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of Avon and Somerset Police disagree over whether fixed speed cameras
Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2218 seconds
should be turned on. Do they save the programme just for us in the
West. This is the final programme before MPs go on the summer recess.
Coming up today: Smile you are one camera. They are hated by some
motorists but should they be switched back on? The new Chief
Constable of Avon and Somerset Police says yes. Politicians are
there to take the Devil 's own abuse. We have two today. George
Ferguson, the Mayor of Bristol. A quick review of their first few
months in office. She is in charge of the thin blue line and he is in
charge of some large red trousers. Sue Stevens is the Police and Crime
Commissioner for, and George Ferguson is Bristol's first elected
Mayor. They are both independent of any political party. Sue walked into
the job and the Chief Constable pushed off. He was humiliated at
being asked to apply for his own job but it was a commissioner who
claimed victory. We are delighted that the High Court has said that
the decisions were lawful in every respect. For George Ferguson it is
the transport policy that caused trouble. He pushed through �37
million of cuts with barely a whimper, but try taking away a
parking space and there is uproar. His residents parking scheme created
the biggest political row in years. Victory was sweet in Europe with
Bristol winning Green capital status. So, as the West's most
powerful politicians get a bit of sun what is next? As both were
elected without a manifesto it is hard to tell. Sue Mountstevens, you
replaced an experienced Chief Constable with an inexperienced one.
I think the new Chief Constable is very experienced. He was a Chief
Constable with the MPI AA. I think he is making a very real difference.
It was an improvement agency said there are lots of ways Avon and
Somerset Police learn with the experience he has brought. He is
very experienced and Avon and Somerset Police stubbornly are the
beneficiaries of that. He seems a very likeable man but what is your
relationship with him? It should be quite uncomfortable, you are there
to keep him in line? We are there to work together, but the important
thing is to have one step outside. So when there is criticism to be
made, I am very comfortable that that is made. Have you overruled him
yet? Not yet. It is early days. We have had some conversations and we
are very much in June. Are you on first name terms? Yes. I think it is
to do with relationships. I think we have to work closely with the Chief
Constable as that relationship has to be very comfortable. George, if I
may be on first name terms with you, did you underestimate the
opposition to your parking policy? knew that the cuts would be big, and
they were, but I think there was a certain amount of realism that was
forced on us by the austerity measures from the government, and I
think people got real about it. No, I am not surprised by the reaction
to the parking measures. The parking measures are part of a much bigger
environmental transport picture, about making a better city. I do
know that if you slightly restrict any car driver, the wage they can
behave, you will get a reaction. I got a reaction. By taking away
parking spaces for commuters, which is what you want to do, it means
that some people will have �30 extra on their bus fares, one-hour extra
at the end of their day because of what they are proposing. You never
really listened to that or empathise with that. I do empathise with it.
What I want is to get a much much better transport system and this is
one element of that. You have got to get more people on the buses and
have less people on the roads for the public transport to flow. When
you get public transport flowing you get more people willing to use it.
Somebody has to lay an egg with this. I decided to do this. You are
going to lay the egg? I will. We have been paralysed by a lack of
action and decision making. I got elected as Mayor to make decisions.
We are a bit schizophrenic. We want a better environment... The problem
is, the problem with you being independent is that you do not know
what it says on the tin. We are getting a bit. We do not really know
what you are about. I think you do. I made it clear during my campaign
that my priorities were to tackle anti-social behaviour, violence
against women and children, burglary, and having allowed a voice
for victims. After consultation, road safety came back as being an
issue. Those priorities are being tasked to the police and they are
being rolled out. As we continue our look back at the political season,
who could forget UKIP? The local elections gave them a domestic
breakthrough. He used to be a Conservative but Alan Priest was
voted back onto Gloucestershire County Council after voting for
UKIP. They also won seats in Dorset and Somerset. The big parties
struggled. There is a protest vote involved but they are also saying
they want to support us. It sends an important message to the government.
Of course it is a protest vote. are trying to maintain momentum with
events like this recent meeting in South Gloucestershire. People know
what we are about but I also think the majority of people coming to
UKIP like what we say and like our views on the European union.
