18/11/2012 Sunday Politics South


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In the South: We'll be talking to one of the


independents elected as a new Police and Crime Commissioner.


And is the business rate rebate that charity shops get damaging to


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2380 seconds


Welcome to Sunday Politics South - my name's Peter Henley. On today's


programme: There are more charity shops on our


high streets than ever before, but is that because the rebate they get


on their business rates is unfair competition for other retailers?


And we'll be interviewing under caution the new Police and Crime


Commissioner for Dorset. All that in a moment.


First though, let's meet the two politicians who'll be with me for


the next 20 minutes - Caroline Dinenage is the Conservative MP for


Gosport and John Denham is the Labour MP for Southampton Itchen.


The teacher or a warship building in Portsmouth, Caroline, is


something that is in the papers again. Vince Cable says this is not


a run of this order that was hoped for. Is it a difficult period


ahead? It is a massive concern. It is responsible for a lot of jobs in


that area, not just in shipbuilding but also in the wider supply chain.


It is something that we will really have to look at. If it is it time


to look at alternatives to this order ought to lobby to try to get


it? I think both. I think we need to work in really had to bring in


work from overseas to try and fill this short fall in between this and


the future combat ships. Is that going to happen, do you think,


John? Her we're going to make every effort to because the significance


of the company is much wider than the shipbuilding. It is the central


base for Advanced Engineering skills, for working with modern


technology and materials. So if you use it, you were not just losing


one company but a company that is effectively supporting a huge chunk


of our manufacturing industry, so we have got to get everybody


together and say that the Government needs to do something.


If you lose it, you will never get it back. It is worth the Government


making an effort here. Why do Royal Navy ships have to be built in


England? With Scottish independence, up the alternative is Scotland. Why


not let the market sort itself out. The argument then is that you're


going to buy everything from overseas. This Government has


started to do that with the armed forces in general and that is a


mistake. Not only do we lose those skilled jobs, there are only a


million people working in skilled jobs in defence skills in this


country, secondly someone else is controlling the technology. Someone


will be selling you the second best because they keep the best for


themselves. Any country that is going to have a credible armed


forces has got to have an -- has got to have a defence industry to


support it. You have the enterprise zone in Gosport, but it will be


very difficult in the current climate to make up all those jobs.


If it is an enormous amount of jobs. We have to look at it very


carefully. It does not threaten the naval base or the dockyard, it is


the shipbuilding jobs but that is still massive.


So, after all the millions of pounds, and trailing accusations of


voter apathy, the lowest turnout in British electoral history


apparently - we now know who the 41 Police and Crime Commissioners will


be. We had six force areas up for grabs in our region - here's Steve


Humphrey with a run down of who won The result in Dorset was one of the


first big surprises on Friday. Independent Martin under help was


declared the winner. -- Martyn Underhill. The Conservative


candidate finished second, he left before the final result was


declared. There was another victory for an independent candidate in


Hampshire, with Simon his beating the Conservative former Government


minister in the second round of counting. He is the chairman of the


Crimestoppers charity in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and a former


Conservative councillor. We did not expect to win. I think the message


that are put across, that we were independent from party-political


politics, was a strong message. person who won the selection was a


paid-up member of my party until this year. I am a Conservative, I


am proud to be a conservative, I will never change my colours.


Independent candidates notched up a hat-trick of winners in this region


went Kevin Hurley won the election in Surrey. Conservative to the


Isles was the runner up. The region's biggest police force,


Thames Valley, will have a conservative as commissioner. The


Labour candidate came second. think it is a matter of leadership.


Everyone needs to be absolute clear that what you require is to reduce


crime. In Sussex, Conservative Katie Brawn has been at announced


winner. She was the National winner of the Conservative Women's


Association. The Labour candidate came second. I want people that are


causing problems in society, that are causing upsets in our


communities, I want them to know that they're going to be dealt with.


It is time we started pitch victims first. It was perhaps appropriate


that will to police should be the very first to find out who would be


their new commissioner. Just before 5am on Friday, Conservative Angus


MacPherson was declared winner. Labour came second.


And I'm joined now by one of those surprise winning independents,


Martyn Underhill, who's the newly minted PCC for Dorset.


What for people what it -- voting for? My direct Line was to keep


party politics out of policing. When you are handling public money


you cannot keep politics out of policing, but I wanted to have a


platform of taking party politics out. We do not want people in


Westminster telling us what to do with our police force. In an


election with all sorts of problems... I would agree with that.


The important thing to remember is that I have got a mandate across


all eight areas of Dorset. I think the actual lesser -- actual


election was a shambles. You spent a lot of money? You went in with a


manifesto before the others, campaigning for a long time. You


have not said who has campaigned for your campaign few --. I have.


