John Hess, Political editor, East Midlands

John Hess Political editor, East Midlands

This is where you can find my musings on the political scene from Westminster to the East Midlands

Lottery grants to deprived areas unfair, claims MP

  • 28 November 2014
  • From the section England
Gloria De Piero
Gloria De Piero is angry that Ashfield is not getting its 'fair share' of lottery cash

No-one likes being at the bottom of a funding list.

County council leader Cllr Nick Rushton is always anxious to remind me that Leicestershire is at the wrong end of education funding, and that the government needs to take notice.

Now Ashfield's MP Gloria De Piero is less than happy that her Nottinghamshire constituency has joined the "bottom of the funding" league table. In her case, it's National Lottery grants.

New findings have revealed that Ashfield receives the lowest amount of lottery grants in the East Midlands, and among the lowest in Britain. So far, this year it's received £126,197.

The National Lottery says it's taking "special measures" to help areas that are missing out. But Gloria De Piero says former coalfield communities are being unfairly treated.

'A real pity'

Read full article Lottery grants to deprived areas unfair, claims MP

East Midlands mini-budget wish list for the Chancellor

  • 20 November 2014
  • From the section England
Letter to George Osborne

The Chancellor may need not them but he is getting a growing wish list from the East Midlands for his pre-Christmas mini-budget.

Improved roads, quicker broadband connections and a pay packet boost for workers - just a handful of ideas from MPs.

Read full article East Midlands mini-budget wish list for the Chancellor

Devolution debate: East Midlands pushes for more power

  • 7 November 2014
  • From the section England
More Power to the East Midlands?
In the More Power to the East Midlands? special I did not detect much support for an English Parliament

So now, it's wait and see. That seems to be the conclusion of politicians in the East Midlands on what devolution powers may be on offer from the government.

Maybe a clue can be found in the deal for greater powers offered by the Chancellor George Osborne for Greater Manchester.

Read full article Devolution debate: East Midlands pushes for more power

Shift power to East Midlands, say council leaders

  • 3 November 2014
  • From the section England
Nottingham council chamber
Under devolution proposals, more power could be transferred from London to the East Midlands

Council leaders in the East Midlands are demanding "far reaching, radical reforms" to devolve powers from Whitehall to the local level.

In a cross-party report, they call for a fundamental transfer of powers.

Read full article Shift power to East Midlands, say council leaders

Is there an appetite for devolution in the East Midlands?

  • 21 October 2014
  • From the section England
Wolfie Smith

It was a big shock for me to discover that it's 37 years - yes 37 years - since the comedy smash Citizen Smith hit our TV screens.

The role of Wolfie, the young revolutionary from Tooting, was immortalised by Ilkeston's very own Robert Lindsay.

Read full article Is there an appetite for devolution in the East Midlands?

Could HS2's East Midlands hub be relocated to Derbyshire?

  • 8 October 2014
  • From the section England
Google map showing Toton and Breaston
The centres of Toton and Breaston are only two miles apart, though the exact site of the alleged new "preferred location" is unclear

Last year, the government named Toton in Nottinghamshire as the East Midlands hub for its HS2 high-speed rail network. But in recent days, rumours have surfaced suggesting that may now be in doubt, as John Hess reports.

According to Conservative MP Anna Soubry any move from Toton - which is in her Broxtowe constituency - would be a "real blow".

Read full article Could HS2's East Midlands hub be relocated to Derbyshire?

Nick Clegg backs shale gas fracking in East Midlands

  • 3 October 2014
  • From the section England
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said "fracking has a role" in future in energy supplies

The Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has given strong backing to use fracking to drill for shale gas in the East Midlands.

"I don't think we should turn our nose up at a whole new industry or technology," he told me.

Read full article Nick Clegg backs shale gas fracking in East Midlands

Northern powerhouse? Midlands council leaders respond

  • 25 September 2014
  • From the section England
George Osborne
George Osborne has spoken of a need for a northern powerhouse but what about the Midlands?

As the Conservatives gather in Birmingham for their annual conference, it won't just be the English question that'll be on their minds.

Some will also be asking about the Midlands question. It was an issue that surfaced at the Labour conference in Manchester.

Read full article Northern powerhouse? Midlands council leaders respond

English cities want more powers after Scotland's verdict

  • 19 September 2014
  • From the section England
Alex Salmond
Could the Scottish independence referendum carry a big political price?

Even the weather in Leicester felt Scottish today... dreek.

And for many struggling in the weather in this East Midlands city, working out the referendum repercussions made heavy weather.

Read full article English cities want more powers after Scotland's verdict

Scottish debate comes to the East Midlands

  • 8 September 2014
  • From the section England
Speakers' Corner Nottingham
A small crowd gathered at Speakers' Corner in Nottingham to discuss Scottish independence

It may be 221 miles (356km) from Nottingham to Edinburgh but Scotland has never felt so close in recent weeks.

Independence or sticking with the Union? That's the choice the Scots have in next week's historic referendum vote.

Read full article Scottish debate comes to the East Midlands

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About John

John joined the BBC in 1978, and was appointed the East Midlands' first political editor in 1998.

Career highlights include interviewing four Prime Ministers and the many voters who wish they could.

John now lives near the Trent Bridge cricket ground, having returned to the Midlands in 1996.

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