BNC Text J9L

Bradford Metropolitan Council: meeting. Sample containing about 6958 words speech recorded in public context

1 recordings

  1. Tape 112408 recorded on 1991-10-29. LocationWest Yorkshire: Bradford ( Council Chamber ) Activity: Council Meeting debate

Undivided text

(J9LPSUNK) [1] proportionately because when the cuts come it's the special need support that many of these groups need that was the first to go.
[2] It was the help with literacy and numeracy, it was the help with English as a second language, it was the initial training that helped to boost an individual's confidence.
[3] These policies have ruined the opportunities and dreams of thousands of people throughout this district and have been carried out with no regard to the drastic effects they have had on people's lives.
[4] But wait, on the political horizon there comes a general election.
[5] Panic in Tory Party central office.
[6] What can we do to make it look like we care about the unemployed?
[7] What can we do to make it look like we actually care about training?
[8] The first thing you do is announce half way through a year that they're gonna put back some, but not all, of the money they cut from the [...] budget.
[9] There is no guarantee that this money will be available next year so training providers are now scrabbling around trying to work out ways of providing training up to the required standard in six months instead of the full year.
[10] This from the party of so sound finance and forward planning.
[11] What else do the Tories do?
[12] They try and hide some of the total mess they have made.
[13] They take some of the money they have cut from the training budget and use it to fund employment action.
[14] One of the most blatant and invidious pieces of political skulduggery we have seen for some time.
[15] Employment Action is a scheme that will take people off the dole queue and put them into full time work for benefit plus ten pounds.
[16] With the best will in the world, no-one could refer to it as a training scheme.
[17] A confidential Department of Employment memo states, the scheme will have only a minimal training element.
[18] Even the Tech, which has trumpeted the fact that it has pushed hard for a greater training element, has only been enabl able to include such elements as health and safety, job search, an enhancement of skills relevant to the job that is being done.
[19] One of the biggest farces of the whole idea is that the Tech proposals talk about using Employment Action in skill shortage areas.
[20] This is totally illogical.
[21] If you have a skill that's in short supply, you go and work for the proper rate for the job.
[22] If you don't have the skill, Employment Action will never give you those skills.
[23] Eligibility for the scheme is defined in such a way as to exclude the very people who've been worst hit by the cuts and to maximise the infl influence on the unemployment figures.
[24] Women returners and those people on disability benefits are excluded from taking part in the scheme, even if they wanted to.
[25] The timing of the launch means that ther if there is any sort of take up, it will have the greatest effect on unemployment figures between March and July.
[26] It's no coincidence that this is the likely period of the next general election.
[27] The Scheme is funded for eighteen months only and this means that the numbers will start to drop in October 1993 and that is the only good thing about this Scheme, because it'll make it easier for the next Labour Government to abolish it.
[28] Employment Action has no stated aim except to provide the long term unemployed with an up to date reference.
[29] Unlike the Government Training Schemes, funding is not reliant upon people finding jobs or gaining qualifications.
[30] There is nothing in it for the participants except the opportunity to work for low or no wages.
[31] The effect on those who are employed in the areas of work that Employment Action will concentrate on will be to increase unemployment and force down wages.
[32] Participants will not have the same protection as employees and trainees as far as the Health and Safety at Work Act is concerned.
[33] They will not be covered by the Race Relations and Sex Discrimination Act.
[34] They will not have the right to go to Industrial Tribunal for legal redress.
[35] Do the Tories really expect a responsible Council to take part in such a scheme?
[36] Where are these participants gonna come from?
[37] Who in this room would be willing to work full time for the equivalent of benefit plus ten pounds?
[38] The Government have painted a picture of willing participants lining up to take part in this scheme.
[39] This is pa at least in part due to the glossy advertising that they've launched at a cost of a quarter of a million pounds a week.
[40] But, if as I believe is the case, the scheme fails to attract anybody, then what are the Government's alternatives?
[41] They can either admit they've made a mistake, or they can make it compulsory.
[42] They had to get rid of a leader before they could bring themselves to admit that the poll tax was a mistake and I can't see John Major going before he loses the next election.
[43] So it's more likely that they'll make it compulsory.
[44] Work [...] by another name.
[45] We've already seen it happen with the youth training.
[46] We're seeing it happening with adult training and this is all from the Party that talks about choice.
[47] In this district there are hundreds, if not thousands, of unemployed pe people doing the socially useful work, as the Tories like to describe it.
[48] They are running our tenants and residents associations.
[49] They are working in the voluntary sector and they're supporting charities.
[50] The problem that the Tories have with this is that they still appear on the unemployment figures.
[51] Employment Action was not designed to help the unemployed.
[52] It was designed as a desperate attempt by a desperate Government to dig itself out of a mess of its own making.
[53] It is trying to hide the fact that it's policies have bought pain, misery, the pain, misery and hardship of unemployment to thousands of people in the district and millions throughout the country.
