pay more and we will not create jobs. How can you


criticise the coalition's plans for a new nuclear station, when jeering


13 years of a Labour government you did not invest in a single nuclear


plant? You sold off all our nuclear technology to foreign companies


Energy provision was put out to private hands and there has been no


obstacle in British law against ownership outside the UK. Part of


this is looking ahead. Because your previous track record is so bad


What we did decide under the previous government, we came to the


view, and there were discussions in our party about this, that we did


need to support a nuclear future. At the time of that, David Cameron


was one of those saying that nuclear power should be a last


resort. And as you said, the Liberals did not support it. We


stood up for that. We set in train the green light of 10 sites,


including Hinkley Point, for nuclear development. I am glad to


see that is making progress and we should make more progress over the


years ahead. We took a tough decision when other governments had


not done. You did not build a new nuclear station. When you get back


into power, will you build HS2? That has not had a blank cheque


from the Labour Party. I am in favour of good infrastructure. Are


you in favour of?, answer the question? I have answered the


question. It does not have a blank cheque. If the prices are too high,


we will review the decision when we come back to vote on it. We will be


looking at it closely. We have to look for value for money and how it


benefits the country. Have you stocked up on jumpers this winter?


I am perfectly all right with my clothing. What is important, it is


ridiculous for the Government to suggest that the answer to the loss


of trust in the energy companies is to put on another jumper.


The coalition has taken a long time to come up with anything that can


trump Ed Miliband's simple freezing energy prices, vote for us. Are


they on the brink of doing so? I do not think so. They have had a


problem that has dominated the debate, talking about GDP, the


figures came out on Friday and said, well, and went back to talking


about energy. My problem with what David Cameron proposes is he agrees


with the analysis that the Big Six make too many profits. He wants to


move the green levies into general taxation, so that he looks like he


is protecting the profits of the energy companies. If the coalition


can say they will take money off the bills, does that change the


game? I do not think the Liberal Democrats are an obstacle to


unwinding the green levies. I think Nick Clegg is open to doing a deal,


but the real obstacle is the carbon reduction targets that we signed up


to during the boom years. They were ambitious I thought at the time


From that we have the taxes and clocking up of the supply-side of


the economy. Unless he will revise that, and build from first


principles a new strategy, he cannot do more than put a dent into


green levies. He might say as I have got to ?50 now and if you


voters in in an overall majority, I will look up what we have done in


the better times and give you more. I am sure he will do that. It might


be ?50 of the Bill, but it will be ?50 on your general taxation bill,


which would be more progressive They will find it. We will never


see it in general taxation. The problem for the Coalition on what


Ed Miliband has done is that it is five weeks since he made that


speech and it is all we are talking about. David Cameron spent those


five weeks trying to work out whether Ed Miliband is a Marxist or


whether he is connected to Middle Britain. That is why Ed Miliband


set the agenda. The coalition are squabbling among themselves,


looking petulant, on energy, and on schools. Nobody is taking notice of


the fact the economy is under way, the recovery is under way. Ed


Miliband has made the weather on this.


It UK has a relaxed attitude about selling off assets based -- to


companies based abroad. But this week we have seen the Swiss owner


of one of Scotland's largest industrial sites, Grangemouth, come


within a whisker of closing part of it down. So should we care whether


British assets have foreign owners? Britain might be a nation of


homeowners, but we appear to have lost our taste for owning some of


our biggest businesses. These are among the crown jewels sold off in


the past three decades to companies based abroad. Roughly half of


Britain's essential services have overseas owners. The airport owner,


British Airports Authority, is owned by a Spanish company.


Britain's largest water company Thames, is owned by a consortium


led by an Australian bank. Four out of six of Britain's biggest energy


companies are owned by overseas giants, and one of these, EDF


Energy, which is owned by the French state, is building Britain's


first nuclear power plant in a generation, backed by Chinese


investors. It's a similar story for train operator Arriva, bought by a


company owned by the German state. So part of the railways privatised


by the British government was effectively re-nationalised by the


German government. But does it matter who owns these companies as


long as the lights stay on, the trains run on time, and we can


still eat Cadbury's Dairy Milk? We are joined by the general


secretary of the RMT, Bob Crow, and by venture capitalist Julie Meyer.


