10/07/2011 The Politics Show South East


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Will East Sussex miss out on an Olympic business contract? We


examined the ways in which parts of the cities have fought hardest to


make money out of London 2012. And there is your high street


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2365 seconds


resemble a ghost town? Should the Hello and welcome to the Politics


Show and the South East. Coming up: will the South East miss out on


Olympic business contracts. We look at what parts of the cities that


have fought hardest to win contracts for 2012.


The sure high street look like a ghost town. We asked that the


Government could do more to save independent shops.


And a relaxing summer break? Not likely. We look at what her MPs


will be doing as they prepare for their party conferences in the Hon


Tom. Is the city's going to miss out on


business contracts for the Olympics? Thames and so addicted to


Ten Tors had been fighting hard to stick your millions of Pounds of


deals for local companies. East Sussex seems to be left on the


sideline. So as the county council failed local buses and it is -- is


it too late to change tack? And a moment, I'll be speaking to the


leader of the council, but first Primary school children enjoying


the sports facilities during the King et des at Tonbridge School in


Kent this week. One of the aims is to get children in Bolton sport in


the lead-up to the Olympics. Do you think people see something in the


Olympics that makes them want to do it themselves. Yes. I am really


excited. I want to play more sports when the Olympics come. Are you


glad the Olympics is going to happen in this country? Yes. A one


up the main benefits of the UK getting the Olympics is supposed to


be the creation of a lasting legacy. But will there be a legacy here in


the cities to? Across the region, different countries have very


different approaches to 2012. Whilst East Sussex County Council


seems to be sitting on the sidelines when it comes to the


Olympics, Kent County Council is very much in the race. They had


decided to throw everything at it. It is vitally important that Kent


is part of the Olympics. We identified this before London had


won the bad. We were up and running within seconds sending messages


worldwide, saying come to Kent for tourism, come to get for pre-Games


training camps. A much will tend to get through this? We believe they


are due a win full of millions of pounds. That is absolutely huge.


This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. More than 140 Genk


businesses have now won contracts associated with the Games. We


believe that is worth tens of millions of pounds. It is hosting


one event. At Brands Hatch will be used for the road cycling. So far


they have outpaced six Olympic teams to train in Kent in the lead-


up. It is one of the most successful stations in the UK.


Tonbridge Gill is one of the locations. We're thrilled that we


have the us Julian Field and Trek team and that is about 100 people


in total. Almost as many support as there are athletes. We have to judo


teams from Eastern Europe, from Belarus and Ukraine. The county


council have been hugely supportive and her success in attracting three


countries already had to be the one or two more in the pipeline, is


very much into the county council's involvement as well. Well these


Kent children are getting to grips with rock climbing, in Surrey, the


county has also done well in attracting foreign teams to train


in the could she. -- the county. Kent and Sussex seems to beat --


seemed to be making as much money is the can for the Olympics.


However, in East Sussex, any help to boost the economy would help.


But East Sussex is a little slow off the mark.


With me is their Deputy Leader of East Sussex County Council. You


heard Kent County Council saying that they had secured tens of


millions of pounds of business contracts. It sounds like Surrey


have stolen a march on them. Do you think that you have made a mistake


not fighting harder for business contracts? We made a conscious


decision very early on to consult with their burrows and districts to


see what opportunities there were four East Sussex. We decided that


we would work through education and sport to see what we could achieve.


We have some awards for projects in East Sussex. Clearly, we hope that


that along with all the other efforts that we have made will


attract people into East Sussex. And I am sure that our businesses


will benefit. We have but then the analysis that Kent and Surrey have.


But of our fingers crossed approach, isn't it? We had a statement from


the county council that spoke of a financial challenges, additional


capacities and diverting resources. It all seemed complicated. Booted


into simple language. Why did you not want to stump up? We have


agreed that everything has to be linked to a long-term economic


regeneration and clearly the analysis was done and we saw no


benefits in that for going to bed against the likes of Kent and


Surrey. They are much bigger at a authorities with much bigger


resources and in fairness, much better geographically placed.


Possibly for tourism, but the business contracts could be one by


anyone. You businesses should have had more support. The support has


been through the economic regeneration team. The


consultations have gone on. What has happened in the other counties


is that they had been more proactive in putting together at


their results. I am not sure that we are without success, I think we


have not collated hour results. have not appointed an Olympics


court maker. -- co-ordinator. Hard to compete with your neighbours


when you do not have one person whose focus is is to generate


Olympic business. We are people within sport and education and the


economic development team that take that role, but we have not


appointed one person. You have not lost anything yet. It is a low-risk


strategy. There will not be the trend of rewards that we're seeing


him that Surrey. You could still change tack, would you? We are


continue to work with any opportunities that will present


themselves. We are re-evaluating on a daily basis any opportunities


that come on, but they must fit with long-term economic


regeneration in or area. But if you can do what Surrey are doing, that


must be a good investment. If I felt that was the way, we would


have taken that stance early on. contacted the Olympic organising


Committee today and they have come from to us that about half of the


total Olympic contracts are still up for grabs. There is still --


there is still time, isn't there? Absolutely. I went at any


opportunity to urge businesses to take these opportunities. There is


a rule that the contents of can play, and there is a further role


for businesses themselves. If you go to any high street in any


town in the South East, you'll find the empty shops, boarded-up windows


or to let signs. According to the retailers Association, a region has


seen its second highest increase in the number of vacant shops in the


country. Thorntons, the chocolate people are in trouble and pink high


street names like wharfs are at distant memory. -- big high-street


names like Walworth's. What exactly do you want the Government to do?


