14/07/2013 Sunday Politics South


14/07/2013

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What did the Olympians do for us was to mark with Reprise hordes of

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tourists to reprise the races they came flocking to one global telly

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2217 seconds

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my name's Peter Henley. On today's show: did the Olympics really send

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hordes of tourists flocking to all the places showcased last year? Just

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how much has Weymouth benefited from its Olympic legacy? Paul Harvey is a

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Deputy Leader of the Labour Party on Basingstoke and Dean Borough Council

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and we're joined by the Liberal Democrat MP for Eastleigh. Offered a

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pay rise from 2015. Are you going to take it? Of course we will take the

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pay rise. It is an independent body. But it is not appropriate. It is not

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the right time to do it. People are getting 1% pay rises on very small

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salaries of a couple of pounds a week, I can only do what I did with

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my Borough Council allowance, anything over 1% I will pay to the

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mayor's charities until things get back to normal and pay is decided in

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the proper way. But, you have taken the decision. You have handed the

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stern independent, and now you have decided to hand it over to charity.

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Once it has been paid to me, it is my money to do with what I like. If

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someone pays me a salary and I decide to give it to charity, that

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is up to me. I am not sober warning the standards authority, I'm not

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saying don't want MPs to make the decisions but I feel that it is

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wrong for me to be better off by more than 1%, when people are

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getting �3, �4 a week, as a pay rise. Either that or you change the

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whole system again. You are one of the newest elected MPs, so we cannot

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hold you responsible for this, but it is a mess, isn't it? This

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independent body coming back with an 11% pay rise when so many people are

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getting pay cuts. The think they knew that it would come back with a

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pay rise? The relative is it has come back with an 11% pay rise, and

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that is wrong. MPs get a good salary anyway compared to many people and

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why should they get 11% over and above what other people are

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getting, pay cuts, 1%, 2%, at the very most. It undermines confidence

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and politicians to do the job they want them to do. I can understand

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what Mike has done and good for him to doing it, but the question is,

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should the independent body have come back with 11% in the first

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place? "It's in the national interest" - how often do we hear

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those buzzwords these days? But is the fact that something's a national

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priority enough to make it the trump card that beats everything else?

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This land is your land... There are plenty of schemes that the

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Government says are in the national interest, that locals say are not in

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their interest. Whether it's HS2 cutting a swathe through

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Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire to allegedly boost the economy by

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speeding journey times to the north, the possibility of fracking to

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extract shale gas around Balcombe in Sussex and maybe bring down the

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price of gas and help keep the lights on, or the rush towards

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renewable energy with what would be the country's largest offshore wind

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farm at Navitus Bay in Dorset. And the history of these sorts of

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schemes doesn't suggest that local David often wins against government

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Goliath. The Newbury Bypass and the M3 extension through Twyford down

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both had vocal opponents but they got built anyway. Joining me now

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from our London studio is Tom Brenan from the Environmental Law

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Foundation. Is it the case, as is suggested by the Government in

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wanting these changes that local protest groups were holding things

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up and always getting their way? That is probably questionable. The

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evidence put forward in consultations did not act out what

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they were saying, but at the same time, the Government are making

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various moves towards saying that they are improving... Snails on the

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Newbury bypass, archaeological digs, things that stop developments, that

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were sneered at. Local campaign groups do have powers, are you

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saying, or have they been taken away? There are a number of

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different systems in operation depending on the project. HS2 will

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go through under one system. There are national infrastructure projects

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which is a new system and there was the bigger planning projects which

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go under another system so one of the challenges for communities is to

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find out which process is the one that applies, and then to find out

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the methods and the ways in which they can participate in that

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process. Looking at things like the Newbury bypass and Twyford down,

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those things happened anyway, and some would say, why bother

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protesting? It depends what sort of longer term view you can take on it.

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With regard to Twyford down and Newbury bypass, that led to the

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Government shelving its road-building programme for a number

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of years. And the point is, it is more about the quality of the

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decision-making process and the fact that people have a democratic right

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to participate and should exercise those rights. I was looking at the

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now that this babe proposals. They reckon it is going to be four

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years, not 15 months, because of the consultation that they are being

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asked to do. Is that good quality consultation, or is it time wasting?

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The length of time is not necessarily significant at what is

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important is the quality of consultation. Communities do not

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like being told just what is going to happen, and that it is just a box

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ticking exercise. That increasingly seems to be the direction of travel,

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to a certain extent. So it is just form filling. From the other point

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of view, how can the larger organisations make genuine

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consultations? With regard to the infrastructure projects, the wind

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farm who have mentioned is one of those, there is much more emphasis

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on pre-application consultation, so they are trying to get more

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involvement and the developer has an obligation to consult and has to

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present the results of that as part of his application. So, is it worth

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protesting, or, should we be pushing things through more quickly? I think

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these are both true. Thomas Wright, if you need to protest in a

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democracy, there will be some point when you do not succeed in that

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particular instance that will have a knock-on effect and make politicians

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think more seriously about the next project. That is what happened at

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Newbury, as Tom said. But, what worries people is when the

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consultation process goes on too long, it puts people and a sort of

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never-never world, is it going through my back garden or isn't it?