[54] We, as a Council, are not willing to take part in this shoddy scheme but we'll [clears throat] we will continue to work to provide high q quality real training to the people of the district and to work with business and industry to develop real jobs.
[55] Norman Lamont said, unemployment is a price worth paying.
[56] Come the next general he'll be able to judge the value of that crass statement himself as he and the rest of his cabinet are replaced by a Party that has policies to develop real training and employment opportunities for the people of and for the country, and that will be a Labour cabinet and a Labour Government.
[57] Thank you.
(J9LPSUGP) [clapping] [tape breaks here]
(J9LPSUGP) [clapping]
(J9LPSUNK) [58] Councillor [tape breaks here]
(J9LPSUNK) [59] Nothing that this Council will debate today will show the despicable face of the Labour Party more than this one.
[60] Sitting across on the opposite benches it is the Labour Party who shed crocodile tears for the unemployed.
[61] If the truth be known, the majority of Labour Councillors, just like their Socialist friends at Westminster, show more allegiance to the Trade Unions than to the unemployed.
[62] Labour like to talk about unemployment but, while the Conservative Government works to bring unemployment down, the Labour Party are busily embracing policies to put the unemployment rate up.
[63] And how they dare to care about the unemployed when they would price people out of work, strike people out of work and tax people out of work?
(J9LPSUGP) [64] hear hear
(J9LPSUNK) [65] How can a group be taken seriously, or be considered concerned, when it openly rejects co-operation with this two hundred and thirty million pound scheme which will very substantially increase the number of opportunities for the unemployed in Britain as a whole and in in particular.
[66] To suggest that Employment Action is merely to massage the unemployment figures is a feeble excuse for the Labour Group to [...] it's conscience.
[67] A great deal of emotive talk exists around the subject of unemployment and, just as there are many different reasons for someone becoming employed, there are equally many r different needs that the unemployed have.
[68] Regrettably, many younger people have no experience of the work ethic within their homes.
[69] Labour turning on its back on Employment Action will in no way help them gain the necessary experience to be employable, or to be equipped for further training for more advanced skills.
[70] Why deny them the benefit of self respect and a sense of purpose, which training on such a scheme would create.
[71] We all know the real reason for Labour Group's rejection of Employment Action.
[72] It has nothing to do with the plight of the unemployed and everything to do with the power and desire for further power of the Trade Union Movement.
[73] Our Labour Councillors don't represent their electorate, they represent the T U C and the vested interests of their own Unions.
[74] Only the A E U have the courage to stand up against big brother, the T U C, warning against denying the unemployed a glimmer of hope.
[75] To decry d decry Unemployment Action, claiming it to be work [...] is, and at the same time supporting the Labour Party policy which would make it acceptable to receive benefit without training, but illegal to have a job without training, is a strange morality.
[76] What is wrong with providing tr training through environmentally useful schemes?
[77] It has much to commend it.
[78] Even th your chief supporter, the T N A, on September the nineteenth agreed that it was far better, it was far better to use the untapped human resource than to load the ca th the cost on to the community charge payer.
[79] The Labour benches had several new members and, dare I suggest, green Councillor , with no memory of the disastrous economic policies of the last Labour Government, or the ensuing distress that it's huge army of unemployed.
[80] The party you support created such chaos that unemployment rose by a hundred and thirty one percent.
[81] Yes, two thousand three hundred people per week is correct but that was week on every week for five and a half years that Labour held office.
[82] Two thousand three hundred per week for five and a half years.
[83] Rampant inflation, excessive public expenditure, lack of private investment because of ex excessive tax burdens, and to top it all, an industrial relations policy that brought this country to its knees, making it the subject of derision throughout the world.
[84] They were the Labour's disastrous policies for this country.
[85] In 1979 the Conservative Government was elected with a clear mandate to tackle the problem of excessive Union powers which was destroying the employment and the livelihood of thousands of people every week.
[86] Conservative Governments have honoured that commitment in full and, as a result, continuous strikes, the British disease as they are known, have been eliminated.
[87] The elements of success which have turned our economy round are quite clear.
[88] The top priority to re reduce inflation, removal of Labour imposed barriers to employment such as Wage Councils, increased and improved training.
[89] The Conservative Government since 1983 has created three hundred million, sorry three million, extra jobs.
[90] Of course, you will never hear a word about success and achievement from the benches opposite.
[91] About the fact that, under Conservative, our productivity has grown faster than Japans'.
[92] That our strike record is the best in fifty years.
[93] Our standard of living has grown faster than Italy, Sweden and Switzerland.
[94] Our exports since 1983 have increased faster than France, Germany and America.
[95] Isn't that the way forward to help the unemployed?
[96] This Government has spent more money on training than any other Government si in our history, two and a half times as much in real terms as when Labour were in office.
[97] Fifty new training places for every one under Labour.
[98] Now let's hear something of the policies that Labour would support.
[99] Remember, of course, that Labour and the Unions are as thick as thieves, so the gr Labour Group, just like its parliamentary counterpart, is incapable of making a single decision without the Union pulling the strings.