They go head to head. Have we seen the consequences of


relying for essential services to be foreign-owned? Four of the Big


Six energy companies, Grangemouth, owned by a tax exile in Switzerland.


It is not good. I do not think there is a cause and effect


relationship between foreign ownership and consumer prices. That


is not the right comparison. We need to be concerned about


businesses represented the future, businesses we are good at


innovating for example in financial services and the UK has a history


of building businesses, such as Monotypes. If we were not creating


businesses here -- Monotise. Like so many businesses creating


products and services and creating the shareholders. Should we allow


hour essential services to be in foreign ownership? It was


demonstrated this week at Grangemouth. If you do not own the


industry, you do not own it. The MPs of this country and the


politicians in Scotland have no say, they were consultants.


Multinationals decide whether to shut a company down. If that had


been Unite union, they are the ones who saved the jobs. They


capitulated. They will come back, like they have for the past 150


years, and capture again what they lost. If it had closed, they would


have lost their jobs for ever. If the union had called the members up


without a ballot for strike action, there would have been uproar. This


person in Switzerland can decide to shut the entire industry down. The


coalition, the Labour Party, as well, when Labour was in government,


they played a role of allowing industries to go abroad, and it


should be returned to public ownership. Nestor. It has


demonstrated that the Net comes from new businesses. We must not


be... When Daly motion was stopped by the French government to be sold,


it was an arrow to the heart of French entrepreneurs. We must not


create that culture in the UK. Every train running in France is


built in France. 90% of the trains running in Germany are built in


Germany. In Japan, it has to be built in that country, and now an


energy company in France is reducing its nuclear capability in


its own country and wants to make profits out of the British industry


to put back into it state industry. That happened with the railway


industry. They want to make money at the expense of their own state


companies. We sold off energy production. How did we end up in a


position where our nuclear capacity will be built by a company owned by


a socialist date, France, and funded by a communist one, China,


for vital infrastructure? I am not suggesting that is in the national


interest. I am saying we can pick any one example and say it is a


shame. The simple matter of the fact is the owners are having to


make decisions. Not just Grangemouth, businesses are making


decisions about what is the common good. Not just in the shareholders'


interest. For employees, customers. What is in the common good when


prices go up by 10% and the reason is that 20 years ago they shut


every coal pit down in this country, the Germans kept theirs open and


subsidised it and now we have the Germans doing away with nuclear


power and they have coal. Under the Labour government, in 2008, the


climate change Act was passed. Well before that, and you know yourself,


they shut down the coal mines to smash the National Union of


Mineworkers because they dared to stand up for people in their


community. Even if we wanted to reopen the coalmines, it would be


pointless. Under the 2008 Act, we are not meant to burn more coal


The can, as if you spent some of the profits, you could have carbon


catch up. That does not exist on a massive scale. You are arguing the


case, Julie Meyer, for entrepreneurs to come to this


country. Even Bob Crow is not against that. We are trying to


argue, should essential services be in foreign hands? Not those in


Silicon round about doing start ups. I am trying to draw a broader


principle than just energy. Something like broadband services,


also important to the functioning of the economy. I believe in the


UK's ability to innovate. When we have businesses that play off


broadband companies to get the best prices for consumers. These new


businesses and business models are the best way. Not to control, but


to influence. It will be a disaster. Prices will go up and up as a


result. Nissan in Sunderland, a Japanese factory, some of the best


cars and productivity. You want that to be nationalised and bring


it down to the standard of British Leyland? It is not bring it down to


the standard. The car manufacturing base in this country has been


wrecked. We make more cars now for 20 years -- than in 20 years.