The cosmetics company lush. They entirely funded a campaign? In not


entirely, I had help in kind and donations from the company, but


most of it was from A lash. They feel very strongly about crime.


will they want something back for the money they have invested?


they will not. There were no strings involved. At the end of the


day, rural crime is a big issue for Dorset. It is not about whether a


lush are supporting the are not, I need to look at the rural crime


issued. He made a lot of promises during that campaign. Disbanding


the marine section. You have said he will stop that. Will you stop


that? Yes I well. Doubling the number of specials. Yes. At tablet


for every officer and PC Esso? I am going to do that. And you will


be purchasing the two boats for the mid- been sectioned to stop the


disbanding? This sounds like operational stuff. You do not have


achieved Constable, will you just be running the chief constable with


strings from the side of us? Not at all. My manifesto does run-up to


operational policing. The reason I have the upper -- the opportunity


to do that is because we do not have a chief constable. When I hire


one who shares my vision, I can enhance those duties to him or her.


You're only going a hire someone who sounds up to a manifesto?


is common sense. And presumably what the public wanted, even the 93


% of them did not old. It does bother me. The election turnout was


appalling. But I will not have that said that is his lack of interest


in Police and Crime Commissioner us. The electorate did vote and I have


a clear mandate across the whole of Dorset. My manifesto is commonsense,


making Dorset safe. This gives the public a voice for the first time.


They have someone they can go to. am sure going to set up community


forums and all these other things, these are going to cost a lot of


money. As an independent, you have known lever with Government or


opposition parties. Can you do it within budget? With 12 independence,


we had a very strong a political lobby it to Government. Those


independents will be knocking on the door of Government. Will you be


asking for money? All I will say is I want a fair slice of the pie.


Dorset is the least funded force in the country. We are facing 25 %


cuts. But some of the metropolitan areas are getting too much and


rural areas like ourselves are not getting. I have already positioned


to ten Downing Street about that and I will be back there now.


people didn't want politicians. Didn't want Conservative or Labour.


Is that a bad thing? congratulations. But this was a


shambles, as he said. �100 million was spent on the election and it


wasn't... Are the overwhelming feeling on the doorstep was that


people were angry. They had insufficient information. So you


would have spent �25 million on a new leaflet? I would not have had


an election in November. You would have saved virtually all that money


by having the election in May with local governments. You could have


saved money there. It needed to be better explained. I do not think


the idea was a good one. We did oppose it, we took part when they


were called in Parliament. But actually we would have rather had


improved scrutiny without the cost. You have an independent in Dorset


and one in Hampshire, although one was a long track record as a party


politician, but I bigger is a real danger of confusing party politics


and policing in no way that we will see happened up and down the


country and it would have been better not to go down this road.


But if you are going to do it, do it properly and give the public for


the information they need. Do not voted through and then really do


nothing. Caroline, you had an open primary venue was elected as MP


after the expenses scandal. This looks like a sort of rejection of


the democratically run, transparent political parties. Do you see it as


good that we have had these elections would you see it as


dangerous. I think it is great. It depoliticise as the police and to


deliver us... The fact that it has delivered independence, some of


whom have political affiliations in part but are independent, many of


them are solidly local at have a proven track record in the field. I


think that is a good thing. Whatever is said about the way that


the election was conducted, there are positive that we have to take


out of this. The fact is that whoever is elected is in many, many


ways much more democratically chosen by the public than the


police authorities that they replace. I think the proof of this


court whether this money has been well spent, will be in five years'


time when people can judge whether it be a crime has gone down and


whether they feel safer in their environment. And, Martyn Underhill,


you feel that within this crime -- time film you will feel that you


can meet these commitments? I will have to have met all of these


commitments. These are long-term strategies. You should be seeing a


significant difference in three and a happy years. We will get you back


it smacks I am sure you will. The number of charity shops on the


high street is supposed to be a barometer of retail health. But did


you know that they get a very generous rebate on their business


rates? As much as 80%, which makes them tough competition for


businesses that are paying the full whack. The Welsh assembly is


thinking about cutting down that rebate and, as Paul Greer reports,


there are plenty in the south of England who reckon that would be a


good idea here. Tickle walked out your local high


street and there are some things you would expect to see. But ponder


this. For every cafe new rule out there, but there are now 18 charity


shops. -- for every cafe, there are 18 charity shops. They really are


everywhere. It is boom time for her charity


shops. There are now around 9,000 of them on the high streets and


wily ways of the 200 million each year for good causes, there are


growing concerns that they are beginning to take over. The mayor


of Romsey says she is not against charity shops but she says other


traders are finding it impossible to compete. They get their stock


given freely, most of the time, and the use volunteer labour. So there


really do not have a problem with too many expenses. And of course


now, they have gone into new goods. Probably the shop along the road is


selling those as well but with all the add-ons that charity shops do


not have. And you think that is unfair competition? It is very


unfair. But what do shoppers think? You what a better variety of shops.