[100] More than half Labour's M P's are Union sponsored, a hundred and forty, being the highest since 1935, and eighteen out of the twenty in the shadow cabinet are also Union sponsored and their paymasters will expect plenty in return.
[101] Labour would repeal all sensible Union legislation.
[102] What about Labour's training commitment?
[103] Well, we've had three documents in eighteen months but none with a viable pound sign.
[104] Labour only pledge, of course, to er to spend money on pensions and child benefit, so the shadow treasury tell us.
[105] Unless, of course, you believe John Smith, whose alternative budget said, nothing for pensions but a two hundred and eighty five million for training.
[106] Who do we believe?
[107] Labour constantly block help to the unemployed.
[108] They have passionately and consistently opposed the first guaranteed yo two year training programme for unemployed school leavers and thirteen Labour controlled Councils pulled out of employment training.
[109] even forced it's skill centre to close.
[110] Some commitment to the unemployed.
[111] An utter disgrace.
[112] Where to Labour stand on Training and Enterprise Councils? tries to stress how much they are in favour of them, but Mister is telling people to ease up.
[113] Well, I'm happy to tell the Labour Group that tee the T E C's are alive and well and producing results.
[114] Labour's half baked Skills UK Scheme would be a national organisation to direct national training.
[115] Bureaucrats at every level instead of local TEC's dealing with local training needs.
[116] Labour's o Labour's open hostility to employers will do little for business confidence and job creation.
[117] Mister would impose sanctions on employers who did not follow Labour's wishes.
[118] The proposed jobs tax would be a contribution by all companies to pay for centralised training funds.
[119] Back to the bad old days when employers were so busy employing people to push bits of people round and see to inspectors that they didn't have anything to do with training an produced not one single job.
[120] Remember, Labour Party, that no legislative approach has been devised that relates training to business needs.
[121] Compulsion was mentioned by Councillor but he's too young to remember that compulsion was tried in 1960
(J9LPSUGP) [...]
(J9LPSUGP) [...]
(J9LPSUNK) [whispering] [...] []
(J9LPSUNK) [122] Councillor , compulsion was tried in the 1960's and 1970's.
[123] It failed miserably.
[124] It led to a climate when employers were forced into inappropriate training by m by numbers and mindless forms to avoid [...] .
[125] The most disastrous of all Labour's proposed strategy is the National Statutory Minimum Wage and at a modest assumption this proposal would lose seven hundred and fifty thousand jobs.
[126] Such a policy would undermine the skill differentials which essential to maintain the incentive for individuals to train.
[127] A minimum age would be the death knell of hopes for incru improving the skills of the British people.
[128] Labour proved itself incapable of creating a sound economy when in Government.
[129] When in opposition it has proved it's policies of a minimum wage, a jobs tax, social charter, support and and s er strikers charter that they would never learn.
[130] As far as this Council is concerned, if you are unemployed you will get no constructive help from Labour.
[131] Instead they insist that their ideas are simple.
[132] If it involves training, boycott it.
[133] If it curbs strikes, fight it and if it creates jobs spurn it.
(J9LPSUNK) [134] Fantastic
(J9LPSUGP) [clapping]
(J9LPSUNK) [135] Councillor
(J9LPSUNK) [whispering] [...] []
(J9LPSUNK) [136] On nineteenth June 1991 the Secretary of State for Employment, Michael Howard, announced a new package supposedly to help unemployed people.
[137] All this was happening and now this com here comes a Tory record.
[138] All this was happening at a time of deep recession worsening by the day with unemployment rising to two and a half million, redundancies up by forty percent in the first four months of ninety one.
[139] Bankruptcies, including voluntary and er company liquidations, up by seventy five percent in the first six months of this year.
[140] Property repossessions in the Nord Northern region up by forty seven percent in the first first six months.
[141] To exacerbate the situation, eighty thousand places were cut from employment training.
[142] Whilst our competitors in Europe and elsewhere continued to push their training objectives forward, Britain remains the only modern Western European country which has neither national objectives for training nor a statutory work force and, as yet, no unified or progressive system of national qualifications.
[143] The failure of Government to give a real [...] to training arises from it's obsession with market forces and passion for privatisation.
[144] The Government is depriving the country of much needed vocational skills and training necessary to revive the industrial decadence caused by the twelve years of Tory control, leaving the potential work force not only unemployed but unemployable.
[145] Lord Mayor, Employment Action has been thoroughly debated at the previous Council Committee meetings, with all it's injustices brought to light.
[146] It is a no wage work scheme designed cynical to the [...] employment figures in the wake of pending general election.
[147] We, on this side, are concerned about the plight of unemployed and are currently running training schemes to help them back into labour market.
[148] In E I D, for instance, we run pre-vocational and initial training.
[149] Both are customised to help the trainees progress to adult training.
[150] Employment Action is by far from being impeccable.
[151] It lacks the necessary ingredients of programme with a [...] training element in it.
[152] Even the TEC's have spotted this deficiency, many of them deciding to shun it altogether.
