02/10/2011 The Politics Show South West


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In the South West: A new idea to help first-time buyers. Cornwall


Council says it can provide more affordable homes without spending


any taxpayers' money. And should it be made illegal to keep a monkey


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2193 seconds


Plenty of parking and that is open for you. Buying a house for the


first time here in the south west can be quite a challenge.


average wage is low but house prices are high. To help people


onto the housing ladder, the Government has a scheme called


First Buy, which Matt Jardine from Redruth is using to buy his first


home. Why I am a single man. I have the and child. He lives with his


mother. And in the early years I did not think about getting a


mortgage but now, I am getting on, I am 27, but it is very difficult


to get a mortgage. He is lucky. The buyer purchases the majority share


in a house but not the full cost. When they come to sell, the buyer


keeps their share and their proportion of profit. He'll


purchase the majority share of an affordable home, but not the whole


cost. When he comes to sell, he'll keep his share and any profit


associated with it. But Cornwall Council says the problem with the


Government's scheme is that mortgage lenders are often


reluctant to lend on so-called affordable homes because of


restrictions attached to them. Also, smaller developers in Cornwall


aren't involved because of the large number of houses required to


make the scheme work. So, Cornwall Council is looking at its own


scheme, which is designed to help more people get mortgages and


involve more local developers. are trying to encourage developers


across Cornwall to enter the scheme because it is a good way of making


sure that we can have house in across Cornwall. We will never be


able it with the current rates of building to building of houses for


local people say about thinking outside the box, this is a pilot


scheme is supported by the committee's agency and it will be


the first in Britain to do this. can see the change as being a


superb method of getting all the developers in Cornwall are on site.


The small developer has been excluded to date but we can now


offer products to the first-time buyer. He It's a similar idea, but


the council will use the planning system to get a better deal from


developers so the homes come with fewer restrictions and won't cost


the taxpayer anything. And with less restrictions, the mortgage


lenders are very willing to lend because the property maintains its


real price. People can still pull on a discounted rates so there will


still own the property and when it is sold, they will have their share


so if it makes money, it makes money and the council can pass on


to the up and market the discounted house to the next buyer. The buyers


have to be new builds and you must be local. And that is a problem for


someone like Robert from Penzance. He and his family rented home and


the Black to take advantage of this scheme but have homes are being


built in neighbouring towns and not your own, if there is nothing you


can do. It is a good idea because they need housing in different


areas with different people and local people should come first. But


if they are not building in Penzance, I don't have a connection


with other parishes. I do not know anybody who lives there. And that


is quite restrictive. Unless you happen to live in the parish would


be a building developments... Cornwall scheme is trying to get


more people onto the latter but some experts are concerned that the


focus should not be on owning property but making sure everyone


has somewhere to live. I would like to see landlords being given more


incentives and more long-term rights. Look at social housing,


about accommodation and lifetime tenancies, these are the ideas the


widespread society will benefit from. This is a good initiative but,


frankly, it will only get a few hundred people heart. Shelter also


welcomes anything that helps. But with around 20,000 people on the


housing waiting list, it describes the plan as like putting a sticking


plaster on a broken leg. John Ayres reporting. Ed Miliband addressed


the issue of affordable housing rather controversially in his


conference speech last week. The Labour leader said that when it


came to social housing we shouldn't treat people who contribute to


society in the same way as those who don't. Our first duty, he said,


should be to the person who shows responsibility and he said every


council should recognise the contribution that people are making.


I asked him exactly what that meant. Was he saying Labour would force


councils to prioritise people who had jobs, for instance? What it


means is we say, councils should recognise the need and that is


important but also the contribution and higher councils to that is a


matter for them. We have some councils recognising people who


work and are giving them extra points. The problem is that the one


thing that has not taken account of his, are you volunteering or making


some contribution? That is one part. The other is, we must get more


houses built. And one of the things we have said is let's use the bank


donor's tax to halt construction, cut VAT and get the industry moving.


Those are important ways that we think we can make a difference to


the chronic housing shortage. isn't just an issue of


differentiating? This idea of the deserving and the undeserving


homeless is a little bit Victorian. If people have housing and


financial problems, they will be less likely to make any


contribution to society? Councils like Manchester have shown


practically how this can work. This is part of a bigger argument.


