13/11/2011 The Politics Show South


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In the South: It's port wars as Southampton and


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1997 seconds


This is it? Yes, these are some of the mementoes from that particular


trip. Say that is from San Francisco? Entering the Golden Gate


Bridge, yes. It is an immense problem and it deters people from


going on some of these cruises. More people from the North would be


willing to come to Liverpool than go to Southampton's. This is the


cruise terminal and we are walking along the Langley stage...


The modest terminal was opened in 2007, for many visitors their first


glimpse of Liverpool. It has attracted big ships. At the moment,


whilst the visitors that do come spend a lot of money while they are


here, they are only here for one day, a so what does multiply the


economic impact if we can do that. It would also create more jobs


because there would be a lot of servicing of the additional


passengers coming through the cruise terminal if we got


turnaround says to us -- status. letter has emerged from the


European Commission saying it would want some of its original


investment back. They would have a reasonable case that, if there was


a partial refund to the UK authorities, they should be a


parallel partial refund to the community so I have no idea how it


will come out or what percentage that repayment might be, but they


do seem to have a reasonable That is still being decided but if


Liverpool wins, many people here would feel that the ships have


returned home. Well, that's the view from Liverpool's perspective.


But Newcastle and Southampton have reacted as angrily as a cruise


passenger being told the kitchen's closing.


There are lorryloads of fresh food and drink, coach firms and taxes,


wages are earned every time a cruise ship docks in Southampton.


It is the lifeblood of the economy. New businesses have arrived.


Americans like to travel back and forwards on the ships so they bring


that posh frocks and tuxedoes but when they get to the UK they might


not need them so we send them back. The idea that Liverpool could take


the Cruise Line work angers Colin. If they're going into a growing


market, why do they need subsidy to enter it? We have set a new


business up. We have not taken subsidies. We will take it out of


our profits. Southampton port owners have shelved plans for a 5th


terminal but they are worried that what they see as unfair competition


from Liverpool City Council could hit them hard. The issue is not


complicated. It is an issue of whether it is privately funded or


state funded. Ports in general, are owned by private companies. We


should be investing in crews terminals. That is what we do. We


do not get grant aid to do that. That should be the case in


Liverpool as well. They are Southampton Chamber of Commerce


believes Liverpool should be able to stand on its own. They believe


the Liverpool port is wealthy enough to pick up the tab without


help from the city council. Why do you think they are not doing it?


Would you pay for it if you thought you did not have to? Are they have


got a business to run. It is a very successful business. If they


believe that Liverpool could give them a cruise terminal worth


millions of pounds for nothing, I cannot see many businesses turning


that down. The Queen Mary 2 has been in port for just a few I was.


Passengers are arriving for the trip to New York. How would you


feel about going from Liverpool rather than Southampton? No, I


prefer Southampton. It is the home of cruising, the Isle of Wight, the


Solent, all the yachts. It has always been here. A bit like


afternoon tea, it is part of the experience for us. Liverpool can do


that to! I know. I have never really considered it to be honest.


I do not know why any of us understand -- I do not think any of


us understand why the Government is considering this. It was only a few


weeks after the Coalition were elected that Liverpool Reece


admitted their application. I cannot believe that a Conservative


lead administration would even contemplate doing this. It was a


Labour government in 2007 that initially rejected the waving of


the subsidy. Joining me now here in Southampton


is the leader of the City Council, Royston Smith, and up in Liverpool


the leader of the city council there, Joe Anderson. You are not


against them running cruises? think help the competition is a


good thing. A lot of people in Southampton feel it is unfair


competition. Yes, we have had public subsidy from the last Labour


government. It was �8.5 million. We have negotiated with this


government to pay back public support -- sub -- subsidy back.


With depreciation we have agreed to pay �5.3 million back. If you buy a


new car you do not expected to retain its value. We have agreed a


fair price. That is what we intend to pay back. If we pay any more


back, all it does is go to the Exchequer and it punishes Liverpool


city ratepayers which is where the money would come from. That is not


fair for Southampton to ask us to do it. It is a curious thing to say


you have an agreement from the Government. As somebody said you


can go up ahead with cruises? have agreed at her -- we have


agreed a price. It is going out to consultation. Who has agreed the


price would you? The central government. The mandarins in


Whitehall have spoken to us and calculated how we repay the money


back in terms of the amount we pay back. That is what we have done and


we think it is a fair price. It is only �3.5 million short of the full


asking price but we think it is there. Liverpool has a crews


facility here. We are not talking about building a brand new one. We


have got one and we used to have a 5% of the cruise liner trade.


Because we have an antiquated system with the lock system, we


think it is a restraint. We want to resolve the hit state aid issue and


it is only Southampton that is dissatisfied with it. It is other


ports as well. Southampton will be hard hit. We must acknowledge it is


not just Southampton that is not happy about this there are other


ports around the country. The port alliance was headed by Southampton


and myself but it was not just Southampton. Why do you want them


to pay more money? The depreciation point is and reasonable one. A want


them to pay it all back because of a private operator will make a


profit from this money. Public money will be used to allow a


private operator to make money. Do not forget that even if Liverpool


pay this money back in its entirety or partially, they will be paying


it back from public money. Public money will be used to compete with


a private-sector company and that is where we disagree. It is an


unfair playing field. Let me deal with those points. Royston is not


telling the truth here. The issue is that from our point of view, we


have had, like Southampton, a lot of support from government in terms


of grants. Southampton has had a lot of money in terms of the road


and traffic infrastructure... is not the same as the ports!