[153] Some scare-mongering tactics have been adopted by the Tories to compel us into participating the emp in employment action.
[154] All of a sudden they have become sympathetic to a [...] work force, the very people who have been threatened with Government's legislation on competitive tendering.
[155] Lord Mayor, I therefore support our motion.
[156] Thank you.
(J9LPSUGP) [clapping]
(J9LPSUNK) [157] Councillor
(J9LPSUNK) [158] M my Lord Mayor
(J9LPSUNK) [159] Thank you my Lord Mayor
(J9LPSUGP) [...]
(J9LPSUNK) [160] Mayor, three months ago the E I D sub-committee Labour members rejected the Employment Action Scheme.
[161] A month ago the [...] committee Labour members rejected this Scheme and I still have an enormous sense of amazement and anger that the local, and I express local, because it's not a national policy, that the local Labour group could act in such a callous and spiteful way, putting political dogma, party political dogma, before the needs of the unemployed in the district.
[162] And I doubt whether Councillor has read the papers.
[163] I mean, I've read em very thoroughly and I've read the reports of the officers.
[164] In these three months there has been nothing but support for this scheme, some of it qualified, but nevertheless support, that it should go ahead.
[165] Even the T U C, only the T U C and the Labour Party have been completely negative and rejected it out of hand.
[166] Our Council officers, and I refer to their report, recommended that we applied to run the Scheme.
[167] They fully considered that there was merit, great merit, in running it as far as the Council was concerned.
[168] And if you read the report, you can do nothing but agree.
[169] Councillor has referred to the editorial of the Telegraph and Argos.
[170] Can I just enlarge upon that because, and quote from it, by boycotting employment action the CoUncil's controlling group seem to have made a bad decision, prompted by a desire to score political points in the debating chamber.
(J9LPSUGP) [171] hear hear
(J9LPSUNK) [172] It is a shame that the local Labour Party, these are the editor's words, not mine, it is a shame that the local Labour Party has set its face against the scheme.
[173] The Telegraph and Argos, I quote.
(J9LPSUGP) [...]
(J9LPSUNK) [174] Well done the T and A
(J9LPSUGP) [...]
(J9LPSUNK) [175] , bless , president of the A V W Engineering Union, gave a warning to the T U C against denying the unemployed the opportunity to join the Scheme.
[176] And even , the Labour national spokesman, said to the T U C, it is unwise to reject the Scheme, it is not a good idea to say you will not co-operate with it.
[177] The local TEC board, on which I think the leader of the Council serves
(J9LPSUNK) [178] Yes indeed
(J9LPSUNK) [179] Good.
[180] Decided to bid to operate the Scheme providing there was a stronger training element and moves have been made in that direction.
[181] TEC plans to use Employment Action as a pre-adult training phase, and Councillor , it intends to use it for those trainees who need extra help and resource, those that you referred to, those requiring language training, those requiring literacy and numeracy training, Councillor the very group that you referred to.
[182] And Council officers say that this is particularly attractive in the situation and I agree.
[183] One year unemployment action plus one year adult training would achieve the long term objective for those unemployed, with special needs.
[184] You referred to those Councillor .
[185] TEC has also indicated that appropriate project work for Employment Action would fall into such categories as child care, you agree with child care presumably, energy conservation, you agree with energy conservation, environmental issues, security, tourism.
[186] Our officers say that this fits in perfectly with our plans for existing and new projects and I believe the officers.
[187] So why oh why do the Labour Party reject the Scheme when it will cater for those unemployed they profess to care about, when it will cater for those projects of benefit to the community the Labour party profess to care about.
[188] I've listened very carefully to Councillor and I haven't learnt a thing about the answer to various questions which were raised at E I D and [...] and I ask it again, why do you really reject the Scheme?
[189] All I hear by way of reply are vague comments about massaging the unemployment figures.
[190] I think we even heard the cry, we want a minimum, we want a minimum wage, and everyone knows what that would do to the unemployment figures.
[191] Seven hundred and fifty thousand to a million more on unemployment.
[192] Is that massaging the figures?
[193] My Lord Mayor, my Lord Mayor, I started by saying how angry and dismayed I was on the twenty fourth of July.
[194] Three months on I er I'm even mor angry, appalled and disgusted at the hypocrisy of the members opposite because, if they really care about the unemployed, why don't they support this Scheme?
[195] If you really care about the unemployed with special needs, if you really care about special projects for which they work upon, you should support the Scheme.
[196] Quite frankly, you have time to change your minds [...] because if you don't change your minds, those unemployed in with special needs will never forgive you and I certainly won't.
(J9LPSUNK) [197] Councillor bring your remarks to a conclusion please
(J9LPSUGP) [clapping] [tape breaks here]
(J9LPSUGP) [clapping]
(J9LPSUGP) [...]
(J9LPSUNK) [198] Councillor is on his feet
(J9LPSUNK) [199] My Lord Mayor, I move under standing order A fifteen B that the vote now be put.