Ford's Dagenham produced some of the best cars in the world. Did you


buy one? I cannot drive. They moved their plants to other countries


where it was cheaper labour. Would you nationalise Nissan? There


should be one car industry that produces cars for people. This week


the EU summit was about Angela Merkel's mobile phone being tapped,


they call it a handy. We sent Adam to Brussels and told him to ignore


the business about phone-tapping and investigate the Prime


Minister's policy on Europe instead. I have come to my first EU summit to


see how David Cameron is getting on with his strategy to claim power was


back from Brussels. Got any powers back yet? Yes! Which ones? Sadly,


his fellow leaders were not as forthcoming. Chancellor, are you


going to give any powers back to Britain? Has David Cameron asked you


for any powers back? The president of the commission just laughed, and


listen to the Lithuanian President. How is David Cameron's renegotiation


strategy going? What's that? He wants powers back for Britain. No


one knows what powers David Cameron actually wants. Even our usual


allies, like Sweden, are bit baffled. We actually don't know yet


what is going through the UK membership. We will await the


finalisation of that first. You should ask him, and then tell us!


Here is someone who must know, the Dutch Prime Minister, he is doing


what we are doing, carrying out a review of the EU powers, known as


competencies in the jargon, before negotiating to get some back. Have


you had any negotiations with David Cameron over what powers you can


bring back from Brussels? That is not on the agenda of this summit.


Have you talked to him about it This is not on the schedule for this


summit. David Cameron's advises tummy it is


because he is playing the long game. -- David Cameron's advisers tell me.


At this summit, there was a task force discussing how to cut EU red


tape. Just how long this game is was explained to me outside the summit,


by the leader of the Conservatives in the European Parliament. I think


the behind-the-scenes negotiations will start happening when the new


commissioner is appointed later next year. I think the detailed


negotiations will start to happen bubbly after the UK general


election. That is when we will start getting all of the detail of the


horse trading, and real, Lake night negotiations. Angela Merkel seems


keen to rewrite the EU's main treaties to deal with changes in the


Eurozone, and that is the mechanism David Cameron would use to


renegotiate our membership. Everyone here says his relationship with the


German Chancellor is strong. So after days in this building, here is


how it looks. David Cameron has a mountain to climb. It is climbable,


but he isn't even in the foothills yet. Has he even started packing his


bags for the trip? Joining us now, a man who knows a


thing or two about the difficulties Prime Minister 's face in Europe.


Former Deputy Prime Minister, Michael Heseltine. We are nine


months from David Cameron's defining speech on EU renegotiation. Can you


think of one area of progress? I don't know. And you don't know. And


that's a good thing. Why is it a good thing? Because the real


progress goes on behind closed doors. And only the most naive,


because the real progress goes on behind closed doors. Because, in


this weary world, you and I, Andrew, know full well that the moment you


say, I making progress, people say, where? And the machine goes to work


to show that the progress isn't enough. So you are much better off


making progress as best you can in the privacy of private diplomacy. It


is a long journey ahead. In this long journey, do you have a clear


sense of the destination? Do you have a clear sense of what powers Mr


Cameron wants to negotiate? I have a clear sense of the destination,


which is a victory for the campaign that he will win to stay inside the


European community. That is the agenda, and I have total support for


that. I understand that, but if he is incapable of getting any tangible


sign of renegotiation, if he is able only to do what Wilson did in 1 75,


which was to get a couple of token changes to our membership status, he


goes into that referendum without much to argue for. He has everything


to argue for. He's got Britain's vital role as a major contributor to


the community. He's got Britain s self interest as a major


beneficiary, and Britain's vital role in the City of London. He's got


everything to argue for. He could argue for that now. He could have a


referendum now. He doesn't want one now. I haven't any doubt that he


will come back with something to talk about. But it may be slightly


different to what his critics, the UK isolationist party people, want.


