19/02/2012 Sunday Politics West


19/02/2012

Andrew Neil and David Garmston with the latest from Greece on the debt crisis, John Prescott on police commissioners and an interview with Scottish secretary Michael Moore.


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In the West: Can sing sorry really cut the likelihood of criminals

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reoffending? We meet one woman who says meeting the boy who burgled or

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1714 seconds

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End this week Sunday Politics and the West: The power of saying sorry.

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We hear from politicians to think the way to cut reoffending rates is

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to get to meet offenders meeting their victims face to face. But is

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it a softer option than going to jail?

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Welcome to the little prison cell that as the Sunday Politics. There

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is no getting out until they answer our questions. Robert Buckland, a

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Conservative MP for Swindon. He is a lawyer by trade and has been a

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judge. And for Labour this week, Mark Dempsey. Welcome to your boss.

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I want to talk about unemployment before we get started. Swindon has

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been highlighted as a black spot. What has gone wrong? There is a

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party of Swindon where we have a large number of young people who

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are not in work. The report was produced last week, I haven't

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meeting of the author's next Wigan Westminster to discuss ways about

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how we can implement some of the ways they have suggested to reach

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out to these young people. They are not the jobs. Swindon was the place

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where there was lots of manufacturing. There was negative

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mind you -- this is a big issue at the moment. We have seen youth

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unemployment going up to its highest levels since records began.

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The Conservatives in charge do not have a plan for the future economy

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of Swindon. We saw that N-word Investment -- inward investment

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earlier. We need to bring new jobs and businesses to the town as well.

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We will come back to the economy a waiter.

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If someone breaks into your house or vandalise is your car, how would

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you feel about meeting him face to face? The idea is to reform

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offenders by encouraging them to look the person they have harmed in

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the eye. One woman said an apology helped her to deal with the trauma.

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Your mind goes into a mess. It threw me completely. It frightens

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me. One night, this woman was woken by Hanoi's and her back garden. She

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went downstairs to find out she had been burgled. He then left her

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bicycle here and then walked here. The child a broken was just 13

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years old. Debbie agree to meet him face to face. She said she needed

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answers and one wanted them to say sorry. It was quite an emotional

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meeting because one of the things he took from me was an iPod.

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Everybody has got one. Somebody had given it to me when I was actually

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quite ill. And that has really just got to May. And when I said that,

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he said, I am so sorry. I wish I could do something for you.

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party was payback for a sentence is to pay their Benson her garden.

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have only got a small garden but he will have to come back and face

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make and realise if you do something you have to pay back.

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According to the Ministry of Justice, when that an offender says

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sorry there are less likely to commit another crime. So they want

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to imply into a -- implement a programme where offenders says

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sorry. We want to ensure more programmes for -- victims have a

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chance to voice the impact a crime has on them. We want to increase

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capacity to allow local areas to provide more effective

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opportunities. Swindon has been working with young offenders for

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some time. They have welcomed the move to extend the trial. We have

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been doing this with young people For many years very successfully. I

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believe there is a move now to including adults in the schemes. It

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is long overdue. Swindon's new just as panels will be run by local

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people and victims, leaving them to decide a profits sentences will

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low-level crimes like graffiti. But while our police forces are facing

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cuts to their budgets, warning of fewer police on our streets

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fighting crime, there may be ever more victims like Debbie left with

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a painful decision of whether to confront the demons face to face.

