Stewart Jackson – Extracts from the Andy Harper Show

BBC Local Radio17:42 Friday 11th March 2011
Drivetime BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

ANDY BURROWS: Today the MP for Peterborough joined Andy Harper in the studio this morning here on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire. He was answering questions from listeners on a range of topics, including whether the Government is going to do anything about the spiralling cost of fuel. (TAPE)
STEWART JACKSON: I’ve taken it up with George Osborne, and I’ve said I think he should forgo the 1p rise in fuel duty. And I think you might have positive news in the Budget a week on Wednesday. (LIVE)
ANDY HARPER: There’s been a hint of that, hasn’t there, over the last few days. But there is a planned fuel protest in Lincoln Road, near the Morrisons store, around about the Morrisons supermarket, tomorrow at about noon. Mr Jackson was also asked about cuts in public transport locally, and he renewed his support for the idea of water-taxis running on the River Nene. (TAPE)
STEWART JACKSON: I think it’s certainly something we could look at in terms of tourism, and also people who may want to get a water-taxi to the city centre. How many cars and other vehicles could you take off the road, if you were able to get on a water-taxi at say Orton Mere or Ferry Meadows, and get to the city centre in 15 minutes? You’d take a lot of traffic off the Oundle Road and other parts of the city. So yes, it’s something worth looking at, because we do not use the River Nene to the extent that we should. And other rivers are used in other cities and towns in England. (LIVE)
ANDY BURROWS: Mr Jackson was also asked about plans being considered by the BBC to cut back on local radio, including BBC Radio Cambridgeshire. He had this to say. (TAPE)
STEWART JACKSON: Well I think anything that reduces civic engagement in our society, and anything that reduces that spirit of community, which local radio represents, is a very bad thing, and it is bad news. And I hope this is just a kite that’s being flown by the BBC, because there are a lot of things wrong with the BBC, in terms of impartiality, but that is not the case in local radio. Local radio is the jewel in the crown of the BBC. And I do think it would be a huge mistake to reduce the network. People trust local radio on the BBC, and I will be doing everything I can to prevent that happening. I will certainly be lobbying very hard, the Secretary of State and the new Chairman of the Trust, to make sure that we protect and enhance local radio. (LIVE)
ANDY BURROWS: That was the MP for Peterborough Stewart Jackson, speaking on the Andy Harper Show on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.