29/01/2012 Sunday Politics West


Andrew Neil and David Garmston with the latest political news, interviews and debate including Danny Alexander, chief secretary to the treasury, on the state of the UK economy.

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 29/01/2012. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



In the West: Too small and not enough of them. Couples are


struggling to find a house they can afford that's bigger than a rabbit


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2025 seconds


hutch. Can our councils finally Welcome to the Sunday politics here


in the West. If you are thinking of buying a home in the West it will


cost a fortune if you can get a mortgage in the first place. Today


we are asking if you need to be building begat and more houses for


the growing need. We talk to one councillor he says we must build to


protect our children's future. Talking of houses, welcome to my


humble abode. Let me introduce my tenants. They are both grammar-


school boys. The Conservative MP for Tewkesbury. Donald used to be


on shaky ground in Bath, but in the last election he doubled his Lib


Dem seat. Now they are in government together. You are like


brothers, really, aren't you? A big debate I want to talk about this


week. The proposed cap of �26,000 on benefits. Don Foster, do you


think it is a good idea? I think it is a good idea. I think the public


at large except that it cannot be right for somebody on benefits to


be getting substantially more than a family that goes out to work. The


problem we have got is, how do we get from where we are now to the


imposition of the benefit cap. There will be a number of problems.


So Lord Ashdown is wrong when he says it should not be imposed? Yes,


I think it is wrong. The issue for me is transition arrangements. What


we have not had enough from the government is what they are


planning to do to resolve undoubted difficulties. There seems to be


large public support for this? is something that has been building


for decades and nobody has done anything about it. I get a lot of


letters from people saying they have worked all of their lives and


fought in the war and are so much worse off than people who have done


nothing and on benefits. A lot of people on benefits through no fault


of their own, but we have to make sure that nurses and teachers are


not worse off. Do you know rich people on benefits? It depends what


you call a benefit. Housing benefit is termed as a benefit so yes,


there are some. The important thing to remember is someone has to earn


�35,000 per year and, only 26,000. There are many teachers and nurses


that do not and that money. This is what the debate is about.


First, let's cut through estate agent will fall. If you want to buy


a new home it will cost a bomb and that is if you can get a mortgage.


For years, prices have been going up and rooms have been getting


smaller. Local councils are now trying to sort out this problem by


allowing new homes to be built. Jem and Gordon of first-time buyers.


Like many, they cannot get on the housing ladder. We were mainly


looking at two bedroom houses around �250,000. There are not many


of them and not in very good locations. I just don't understand


why they have to put them so that everyone is so on top of each other.


I feel that all of the new estate, you are literally living so close


together with no parking. From Whitehall to a village hall may you.


Councillors across the West are now deciding where over half a million


new homes will be built in a way region over the next 20 years.


People say, what does sustainability mean. It means many


things. The one thing it does mean is do not cheat on your children.


We do not have a robust plan and a cheating the children of the future.


We should not do that. For those living in villages where new


housing developments are planned, there are real concerns. We are not


NMB because what we are more concerned about is the potential


for such a development on these green fields throttling the life


out of Stroud town which is where we are all attached. We have had


from our couple. They are worried about the size and price of these


homes and this is something a former West MP is warning


councillors to think about when drawing up plans. We need homes.


There are people desperate to get into homes. The danger is, if you


go for a large-scale development, they are not popular and often you


are building the wrong sort of houses in the wrong places. I have


always been in favour of dispersal. We need to make sure that we get


housing for older people and younger people in the right place.


What we are being asked for our views on us and plums, chairman and


Gordon's search for their first affordable home goes on.


An experience shared by many couples. Derek Davies is there


councillor in charge in cheeks brief. At a stately age of 81, he


is one of our most senior politicians. What can you do to


help young couples in your area? They want a nice affordable house


and not too small. Yes, well it is a case of haves and have-nots. If


you live in a house, you are and how. If you are homeless, you are a


have not. What we are trying to do is cut down and build more housing.