He may, for example, have found that allies within the community want


change as well, and he may secure changes in the way the community


works, which would be a significant argument within the referendum


campaign. Let me give you an example. I think it is a scandal


that the European Commission don't secure the auditing of some of the


accounts. Perhaps that could be on the agenda. He might find a lot of


contributing countries, like Germany, like Colin and, would be


very keen. -- like Holland. David vetoed the increase in the European


budgets the other day, and he had a lot of allies. So working within


Europe on the things that people paying the European bills want is


fertile ground. Is John Major right to call for a windfall tax on the


energy companies? John is a very cautious fellow. He doesn't say


things without thinking them out. So I was surprised that he went for a


windfall tax. First of all, it is retrospective, and secondly, it is


difficult to predict what the consequences will be. I am, myself,


more interested in the other part of his speech, which was talking about


the need for the Conservative Party to seek a wider horizon, to


recognise what is happening to the Conservative Party in the way in


which its membership is shrinking into a southeastern enclave. Are you


in favour of a windfall tax? I am not in favour of increasing any


taxes. Do you share Iain Duncan Smith's point of view on welfare


reform? I think Iain Duncan Smith is right. It is extremely difficult to


do, but he is right to try. I think public opinion is behind him, but it


isn't easy, because on the fringe of these issues there are genuine hard


luck stories, and they are the ones that become the focus of attention


the moment you introduce change. It requires a lot of political skill to


negotiate your way through that. But isn't Iain Duncan Smith right to


invoke the beverage principle, that you should be expected to make a


contribution for the welfare you depend on? Yes, he is. I will let


you get your Sunday lunch. Thanks for joining us.


Coming up in just over 20 minutes, I will be looking


Hello, I'm Lucie Fisher. Coming up on the Sunday Politics in the South


West. The council planning to cut mobile


library services whilst spending millions on the type which stay in


one place. And for the next 20 minutes, I'm


joined by the Lib Dem MP Stephen Gilbert, and the leader of the UKIP


group on Cornwall Council, Steph McWIlliam. Welcome to the programme.


Let's begin with school funding. In June, the Chancellor promised to


close the funding gap which can mean pupils in the South West are worth


more than ?3,000 a year less than those in London. The Education


Secretary hammered home the Government's good news on a visit to


Barnstaple's Pilton Community College. It is an historic


unfairness which means areas in the South West have been discriminated


against. That will end. This week, the North Devon MP Sir Nick Harvey


wrote to Michael Gove urging him to introduce a fairer funding formula


not in April 2015, but as quickly as possible. Do you agree with Nick


Harvey that the schools need the money now, not in the future?


Absolutely, it has been a running sore in Cornwall... There is a


growing number of people who want to see a fairer funding formula. We


heard Michael Gove been quite definite about this. It has not been


a great week for coalition unity. I do not think this is a big split in


the coalition, it is not that kind of story. What we are clear about as


a government is that there will be a fairer funding formula introduced.


It is worth millions? Yes, it is, and it will make a real difference


to those remote, rural schools who are struggling at the moment. Are


you satisfied this will go ahead? It is going to be much too late, we


already have some serious problems with the shortage of school places.


Schools, even where we have an adequate number of places, are


struggling. We have been let down for a very long time by all the


parties. Yes, we have been let down. But we have only been in power


for the last three years and are delivering a fairer funding


formula. 13 years of Labour did not address this. We saw a big buyers


towards funding for inner`city areas. It is quite a lot of money,


?3000. Even if you say that our line which problems in schools in London,


special educational needs must be the same for the South West as for


people in London? I have never understood the difference in nation


between `` the differentiation between London and rural areas. We


have difficulties in my local school because we are not in a big, urban


centre and our pupil numbers are critical. The funding means we have,


at the moment, a teacher coping with reception and year one. It is not


ideal. Hopefully, it will be addressed sooner rather than later.