course it is the port. If you enhance the availability of the


road and improve the road system to -- support the port then that his


state aid. Let us go with the issue where he claims that a private


company will make money out of this. It is run by Liverpool City Council


and we would run it. It would not be any private company. I have


offered to meet Royston and come down and discuss the issue. It


benefits nobody. It does not benefit Southampton or Liverpool if


we have to pay money back to the Exchequer. Let us deal with the


European issue. He wants us to pay all the money back and I find that


totally unfair because what he expects me to do his knock on the


European Commissioners door and ask them to take the money off me. They


have not approached me or the council and asked us to pay their


money back. I am quite sure that other Portswood be in a similar


position. I would go so far as to say that I think it is obscene that


Southampton are demanding that we pay the money back when nobody has


asked for it. It is obscene that you asking for money! I am


disappointed that he has said that what I am saying is not true. I am


not a liar. You cannot pick things in isolation. We have not had huge


investment in our roads. We have recently secured a regional growth


fund the bid and that is not for the port, that is for Southampton


and the water run -- waterfront and it is for redevelopment and


tackling a specific congestion problem. There are containers that


do not need to go on the road and that neutralises any of the subsidy


that Joe talks about. We simply do not have one. This is not fair.


we you go to lawyers? We may still seek a judicial review. If it goes


against you will you continue to aim for cruise liners? Yes we will


fight it all the way. If we pay all the money back, up Royston would


have no objection and especially if the European Union do not want the


money. If he is asking us to find another �3.5 million then he would


have no objection? You are trying to put words in my mouth. If you


pay it all back I will have no objections at all. If the European


Union do not ask you for the money, then that is for them. The only way


for this to be there would be if you pay it all back. Thank you very


much. As we mark Remembrance Sunday, this


year is rather a special one for the town of Carterton in


Oxfordshire. It recently became the new route for military


repatriations and as Emma Vardy reports, many people have begun


turning out to pay tribute. For four years the bodies of


military personnel passed through the Wiltshire town of Royal Wootton


Bassett. Hundreds of people began to line the streets to honour


fallen soliders and these scenes of silent tribute became famous around


the world. Now RAF Brize Norton in West Oxfordshire has taken on these


duties. This week the local town of Carterton hosted its fourth


repatriation and here too people have been turning out to pay their


respects. We decided we had to go. We are glad we did go. We hope we


do not have to go to aid the poor. I went up for two of them. I have


been brought up with the army life and the RAF life and to me it is it


nature to go up there. It was something out of the ordinary and


you would not want to be the family stood there. It is gut-wrenching


singing that. It sends shivers every time. When you speak to


people in Carterton you get a sense of how seriously the community has


embraced its responsibilities. This memorial garden was built by the


local council alongside the repatriation route and it is here


that the family's stand to watch the cortege passed by. We have


never tried to be the equal of Wootton Bassett. They did it our


way and we have done it the Oxfordshire Way. It is a community


event and it is working well. Oxfordshire has also pledged its


support for the military in the form of a new government --


covenants and by the county council. The agreement aims to encourage


local charities and businesses to offer support to service personnel


and their families. The government is offering financial grants to


encourage other authorities to do the same.


Tom Hedges is president of the Royal British Legion in Ramsden,


and says now the repatriation route has moved to nearby Carterton he's


proud to see the community turning out to mark each one, and hopes the


tributes will continue. I do not see why it shouldn't. It is quite


wonderful. As we mark Remembrance Day, for Tom


the modern repatriations are also a reminder of how much things have


changed since the First and Second World Wars. It is vastly different.


We did not have television. We had the radio. You can see things


happening there. You actually see the terrible conflict. It is


brought in to your homes. Homecomings like this may become a


familiar sight for the people of Carterton. And many say they'll


keep up the tradition, gathering to acknowledge each life lost. It is


something we can all do as a community without there being


really no reason behind it. Hopefully it will stay exactly the


same as it has been, if not more successful. There is not many of us


oldies left that were in the war. There are not many of us. It is all


the sons and daughters and their grandson's and their granddaughters


that a really becoming involved. Last week the Government announced


it was halving the feeding tariff made -- paid to those who had


installed solar panels. It is the subsidy for feeding electricity


into the national grid. The government said the original price


was unsustainable and the industry says it will cost jobs. People who


have signed up for this tariff will continue to get it for 25 years so


it is a generous scheme and very successful, just what you wanted.


It has been very successful. It always was the idea that the amount


provided for under writing would go down over the years and there is a


review coming up next year. Do you think this is damaging? It is very


damaging because the Government has stated that the price for the


underwriting is going to be half that within six weeks time and that


is too short a period for anybody who has got their scheme under way


at the moment to get it completed an end in time. There are


businesses who have got solar panels on the break from Tyne and


they will not get them in in time so the orders may be cancelled.


was talking to one of those companies yesterday. They have a


large number of solar panels on the sea as we speak and they will be


completely redundant and there will be a large amount of job losses in


the industry and a number of people who will simply not be able to get


their schemes finished. There is indeed a further reduction for


community schemes over and above. Some of the schemes in places like


Southampton will not be able to happen. It really is and are


necessary catastrophe, I think. It is something that even now could be


rectified. The anger is growing. Do you think they will have to back


down? The least they would have to do is make sure there is sufficient


time to get their schemes under way. They have got to review the whole


way of doing this in the future because if we keep having these


policy lurches, it will create complete uncertainty and mistrust


for the future. No one will ever believe what is said about


renewable energy schemes and that could be quite disastrous. Thank


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