[200] Thank you. [tape breaks here]
(J9LPSUNK) [201] sec [tape breaks here]
(J9LPSUNK) [202] those in favour? [tape breaks here]
(J9LPSUNK) [203] that is carried, forty nine votes to thirty.
[204] Those in favour of amendment B moved by Councillor please show. [tape breaks here]
(J9LPSUNK) [205] Those against?
(J9LPSUNK) [206] [whispering] yes [] [tape breaks here]
(J9LPSUNK) [207] That is lost, thirty to forty nine.
[208] Those in favour of the substantive motion incorporating amendment A please show
(J9LPSUGP) [...]
(J9LPSUNK) [209] Please show
(J9LPSUGP) [...] [tape breaks here]
(J9LPSUNK) [210] Those against?
(J9LPSUGP) [...]
(J9LPSUNK) [211] Some of them [...] [tape breaks here]
(J9LPSUNK) [212] That is carried, forty nine to thirty two.
(J9LPSUNK) [213] In this Authority that one proposition stands to lose some fifty teachers to schools and it's ah worse in many other districts.
[214] What's it's essentially about is getting rid of the most experienced teachers in the district.
[215] Can that be good for education?
[216] It can't surely, but it's what the Government want to do with L M S. Of course, they have a real agenda behind Local Management which is more to do with market led economy education, competition, [...] , elitiveness, the end of the Local Authority.
[217] And they're using the principle of devolution and delegation, of participation and decision making as a vehicle for bringing us about.
[218] Councillor is on record, in fact not long after taking his job, that he doesn't care much for state education, he prefers [...] , grant maintained schools, [...] the assisted places scheme, which I'm pleased to say, Lord Mayor, we don't operate in this district and neither did the Tories when they were in power and I applaud them for that
(J9LPSUGP) [219] hear hear
(J9LPSUGP) [clapping]
(J9LPSUNK) [220] This attack is yet another divisive scheme
(J9LPSUNK) [...]
(J9LPSUNK) [221] But Councillor , his first public statement was to support all those gimmicks and to say that he wanted an end to the three tier system in , turned his back on all our middle schools.
[222] His only interest was bringing back grammar schools, that's really what he wanted to do.
[223] Well, Lord Mayor, that's on no-one's agenda over here.
[224] I'm working hard, with colleagues, to provide a fair education system throughout the district and I'm pleased to say, Lord Mayor, when the Tories talk of petty interference, it's interpreted by our head teachers and schools as co-operation, consultation, our listening ear, yes, Councillor and Councillor , they'll listen and if they've got the money they'll assist our schools.
[225] Lord Mayor, I support the Labour Group's er recommendations.
[226] I think we have salvaged the L M S Scheme in and when we get a national Labour Government we'll be able to make sure that it protects, it protects, those children with special needs, those children from socially deprived backgrounds in this city and protects our most experienced teachers.
[227] Lord Mayor, clearly that is what the Tories do not want to happen in .
[228] Thank you Lord Mayor
(J9LPSUNK) [229] Well done
(J9LPSUGP) [clapping] [tape breaks here]
(J9LPSUGP) [clapping]
(J9LPSUNK) [230] Councillor
(J9LPSUNK) [231] My Lord Mayor, I move understanding order A fifteen B that the vote now be put.
[232] Thank you.
(J9LPSUNK) [233] Seconded, my Lord Mayor.
(J9LPSUNK) [234] Those in favour? [tape breaks here]
(J9LPSUNK) [235] Those against? [tape breaks here]
(J9LPSUNK) [236] That is carried, forty nine votes to thirty [tape breaks here]
(J9LPSUNK) [237] Those in favour of amendment C moved by Councillor please show [tape breaks here]
(J9LPSUNK) [238] Those against? [tape breaks here]
(J9LPSUNK) [239] We'll now vote on those in favour of an amendment standing in the name of ex-Councillor .
[240] Those in favour please show
(J9LPSUGP) [...] [tape breaks here]
(J9LPSUNK) [241] Those against?
(J9LPSUGP) [...]
(J9LPSUNK) [242] [whispering] twenty eight []
(J9LPSUNK) [243] Mhm?
(J9LPSUNK) [244] [whispering] twenty eight []
(J9LPSUNK) [245] Two and twenty eight.
[246] That is lost to four to twenty against.
[247] We'll now move on to an amendment standing in the name of Councillor .
[248] Will those in favour please show? [tape breaks here]
(J9LPSUNK) [249] Those against?
(J9LPSUGP) [...]
(J9LPSUNK) [250] [whispering] it's forty nine, fifty one []
(J9LPSUGP) [...] [tape breaks here]
(J9LPSUNK) [251] That is lost, thirty votes to fifty one [tape breaks here]
(J9LPSUNK) [252] now deal with an amendment standing in the name of Councillor
(J9LPSUGP) [...]
(J9LPSUNK) [253] Those in favour please show [tape breaks here]
(J9LPSUNK) [254] Those against?