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Should I try and look for an alternative to wear I am going to

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work and move to that part of the country? That completely can freeze

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up all areas where decisions take too long to make. It does not mean

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you should destroy the consultation but there must be a more efficient

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way to consult with people, I would have thought. What about the idea

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that the community should get some benefit, which is happening possibly

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with fracking, 1% of the profits? Some developments play an important

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role in delivering that. The current government line is a presumption in

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favour of development, and you would lose those benefits in the rush to

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get the development. Do people know what is going on locally, and have

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they been told why the big government agencies, by the energy

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companies, do they know what is going on? And do they get the chance

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to influence the decision? You can have consultation but unless you can

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influence the decision that has been taking it becomes very difficult.

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Probably campaigning on a single issue and even if it does work for

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the future, you do not care so much about that. This 1% for the

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community from fracking, some people would say that that is just like

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money and it will make people fight harder against it. -- that is just

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blood money. Fracking is clearly very controversial and topical at

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the moment. What we are seeing now is evidence of where communities in

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the US have effectively developed their own community Ordinance, did

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prevent fracking in their community, and in fact in Scotland, in

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Falkirk, acumen at the council has introduced a community charter along

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the same lines, so there are methods that communities are exploring, in

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addition to those consultation processes. The fightback starts

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here. Thank you for joining us, Tom. This time last year the Olympic

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Torch was wending its way through the region - one of the things we

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were promised then was that all the hoopla and more importantly the

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international coverage would showcase the glorious tourist

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opportunities of the places it went through and bring foreign travellers

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here in droves. But as Paul Greer now reports from the Olympic sailing

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venue of Weymouth, which got showcased a lot more than most, the

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legacy might not be quite what was hoped for. Look, we all know what

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the Romans gave us. Good roads, good government, underfloor heating, and

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even tasty dormice. But what did the Olympians ever give Weymouth?

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Weymouth got a relief road, sailing legacies of the Olympics or things

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that Weymouth was long overdue to get anyway? Andy Matthews has spent

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years working with community groups in Portland. He is not fond of the

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word, legacy. It is an easy way to use, but at the heart of it they did

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not involve the community in what the community wanted to see as a

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legacy. The road was on the cards, with the Olympics coming they could

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have made it that bit quicker in terms of securing it, and Portland

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Harbour is a fantastic place for sailing. The Olympics coming there

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might have stood the process, but that would inevitably, something

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would have happened anyway. Andy is not alone in thinking that staging

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the Olympics last year has done little to lift the profile or the

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fortunes of Weymouth. It is the weather that has brought people in.

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It is not the legacy of the Olympics. It did not bring anything

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in. It is literally because of the weather. That is what has brought

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people down. It might have been built four years ago but many would

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insist that the National sailing Academy are still the love child of

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last year's Olympics. The sailing Academy was here before the

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Olympics, but our facilities have been enhanced by the games. We have

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got lots of youngsters on the water doing sailing and stand-up handle

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boarding and all sorts of activities. We have got a fantastic

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legacy. One year on from all of the fuss, security and hullabaloo, the

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sun is out, the beaches are crowded and the traffic is flowing. What do

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the politicians think? In the 60s people said what we need is a relief

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road. That is a legacy, isn't it? Of course it is. You have got dark and

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right, and buses into town, and lots of evidence on the seafront, lots of

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money going in here there and everywhere, and I think it is a

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tremendous legacy, actually. academies, roads and towers are in

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the bag, but those who know a thing or two about the holiday season

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believe that we still have to wait to see if there are benefits to

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claim. If the sun is shining in Weymouth, the people will come. It

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is all about that sunshine. They come here for our lovely seaside

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town. Joining us now is Mark Smith who's the director of tourism in

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Bournemouth. What is most important? The flaming Olympic torch, or the

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flaming golden ball in the sky? We want to see both. That is my take on

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it. But, however, how long do we have to wait to see the full

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benefits of the Olympics? For people coming from abroad, the reputation

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takes time to sink in. Locally we can see improvements because of the

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new roads, the Academy, things that have happened on the ground, but the

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impact from overseas visitors is already happen thing. -- happening.

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We have one of the guest centres for International education outside of

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London, and we have seen student numbers grow by 5% over the past

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year, which is important, because that business is worth �200 million

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a year to this conurbation, and that growth is larger because of the

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heightened profile and the extended interest in Britain, and we got

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showcased last year in a way that we could never have imagined,

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worldwide, and the impact was tremendous. Britain now has a

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slightly different image in the world? And Basingstoke we have seen

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sporting activity decreased. We have not seen a boost because of the

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Olympics. We have seen it the crease. The issue is the fees and

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charges that people are asked to pay to access sports facilities. It is a

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big issue. We can talk about legacy, but access, and having the

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community feel part of having something to do with the Olympic

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legacy, these are important areas. You would agree, Mike, initially it

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shot up. Jess, sports clubs have had 168% of their membership target.