Campaigners against wind farms say the Government's promise to give


communities new powers to block applications has turned out to be


nothing more than spin. In parts of Devon, councillors are continuing to


see their decisions to reject wind turbines overturned on appeal. Anna


Varle reports. It is an issue which continues to


divide society. The government should stop putting wind turbines in


the open countryside. The impact on the landscape is enormous. There


will soon be nowhere in the countryside where there will not


beef fuse of turbines. The government published new planning


guidance the summer of which is said would give communities more say in


refusing unsuitable projects. There have been some wind farm satire


inappropriately cited. Some people feel under siege on the strong wind


farms. But residents living in North Devon say this is not happening. The


local authority refused permission for a 35 metre turbine to be built


on this site, only for the decision to be overturned by the planning


inspector this week. It is such a disappointment for the expected to


come in and override all public opinion. `` for the inspector.


Torridge District Council see it has seen an increase in applications of


500% is since 2010, most of which it has said yes to. But 90% of the


projects they rejected last year had been overturned at national level.


It is ludicrous that we have no local determination. It is really


government views and forced upon us, and there seems to be nothing we


can do. It is not satisfactory. Nationally, others claim the


guidance the government has issued this year has been misunderstood and


local communities do not have the power to stop an application. There


is no veto in the guidance published this year. The news will be of


comfort to developers of renewable energy who say they do work closely


with local communities. More than 70% of people in the south`west say


they will support more wind farms being built there, but we want to


see the right places. It might be too late for these residents. Those


who have lived and farmed here for more than 50 years say they still


have hope. We will probably find we are up against a brick wall, but


nevertheless, we hope that this localism bill, much trumpeted by the


government, will actually have some value.


Wind turbine opponent Dennis Cronk ending that report from Anna Varle.


It does appear that localism has been a bit of a sham? It leaves a


very bitter taste in people's mouths when a democratic planning process


that local communities access through their local council is then


overturned by the planning Inspectorate. It happens in my


constituency in house`building applications as much as on wind


turbines. We need to use the provisions in the localism bill and


make sure that communities are exercising what is in there. But


that is what the localism bill should be doing. 90% of turbines at


`` but were rejected at local level, within approved at national level.


It leaves a bitter taste in the mouth when democratic local


decisions are overturned. But we need to be clear that the community


is using all the provisions that are in the localism act to be as


muscular as possible. We spoke to a lot of people in these communities


who are very cross, is UKIP benefiting from this? There is a


really important issue here. I have been at some site meetings for wind


farm applications, these wind turbines are everywhere and it is


frightening how close they are coming to residential properties of


non`financially involved people. There is in increasing body of


evidence that there is a link between proximity of turbines and


adverse health effects. This has got to get onto the agenda and I am


hoping that Stephen might be able to visit with it really `` with Ed


Davey. There is always going to be a debate we are situated, whether


neighbours have our financial interest or not. What is clear as


our country is that we need diverse energy provision, on short


renewables, offshore renewables. Nuclear power stations as well.


Where is the money coming form `` from for that? We have two large


offshore wind farms planned, paid for by foreign companies. There has


to be ?120 billion worth of money invested in energy to make sure that


we can keep the lights on and guard against climate change. That is the


government's position. That is why... But how can you have that and


community involvement? If foreign investors are investing billions of


pounds in these plans, how can community voices be heard? Lots of


their schemes we have heard about will be domestic. I am glad you


brought this up because we keep hearing about all these jobs,


renewable energy projects and jobs. In my parish, the entire workforce


and all the materials were brought in from overseas. Julian the


construction phase, the number of jobs for local people, none. ``


during. During the running phase, the number of jobs for local people,


none. The concern about the health risks of radiation, which we all


know accept, we need to be looking at the evidence which is already out


there. I do not note the detailed example, but if you look at the


billions of pounds of investment that has now been secured for the


new nuclear power station, 20,000 jobs will be created on the back of


it initially, pouring billions of pounds into the local economy. We


need to be open to businesses and investment from around the world.


Why are British people not investing? Why is it the Chinese,


who actually have a minority Shia and want a controlling interest. ``


minority share. We need ?120 billion worth of investment to keep the


lights on over the next period of time. We need to have our door is


open to all those who want to invest in the United Kingdom and create


jobs here. Jobs that... I have to stop you there.