Frankly, we are speaking the language of the man in the street.
European elections have been good for them. UKIP have two Southwest
MPs. One of them is departing so the race is on to pick candidates to
stand along William Dartmouth in next year's boat. -- vote. It is a
pretty good result. So, smaller parties prospering, and the
coalition is suffering. The theme this year and properly next year.
am joined by the Taunton Deane council and who was elected as a
Conservative. He has a shock announcement to make. What have you
got to say? I put my name to be elected as a Euro candidate at next
year's elections. To be elected to the European Parliament for UKIP. A
year ago I told the Conservative party that if they didn't move away
from the dogma of the political system that a lot of people are from
my generation would migrate to parties like UKIP. That has happened
and a number of people like myself are putting their names forward to
try and be elected for the European Union. So, you have defected?
Effectively, yes, I have. It is no wonder because when you see the
current government involved in U-turn after U-turn... How long have
you had these inclinations? actually warns about this on your
programme a year ago. I said the Conservative party need to embrace a
wider range of issues. Why did you stand as a Conservative candidate in
May? I was elected as a Conservative candidate and I felt it appropriate
to move forward with that election. UKIP did actually asked me to
migrate then but I thought that that would be disingenuous if I had gone
over at that point. Are you just an opportunist? Not at all. I have been
a Euro-sceptic all my life, but as you see, it's UKIP are driving
forward a number of key policies in relation to immigration, the EU, and
domestic issues. They really are a voice to be listened to. David
Cameron's talk about referendum and all that cuts no ice with you?
will leave that until the next election. It could go to a vote in
Parliament. It will be discussed in Parliament very shortly. Frankly,
more importantly, it should be up to the population to vote. You are
independent, aren't you? I am.You were a Tory, then an independent,
and now you stand for UKIP. Yes. Have political parties had their
day? I think political parties still have a part to play in Westminster.
I think they have polluted local politics to a certain extent because
people are voting for the party rather than the person and in local
politics I think it is important that you engage with the person that
you trust to run your city. Sue, do you agree? I am grateful I am not a
politician. I am accountable to the public. You while a politician.I am
accountable to the public and I am not a politician. Asymmetrically, I
think politics has not changed. Okay. Ian, thank you for coming in.
Thank you for breaking your news here. They are feared by many
motorists but it looks like some fixed speed cameras in the West will
be switched back on. The Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset
Police stubbornly has been met with a mixed response. These yellow boxes
are fixed cameras designed to catch people going too fast. They are a
familiar sight on the roads in the police force area. They have not
snapped a single soul in the last two years. Why? Because they were
switched off as the government removed funding for road safety, and
the police and councils said they could not afford to pay for them. It
was good news for some motorists. Not everybody can afford a soft top
like this but this motoring journalist said the cameras have
been misused by police. It is the old chestnut, isn't it? It is the
cash cow by punishing the motorists as much as you can. Petrol is
through the roof. Let's milk them for a little bit more, they say.
the new man in charge at Avon and Somerset Police get his way, wings
will change. I was surprised to learn the cameras have been switched
off and I learnt from the Mayor of Bristol that he had been calling for
them to be switched back on. Some disagree that the fixed speed
cameras make our roads safer. balance, these cameras do a lot more
good than harm. They are sitting there in the streets and the
deterrent effect they have diminishes crimes. It will reduce
speed and reduce accidents. There is no evidence that they have saved
lives, especially in built-up areas. I do not believe in statistics like
that. You take a statistic one day in the winter and compare it in the
summer and the statistics don't stack up. The conservatives who run
North Somerset Council have ruled chief in Bristol where the Mayor has
said that the fixed cameras are about... The leader of Somerset
County Council has written to the Chief Constable outlining his
concerns. If you can supply evidence that the speed cameras will increase
community safety I am more than happy to look at it. At this moment
in time he is asking me to pay for it and I am not too keen. If they
won the cameras on they have to do come up with a model that is fully
funded. In Bath and North Somerset us that they are awaiting further
details before making decisions. In the end, the future of these yellow
boxes could come down to who is prepared to foot the Bill for them.