Across the economy, the to in the welfare state, we have to have a


system that rewards the right values. Something for hard work.


That does not happen at the moment. We have to address this and I am


determined we address this and that is what I have been talking about.


And showing how we can cut tuition fees as well rather than going


ahead with tax cuts. The main thing is building more houses. Planning


is key to that? The Government has a proposal to make it easier to


build houses and they say it's through the planning guidance. You


or opposed to that? But the Government could... Labour spent a


long time trying to get the plan... You want to force councils to build


a certain amount of houses? To take the responsibility, for a certain


number of houses in each area. The Government says we will play that


off completely and you will see a massive drop in the number of


planning permissions granted. We are going backwards on house


building and it is very well at the Government... The presumption is


tenable development but everybody is setting back the building of


affordable housing. They are going the wrong direction. They have


massively cut the budget for house building and had made the wrong


decisions about planning and I feel what will happen in this country


under this Government is that. want businesses to make


contributions to society and one to recognise small businesses as the


life blood. One of the contributions you want businesses


to make is to offer apprenticeships but you would not offer a major


government contracts to businesses to did not. That cuts out small


businesses? Major government contracts because most small


businesses do not get those. What I said about small businesses is they


must have a better deal from the banks. A better deal from not just


central government but local government and when I talk to small


businesses in Britain, we had this that the Q&A session yesterday,


there was a sense that they are not being served by the larger interest


on the private sector. Warm smile businesses that the banks, let's


have more competition so we start to deliver for small business


because at the moment, small business is being let down by the


actions of the banking system. Thank you very much. Some of the


South West's head teachers say they're effectively being bribed


with cash incentives to turn their schools into academies. One of


Somerset's highest performing state schools says it won't give into


pressure to follow the government's flagship policy, as Ruth Bradley


reports. This is Heathfield Community School in Taunton. The


best performing school in Somerset. 93% of Heathfield's students got


five good GCSEs this year. But while most of Somerset's secondary


schools have become academies in the last year, Heathfield won't be


one of them. Because of this man. Elliott Furneax is a big believer


in state education and says the Coalition's academies programme is


immoral. I cannot stand up in an assembly and talk about being a and


decent citizen and then take the decision of which massively


advantages us as an already outstanding school against schools


and families and Young people who will be very disadvantaged. Even


though I do not think for sure that is what the Government intends.


Unfortunately, the outcome will be very different to what they hope.


He says if the school became an academy, he'd resign. Difficult to


the point where in three years we were not the leading school, I hope


that long before that, if I had anything to do with Academy funding,


but I would have gone. If we get to the point when it is necessary, you


won't have to come with men in white coats and take me. I will say,


I cannot leave this because I do not agree with that. Academies get


all their money straight from the Government, including the cash the


council would have spent on things like IT and special needs. The head


says this school would have been an extra half a million pounds better


off, on top of their money from the council, by becoming an academy


this September. These students can do the sums. That's �416 more for


each of them. The government says schools shouldn't convert just


because of the money. But head teachers are saying they've got no


choice. I think that the vast majority of schools, if not all of


them, in Somerset in the secondary sector who have become academies


have done so for financial reasons. The sense in which we wish to work


in partnership with each other remains as strong as it ever has


done. The vast majority of Somerset secondaries are now academies or on


their way. At this rate, Heathfield Community could become the last


school standing. Ruth Bradley reporting. Our request for an


interview with a Schools Minister was declined, but in a statement,


the Department for Education told Our long-term ambition is that


academies will be the norm in the schools system. And it insists: No


one is putting a gun against any school's head to convert to


academies. A Cornish MP is stepping up her campaign to make it illegal


to keep monkeys as pets. Sheryll Murray, the MP for South East


Cornwall, is calling for a ban after being inspired by a monkey


sanctuary in her constituency. But the Government says existing animal


welfare legislation is sufficient. We'll be hearing from Sheryll


Murray after this report from Tamsin Melville. This is the


Plymouth home of Tay2 and Rattler, cotton-eared marmoset monkeys.