Some of the region's most isolated communities are bracing themselves


for the loss of their mobile library service after Devon County Council


announced plans to cut stops where fewer than three people turn up.


Councillors are, of course, struggling to make ends meet in


increasingly straitened times, but some are now questioning their


decisions to spend millions doing`up static libraries. Jenny Kumah


reports. Devon's mobile library service


serves some of the county's most remote communities. But at a time of


tighter budget, the council is looking at making cutbacks. I have


got four vehicles that are coming to the end of their working life. To


replace them would cost about ?200,000. We have been looking at


the statistics that are coming out of the... That we take all the time.


We think that these stops are less than four people, quite often. One


of the 70s `` one of the 70 steps is this one. This week, it did not


appear to be underused. Around a dozen children have been on board to


borrow books. The headteacher did not want to appear on film, but she


told me that they need the service because it adds to the range of


books children can't read. There was also a young mother on board with


her child. She to be she was disappointed to hear that the


service was under threat. She said the next nearest service would mean


a car journey. In the past, visits to Devon's library have dropped by


17%. The county council says the decline is mainly down to people


accessing the library online and a reduction in opening hours. Despite


this decline, the authority is spending ?4.1 million on


refurbishing Exeter. This week, said mouth also reopened after a


refurbishment. `` said it's very nice. I like it. There is a decline


in people going to libraries. It is up to the council to bridge that


demand and decide whether to invest more in libraries or online. But the


council stands by its investment. You need to invest to make sure that


libraries provide what people want. When we have been refurbishing other


libraries, people's use of those libraries just goes through the roof


and that is what I expect to see from this library in Sidmouth.


Devon's councillors are proud of keeping libraries open. But as the


funding squeeze continues, councillors across the region will


face tough choices over how much priority libraries should be given


for the future. We love our libraries in Britain,


but is it right to continue investing in them when councils are


so strapped for cash? You have got to treat libraries the same way as


so many other services. Times are changing, people are using E books


and getting information electronically. There is not the


same demand as there was. But last week, I visited a wonderful library


in Upton cross which is in the kitchen of the primary school. It


doubles as a community library and a school library. A wonderful lady


runs it, and it was buzzing. What we must not lose is in using children


with that love of books, just picking them up and being familiar


with them. The investment and that was miniscule compared with building


a new library. And it does have Internet access. Have times moved


on, should we be investing in new things, our libraries on their way


out? I hope not. The passion for books, knowledge and education is


something that has helped to underpin our country's success and


libraries play a key role in that. I think there are tough choices for


councillors to make, to get the right balance in these difficult


times. It is great news that the economy has continued to grow over


the last quarter. But if you are council and you are facing cuts in


library services and cuts to adult services, respite care centres, it


is a difficult decision over what to go with? There is no doubt that


these are difficult decisions and there is a difficult balance for


councillors across the region to make. We simply do not have the


money to spend on the ideal scenario across all services at the moment.


That is why it is good news that the economy has improved. I hear what


you are saying? There is a plan to put up council tax to try to get


some... I am glad you brought this up because has been a lot of


misunderstanding. That motion that was discussed on Tuesday was to see


an alternative budget, not voting on 6%. In fact, from my point of view,


I am being presented as a new councillor with one budget, take it


or leave it. I wanted to see two, to compare it. To see what the impact


would be on services. So you might vote for a larger increase? Probably


not, but I have not been given the information to make an informed


decision. Because of the severe reduction in government funding that


we are getting, and it is this government that is making that


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


The Prime Minister came to Somerset to announce plans for a new nuclear


power station. This company is investing in local training, local


colleges to make sure that young people in Somerset can do


apprenticeships here and learn skills in engineering and


construction. There were reports an increase `` of an increase in


house`building. There is a rise in new home construction, it is good


news. Motorists in Torbay welcomed a cut to parking charges. It will


bring more local people in. And taxi drivers in Newton Abbot were told to


remove stickers on their cars with the words local driver on them. It


is quite upsetting that you cannot put our country's flag on the door.