This is especially at a time when road safety is improving. Many
motorists have no idea that these yellow boxes are lying dormant so
they could act as a deterrent without drivers knowing. Here is the
Conservative Bristol councillor. Thank you for coming in. Our hearts
went out to you recently because you lost your sign in a road accident.
Yes. I am told the vehicle was not speeding. -- son.What is your view?
I want road safety. What the council has done over the years is failed to
put in a pedestrian crossing on the road. Cameras were not enough help
to my son. All he was doing was crossing the road. They are there
now but we lost our son for it. I feel quite strongly through it. I
also lost my brother. He was hit by a van at less than ten miles an
hour. So, 20 miles an hour does not cut much ice with me. I think my
opposition is that the motorists feel under siege in Bristol. They
feel they are being Goth sat in all directions. They feel that these
speed cameras are another method of raising money. This is not how we
should be addressing road safety. Let's bring in Sue Mountstevens and
George. The Chief Constable has come up with this idea. What was your
reaction? Is it our number-1? came from George. George approached
me and said he was interested in turning it on, could we look at it?
I asked the chief to do a proper review and look at the evidence and
figures, and that is what he has done. Having looked at the evidence
and funding issue, we believe, and this is a conversation we are having
with local authorities, that we will... Ye whose decision is it?
is mine. Having gone to consultation, it came out that road
safety is a big issue. The thing about fixed cameras is that it is
just one element. The point is that we want fixed cameras, mobile
cameras and a community speed watch. It is a deterrent. We want to deter
people from driving fast. We do not want to catch them, we want to deter
them. George, where'd did this come from? It was not out of the blue.
People said to me, we have cameras, they are not working. The fact is
that the slower the car goes, the less likely someone is to be killed
by it. It seems to me that if we have the cameras we should either
use them get rid of them. I mentioned this to the Chief
Constable... The fact is that they do save lives as will be 20 miles an
hour limit. The research states that it will save lives but they point to
a number of cameras where the number of fatalities around them has gone
up. The number has increased? The speed cameras are not on at the
moment. People are relaxed around them and it will not have any
effect, is it? Yellow I do not welcome a conversation about them
being off. We either get rid of them or put them back on again. They are
there to stop idiots driving irresponsibly and they are not there
as an anti-car measure. Thank you for coming in, Peter. Now, for a
canter through the political news in just 60 seconds. The Chancellor,
George Osborne, remember the name? He came to visit this week. Remember
his new Conservative cabinet in Chippenham needs a reminder that
they are actually in government. is about bringing local jobs into
the area. That is why we have Gordon Brown here today. It is rare for a
politician to comment on their own salary. We need a broad spectrum of
people and none of us should worry about money. More part-time
firefighters will be used in Somerset to fill a hole in the
budget. A full-time crew is to be lost. A carnival committee in
Wiltshire has caused an outcry by adding the town's baby competition.
It is political correctness gone mad according to this mother.
Apparently, they have also scrapped the carnival queen. For getting the
Chancellor's name is a slip of the tongue but he is the man who has
handed some large budget cuts to you too. What effect has it had and what
is in the pipeline? We have already cut 35 million out of the budget and
it shows what the police can do because crime is coming down and
detection is going up. We will have to find another 15 million over the
next two years which is a tough call. That is the equivalent of 200
officers. We need to look very smartly at how we can use what we
have more effectively, and look at our buildings and fleet, and see it
we can squeeze more out of it. the speed cameras go back on, do you
keep the fines? The money goes to the Treasury. The money you have cut
is huge but who is suffering as a result? We have cut as much out of
the system as we can so far without cutting major services. That is my
aim. It is how we deliver efficiently. It is also how we find
new income streams as well. I need to cut 75 million over the next
three years, which is huge. At least half of that can be done without
cutting services. Undoubtably, we will need to dig into some services.
There is where we must make hard decisions. I am doing something much
more fundamental than usual and going back to base really. I am
thinking about what local government is for and then holding up a budget
for three years rather than just the salami slicing process we have had.
Andrew Neil and David Garmston 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.