(J9LPSUGP) [...]
(J9LPSUNK) [255] [whispering] the two liberals [...] []
(J9LPSUNK) [256] Mhm?
(J9LPSUNK) [257] [whispering] thirty two []
(J9LPSUNK) [258] Thirty two
(J9LPSUNK) [whispering] [...] []
(J9LPSUNK) [259] That is carried, forty nine for, thirty two against, which brings us now to voting on the substantive motion.
[260] Those in favour please show.
(J9LPSUGP) [...]
(J9LPSUNK) [261] Those against? [tape breaks here]
(J9LPSUNK) [262] That is carried, forty nine for, thirty two against.
[263] Which now brings us on to er item eleven on the agenda which are notices of motion, the first one being houses housing land for speculators.
[264] Call upon Councillor to move the motion together with amendment D standing in his name.
(J9LPSUNK) [265] Moved Lord Mayor [tape breaks here]
(J9LPSUNK) [266] Seconded Lord Mayor [tape breaks here]
(J9LPSUNK) [267] In accordance with standing order A thirteen little C this motion will stand referred to the Housing and Environmental Protection Committee for consideration and report unless the Council decide to deal with it at this meeting.
[268] What are the Council's wishes?
(J9LPSUNK) [269] My l Lord Mayor, I move, that the item be referred to the Housing and Environmental Protection Committee under standing order A twenty three for consideration and a decision and that the right to defer the matter back to Council be removed.
(J9LPSUNK) [270] [whispering] seconded []
(J9LPSUNK) [271] Seconded?
[272] Those in favour please show [whispering] get up get up.
[273] It's gonna be a short evening [] ... Mhm?
[274] Those against [whispering] thirty two [...] [] .
[275] That is carried, forty nine for, thirty two against.
[276] The next white paper motion is on road safety and traffic calming measures.
[277] Call upon Councillor to move a motion, together with amendment F standing in his name. [tape breaks here]
(J9LPSUNK) [278] Seconded?
(J9LPSUNK) [279] Seconded my Lord Mayor [tape breaks here]
(J9LPSUNK) [280] I call upon Councillor to hem amendment G standing in his name.
(J9LPSUNK) [281] I move Lord Mayor
(J9LPSUNK) [282] Is there a seconder?
(J9LPSUNK) [283] Seconded my Lord Mayor
(J9LPSUNK) [284] In accordance with standing order A thirteen little C this motion will stand referred to the Community and Environment Services Committee for consideration and report unless the Council decide to deal with it at this meeting.
[285] What are the Council's wishes? [tape breaks here]
(J9LPSUNK) [286] I move that the item be referred to the Transportation and Highways Engineering Sub-Committee under standing order A twenty three for consideration and the decision and that the right to defer the matter back to Committee or and Council be removed.
(J9LPSUNK) [287] Those in favour?
[288] ... Those against? [whispering] thirty two [] ...
(J9LPSUNK) [289] [whispering] that's carried, forty nine thirty two []
(J9LPSUNK) [290] That is carried, forty nine for, thirty two against.
[291] We've come to er the third white paper motion, the Childrens Act.
[292] Call upon Mrs to move the motion.
[293] Is there a seconder?
[294] Call upon Councillor to move amendment H standing in his name.
(J9LPSUNK) [295] Move it, Lord Mayor
(J9LPSUNK) [296] Is there a seconder?
(J9LPSUNK) [297] Seconded Lord Mayor
(J9LPSUNK) [298] I call upon Councillor to move amendment I standing in his name
(J9LPSUNK) [299] I move Lord Mayor
(J9LPSUNK) [300] Is there a seconder?
(J9LPSUNK) [301] Lord Mayor
(J9LPSUNK) [302] In accordance with standing order A thirteen little C, this motion will stand referred to the Social Services Committee for consideration and report unless the Council decide to deal with it at this meeting.
[303] What are the Council's wishes?
(J9LPSUNK) [304] Lord Mayor, I D that the item be debated at this meeting, without first it receiving report from Social Services Committee on the grounds that the matter is urgent in the meaning of the section three one of the Local Authority and Social Services Act of 1970.
[305] I so move Lord Mayor.
(J9LPSUNK) [306] Seconded my Lord Mayor. [tape breaks here]
(J9LPSUNK) [307] Those in favour?
(J9LPSUGP) [...]
(J9LPSUNK) [308] Mhm?
[309] Mhm
(J9LPSUNK) [whispering] [...] []
(J9LPSUNK) [310] There's nobody appears to be against it, so it'll c [tape breaks here]
(J9LPSUNK) [311] My Lord Mayor, members of Council.
[312] I welcome the new Children Act which became law earlier this month.
[313] It is a new legal framework for child care and came about as a result of lessons learnt from Lord enquiry into child abuse in Cleveland in 1987.
[314] It is a credit to Social Services officers that many of the new policies for children had already been adopted, and you can be proud of the work being done in this area.
[315] However, there is always room for improvement and I think the public has little idea of the enormous problems that confront us, all of us, as the parents of these children in care.