We will come back to you on this. Taxi drivers told to remove stickers


with the words local driver on them. What do you make of that? They are


running a business and in order to run a successful business, if they


see this as a way of helping to keep their business going, if that is


what local people want to know, give them that information. If you drive


around Cornwall, that you will see lots of Cornish crosses on the cars.


I do not think it is racist. I think the council leader has suggested


they may have overreacted and asking the taxi drivers to remove them. I


suppose what they were thinking, they were not saying our local


driver in terms of being Cornish or Devon, it is more British driver, as


opposed to being Polish or whatever M is that a problem there? I do not


think it is important. What is important is being able to


communicate between driver and customer. When I have been to other


cities around the UK, that is what is important to me as a user of the


taxi. Would you have a problem with it? Somebody and advertising


themselves as being not foreign? I think that is stretching the point.


All you have to do is cross the river and go into Cornwall and you


will see free school area for into that


Is Labour about to drop its support category. Thank you.


Is Labour about to drop its support for High Speed 2, a rail line the


party approved while in government? for High Speed 2, a rail line the


these green shoots? These are all questions for The Week Ahead.


So, HS2. Miss Flint wouldn't answer the question. She's in northern MP


too. Ed Balls is comparing it to the Millennium Dome.


too. Ed Balls is comparing it to the minute's silence for HS2? It will


not be quite as crude as that. They will not stand up and say, we


not be quite as crude as that. They senior Labour person said to me it


would be a bit senior Labour person said to me it


that Gordon Brown and Ed Balls set for the euro back in 97. They will


be chucking lots of questions into the air, and the questions will


create doubt, and will create the grounds for Labour to say, at some


point, we think there is a much much better way of spending the money. It


isn't ?42 billion, because that includes a contingency. Let's see


what Peter Mandelson had to say about HS2. He was in the government


when Labour supported it. Frankly, there was too much of the argument


that if everyone else has got a high-speed train, we should have won


too. Regardless of need, regardless of cost, and regardless of


alternatives. As a party, to be frank, we didn't feel like being


trumped by the zeal of the then opposition's support for the


high-speed train. We wanted, if anything, to upstage them. So they


didn't really need it, and we're only talking about ?50 billion. Why


would you take a decision involving ?50 billion in a serious way? For


David Cameron, if it becomes clear Labour is against it, he cannot


proceed. He indicated last week that he wouldn't proceed if the certainty


wasn't there. For Labour, HS2 is really a debate about the deficit by


proxy. They think that if you don't go ahead with HS2, that releases


tens of billions of pounds to spend on other things, such as public


services, without going into boring. I don't think that works because


there was a difference between cancelling something that already


exists to pay for something else, and cancelling something that does


not yet exist and will be paid for over decades to pay for something


here and now. Can Labour do this? I know that the line will be, we are


not going to build this railway because we are going to build


200,000 houses a year. Can they do this without political cost? I think


there will be political costs, but they will play this card of we have


changed our mind. I think Cameron's line has been very clever, saying we


cannot do it without labour. You can put it in two ways. Sorry, we cannot


go ahead with it, but Labour has ruined your chance of prosperity, or


they can tie themselves to it, and then Labour cannot attack it on


great grounds when costs do spire. You can write Labour's script right


now. They can say, if we were in charge, the financial management


would be much better. This raises some really important questions for


the government. They have utterly failed to make the case for HS2


There is a real case to make. Between London and Birmingham it is


about capacity not speed. North of Birmingham, it is about


connectivity. It is a simple case to make, but it is only in the last


month that they have been making that case. It shows really terrible


complacency in the coalition that they haven't done that. We'll HS2


happen or not? I think it will. For the reasons that Nick outlined,


there is not of a constituency for it amongst Northern areas. -- there


is enough of a constituency for it. There is private investment as well.


