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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

Northern Powerhouse? Midlands councils combine forces

  • 28 February 2015
  • From the section England
Nottingham and Manchester town halls
Could Nottingham emulate the great northern powerhouse centred in Manchester?

Significant new powers over transport, housing and the local economy are to be devolved to Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire by the government.

It's the biggest shift in powers from Whitehall in generations, but the deal requires local councils to combine into one super authority. So what could it all mean?

One thing's for certain: it's a real attempt by political leaders in the East Midlands not to be outflanked by the "Northern Powerhouse".

There's been growing concern in the midlands of ending up in the devolution slow lane, especially after the latest shift of NHS budgets from Whitehall to Greater Manchester.

Council leaders from both East and West Midlands have joined forces via the lobby group Midlands Connect to give the midlands some more political clout.

Read full article Northern Powerhouse? Midlands councils combine forces

Who will win the East Midlands marginal seats?

  • 16 February 2015
  • From the section England
Downing Street door
Will David Cameron or Ed Miliband gain most from the East Midlands' marginal seats?

Only a mug would try to predict the outcome of this General Election... But here's one safe bet: Like gold prospectors in the Klondike, the main political parties will be searching for electoral Eldorado in the East Midlands marginal seats.

Those seats are parliamentary gold dust, where voters have tended to chop and change and that's why this region will become "Battleground East Midlands".

Read full article Who will win the East Midlands marginal seats?

Effectiveness is key to future of Lords, says leader

  • 7 February 2015
  • From the section England
Baroness Stowell of Beeston
Baroness Stowell of Beeston is leader of the House of Lords

Effectiveness not necessarily reform is the way ahead for the House of Lords, according to its leader.

"Judge us on what we do and whether we make a difference," Baroness Stowell of Beeston told me.

Read full article Effectiveness is key to future of Lords, says leader

Boots boss: Was he right to attack Labour's tax policy?

  • 5 February 2015
  • From the section England
Monaco harbour
Boots chief executive Stefano Pessina was accused of being a tax exile in Monaco

What should we make of the fierce battle of words that has broken out between the leader of the Labour Party and the billionaire boss of one of the UK's best known high street names - Boots of Nottingham.

The company's Italian-born chief executive Stefano Pessina caused Labour fury by criticising the party's tax plans as being a threat to business growth.

Read full article Boots boss: Was he right to attack Labour's tax policy?

Government face legal challenge on rural homes change

  • 23 January 2015
  • From the section England
Youlgreave
Low earners are feeling "priced out" of Peak District villages like Youlgreave.

If I mention 1066, you'll no doubt think of the Normans and their impressive castle building.

But chop off a six and the figure 106 is also one to remember, especially if you believe that every man's - and woman's - home is their castle.

Read full article Government face legal challenge on rural homes change

Election 2015: Why the leaders came to Nottinghamshire

  • 14 January 2015
  • From the section England
David Cameron with a hammer
David Cameron visited a roofing college in Nottingham on Monday

If you want a flavour of the general election to come, take the road to Nottinghamshire.

In the space of a few days, both David Cameron and Ed Miliband have "road tested" their campaign issues and speeches in separate visits.

Read full article Election 2015: Why the leaders came to Nottinghamshire

General Election 2015: Economy will be key to predicting East Midlands results

  • 26 December 2014
  • From the section England
Mystic Meg, ballot boxes
Even Mystic Meg could not predict the outcome of next year's general election

Just like football, the prediction game in politics isn't an exact science.

But one thing I can confidently predict is the state of the economy and what's left in the coffers will help shape any final result.

Read full article General Election 2015: Economy will be key to predicting East Midlands results

New round of spending cuts "horrendous", warns top Tory

  • 15 December 2014
  • From the section England
Eric Pickles and Father Christmas

Can you imagine Communities Secretary Eric Pickles as Father Christmas?

On Thursday, many local councils and police forces will be watching his Commons statement on future funding, and hoping for some seasonal cheer.

Read full article New round of spending cuts "horrendous", warns top Tory

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.

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

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  • 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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