[316] The emphasis of the new Act, and already a policy of this Council, is to keep children with their natural parents whenever possible.
[317] The prime responsibility for bringing up children rests with parents.
[318] This means providing help and support in the home, the provision of day centres and family centres, and all this we do.
[319] On the other hand the needs and welfare of the child must be paramount and if a child is deemed to be in danger, or at any particular risk, the child must be removed.
[320] In the new Act parents can appeal against the child's removal after seventy two hours.
[321] Previously they had to wait twenty eight days before doing so.
[322] Children who do come in to care are placed with other families where possible and again is fortunate in having an experienced network of foster parents and link carers and we can't thank them enough.
[323] In the new Act the positive role of relatives and friends is also recognised, but it must be obvious to everyone that some children are just so difficult, often having been very badly abused, and with severe behaviour problems, that they cannot be contained in a family and these children are placed in residential homes.
[324] Let me say at once what a very difficult job the residential staff have, often in poor accommodation and with very poor wages, and with the most difficult and damaged children.
[325] I welcome the Labour Party's proposals to refurbish some of these homes.
[326] I just hope it's done quickly.
[327] We in the childrens services have known for two years that something more must be done and we must pay our staff more.
[328] We have s training schemes with support money from the Government.
[329] The trouble is that with more training some of the staff quite naturally move to more lucrative jobs.
[330] In the new Act children are then to have a say in what they want and in the plans made for them.
[331] Given this, they m may be more co-operative and, even if living away from home, they have a strength and right of contact with their family.
[332] This all seems to make sense to me and I welcome the fact that this Act recognises children also have their rights.
[333] If all this leads the controlling group to scream for more money from the Government, and it will inevitably, I suggest they start using the money they have more sensibly and not waste it on their more extravagant schemes.
(J9LPSUGP) [334] hear hear
(J9LPSUNK) [335] For instance, festival, trips abroad, more and more committees with more and more meddlers, hence more paper, more secretarial work, all these neighbourhood forums, liaison groups and area panels, all costing a lot, talking a lot and doing very little
(J9LPSUGP) [336] hear hear
(J9LPSUNK) [337] All the new traffic islands in this city.
[338] Just a fraction of this, just a fraction of this money directed towards our children and their services would help enormously
(J9LPSUGP) [...]
(J9LPSUNK) [339] Help our children to grow into good citizens for .
[340] Ensure a brighter f future for us as well as them.
[341] Thank you my Lord Mayor
(J9LPSUGP) [clapping] [tape breaks here]
(J9LPSUGP) [clapping]
(J9LPSUNK) [342] Councillor [tape breaks here]
(J9LPSUNK) [343] Thank you Lord Mayor.
[344] Mrs er has er actually said that we should be getting some more money and then she spoilt it by saying we should be using the money we haven't got more er better use it and er maybe knocking the traffic li er islands out will save us a problem cos we'll get a few kids knocked down and we won't have to bother with em.
[345] That's the only thing I can say cos I can't understand how anybody can talk about traffic islands for er children in need
(J9LPSUGP) [laugh]
(J9LPSUNK) [346] And what I'd like to do is, we do welcome this Act cos y'know we're not dog in a manger, when there's a good Act well, we'll welcome it and we'll say so.
[347] But, as usual, the Conservative Government have spoiled it.
[348] They've undermined it by not allocating resources.
[349] Just to highli I'd just like to highlight a few of the principles before I comment on this dishonesty of this Government in, on the one hand enacting a major piece of legislation and on the other hand doing it in such a way that Councils'll settle for failure because resources have not been allocated.
[350] Th what Labour would do would be ring fence the money, that's what Labour would do and I'll come on to that later if you give me a chance.
[351] Th the, one of the main principles is a comprehensive clarification and rationalisation of child care law, probably the biggest we're gonna get this century, and basic principles, as Councillor is that parental responsibility cannot be lost through the process of law.
[352] Regardless of who's caring for the child, both parents are still responsible and should still be involved in any decision making.
[353] It requires the Local Authority to seek alternatives in order to keep the child in the family, rather than legal routes for admitting children to care.
[354] It str strengthens the responsibility of Authorities to take into account racial and cultural needs when making plans for children.
[355] It recognises the children as the major actors in any decision making and ensures that their rights and involvements in decision making are enhanced.
[356] It requires Local Authorities and other agencies to co-operate with Social Services in responding to children in need.
[357] All these principles the Labour Group champion and support.
[358] But what about resources?
[359] The first resource I wanna talk about is not the resources, the Local Authority resources, the resources of the family.
[360] The family who has to care for children whether they've got disabilities or not and the whole intention of this Act is that children are best cared for by parents and any alternative is second best.
[361] Yet the basic requirements for a family to do this, a decent home, a decent job, good education services, good health services for children with disabilities, recreational facilities and support systems in the community.
[362] Every one of these requirements have been consistently attacked over twelve years by the Conservative Government.
