15/01/2012 Sunday Politics West


15/01/2012

Andrew Neil and David Garmston with the latest political news and debate including a live interview with Education Secretary, Michael Gove MP.


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Transcript


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In the West: We meet the local politicians

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getting all steamed up over these Costa Coffee shops. They're open

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for business, but they don't have planning permission. Should they be

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1688 seconds

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Hello and welcome to our new look programme, The Sunday Politics in

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the West. We're United with the kingdom of

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Andrew Neil, unless we vote for independence. This week we're not

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talking about whisky, but coffee, and the franchise Costa, which

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opened shops without planning permission. Should the politicians

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allow them to get away with it. Yes, the BBC has laid on some

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instant decaf in these austere times, but it's not all frugal fare

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here on The Sunday Politics, we do have some froth for you and here

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they are - our guests of the week. Jacob Rees Mogg, who's so posh he

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thinks a latte is when you don't turn up on time.

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And Kerry McCarthy, a Bristol Labour MP. She's a vegan so a

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capuccino is out of the question. Welcome to you both. What have been

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your political highlights or lowlights of the week? Thin on of

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your tartan tie, it has got to the independence and the Prime Minister

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questions whether Labour and Tory leaders were united with the

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Scottish nationalists jeering from the sidelines. Do you think the

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vote will go through and they will be independent? I doubt they will

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go for independence. I think the less English MPs interfere, the

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better. I hope they vote for independence but because it

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benefits the Scots rather than being pressurised by the English.

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You hope they vote for independence? I hope they take a

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vote. It would be difficult for people in Somerset if they went --

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it would be better for Somerset if they went independent because there

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would be more money for the English. I do not think so. The United

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Kingdom built up from Somerset with Alfred the Great. I want to keep

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our country united. What about you Carey? It would be the defeat of

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the Government over the House of Lords over the get welfare reform

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bill. It was quite big, about 60 votes. It was opposing measures so

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it has to come back to the House of Commons. The fact that the Lords

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had rejected these measures means that the House of Commons will

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follow suit. Thank you very much. Stay with us.

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To our first political story. The Occupy campaigners have been told

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to go in the name of God. Well not quite, but the church and the

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council have finally taken eviction proceedings against them. So what

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was their political protest about? Paul Barltrop reports.

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The writing may be on the wall for the occupiers of Occupy. Legal

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action has been started by the authorities. It's the beginning of

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the end. Bristol's camp is three months old, part of a worldwide

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movement begun in New York. The first targets were the banks who'd

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precipitated the world recession. But the banners and the protesters

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espoused all sorts of causes. Capitalism. It does not work.

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seems so staggeringly unfair and there is nothing we can do except

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for trying to make visible our frustration.

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London's has had the highest- profile and some of the biggest

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claims about its impact. Of course history will show that people power,

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large people lead movements have caused his tree to change. We

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believe that because it is the global that is what is happening

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with this movement. But back in Bristol some tents have already

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gone. They know it won't be the same without this prime location.

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The second that Occupy gets of College Green or what, we become

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another protest group there will be ignored and sidelined and you will

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not hear anything from us in the media.

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They may soon be gone, but the issues that brought them here won't

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The Dean of Bristol Cathedral David Hoyle and Occupy campaigner Tony

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Cripps are here to discuss the camp. What was the protest all about? Can

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you explain after all these weeks? It was about bankers, corporate

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directors and governments, cowardly MPs that allow corporate directors

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to bully their way around and not pay their corporate tax and they do

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nothing about it. Bankers are ripping people off left right and

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centre as we sit here now. It was a protest about finance, was it?

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Nothing else? It was about human rights as well. 99%, as we call it,

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are being enslaved by the 1%. It is by capitalism which does not work.

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So you are Against capitalism in general? We are not solely antique

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and at -- anti-capitalist. From my point of view, these are the

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culprits for the mess we are now in in the UK. Also globally. It is

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about the banks. David, it put the Church in the uncomfortable world

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of politics. Why have you decided to evict them? We have said all

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along that there is a right to protest and there might be some

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very important things being said by eight the Occupy movement. We have

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also said that College Green is an asset but the tone and the council

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manages for the benefit of the people of Bristol. Also to deliver

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a number of events on College Green. Frankly, in January it is not a

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huge issue but by Easter it is a problem. Have you accepted that?

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You will now go? We have no choice now. We have received an eviction

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order. It does not come as any great surprise... We all go? You

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have some trouble, don't you? Used by difficult to talk to the

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different factions in the group? They have a particular way of doing

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business. It is a model of consensus. It means, not

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surprisingly, that we have a conversation with an individual

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one-day and they go back to the camp and a consensus decision is

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not necessarily where we thought we would be going. Jacob, he is making

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the point that capitalism does not work and it is fair to say that a

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lot of people would agree with that. Although it works for some people,

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it does not work for everybody and people get left behind. If you look

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at other systems that have been tried, capitalism has been more

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successful than any other. It is why all the former communist

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countries have become capitalist in the last 20 years, with the

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exception of North Korea. I do not think that is a model that we want

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to follow. Do you have an alternative? An alternative to

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capitalism? That is something that we have kept saying, not any one of

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us individuals have an answer for it but what we would look to his

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are the Occupy movement itself, the support that we have is hundreds of

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thousands around the world and it is the idea that will come from

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these people discussing, debating and sharing ideas. They are sharing

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skills and all sorts of things. We are in this for the long term. It

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is not a quick fix... Is it something that Labour needs to

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plug-in to? There is a feeling of discontent about the way the

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financial system works and what is seen as the unfairness of it.

