14/07/2013 Sunday Politics West


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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.

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