[363] It's fine to pass Acts but even a good Act are no good if their parents are expected to care for the child without resources.
[364] Who considers our housing stock adequate and f that it provides a satisfactory environment to give facilities to parents?
[365] Who considers there are sufficient play and other activities to keep young people out of trouble?
[366] I'll give you two examples of the other side of Tories doing an Act.
[367] Under the 1989 Housing and Local Government Act a man, living in a thirty thousand pound house with a mortgage.
[368] He has three children.
[369] He's got six hundred pound a month clear.
[370] The middle child is severely disabled and necessary d adaptations would cost him three thousand seven hundred, that's what he's gotta find, and he cannot afford it, he can't afford to borrow that.
[371] That's one of the Acts that works against children in need.
[372] And also, when handicapped children are placed in foster homes, the foster parent is assis assessed as a contributor, which of course the Local Authority has to pay.
[373] We've a [...] case where it cost ten thousand pounds.
[374] That ain't helping to do things for children.
[375] All these things are what the Childrens Act is about, but it's not presumably what the Conservative Government is about.
[376] The resources of the Social Services are purposely put last because really we don't wanna be involved.
[377] We want the parents to be able to cope.
[378] We want the spirit of the Act, that the parents should be in position to cope, to come through, but they're certainly not gonna be.
[379] At this point I'd just like to comment on Virginia Bottomley's contention that she'd give twenty four percent to Social Services extra in S S A to the ac for the Act.
[380] It were twenty four percent of virtually the same amount so the age old problem of the Conservatives robbing Peter to pay Paul.
[381] If you wanna take the money out of education, housing, and sweeping and cleaning the streets, then we could have it in Social Services.
[382] That's what it means.
(J9LPSUNK) [...]
(J9LPSUNK) [383] No, we didn't get it.
[384] That's w that's what it means.
[385] It's it's lies.
[386] That's what she's saying.
[387] She said she'd give twenty four percent
(J9LPSUNK) [...]
(J9LPSUNK) [388] darn lies
(J9LPSUNK) [389] then it's lies
(J9LPSUNK) [390] darn lies
(J9LPSUGP) [...]
(J9LPSUNK) [391] As a Council, as Councillor says, we've done everything we can to prepare for the Act.
[392] We've worked hard to develop inter-directory and inter-agency working, we've trained a high proportion of the staff and we are recognising that re- organising the directorate to provide specialist children's service.
[393] They've undertaken pilot schemes in three key areas of the Childrens Act.
[394] Definitions of children in need, emergency protection orders and accommodation agreements.
[395] We've tried to fulfil our responsibilities as good parents.
[396] But as a Labour Group, we welcome this motion because it demonstrates the dishonesty of the Conservative Government in passing one of the most enlightened pieces of legislation without any of the resources to implement it.
[397] Lord Mayor, I move.
(J9LPSUNK) [398] Well done
(J9LPSUGP) [clapping] [tape breaks here]
(J9LPSUGP) [clapping]
(J9LPSUNK) [399] Councillor [tape breaks here]
(J9LPSUNK) [400] made a speech in the Council Chamber and I've tur
(J9LPSUGP) [clapping]
(J9LPSUNK) [401] No, hold on, and I've turned up with the wrong one.
[402] I too could give you a very good speech on traffic island but I'll save that for the Transportation Highways and Engineering Sub- Committee.
[403] On the Childrens Act, I just want to say one thing briefly.
[404] There's been very little said about the actual content of the Childrens Act and I think it actually gets all Party's support, which is, which is excellent.
[405] What I want to say is one thing about the public's perception of the political scene at the moment.
[406] They are absolutely fed up with political point scoring.
(J9LPSUGP) [...]
(J9LPSUNK) [407] Er, wrong party.
[408] And I think er and I think we're gonna get a lot more political point scoring t er further on this evening.
[409] We've got a lot more to look forward to.
[410] We've tried to frame our motion as carefully as we could t so we could actually get support from everybody.
[411] There is concern about funding for the Childrens Act and it's too important to start scoring political points, whether there's a general election or not t and I must admit I was off, I was off ill, off work during the week of the Tory Party Conference.
[412] It was actually something that happened before the Tory Party Conference but it didn't, it didn't actually help me recover
(J9LPSUGP) [laugh]
(J9LPSUNK) [413] and nearly every day, nearly every speaker actually attacked Local Government in some way.
[414] What the Children Act does at least recognise in the Conservative Government passing the Childrens Act is the importance of Local Government.
[415] These are very important services and they are placed, just like care in the community will be, when it eventually is put into practice.
[416] They will actually [...] responsibility of Local Government and er we've tried to put in here something that even Conservative Councillors could support, even though it's attacking Conservative Ministers, cos they must actually believe in Local Government to actually serve on Local Government, one would think, but er, but th the problems of under-funding are th could be very serious.
[417] During the summer we had serious problems [...] report on childrens homes which erm which y'know which pointed out a few things y'know that hadn't been doing well, mainly, mainly in defence of erm because they did put in a lot of effort