The only way you can do that is by having a 20 year plans which we


have. We have been talking about this for years. Why has this not


happened? Perhaps you can blame previous governments. Not your


government? Our government has made amazing move so far. So far they


have taken 1000 pages of planning guidelines and scrap them and


replace them with about 50 pages. These guidelines are to give


planning permission. Very often it is difficult for local councillors


because there is a lot of local opposition. Not a lot. Few have not.


What do you mean? What I mean by that is that if you ask anybody


that says we do not want these houses all sorts of various reasons,


I call those the haves. The weaker minority, and they are the minority,


they are homeless or without a satisfactory home, they do not have


a voice. I get it. Let's bring in the MPs here. You often the same


patch, how many homes do you think I needed? It is difficult to put a


figure on the next 20 years. I used to work with homeless people before


I went in Parliament. It is not a bad enough houses, it is about the


economy. What happened at to the credit crunch building societies


and banks lend far too much money. That had the effect of pushing up


the price of property to an unsustainable level. That is one of


the problems and needs correcting. Don Foster, how do you build houses


in Bath? One of the things that we have had is that the government has


provided additional financial support. We have already heard


about the support in terms of planning. They have also made


government land available so in Bath we are going to have three


disused MoD sites where a lot of housing, probably around 1500 homes,


will go there. We are developing Western Riverside as well. If you


go to a place like Bath, at the moment it will cost you 14 times


the average salary to be able to pay for the average price house.


That puts the finances out of the market. Let's bring you back him.


Is it that there are not enough houses or people cannot afford


them? Well, we have not built in of houses over the last 20 years. That


puts the price up and as a result, developers have been stagnant, that


is what we are taking on now, a stagnant position. What we have to


do is use innovative ideas on top of what the government has done.


someone complains about a housing estate on a green belt, are you


going to say on your bike? Or are you going to say yes, I support


she? Of course we have to build in the right area. Coming from


Tewkesbury and though the damage that can be done to the green belt


and the flood risk area. We had terrible floods four years ago


where people were living in caravans as a result. Derek is


right, the number of houses being built did drop off and it started


at the point of the credit crunch. There were no changes in planning


at that time, it was a change in the economy. That caused the


problem. Derek, you are right. We will leave it at that last word.


Thank you for coming in. For anyone angry anti-Europeans


meddling in our affairs, it has been a big week. David Cameron


toured Europe including a stop in Strasbourg to put the Court of


Human Rights in its place. At least that is one version of events.


They laid on a red carpet in Strasbourg this week even if the


visitor was threatening to give them a carpeting. David Cameron


spent two hours at the Council of Europe which controls the Court of


Human Rights. Some of his MPs were here all week. Joining


representatives from 47 countries which are members. These West


Country Conservatives are aware of sceptical views back in their


constituencies. We are just talking about press coverage in the UK.


pieces in the Mail and Telegraph. Bob water leads the British


delegation. He only started a year ago and reckons reform is overdue.


The cost of this place is astronomical. If you say to people


in Somerset or Bristol, what do you know about the Court of Human


Rights, the experience for them is pretty Honourable. You see clerics


who should not be allowed out, you see a lot of other things and think


it is mad. It all comes from here. The message that we have to put


across as the British is that this has to change. But Wednesday, David


Cameron was accompanied by Bob water his role is even more


significant at the moment. Prime Minister asked me to be


leader of the UK delegation. The important work that needs to be


done. Now with the British chairmanship, the important work


that is going to be done on the reform agenda. Britain is in the


chair for six months which is why David Cameron was here making his


big speech. The court should ensure the right and not act as a small


claims court. Some of those watching were not impressed.


Prime Minister has gone for a GP it. He has come here looking for


favourable headlines because we agree with the. He is making, but


it does not advance the agenda for human rights in our continent for


one single centimetre. But there was warm applause, not just from


West Country Tories. David Cameron's performance seemed to go


well because he talked about making things better and not pulling


Britain out. The government are talking to two


very different audiences. At home they want to sound tough, over here


it is about diplomacy -- diplomacy. Twilight in Strasbourg and Bob


water is among the big no trees in this service to honour the war dead.


This area was badly effected by World War Two. To help prevent


future conflicts, the country has resolved to work together.


Council of Europe brings together the whole of Europe and the whole


of Europe on the basis that we never want to see as having to


create war memorials like this a game. No one would argue with the


ideals, but there is disagreement with how best to achieve them.