It isn't like Heathrow. I say no, because I think Labour will drop


their support for it. Caroline Flint said she was in favour of the


concept of trains generally, but will it go further than that? It is


difficult to see how it will go ahead if Labour will not support it


after setting five tests that it clearly will not meet. Some will


breathe a sigh of relief. Some will say, even in the 20th century, we


cannot build a proper rail network. The economy was another big story of


the week. We had those GDP figures. There is a video the Tories are


releasing. The world premiere is going to be here. Where's the red


carpet? It gives an indication of how the Tories will hand Mr Miliband


and labour in the run-up to the election. Let's have a look at it.


These graphics are even worse than the ones we use on our show! How on


earth would you expect that to go viral? It did have a strange feel


about it. It doesn't understand the Internet at all. Who is going to


read those little screens between it? Put a dog in it! However,


putting that aside, I have no idea that that is going to go viral. The


Tories are now operating - and I say Tories rather than the coalition -


on the assumption that the economy is improving and will continue to


improve, and that that will become more obvious as 2014 goes on. We


just saw their how they will fight the campaign. Yes, and at the


crucial moment, you will reach the point where wages. To rise at a


faster pace than inflation, and then people will start to, in the words


of Harold Macmillan, feel that they have never had it so good. That is


the key moment. If the economy is growing, there is a rule of thumb


that the government should get a benefit. But it doesn't always work


like that. The fundamental point here is that Ed Miliband has had a


great month. He has totally set the agenda. He has set the agenda with


something - freezing energy prices - that may not work. That video shows


that the Conservatives want to get the debate back to the


fundamentals. That this is a party that told us for three years that


this coalition was telling us to -- was taking us to hell on a handcart.


That doesn't seem to have happened. The energy price was a very clever


thing, at the party conference season, which now seems years ago.


They saw that the recovery was going to happen, so they changed the


debate to living standards. Some economists are now privately


expecting growth to be 3% next year, which was inconceivable for five


months ago. If growth is 3% next year, living standards will start to


rise again. Where does Labour go then? I would go further, and say


that even though Ed Miliband has made a small political victory on


living standards, it hasn't registered in the polls. Those polls


have been contracted since April -- have been contracting since April.


That macro economic story matters more than the issue of living


standards. The interesting thing about the recovery is it confounds


everybody. No one was predicting, not the Treasury, not the media not


the IMF, not the academics, and the only people I can think of... I fit


-- I thought they knew everything! The only people I know who did are


one adviser who is very close to George Osborne, and the clever hedge


fund is who were buying British equities back in January. Because


the Treasury's record is so appalling, no one believe them, but


they were saying around February, March this year, that by the end of


the summer, the recovery would be gathering momentum. For once, they


turned out to be right! They said that the economy would be going gang


bust is! Where did the new Tory voters come from? I agree, if the


economic recovery continues, the coalition will be stronger. But


where will they get new voters from? For people who sign up to help to


buy, they will be locked into nice mortgages at a low interest rate,


and just as you go into a general election, if you are getting 3%


growth and unemployment is down the Bank of England will have to review


their interest rates. People who are getting nice interest rates now may


find that it is not like that in a few months time. The point John


Major was making implicitly was that Mrs Thatcher could speak to people


on low incomes. John Major could not speak to them -- John Major could


speak to them. But this coalition cannot speak to them. This idea


about the reshuffle was that David Cameron wanted more Northern voices,


more women, to make it look like it was not a party of seven men. When


David Cameron became leader, John Major said, I do not speak very


often, but when I do, I will help you, because I think you are good


thing and I do not want to be like Margaret Thatcher. But that speech


was clearly a lament for the party he believed that David Cameron was


going to lead and create, but that isn't happening. And energy prices


continue into this coming week. We have the companies going before a


select committee. My information is they are sending along the secondary


division, not the boss. How can they get along -- get away with that I


got the letter through from British Gas this week explaining why my


bills are going up, and at no point since this became a story have any


of the big companies handled it well. I will have to leave it there.


Make sure you pay your bill! That's it for today. The Daily Politics is


back on BBC Two tomorrow. I will be back here on BBC One next Sunday.


Remember, if it's Sunday, it is The Sunday Politics.


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