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Simon Evans as the antisocial behaviour manager For Swindon

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Borough Council. He was in charge at of bidding for the pilot area

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for the new neighbourhood justice panels. Will come a long. What

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would these justice panels do? are members of their community who

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are trained in how to deliver adjust his conference. Boss young

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people and adults who refer to them who have cost anti-social behaviour

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are all finding. A defender who would not get to the courts as a

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model to the panels and they will sign contracts. We have had

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magistrates for hundreds of years. We have a very important role to

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play in this. If people are coming to the panel's final low-level

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offending and then they're not complying with these acceptable

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behaviour contracts, we then have the courts and magistrates in the

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background who can deliver them more formal punishments. That woman

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talked about her eye. Being burgled. It meant a lot to her. -- hat iPod

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player. That is the call for the professionals to decide where that

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is going. It is about the victim meeting with the offender and

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telling them how it has affected them as a person. It sounds all

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very good. You are a barrister and you were a judge. Let me take you

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back to the riots last summer when a lot of young people they thought

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would get away with. The judges came down very hard. The select a

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way community sentences and the banks are not straight away. You

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could almost feel that shock and that writing stopped overnight. Is

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harsher just is not the answer? we are comparing apples with an

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than us. The riots were different and very serious incidents in

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British public life. What Simon is talking about and what I have been

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supporting is the sort of low-level crime that does cause real misery

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for a lot of residents. And this initiative will give local no birds

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control. A sense of ownership and a way to find solutions to problems

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that have been harming them for too long. A will thus be seen as a soft

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option? You know, it has a very important role to play. Where it

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has been trial in the youth offending team in Swindon, it has

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seen real results. We have seen a reduction of youth offending rates

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and crimes. I think it has great opportunity. But the bigger picture

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is that we have 16,000 police officers cut across the country and

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I think that is something communities across London and the

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country are worried about. I think that is a fair point. I do not

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accept that. In Wiltshire we have a commitment to community pulsing.

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Will show has been a well-managed police force. We have dedicated

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police officers and Swindon. It is not right to make general comments

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about police numbers when in fact it is about the effectiveness of

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the use of resources. One of the schemes is us a lot of victims do

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not want to take part. They do not want to see the young person who

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made their life a misery. Certainly, when it comes to more serious

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crimes, you cannot expect them to meet face to face. If there are

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more serious crimes, members of the community sitting on these finals,

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they will say this is too serious for this panel. We want to give us

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back to the courts when it belongs. Does not make the for up -- the

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victim feel good does it? research shows that 84% of victims

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to go through the process are very satisfied with it. That is how weak

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tell the community and get them involved in it. In her current

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criminal justice system we do not to that at the moment. One of the

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most effective methods as having the victim in front of the offender

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and telling them how it has affected them.

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The bulldozers have moved in to your full to raise up sink housing

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estate into the ground. It seems to be a desperate measure to deal with

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deprivation. Is the answer to rep these council estates down and

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start again? -- to rat down? Every town has an estate like this.

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Sometimes overlooked for decades. So what is the key to turning long-

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term deprivation into a long-term improvement? In your fault and

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extreme approach. Bill does think dozens of homes and starting again.

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Sindh charges as having �10 million spent on it by the local housing

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association. -- Saint Georges. are very interested in developing

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the relationship we have with our lamb -- tenants. We hope to secure

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long-term sustainable employment through this. But how can -- his

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estate was built to replace slum housing. The council you want to

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knock down and rebuild hundreds of homes. But until then, local people

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are coming up with ways to improve the area. Historically it has been

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quite a difficult community. But it seems to be coming together quite a

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lot more. And there are more things going on. In Highbridge, the police

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began by leading the way. It went from antisocial behaviour, drugs

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misuse,. It is having the trust and confidence of the committee and you

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have by having -- making sure that when they report something that you

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deal with a positively in the way they wanted del West. Hear what the

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police have started, the community has carried on and they are seeing

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it as a real success story. These young people are spending half-term

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improving their area. With the help of dedicated volunteers, like 74-

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year-old Margaret. If they do jobs and they get points which are

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turned to prizes and trips. The parents can also afford to sun and

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so we take over. It makes me feel as if I am still useful. -- cannot

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afford to take them. I feel very good about it. It helps the

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environment around Highbridge. Despite shores of community spirit,

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the problems on these estates remain very real. They are a long

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way from becoming desirable realistic. -- real estate.

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Will come along. Tell me about Arton Hill. The settlement of Arton

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hell. The estate you look after. are part of the estate but we are

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not legally responsible for the estate. Our own accountability it

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as an independent organisation is to the people on the estate.