There's growing pressure on the Government to tighten up the law


governing primates as pets. But at the moment this kind of thing is


legal and the owner of this pair says he's doing nothing wrong.


feel I have given I have given quality of life. They have a gin


Mary and built on the ceiling. -- gymnasium. I feel I am the


custodian of these for the future generation. And they trust me


enough to share MySpace. Under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act, certain


species of primate need a licence. But marmosets like Tay2 are not


included. It's just this sort of set-up campaigners want to see


stopped. Primates are wild animals. They have never been domesticated


and they struggle with captive environments and it to provide


anything, it must be highly specialised. And somebody's back


garden will never do that. No matter how much they care for that


animal. Campaigners like Rachel say it's nothing short of a total ban


on keeping primates as pets that will prevent a story like that of


Grips, now happily living at the Wild Futures Sanctuary, but with a


troubled past. The monkey enclosure was dilapidated and it was stripped


bare of any enrichment. Localised and largely ineffective heating


meant the monkeys were extremely cold and most worryingly, on


monkeys were showing physical signs that they might have suffered from


diabetes. This campaign video shows Grips' rescue from a private home


in Essex. Of the 28 monkeys being looked after at this sanctuary in


south east Cornwall, most of them came from private homes. And


experts think across the UK there are around 5000 primates being kept


essentially as pets. Under the current regulations it is down to


local authorities to issue licences where needed and critics say many


are unable to do the job properly. Campaigners estimate there's up to


a 90% non-compliance rate, with only two licences known of at the


moment across Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset. Meanwhile,


there are calls for a Code of Practice introduced in 2006 to be


toughened up. With no enforcement, there is little purpose to it. At


the moment, the Government says it is a voluntary code but if it isn't


being enforced, it isn't being used, then people are being left to their


own devices up and through neglect and mostly through lack of


understanding and ignorance, there is a lot of suffering going on.


Back in Plymouth, Pete Powell insists his monkeys are leading


happy lives. I cannot see why there should be a total band. I can


understand with larger monkeys because they can be aggressive.


What the right care, these can be lovable, like children. DEFRA says


the existing legislation is adequate and also says anyone


owning a primate should comply with the Animal Welfare Act. Campaigners


say they remain optimistic and are hopeful this Government will


address the issue. Tamsin Melville reporting. Earlier, I spoke to the


MP for South East Cornwall, Sheryll Murray, who wants to make it


illegal to keep a monkey at home. I asked her if she had any sympathy


for Mr Powell, who we saw in the film with his pet monkeys. Clearly,


he does not realise the that he could be making those monkeys


suffer. Is he? You could argue that form queues that smile, he is


providing similar facilities to those that the century provides for


bigger monkeys? Well, those monkeys are in a home environment and


didn't really know what diet they are being given. It isn't just


where you keep them, it is the diet they're fed. You heard at Wild


Futures, some of the animals go on to develop diabetes because they


are being fed the wrong things. I just feel that if somebody really,


really cares for the Primate, they should let them live in an


environment where it is like their natural environment. It isn't right


to keep them in a home. No matter how many ropes they have got and


feed them on things that perhaps isn't their natural diet. The only


way that we can overcome this is by introducing a total band because


clearly, we... A you could not just tighten the regulations? They have


not worked because it is up to local authorities to enforce them.


He could make sure that they do? There are a lot of local animal


welfare officers who have no idea how to look after primates. They


have no idea how to conduct the proper checks. And it is an area of


expertise that would take a lot of money and education in all the


authorities throughout the country for us to get right. And it has


been going on for a very long time. He if you could see Joely, at the


Wild Futures Sanctuary, he was kept in a cage and he was continually


rocking from side to side. All day. This was a real sign that he was


psychologically damaged. In terms of higher domesticated you might be,


Wild Futures said that the Prime Minister said they had a strong


case but that does not seem to be filtering through? If he does?


need to keep on. The Member of Parliament who introduced the wild


animals in circuses debate recently put forward a private member's bill


during the last session to and it did not get anywhere. They say it


will strengthen regulations? It is only through education. I but like


to see it every MP speaking to the experts at Wild Futures to learn


about this because I am absolutely certain that if a Minister for and


the Members of Parliament realise the psychological damage that was


being imposed on keeping these animals in captivity and feeding


them on the wrong things, there would certainly be a big change of


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