There are three things that we would like them to seriously


consider. The first thing is to look at the holiday that the


employers national insurance contribution can get. The system is


up in the North of England and we would like to see it extended down


into the South East. Somebody employing a person on a salary of


25,000 could save around 2.5 �1,000 per annum. -- �2,500. Anything else


you might be trouble could business relief for small businesses.


third one is the big one, and that is to put a bit more impetus behind


the consideration that the government currently have of fixing


thresholds for local authorities to pass on business rates to central


government. Once the threshold has fixed, the additional business


rates that local authorities can generate should be capped by the


local authorities themselves. -- kept by the local authority. Should


the government intervene when retailers up against it? Would you


go for any of those suggestions? Some of those ideas are practical.


It is the role of government to not run or managing in a detailed or


make a managing way but to create the sort of environment that can


see retail, particularly small retailers, thrive. As with this are


traits, there are some good news. The government has little to


repatriate some of the business rates so that local authorities


will have much greater control over how that money is spent. At the


moment, business rates go straight up to light all and then typically


in the experience of the South East, are redistributed to other regions


of the country and so we want to bring that system to an end. For


towns are do very well, like Maidstone and Crawley and others


across the South East, that could be a real opportunity. With regards


to the business rates holiday, sorry, at their National Insurance


all day, there is a case for saying that that could be extended further.


There are things that the Government could do. Finally, there


is a major piece of legislation going through which will give


significant powers to local authorities over planning and over


how they develop their town centres and their whole communities in the


future. By implementing that piece of legislation, the local


authorities have much greater control over doing the things that


will help the local businesses. is partly your responsibility to


help the shops. What is the picture in Maidstone? We have a successful


town. We're the biggest retail centre in Kent. We have a good


story to tell them there. We have 50% of the businesses on nationals


and 50% of them are independent. The nationals, you can go to any


High Street and find them. It is the independence that make the


difference to a town. We spend a lot of time and energy trying to


redirect the customers that come into Maidstone in to the slightly


off-pitch at is which is where it was small independents are. What is


the picture and Crawley? Things are cautiously getting better in terms


of the local economy. Do you have boarded-up shops? There are empty


shop units. The Citizens Advice Bureau are taken over one unit and


we're using the unit in a community sense. There are a boarded-up shops,


but this picture is improving and unemployment is going down now. It


is a cautious recovery, but we're not out of the woods yet. If the


restructuring of its economy means that we have to lead away from a


consumption led economy and let shops that are viable fail, that


his national market forces isn't it? Absolutely right. Of course we


have vacancies in our town. We're running at 10.5% against the


national average of 14.5%. Our picture is reasonably good. We have


to accept the high streets are changing. We had different


retailers there and constantly am being told that we have far too


many coffee shops and charity shops and phone shops. But they are all


making good money. Bank lending is a significant point here. UK's for


biggest banks have signed up to project Merlin, which promises to


lend more money to small businesses in 2011. Can the Government make


sure that that happens. Are the teeth really there to make sure


that that works? That project is very important. I think we'll see


big investors going into smaller investments -- businesses. The


government is determined that will banks will lend in a responsible


and sustainable ways so that we have a sustained growth but we do


it had the irresponsible lending that got us into the financial


crisis that we are now recovering from. On the subject of lending,


does that satisfy you? Is it happening? If you talk to the small


businesses, anecdotally it is not happening. The words are good, but


is it happening on the high street? Thank you for joining us. Summer is


here and it is almost end of the parliamentary session. Cuts and a


deficit have dominated the political landscape and Val local


election when you were giving you a first has to react to the coalition


government policies through up a few surprises in the South East.


There was increasing vote for the Tories. What happens over the


summer break? The summer recess, an opportunity for parties to reframe


the messages to decide what they want to tell us at the party


conference. What will the Conservatives to over the summer.


There was a time when MPs of all parties with school to Barbados on


their holidays. The Conservatives had a fantastic year last year and


it did brilliantly in the local elections. The cuts that the


implemented which they say they have had to implement will start to


bite. Defects and public services are going to start to be felt. They


have to remember that the other cities is their strong ground,


their home territory, 25% of the city's economy work in the public


sector and those cuts are going to bite. The need a message to explain


why they are necessary, how they will develop growth again and to


give people something to look forward to. A message of hope?


think the Conservatives need a message of hope that this plausible.


That becomes harder to deliver if the signals are not good. The


Conservatives need to know how they will present them as if things do


not look as good as they were hoping to a year ago. Let us turn


to Labour. Have they made any process a -- progress in the South


East? What the Labour have to do to penetrate the South East? Labour


has to recognise just how serious their problems are. The need to win


seats if they are going to form a government again. It is about the


old question that Labour has never been able to resolve. Are the old


Labour or new Labour? Were to be need to do to attract voters in the


South East? They are Blairite. Tony Blair won the vote in the South


East and the need to return to the aspirational message which


understands the public sector as well as the private sector, which


is not wedded in old fashioned views on trade unionism and the


manufacturing. They lost it under Gordon Brown and does not seem to


have recovered it under David Miliband. What will you expect you


hear from the Liberal Democrat? Desperate and plaintive cries that


they are different from the Conservatives. They want to be


treated as an independent party and taken seriously. They have an


extraordinarily different message to convey and the sparkle to world.


They are associated so close with the Conservative Party. They are in


coalition and they are finding it harder to market separate territory.


-- mark out. There is one party that has a hope. That is due kept.


-- UKIP. If they can sort out their internal problems, they could begin


to grow again here in the south. What are at their problems?


local cities MEPs that are at loggerheads. They are at each


other's throats at the moment. They will have to sort out that internal


argument and order to make process -- progress. To politicians enjoy


the summer recess? They used to. I suspect these days the note the


need to be seen to be working. -- denote that they need to be seen to


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