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Without a doubt there is a real sense of injustice being felt

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amongst people, particularly at the cuts start to hit. There is a

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genuine grievance that the people who won near the bottom of the

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ladder are being hit the hardest, as we saw with the votes against

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the Welfare Reform Bill... Visitor mistake for Tony Blair and

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Mandelson to get into bed with big business? He if the corporate

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sector is run properly and a long ethnic -- ethical lines then it is

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a great benefit to the country. It gives people jobs and let them look

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after themselves and their families. What we have is an imbalance. There

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are situations where Vodafone can write off their tax bill by need

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association with HMRC where everybody else has to be chased for

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every last penny... Do you accept there is too big a gap between the

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rich and poor? No, I do not. I think you need to have wealthy

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people in society. They are the ones to pay the bulk of the

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taxation which is spent on providing public services. The top

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1% of taxpayers in this country paid 24% of the total income tax.

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Do we really not one that? What would Jesus say about that? My face

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turns on the fact that I believe passionately that the world we live

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in offers us a glimpse of something better. The task is to work

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passionately for the something better. The gap between the rich

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and poor? It is a cause for concern. I take the point that they are

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going to be differences in the way human beings live out their lives.

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I worry, as I look around Bristol at the moment, that it seems to me

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that people who were vulnerable and very of the living in poverty are

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paid a very heavy price. Thank you very much for joining us this

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Sunday. A West MP is calling on the

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Government to give councils more planning powers after a storm in a

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coffee cup in Bristol. The city council claims three new branches

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of Costa Coffee are now trading without the right planning

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permission in place. Here's Robin Markwell.

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It seems nothing can quench our thirst for coffee. While we cut our

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spending elsewhere, we are still buying a day the Cup. Profits for

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Britain's biggest Coffee chain are booming and now we want to double

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its outlet by 2016. The relentless march of the coffee shop is brewing

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up trouble with our councils. This is Gloucester Road in Bristol,

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famed for its independent stores, like this one here. When Costa

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Coffee tried to living next door, the city council said no to

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planning permission twice. They opened all the same and they are

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still here. Over 3,000 signed a petition claiming the store would

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sound a death knell for the street. If I wanted to open a cafe and was

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refused planning permission then I would not be able to open up. A lot

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of the locals who have signed the position -- petition feel very

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strongly about that issue. So many of them say it is outrageous that

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they would have to take something down if they did it without

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planning permission. The case will be heard by an inspector next month.

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The building was a derelict office and Costa's franchisee applied for

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permission to turn it into a cafe. The same man has applied for

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several others without applying for a change of use. He disagrees that

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they should be classed as cafes. Cost has landed in a hot water with

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councils elsewhere about whether the coffee houses are shops or

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cafes. Costa claims it is a grey area. The planning consultant we

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spoke to says the rules could not be clearer. In the eyes of planning,

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it primary uses a restaurant or, I would use the word Cafe. The

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primary use is to serve food as a cafe/restaurant and you sit down

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and some people may take away but there is seating available. A

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shopper is where you go in and make a purchase. You buy a product. In

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the eyes of planning law which I would agree with is that a coffee-

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shop clearly falls within a cafe/restaurant. The local MP is

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calling on the Government to give council's more powers to enforce

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planning rules. It will be raised in the Commons next week. A lot of

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large companies have become arrogant in their dealings with

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local authorities. They have huge legal departments that will look

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for what they have got away with them one part of the country and

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they will try it in another part of the country. These three Bristol

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stores have the same franchisee. Neither he nor Costa Coffee wanted

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to speak to us today. However cost of pointed out in a statement that

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the franchisee was not acting Costa Coffee has been accused of

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having a trade and be damned attitude here and Bristol but with

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nearly one in six shops on the High Street now standing empty, should

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our councils really be stalling those who are looking to deliver as

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caffeine stimulus to wake up the local economy?

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Gus Hoyt is a Green party councillor in Bristol. Thank you

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for joining us. Do you have a problem with this?

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With Costa Coffee opening illegal shops? Yes. They have been denied

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planning permission twice. The current legislation is in place in

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case people make a mistake in planning and open not having

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understood to rules. They are going to challenge all of that. Of course,

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yes. They have opened a business which is providing a service and

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employing people, what is the difficulty? Would you prefer an

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empty shop? Yes I would in this case. There are plenty of coffee

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shops already. Most of the other coffee shops in the area are all

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independently run. Is it not a business decision? Why would you

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not wanted to just take its chances? Basically Costa Coffee is

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bullying his way on to our high street and I should not be

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allowed... They are small businesses, they are franchises.