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want to live their aspirations and life chances. We work with them on

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anything that we think at the time is going to help. How does your

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experience there translate to what may be done in other big estates

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across the West Country? There is no single solution. Every estate

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will have its own solution and will be based on the people that our

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there. Also the agencies that they are there and how well they work

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together. That will not be the same in a different estate. Millions of

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pounds have been spent in the estate for over the years. There

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are still very substantial problems there. There have been some good

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things about the millions of pounds and some bad things about the

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millions of pounds. So it is not just money? What is it then?

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think it is the people. If they have hope and if you can connect

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people to each other, then things will happen. I know that sounds

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vague, but that is what works. the big council estates, where they

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are a mistake? The important element for those big council

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estates, I represent one of those in Swindon, there is a community

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that still exists there. We have got our hands dirty in that

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community to try and rebuild them. There are many things that can be

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done. In one of the shopping centres in my mistake, it was left

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Park finished by their redevelopment project in the area.

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They got the developers and the council together. We got the idea

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resurfaced. Not many people expected us to do that. There is

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not much hope around at the moment. Not many jobs. Joanna hit on an

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important point. Self-esteem will come from within from help. Some

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were organisations and -- there are many organisations helping these

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communities. That without the job opportunities, then it becomes

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difficult. We are talking about youth unemployment. It has been a

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long-running problem. There has been a dislocation... Definitely in

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Swindon among other places. There has won a dislocation between

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skills people are getting in school and the jobs. I would like to move

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on. Joined-up has brought up the idea of not just throwing money at

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these estates. I think it is a variety of solutions. In some areas

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it has to be investment. The worry that I have is that some of those

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regeneration schemes are stalling. We have seen the abolition of the

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Regional Development Agencies. That regeneration is not happening and

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we need to get that regeneration happening for the benefit of

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communities. If you look around the estates, some people keep their

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properties beautiful. Others let them go to rack and ruin. It seems

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to me that it is the people, not the social problems. Hugely so. The

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area that I represent, you will find that in the all parts of the

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estate. They would regard themselves as part of a vibrant

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community. There is a small minority who still need to be

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addressed an adult. But I remain very optimistic that that can be

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done. I remain upbeat. On that upbeat note, we have to say thank

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you. There is never a dull weekend West

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Country politics. Here is a round- up in just 60 seconds.

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This is the muddy mess left on College Green and Bristol when the

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occupied movement left a few weeks ago. Rita feng alone is expected to

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cost taxpayers �4,000. Meanwhile 14 members of the Kampala squatting in

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a mansion in Clifton. -- of the camp. Jobless young people in the

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West have seen their struggle to find work turning into a worrying

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statistic. Swindon has been identified as a unemployment

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hotspot. Terrible really. No way of getting a job. Swindon residents

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are no longer going to be living in that dark. Street lights turned off

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last year are to be turned on at a cost of �30,000. And angry anti-

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nuclear protesters have set up camp for the second time in a week at

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the site in Somerset where nuclear reactors could be built. They're

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worried about the loss of local wildlife.

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That Was the Week That Was in just 60 seconds. Let's pick up on one of

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those stories. The squatters taking over a property in Bristol. And

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moves by their Government to crack down on it. I was on the committee

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they looked at it and the House of Commons. Now the House of Lords

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agree it should be criminalised. They are real Blyton because the

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real concern to residents and householders. There are lots of

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empty properties doing nothing and lots of homeless people. There is.

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I would not condone the squatting, I think that is wrong. And we

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support the crackdown on squatting. The tragedy was that we forgot

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about the story. This story was away need to rebuild our economy.

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We need to look beyond the banks, I think, towards a broader economy.

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On that no we have to leave it. That is all we have got time for

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this week. Thanks to her guests, Robert Buckland and Mark Dempsey.

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Sunday Politics continues with Andrew Neil in London. If you want

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