Today we are joined by Caroline BT, then manager of Bristol refugee


rights. Why do we need the European Court


of Human Rights, do you think? think it is crucial to have some


kind of independent oversight of areas where the perceived national


interest might clash with the rights and freedoms are very


vulnerable people living in this country. There is a perception it


is used a lot. The Prime Minister talked about the European Court of


Human Rights in the tribunal. Is that your experience? Not at all.


It is very difficult to get a case to European Court. What is


important now is that immigration judges have a mind to the European


Court rulings and will make decisions ultimately to support


people with those rights. For instance, in the last quarter there


were two Rawlings to show that detentions of mentally ill people


was not only unlawful, but inhuman and degrading. That his article 3.


What people are concerned about is that human rights can become a


tyranny whether rights of the individual are looked after by the


rest of society has to lump it. The example of that is the cleric he


wants to cause damage but cannot be deported. It is a pity that people


see it like that. The point of human rights is that they should be


accessible to everybody. It is about freedom and safety for all.


Why does David Cameron launched this against the European Court of


Human Rights? I think he feels that it is involving itself in what our


individual and small cases that nobody would have an objection to


the articles in the original declaration. It was a noble aim.


But what has happened is that it has gone way beyond its original


remit. So we have all these cases which have been heard and they set


a precedent. It is very frustrating. In the original articles, there


were the rights of governments to determine their own policies.


Foster, how did you feel when David Cameron went to Strasbourg this


week and let loose at them? He was absolutely right to say that we


need to reform it. It has 150,000 case backlog. We need to have


higher quality judges. We need to give it more resources and would


probably need to have more cases dealt with in their own countries.


Having said that, nobody is saying we need to get rid of it. It is


crucially important we have a body covering 47 countries that ensures


we can do something, after all we invented the thing, it was


Churchill pushing for it, that we have something where countries less


good on Human Rights, foreigners since Russia and former Soviet


countries, can be held to account. The point is that if we say we do


not want to obey that particular role, when Russia breaks one, they


can say the same thing. The court was set up to oversee what was


going on. What has happened is it is getting involved in small


matters which it was not set up today. Nobody would disagree with


the original article, but it has gone way beyond that now. This


tends to happen. Don is absolutely right, it is to focus on what it is


there to do. It has 150,000 cases waited to be heard. They say they


are a victim of their own success. The third point is also enforcing


it. When it actually comes to decisions. That is another weakness


of present arrangements. Thank you for coming in and talking to us


today. So what has been the top of the


political charts this week? Here is our 62nd round up.


This is the West's own spaghetti Junction. It is getting and �90


million facelift. The government says it will make journeys safer


and shorter. These are some of the 13,000 campaigners who are against


a new nuclear power station being built in Somerset. They submitted


objections this week. Policing in Gloucestershire will be


pushed to a cliff edge if the force of forced to make more cuts.


risk is that it starts to impact on frontline policing.


The power of the Bristol Channel help generate energy of the future.


Companies in the West are being encouraged to lead the way in


designing new age technology. And politics is all about finding a


voice. We say a final farewell to Western's town crier. He won the


town crier complete tissue and with his distinctive voice. -- town


crier competition. Another hectic week. Let's talk


about one of those issues that came up there. Policing. That warning by


the Chief Constable, they are heading to the clifftop because of


cuts. You are the party of law and order, aren't you? We are. By meet


Tony regularly and he says what he said on the film. I say to him that


we have to make cut somewhere. I know Conservative politicians keep


going on about that, but it is a fact of life. What Tony has been


active in doing is making sure there are more police on the beat,


on the front line. He has been very successful. Don, people will be


cross if they lose visible policing. I think people will be cross if


they see crime rising. One important thing is that we try to


address the causes of crime. One thing I raised following the riots


with the Prime Minister on the floor of the House was that we all


know that a high percentage of crime is caused by totally


dysfunctional families. Instead of saying, yes that is true, and doing


nothing, the government has bought a vast amount of money in the to


work with various agencies to deal with that. We all suit need to do


more smarter policing. Half of the policing still does not have the


Download Subtitles