We have not got a men's shop or a teenager is a shop. You have to go


to ASDA or somewhere like that. is bad, I think. It fills what ever


the natural demand has. Mark it forces? Basically, yes. If people


want charity shops then they will survive and if they do not been


they will not. We need people who need to set up business. That is


for growth in the economy is going to come from. There are too many in


this town. You can have a few, by all means, because they're doing a


good cause, but ten is way too many. In Southampton, charity store now


that fill many of the best spots on the high street. The argument has


gone that without them shops would be empty. Some traders insist they


cannot get a look-in when they're against a charity. Gaping hardly


any rates. The only pay about 20 % of their rates. They are bigger and


they have more money than we have. I went for another shop five years


ago and I was told that because we were not worth as much as the


charity shop we were not a safe bet and they gave them the shop. That


was unfair. If the idea floated by the Welsh Assembly to cut the rate


relief that charity shops enjoy down at 250 % was adopted across


the UK, it could cost charities �40 million. It would have a


devastating effect on charities at a time that the rate of donations


to charities has fallen significantly. Charity shops are


now actually saving council's money because they take so many textiles


out of the waste tree. If councils had to pay the landfill tax for the


textiles that charity shops sell it would cost them millions of pounds.


The Welsh Assembly cannot make any changes to business rate relief


that charity shops enjoy it without Westminster's say-so. Cue the


lobbyists. Those lobbyists will be heading to


Westminster. Caroline, you run your own business


before you went into Parliament and to know the costs involved. Do you


think there is an element of unfair competition? It is a really tricky


one because we all recognise that charity shops raised so much money


for good causes that save the public purse in the long run but


their overheads are so much law and in many cases their selling new


goods and I think that is the issue. This is all compounded by the fact


that the last Labour Government introduced business rates on vacant


properties. There is this kind of perverse incentives for landlords


to let charity shops have their places for three and sometimes even


pay them. So it is sure she thought, John? Nothing is worse than a high


street full of empty shops. I actually do not want to hammer the


charities because they're having their grants cut by Government and


they have to make money somehow but I think there are a lot of issues


to do with a High Street. I think local authorities should have more


powers around local business rates. In that film, are sold lots of


bookmakers shops and they have very high stake gambling machines which


is increasing the number of bookmakers in our high streets.


Some coffee shops do not pay any tax. They have organised their


affairs not to pay tax in this country. You have got Amazon, an


American company... For let us not get distracted. If you want


fairness on the High Street, you have got to tackle those retailers


that do not pay tax. You have to deal with the spread of bookmakers


and you have to have flexibility or local authorities. You have to have


a cut in VAT and national insurance for small employers. It sounds like


a lot of interference in the market. I think it is about putting the


power back into the hands of local people as to how their towns are


run. Should they be allowed to have a go at it because? I think


bookmakers, charity shops, they all have a part to play in a High


Street but I think it should be about the local council to say how


many of each type of the tiller is in each high-street in order to


bring the life blood back into our town centres.


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


seconds. The week started with wider link


fell it -- ferries accused of piracy for cutting services after 9


o'clock. The local MP and reached for his cutlass. This is a lifeline


service. It was full head for Berkshire trains as a minister told


MPs he was looking into extra a rectifications. They were rowing


back from would power as there were plans for a biomass power station


in Hampshire were put -- in Southampton were put on hold.


Also threw overboard, a possible regional pay deal for NHS staff.


Meanwhile, the Transport Select Committee were forcing ministers to


walk the plank, backing one MP's fight to keep rescue helicopters --


rescue helicopters in Portland. And a volunteer crew were catching


speeding motorists. This says a's answer to Jacques


Barrar right here! Let us talk about prisoners. We had


debate earlier in the programme about the vote and you two are


going to have to make some decisions. John, would you be


prepared to give prisoners the vote in some circumstances? I do not


want us to break from the European Convention on Human Rights, so I


will go for the lowest possible voting rights. I do not want a


general extension, I would rather have none, but if the only way


forward to avoid does it with -- a boy does breaking with every


European country then I will go for the six months of that is what is


on offer. I am ready for a fight on this. I really think that the


decision over who is allowed to vote for British laws should be in


the hands of British people. If you vote that way, you will be praying


-- paying compensation to prisoners. I think we have to fight is to the


bitter end because it is so wrong it makes me sick to my stomach, to


think they should be allowed to vote. I have sympathy with that but


the bitter end could be that we break from every other European


country in the standards of justice that have become the consensus


because of Britain's influence after the Second World War and that


is a huge step to take. I am not happy with the situation but if


ultimately there is a minimal compromise that affects hardly any


prisoners than I think it is worth going for. You have to pick your


battles. We will look at the debate on Thursday but I feel pretty


strongly about this. How do you think it will go? My guess would be


that there will be a majority against prison a voting. Then we


have to see. But this is not the European Union. Across too many of


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