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Yes. You're looking to give people a minimum wage of �8.10 an hour.

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The a liveable wage. You want a 34 -- 35 hour week and more generous

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maternity and paternity leave. These small businesses under the

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Green Party regime would have to be very profitable to cope with that

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kind of expands. Yes, and at the moment they are not in a position

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where they can compete fairly because companies like Costa Coffee

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are coming in a flat in regulation. So you suggest that if they work

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less coffee-shop they could afford to pay their staff these wages. How

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much would be cups of coffee? But recovered with a cup of coffee

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cost? You pay manage with less. I have done the same job myself and I

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have taken a pay cut to make sure my staff get paid more. Other

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planning laws in this country at there to help business or hinder

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it? There are two issues. One is the enforcement issue. If you have

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planning law and it is being broken, then it should be enforced, that

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should be even across all people. Ising that people who obey the laws

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and up pay the fees deal with a monstrous bureaucracy and others

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just get away with it. That is wrong. On the question on whether a

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coffee shop should be allowed to open, I think it is lunatic that we

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make it difficult. We should make it as easy as possible. I agree

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entirely with Jacob about the need for enforcement. It is something I

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see all the time across Bristol, particularly where people are

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converting houses into flats or building extra flats and houses in

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people back gardens. They flout the law and enforcement is very poor.

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The issue about Costa Coffee is not about whether that shop itself will

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be financially viable or will create jobs for people, it is the

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fact that it could put several other shops in the area out of

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business which would have the other impact of wrecking the character of

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the neighbourhood... It seems to be that people do not worry about what

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the local council things because they can appeal and it eventually

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goes to the Secretary of State and then they'd -- I do not think Eric

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Pickles has ever turned down a coffee shop! I have no idea if he

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has or not. I believe in competition, so if one coffee shop

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closes down other coffee shops it is because other people are not

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providing the service that people are keen to pay for. That is the

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0:46:160:46:17

central point, isn't it? Not really, no. That reason that we have not

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been able to stop it is that we know that Eric Pickles will let it

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go ahead. It could be turned down in appeal but we have to wait until

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the end of the appeal process. Thank you very much for coming in.

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A week may be a long time in politics, but we've crammed the

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highlights from here in the West into our weekly 60 second roundup.

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Enjoy! The Education Secretary Michael Gove visited a school in

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Keynsham - his lecture was for Bristol to back free schools.

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provision has not been good enough and we have to change this.

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This is the Mayor of Stroud - he could be fined for not returning

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his Census form. He's making the protest because he says the firm

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organising it also sell arms. could not face myself if I actually

0:47:100:47:12

feel that form in. Campaigners have taken their fight

0:47:120:47:15

against wind turbines in Berkley Vale to a public enquiry. They

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don't like the way they look - the company claim that's not a good

0:47:190:47:23

enough reason. These two Wiltshire pensioners have

0:47:230:47:26

been given ASBOs for feeding the pigeons in Trowbridge. The pair

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ignored orders by Wiltshire Council to stop because of the mess. I just

0:47:350:47:38

love my birds and that is all. Bus cuts will leave disabled

0:47:380:47:40

passengers stranded in their homes according to campaigners in

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Somerset. They're fighting against council cuts that would see 35 bus

0:47:430:47:53
0:47:530:47:54

routes stopped. Quite a variety of stories there.

0:47:540:47:59

The ASBOs were Tony Blair's invention. Anti-social behaviour

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orders. Do they work? Getting the legislation has been really useful

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in some respects and in my part of Bristol it has been used for things

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like crack den closures, dispersal orders to get gangs of the street

0:48:120:48:16

as well as ASBOs for people's individual behaviour. He will

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always find some cases where it looks like the authorities have

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gone too far and given ASBOs to people who do not deserve them but

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generally, I am sure Jacob will agree with me, anti-social

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behaviour is a far bigger issue than many others, there are so many

0:48:340:48:38

complaints about it. Another story that caught my eye are the cuts to

0:48:380:48:43

bus services. This will leave people high and dry. This is not my

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part of Somerset in that story but there is a difficulty in providing

0:48:480:48:54

rural bus services. The numbers who use them mean the subsidy is very

0:48:540:48:59

high. One bus route that was cut to a remote village had one person who

0:48:590:49:04

used it each week and it would have been cheaper to take that person by

0:49:040:49:08

helicopter into Bath a than to provide a bus every year. It hard

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economic times, you have got to be serious about where you are

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spending money and you have got to spend it to the greatest advantage.

0:49:160:49:20

Thank you both. It's time for me to raise a cup of

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cold BBC coffee to our two MPs Jacob and Kerry - thank you for

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sharing you thoughts today. You can watch it all again on the BBC

0:49:280:49:32

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