19/06/2011 The Politics Show North East and Cumbria


19/06/2011

Jo Coburn and Richard Moss are here with the top political stories of the week.


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Here: Are schools in the North being pressurised into becoming

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academies with promises of extra funds? We report from Cumbria.

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This woman can't get the internet at home - we are in County Durham

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2231 seconds

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finding out what life is like in Hello and a very warm welcome to

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your local part of the show. Coming up: This woman can't get onto the

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internet, and she's not alone. We report from County Durham on life

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in the broadband slow lane. And we'll be finding out why a

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North East peer is walking 3,000 miles from Greece to London.

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First, the worst performing primary schools, 16 of them in Cumbria and

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the North East, are going to be closed down and re-opened as

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academies outside the control of the local council. It is the latest

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Government move to create more academies, an idea conceived by

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Tony Blair a decade ago. As well as greater freedoms, new academy

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schools can expect to receive more money. But is that promise of extra

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resources forcing some schools into taking on academy status for fear

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of losing out if they don't? Emily Unia reports from Cumbria. Lunch

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time at this Academy in Workington. Leicester Pembroke it was the first

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school in Cumbria to take up the new offer from the government for

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Outstanding Schools to leave local a authority control and convert to

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academy status. For pupils there is a new name a new uniform, but for

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those running the school it means no more queuing for handouts.

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Primarily for us it was about freedom. Money was a factor because

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having the full funding entitlement for our children was also very

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important. Local a authorities take at portioned of all school budgets

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to spend on their behalf and schools like ours that do well

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achieve good results, don't cause any problems, don't get overlooked

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when the carving up of the General Pot's is made. Fight this all to

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Muff 50 more schools in Cumbria could become academies and it seems

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money is a motive. The fact is most of them are converting because they

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cannot afford not to convert. government give councils money to

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spend on education. The councils give most of that money to schools

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but they keep come of - - some of the back. But Academy Schools

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sidestepped the councils and get the money directly from central

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government. None of it is taken away. They paid for support

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services themselves. That is the attraction for schools like this.

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Critics say that the drive for more academies his divisive. It is

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trying to bribe the better schools into becoming academies. This is a

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good school. Why should it take it money from other schools in the

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area? That is quite an immoral stance, because you then think it

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is I'm all right, Jack. If you look much wider and have properly funded

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education throughout, then that is much better. The pleas from bomb

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macro this school decided not to become an academy. Mistakes and

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education budgets may mean that figure is revised, but that this

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central academy in Carlisle there is a word of warding two heads

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pursuing academy status for money alone. I hope they are not. If they

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are it is really naive and a short- term approach. Education is about

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the life chances of the children in our care. That is a long business.

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Any school that becomes an academy just for money has not worked out

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what this is all about. At the County Council, a decision by two

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leading schools to stay with the local authority is a vote of

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confidence in uncertain times. But there is no room for complacency.

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If more and more start to leave it will impact upon what money we have

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available for services. We're hopeful that by strengthening our

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services that people can buy them from us. The government says that

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academies have raised standards. But by once the worst performing

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primaries to make the switch, too. It expects high-achieving schools

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like this one to lend a helping hand.

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Well, let's talk about academy schools now with Mary Glindon, the

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Labour MP for North Tyneside, and Darlington councillor Ian Galletley,

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who is chairman of the Conservatives in the North East.

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You voted against the Government's Academy Schools legislation.

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Government has really turned is on the head. It was about turning

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schools around, about failing schools and helping people. Now it

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seems that money is an element and it isn't just about redressing

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inequalities. The announcement by Michael Gove that feeling primaries

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should become academies, that is tackling the schools that have

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failed. But, again, the worry is that he is taking 200 out of 1400.

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That premise school we just all, it was a primate that was performing

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well. The other issue is, is that the right way to do it? If the

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schools are failing... I suppose the idea is that it has failed

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under the council so let's give it another chance. But at what cost?

