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Notes for… interview with Greg Mulholland MP

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Here are the notes I’ll taking in to today’s interview with Greg Mulholland MP

Greg Mulholland, Lib Dem MP for Leeds North West

West Yorkshires only Liberal democrat MP in last parliament – won with 37.2%, Labour 33%, Tory 25.7%. Turnout 62.4%

Outer Leeds suburbs, professional middle-class residential and students.

Yesterday morning on BBC Leeds you said ‘we need to rip up the British constitution and start again’ yet only voted moderately for a transparent Parliament. Claims that the people of Yorkshire are crying out for ‘real change’ – what ‘real change’ does he believe is necessary for his constituency?

What are the key issues in NW Leeds?

Health care – A local campaign, the local NHS has periodically cut services to the hospital which has led to fears amongst the local populace that the hospital may be closed. A lot of the services have been transferred to an Independent Treatment Centre in Bradford which has led to Greg raising the issue of the Government’s relationship with ISTCs more widely – closing of bethel?

Land banking prevention

Transportation infrastructure

Policing

Leeds high speed rail

Clegg in leaders debate – Immigration – fair workable immigration

Restore exit controls, 3rd element – regional immigration

Good immigration/bad immigration

DOES THIS APPLY TO LEEDS?

What are the student issues?

Better protection from Landlords – so what about the £5,000 donation received from Park Lane Properties

HMO’s – Use Classes Order – Richard Tyler – what’s your take.

What this means in practice, is that in future planning permission will be required before a property can be let to three or more unrelated people sharing.

What is your take on ‘studentification?’

Mephedrone – you’ve voted strongly in favour of criminalising the drug – do you think this will help clear up the drug problem this area has?

Richard Jones – Do you feel you’ve benfitted from the student vote?

Seen to have benefited by targeting the large student population – highest density of students in the UK. Key policies of opposing tuition fees and Iraq War were key

• Voted very strongly against greater autonomy for schools – not sure where he stands on the City of Leeds school though if he’s against schools autonomy because theyre on about making that into an academy/trust school.

What are your religious views? Never voted on equal gay rights, rejected several invitations to speak at LGBT events at Leeds University and have consistently voted in favour of changing the time limit for abortions. Someone who believes that medical procedures such as euthanasia, assisted killing, abortion and embryo destruction should be illegal would have voted like this…

Transport

Greg has been a leading campaigner for Yorkshire to be included in a High Speed Rail network. He has also protested the lack of Government investment in public transport in Yorkshire, which often finds itself at the bottom of national league tables in terms of transport investment. Train carriages are overcrowding and the Government rejected the supertram scheme.

Greg’s Facebook status ‘Good presentation of the NGT (Trolleybus!) at the North Hyde Park Neighbourhood Assn then lovely chicken curry at my friends the Chaudrys!’

Abi Foster – Community Exec Officer Leeds Uni ‘ all through the meeting/presentation he was texting/playing on his phone, then when it got to the Q&A he asked something about light railway, something about he believes it’s eventually definitely coming to Leeds so would they be able to adapt the plans to suit that

then he got the answer- which was ‘probably’- and he walked out

it was just annoying because he was sat 2 chairs away from me and his phone buttons noisy

Digital Economy Act – FB status ‘Today I signed up to join, if reelected, the cross party group of MPs to raise concerns about the Digital Economy Bill #DEbill post election’

According to ‘did my mp show up or not’ he didn’t turn up to vote – why???

Did the leaders debate just clarify that people don’t want to vote for any of the ‘big three’?
Why do you spend so much time campaigning for CAMRA? You have two kids – what does you’re wife say? To this?

Greg is the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Save the Pub Group and has lobbied the Government over several issues currently affecting the domestic pub industry including: Above inflation duty increases, cheap supermarket pricing policies, the beer tie, live music licensing. Greg has been a vociferous critic of the business practices of some of the bigger pubcos.
Lib Dem Manifesto summary

* Cutting taxes for millions of working people by increasing the income tax threshold to £10,000, paid for by tackling tax avoidance and by a “mansion tax” of 1% on properties worth over £2 million.