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Park sport, not directly to do with the Olympics, it started to get

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children involved in the school holidays, but since the Olympics,

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the number of children attending has shot up. We have had free swimming,

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9000 children applied for it. I am a tennis player, and I find it

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difficult to book a tennis court. That is before Wimbledon. What about

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on the tourist side? Is your boat with the sun with the Olympics that

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have been bringing people to the region? I think the sun helps but

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people do not come to England from abroad expecting the sun to shine.

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They are not going to book a holiday last November in America because

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they expect the sun to shine in England. Locally, people might go

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down to Bournemouth, and Weymouth, and very lucky they are to be able

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to go there, it is a beautiful part of the world, locally, because of

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the sunshine, last minute, but you're not going to book a holiday

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from Japan or Germany or China because of that. We have so many

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positive attractions in all that area that you bring people to bring

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and visit numerous places. But these were the London Olympics. When

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people head for London? People will always head for the capital but

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there are other people who want to go out and explore other things.

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What changed with the Olympics was not just the facilities and the

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harder side of the capital investment, last year, we saw for

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the first time this idea that Britain is not just all about stiff

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upper lip. The idea of the games makers was tremendous and started to

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show a different side of Wigan, which is valuable for stop that

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makes people think, you can go and see the heritage but you can go and

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be looked after well and have fun. That has made a big difference.

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you look at Southampton court, they expect 48 cruise ships. They spend

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�2.5 million per cruise. And every year, that is going up. The

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coordination with Southampton airport is vital. It is now has a

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welcoming system for cruise passengers. It says that you have

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got to wait six hours for your flight home, and arrange for them to

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go to Winchester, which is outside my constituency, but it is

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fantastic. Coming back to the big society idea. We are all smiling

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because of the Olympics, still, even though some facilities are

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suffering. There was the quality of tourism we have on offer, you go

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back to the opening ceremony, the reaction to it, it was brilliant and

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amazing, something we can all be proud of. The legacy of that has so

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many different parts to it. Unless you see local authorities taking

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advantage of that, and doing the best they can for their communities,

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then the legacy will fade away quicker. There was a lot of interest

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in the Olympics and sport, 2.5 times the number of people interested in

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doing sporting activities and it is a case of making it available to

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them. Now, our regular round-up of the political week in the South in

:58:24.:58:34.
:58:34.:58:37.

training could be improved in Oxfordshire. The county is one of a

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few not to fully adopt the bikeability scheme. Oxford City

:58:45.:58:49.

Council is considering offering loans of up to �75,000 to new

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applicants for head teacher jobs. 4000 new homes are planned in

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Aldershot on the site of the old Cambridge military hospital. Many of

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the historic buildings will be preserved. Police officers from five

:59:03.:59:06.

forces in the South are off to Northern Ireland for the marching

:59:06.:59:11.

season. That is despite fears from the police Federation that it could

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leave a hole back home. We -- who is going to conduct the normal policing

:59:20.:59:23.

on our streets and fill the gaps left behind? The competition

:59:23.:59:29.

commission is put on merger of Bournemouth and Poole Hospital is on

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hold, amid fears that patients will have less choice about where to go

:59:32.:59:40.

for major operations. I wonder if choice is what we are looking for.

:59:40.:59:43.

The GP gives you the choice of different places and you think, I

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don't know. And the Cambridge military, people really respected

:59:47.:59:52.

that. It was an excellent hospital with excellent provision and

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excellence and quality is what it means to be about. This idea of

:59:56.:00:00.

choice in the NHS is dangerous. You want to know there is going to be

:00:00.:00:08.

called it. -- quality. The Conservative government, in

:00:08.:00:13.

privatising so much of the NHS, allowing hospitals to deliver half

:00:13.:00:17.

of all their care privately, that door was opened by Discover, so

:00:17.:00:21.

we're going to some dramatic changes and cuts. In Hampshire, we are

:00:21.:00:26.

seeing �100 million of cuts in the social care budget, which is going

:00:26.:00:30.

to mean a big change for the quality of care that people face. Choice in

:00:30.:00:36.

that way is destructive. People want efficiency and to make sure that

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money is well spent. I don't think you can make a party political point

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of this at all. The most important thing is, people want health care

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free at the point of delivery, and, if you're going to have private

:00:56.:01:00.

health care looking after you, you want to know that they have been

:01:00.:01:02.

chosen for the quality of their work, not the price. This is

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something that the Lib Dem 's insisted was put in. The

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Conservatives were not going to do that. I knew that if we started

:01:16.:01:19.

talking about the NHS we would be here a little while, but it is

:01:19.:01:27.

Andrew Neil and Peter Henley with the latest political news, interviews and debate including energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey on whether it is time to think again about global warming.


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