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Expanding this programme and slicing many of the education

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Budget, taking more schools out of the control of councils who I

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believe to a good job, to me does not seem right. He is doing this in

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a week and there has been a chaotic situation around money that is

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going to the schools, as well. There is a funding inequality being

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built into the schools. If you become an academy you do a lot

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better. There is a dispute about how this funding has been arrive

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that that has to be resolved. There is a fundamental argument here

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about the future of education in the whole country. I just want an

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answer as to whether or not this is bribery. That would seem like a

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good argument for not having local a authorities at all because the

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schools are funded directly there would not be a need to proportion

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its in line with somebody else as criteria. I can we have a model of

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education based on a model of being funded by the government, provided

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they are professional people and the clients being families. Like a

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we just have those three? Were his this local authority to income

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from? It is history. Is it not making sure that certain services

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are provided on a cost-effective basis centrally? Yes, but it is

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justifying the way education is currently organised saying that

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schools must fit in with local authority. You are democratically

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elected as a councillor. Surely that is a good thing that these

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councils have some authority over local schools. By people who have

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never worked in schools have to say so on how schools could be

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organised? What right have they got to tell teachers how to run schools

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and to instruct parents on what to demand of the school? My camper to

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just go straight to each other? Headteachers are in the best

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position on how to run a school. But everyone has the role to play.

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All schools have governing bodies and largely the governing body

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operate the Budget and they make the decisions within the schools.

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As a school governor who has never been a teacher of a smiling their

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because working with their head teachers you have a vast array of

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people on the governing bodies. I think that works very well.

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this double can still be on the governing body, it is just making

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sure that the head teacher has control of the Budget. That is how

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the link is made. The local- authority is always there as their

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main stay he can refer back to you have the expertise to advise. When

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we are talking about funding, the schools to decide to remains within

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the local authorities are going to suffer when the schools that go

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through two academies take more of the funding. Why should the most

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successful schools gain while some of the schools that stay in the

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system but do not successful lose? Let's look at what the point of

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this week's statement about the 200 schools been taken out of local-

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authority control. There is a really good argument for change.

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But why isn't that happening at secondary schools? Why isn't the

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Government not just saying that every school become an academy?

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Because a volunteer is worth 10 pressed men. You can just instruct

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people when I did change education. Let's look at the school stands

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have become academies this week. 200 schools. Hundreds of thousands

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of children who have been in the care of local authorities for

:48:10.:48:20.
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generations and still those schools are failing. I think you'll find

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very soon... but the fact that these schools are going to be

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�300,000 per if they don't become academies. The Labour Party is

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wedded to local authority control. They're keen enthusiasts of

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political control of schools in some regional council role. We have

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a difference of view. We think that the best relationship for schools

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is government money, teacher provides a service, families accept

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it or don't. But is the new model on which schools should be built.

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If you have this discussion in seven years' time, it will be

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abnormal to be in a local authority school. It seems that people like

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Tony and Clare - - it seems that Tony Blair would still be doing the

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City was in government. Looking at the actual fact, the issue is this

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government is about competition. We have seen it in the health service.

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This is going to set schools against each other and schools that

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become academies will be the top of the heap. Thank you both very much.

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Now, many of us take the internet for granted these days whether

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booking train tickets, doing your shopping or catching up on the news.

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It's even more important if you are running a business. The Government

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has promised to provide the "best broadband in Europe" by 2015 and is

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funding four pilot schemes to help connect rural areas. One of them in

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Penrith. Yet in large parts of the North there is still no fast

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broadband connection available, and in some places no access to the

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internet at all. I went to County Durham to find out more.

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The car is a vital part of staying connected in the countryside. When

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this may be get some, the connections are not so good.

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Getting online in this part of TI's deal is nearly impossible. We can

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get anything. They have sent 13 in juniors around, British Telecom,

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:50:52.:50:53.

but they can help. We can do shop, book tickets, research. The

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children's education in the area is suffering. On a neighbouring farm,

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the lack of the services causing problems. The government is

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expecting our farmed the sent off VAT, income tax, like stock

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movement records all through the Internet and it is becoming

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impossible. This community is not alone. 36 % of those in Bishop

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Auckland can get a decent broadband connection. Backers of but 30 % and

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North Durham and 46 % in north-west Durham. 87,000 people in the county

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are struggling to connect. The council did bid for 9 billion - -

