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

Why devolution to England's cities is a Game of Thrones

10 April 2014
Sky Atlantic’s premiere of the fourth season of Game of Thrones at The Guildhall, London.
Current political machinations run like a Game of Thrones plot line - but without the killings

It was like a Game of Thrones moment.

But rather than a warning of the dread dark winter, this had a real political touch: "Devolution is coming."

The Ned Stark character on this occasion was the leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, Labour's Alan Rhodes.

"I welcome greater devolution," he told me.

"Undoubtedly, we can find local solutions to local issues in a much more effective way than Whitehall ever could."

Nottinghamshire County Council leader Alan Rhodes
Nottinghamshire County Council leader Alan Rhodes would welcome more power to the regions

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HS2: Transport Secretary talks railway numbers

1 April 2014
Patrick McLoughlin MP
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin knows the East Midlands well

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has a trainspotter's mind. He just loves numbers.

Speaking to business leaders in the East Midlands, he sprayed his audience with big, impressive numbers to win over any HS2 doubters.

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Chancellor keen to talk up East Midlands manufacturing

25 March 2014
George Osborne
The Chancellor believes manufacturing gives the UK 'economic resilience'

My theory about George Osborne? He must have had a jumbo-sized train set when he was young. Trains, tracks, widgets and washers: it can be the stuff of dreams.

Whenever I've interviewed him, he smiles and shines at the mention of manufacturing. Little wonder he enjoys his away-days in the Midlands, both East and West.

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Minister rejects quotas to raise region's voice in Lords

13 March 2014
Baroness Sandip Verma of Leicester
Baroness Sandip Verma of Leicester said the Midlands needs to showcase

A government minister has ruled out special quotas to increase the low representation of the East Midlands in the House of Lords.

But Baroness Sandip Verma of Leicester, says the region needs to speak up louder so its voice can be heard.

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Heat on chancellor after warm homes cash cuts

7 March 2014
British Gas insulation
There has been "anger and disappointment" in Clifton, according to MP Lilian Greenwood

Are the Coalition's green credentials starting to slip?

The question's being asked after an ambitious scheme to insulate homes on one of England's biggest housing estates was stopped in its tracks.

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Children in care soar as councils seek more foster parents

28 February 2014
Peter Connelly
After the Baby Peter cruelty case, more children have been taken into care across England

In all the news coverage of councils struggling with budget cuts, it's easy to overlook some big increases in funding.

Resources are being shifted into two key care services: adult care and child protection.

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Survey shows East Midlands under-represented in Lords

19 February 2014
House of Lords Chamber
Just 2% of peers who attend 50% of sittings in the Lords are from the East Midlands

The four-and-a-half million people of the East Midlands can be a pretty raucous and noisy lot.

But in Parliament's second chamber, there's an almost deafening silence. And that's probably because a new survey reveals the region's voice is going unheard in the House of Lords.

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Cuts crisis forces radical new thinking for councils

14 February 2014
Bradgate Park
Bradgate Park in Leicestershire is run by an independent charitable trust, not a council

Filming for Sunday Politics gave me the opportunity to head to the very top of the East Midlands. I was climbing Beacon Hill near Loughborough in Leicestershire.

It's from here you get a great view of the counties that make up the East Midlands. Politically, it's also a good vantage point to get a bigger picture of how the local government make-up of our counties could change.

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Flooding: New law proposed to keep drains clear

5 February 2014
Cars in flood water near Mansfield Road
Cars parked near Mansfield Road in Nottingham were affected by flooding in July last year

Politics is about timing and a back-bench Conservative MP might just be in luck.

Before the current flooding crisis, the Nottinghamshire constituency of Sherwood MP Mark Spencer had been affected by a series of flash floods last year.

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Upbeat signs as East Midlands leads the way?

28 January 2014
S&S Plastics
An extra nine staff have been taken on at S&S Plastics in Kirkby-in-Ashfield

With spring around the corner, who can blame coalition ministers for hinting at economic green shoots.

It's easy to get bamboozled by a blizzard of government statistics.

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More Correspondents

  • Patrick Burns, Political editor, Midlands Patrick Burns Political editor, Midlands

    Analysis and thoughts on politics in the Midlands

  • Tim Iredale, Political editor, Yorkshire & Lincolnshire Tim Iredale Political editor, Yorkshire & Lincolnshire

    Analysis of politics in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire

  • Andrew Neil, Presenter, The Daily Politics and Sunday Politics Andrew Neil Daily and Sunday Politics

    People and policies that make Westminster tick

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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