* Setting a £400 pay rise cap for all public sector workers, initially for two years, ensuring that the lowest paid are eligible for the biggest percentage rise.

* Scrapping ID cards and the next generation of biometric passports, and removing innocent people from the DNA database.

* Reforming prisons by reducing the number of short-term prison sentences. There would be a “presumption against” jail terms of less than six months, with “rigorously enforced” community sentences favoured.

* Making prisoners work and contribute from their prison wages to a compensation fund for victims.

* Immediately restoring the link between the basic state pension and earnings and giving people more flexibility by allowing them to access part of their personal pension fund early.

* No like-for-like replacement of the Trident nuclear deterrent. The Eurofighter Tranche 3B would be cancelled and there would be a full defence review to establish Britain’s future security.

* Introducing a banking levy so that banks pay back taxpayer support, until they can be split up in order to insulate retail banking from investment risks.

* Increasing funding for the most disadvantaged pupils, around one million children, by investing £2.5 billion in a “pupil premium”. Headteachers would be free to spend this on cutting class sizes, attracting the best teachers or offering extra one-to-one tuition.

* Scrapping “unfair” university tuition fees for all students taking their first degree, including those studying part-time.

* Cutting the size of the Department of Health in half and abolishing unnecessary quangos.

* Giving a pay rise to the lower ranks of the Armed Forces so their pay is brought into line with the starting salary of the emergency services.

* Getting 3,000 more police on the beat and reducing time-wasting bureaucracy at police stations.

* In Parliament, introducing a “single transferable vote” system of proportional representation, where candidates are ranked in order of preference, and reducing the number of MPs by 150.

* Lowering the voting age to 16 and bringing in a recall system to sack MPs who have broken the rules, allowing constituents to force a by-election in cases of “serious wrongdoing”.

* Capping political donations at £10,000 and limiting election spending; replacing the House of Lords with a fully-elected chamber with “considerably fewer members”.

Our 6 point timetable for scrapping tuition fees:

Year Action
1 Scrap fees for final year full-time students
2 Begin regulating part-time fees
3 Part time fees become regulated and fee loans become available to part time students
4 Expand free tuition to all full-time students apart from first year undergraduates
5 Expand free tuition to all part-time students apart from first year undergraduates
6 Scrap tuition fees for all first degree students

How Greg Mulholland voted on key issues since 2001:

• Voted for removing hereditary peers from the House of Lords
• Voted strongly for a wholly elected House of Lords
• Voted very strongly against greater autonomy for schools – (not sure where he stands on the City of Leeds school though if he’s against schools autonomy because theyre on about making that into an academy/trust school)
• Has never voted on equal gay rights – personal or political beliefs – voted for cutting down the abortion time too
• Voted very strongly against introducing ID cards
• Voted moderately for a transparent Parliament
• Voted very strongly for laws to stop climate change
• Voted strongly against allowing ministers to intervene in inquests
• Voted very strongly against Labour’s anti-terrorism laws
• Voted very strongly against replacing Trident
• Voted very strongly for an investigation into the Iraq war
• Has never voted on introducing a smoking ban

3% Abortion, Embryology and Euthanasia- Against
98% Civil aviation pollution – For limiting
3% Control Orders
50% Crossrail – In favour
86% Fully Elected House of Lords
99% Gambling – Against permissiveness
100% Hold a UK referendum on Lisbon EU Treaty
50% Homosexuality – Equal rights
0% Identity cards – For introduction
100% Iraq Investigation – Necessary
15% Ministers Can Intervene in Coroners’ Inquests
100% No detention without charge or trial
0% Nuclear power – For
38% Parliamentary scrutiny – Reduce
0% Post office – in favour of Government policy
100% Post office closures – against
100% Remove Hereditary Peers from the House of Lords
0% Schools – Greater Autonomy
50% Smoking ban – In favour
97% Stop climate change
100% Termination of pregnancy – against
2% Terrorism laws – For
67% The UK should not ratify the Lisbon Treaty
61% Transparency of Parliament
0% Trident replacement – In favour
100% Voting age – Reduce to 16
100% War – Parliamentary authority not necessary

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Written by Robert Dale

April 15, 2010 at 11:52 pm

Posted in notes

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