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�9 million to help getting people get connected. On this occasion �50

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million was told that the Hampshire, Wiltshire, Somerset and Devon, and

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County Durham got nothing. there will mean is that will put

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places like the north-east into digital still lame. That has a

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massive impact on businesses, maintaining businesses. We have

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been told of house-owners not been prepared to move to the area. We

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need this. It is important to business as access to roads,

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realNetworks etc. In North Yorkshire more communities are

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getting connected. People like Carol have had to fight for it. She

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decided to do something about it. Be printed off 400 letters and went

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round putting them through all the letterboxes of the neighbouring

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villages and arranged a meeting in the local pub and it went on from

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:52:52.:52:52.

there. They resulted in the service we now have. The Conservatives said

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that rural communities can make a difference by taking control of

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their own destinies. This is a distancing feature between this

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government and the last one. Looking at my constituency in North

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Yorkshire, the most rural county in England, those communities are

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coming together and defining what they want for their businesses and

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the environment and then defining that am working with the providers

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and central government. Will people power be enough? Labour says rural

:53:27.:53:37.
:53:37.:53:37.

areas will not be connected unless the Government invests more. That

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two megabytes by 2015 target seems very minimal. Of the state is

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better than nothing. To do most of the pains that businesses and

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schoolchildren want to do, it won't really meet their needs. What about

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Mary? There she hopeful of a new done by 2015? I am not holding my

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breath. Maybe we will have moved by them because he wants to live in a

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place where you have got no communication with other people.

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Rural communities and the government can only hope that other

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people are prepared to hang on a bit longer.

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And you can find out which parts of the North East and Cumbria have the

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best, and worst, broadband connections on my blog. Just log

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onto bbc.co.uk/richardmoss. That's if you've got the internet, of

:54:22.:54:26.

course! Now, most talk about the Olympics

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so far has centred around the difficulty of obtaining tickets.

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And, no, I didn't get any either! But for one member of the House of

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Lords, the North East Peer Michael Bates, there is far bigger issues

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at stake. To prove the point he is currently walking from Olympia in

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Greece all the way to London. That is an incredible 3,000 miles. The

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aim is to try and bring some peace to parts of the world beset by

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violence and war. This sun is beating down and the

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scenery is spectacular, but this is no stroll in the park. It is a walk

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with the purpose for Conservative peer Michael Bates. He is taking

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time out to try to raise awareness of one aspect of the Olympic Games

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that most people have never even heard about, the Olympic truce.

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problem is that fighting men cannot lay down their arms voluntarily

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because they look weak. You need to provide them with an opportunity

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where they can look manly and yet stop killing each other. The idea

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of the Games was conceived. A period of truce covered it. That

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ran for 1200 years. Violations were extremely rare, one or two in 1200

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years. The truce still accompanies every Olympic Games and is now part

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a of a United Nations resolution. Rarely does any country do anything

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to make it happen. The resolution only asks that you take initiatives

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for reconciliation during the period of the Games. If other

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people don't agree to the truce, there can be no truce! What it is

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saying is we have given a solemn undertaking the four of the General

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Assembly of the United Nations that we will do something. If we don't

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that we can do it, we shouldn't sign it. If we do signed its, we

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should implement it. This time Michael Bates wants it to be

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different. He hopes that by October they UK government will take the

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tray seriously. Local seer are willing to give him the benefit of

:56:42.:56:52.
:56:52.:56:55.

the doubt. I am walking to London. But this critic - - quite a typical

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:57:05.:57:06.

reaction. I am 75 years old. I will never stop saying that we are crazy.

:57:06.:57:13.

It is a very good action doing this, because I cannot do that. So, 500

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miles into the 3000 mile journey, there is a long way to go. But for

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Lord be its this to be a price worth paying for a short pause in

:57:23.:57:27.

conflicts around the world. Our thanks to Sam Farmar for

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letting us use those pictures. And we'll keep you posted with Michael

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Bates' progress over the next few months. And, finally, if you live

:57:33.:57:36.

in Darlington there is a chance to put your questions directly to the

:57:36.:57:39.

man running the local council next week. Bill Dixon will be taking

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