BNC Text J9M

Leicestershire County Council: council chambers. Sample containing about 17213 words speech recorded in public context

11 speakers recorded by respondent number C499

PS3WK X m (No name, age unknown, chairman, All participants are work colleagues.) unspecified
PS3WL X m (Roberts, age unknown, councillor) unspecified
PS3WM X m (Ryan, age unknown, councillor) unspecified
PS3WN X u (Clements, age unknown, councillor) unspecified
PS3WP X u (Parsons, age unknown, councillor) unspecified
PS3WR X u (Buxton, age unknown, councillor) unspecified
PS3WS X u (Avanby, age unknown, councillor) unspecified
PS3WT X u (Pritcher, age unknown, councillor) unspecified
PS3WU X u (Radford, age unknown, councillor) unspecified
J9MPSUNK (respondent W0000) X u (Unknown speaker, age unknown) other
J9MPSUGP (respondent W000M) X u (Group of unknown speakers, age unknown) other

1 recordings

  1. Tape 112803 recorded on 1993-09-29. LocationLeicestershire: Leicester ( Council Meeting ) Activity: Council Chambers debate

Undivided text

Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [1] It is carried.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
(PS3WK) [2] [...] those in favour.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [3] Aye.
(PS3WK) [4] Those against.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [5] No.
(PS3WK) [6] The ayes have it.
[7] ... Item six to report ... social services committee ... Mr
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [8] Then you turn your attention away in a minute and the rotten devils do [...]
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
Roberts (PS3WL) [9] Chairman, I I move ... that the report of the social services committee regarding the future of the county council's old persons homes ... be noted.
[10] I hope ... Chairman that er David ... will listen to the arguments on this because like other members of his group he throws out ... closure of elderly persons homes, y'know we've gotta do it, we've gotta do it ... something about which he knows absolutely nothing ... and about which he's completely wrong.
[11] ... erm ... I've always believed that consistency is an overrated virtue ... so ... I'm not gonna criticise the Conservatives for changing their minds but ... you have to ask yourself why is this recorded on the agenda today ... when ... the sub-committee, planning sub- committee has already met and discussed these matters and things have moved on a little further ... Well we ... we really have to look at how the ... resolution in this ... paragraph came about in the first place.
[12] ... erm ... At the beginning of the social services committee meeting Mr ... moved a resolution which he previously moved at the social services planning sub-committee ... which ... listed most of the things which are presently in the ... the resolution but it started the social services accept the implication of the director of social services report on the future of the department's elderly person's homes ... erm, after some minutes of debate ... the ... er Democrats asked if the Tories would remove that ... phrase from the resolution and then tha ... the Democrats, the Liberal Democrats would vote for it ... the Tories of course er looking gift horses in the mouth as usual, said no ... and ... the the that ... resolution was lost.
[13] ... We then ... voted on a lengthy Liberal resolution ... er, it was amended by Labour ... we voted on ... all of the separate points in the resolution, all were agreed ... and then Professor decided that he wanted to move a further amendment which after some consultation, some discussion with the legal people about it's validity, he did ... which wiped out all of the things that we'd just agreed and we turned ... to the original Conservative motion ... minus the beginning phrase and with a couple of things stuck on at the end ... and we thought well that's it the Conservatives will vote for that, but no ... although it was their own motion ... in all but name, the Conservatives wouldn't vote for that ... unless Mr was allowed to move it.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [14] So he did.
Roberts (PS3WL) [15] So he did ... and it was voted on and it was agreed.
[16] ... We spent ... Chairman, two and a half hours discussing this matter at that point and we had come full circle ... back to point 1.
[17] ... To get back to that beginning phrase ... the ... social services committee accepts the implications of the director of social services report on the future of the departments E P H's.
[18] ... That report predicted a rise from five hundred to nine hundred ... er in the vacancies in in homes by nineteen ninety six.
[19] ... Since then at the planning sub-committee Mr has produced a whole load of new made-up figures ... which ... pretend that the situation is far worse than that.
[20] Figures designed to get headlines ... not make headway.
[21] ... The figures actually ... which I got from the director yesterday ... are that the department is counting four hundred and ten vacancies ... of those four hundred and ten, two hundred and thirty four are out of commission, they're in homes being refurbished ... seventy two are in blocked places, that is ... double rooms being lived in by a widow or widower where er they'd previously shared it with the spouse ... or er disability reasons, health reasons, behaviour reasons of a resident er ... in a previously shared room.
[22] ... Purposes like that er which take out seventy two places.
[23] In fact ... as of the first of this month, the number of real vacancies was a hundred and four ... now today I've received another list of er so called vacancies ... from the Leicestershire South area.
[24] As of the thirteenth of the ninth ninety three ... I'll just read through one or two of these.
[25] Curtis Weston, no vacancies, one short stay vacancy.
[26] Demontfort, no vacancies.
[27] Endaby, two double rooms being used at single occupancy for Lental House residents, one shared female bed available.
[28] So on and so on in Leicestershire South ... ten vacancies, seven short stay vacancies.
[29] ... So you can see Chairman ... the facts and figures simply do not support either the report which came to ... the social services committee originally or Mr inflated figures.
[30] ... The true vacancies are a hundred and four across thirty eight homes, we're talking about two or three real vacancies per home.
[31] ... So Mr talked in the debate about internal reorganisation about continuing to provide services for which there is an over provision and it berated me and the Labour group for that.
[32] Well the figures show that ... assessments of the over provision are incorrect but ... even had they been correct if circumstances were an over provision comes about not because of an increase in our provision of services, but because of expansion in the private sector.
[33] Are we supposed simply ... to abdicate our responsibility and for every new place that's ... started in the private sector, we close down a place in our er organisation.
[34] Is that what this is about, that ... places can continue to spring up in the private sector and we must close our homes ... in order to meet that demand not from elderly people for places but from the private sector for profits.
[35] ... Placements, April to August ... a hundred and fifty nine in nursing homes, two hundred and eight in residential homes in all sectors.
[36] ... But, we know that April was a low figure, we also know that July and August are low ... a figure which comes out from this graph ... and was given to me by the director yesterday, is a genuine average which is turning out to be between a hundred and a hundred and ten placements per month ... twelve hundred to fourteen hundred placements per year ... a thr over a three year average residency period ... three thousand six hundred to four thousand two hundred placements in residential care, where ... then is the real problem.
[37] ... The problem is with the fact that seventy five to eighty percent of people are being directed towards the private sector ... and only twenty to twenty five percent towards the public sector, yet ... still the private sectors squeal.
[38] ... I've got here a copy of a letter ... by Peter spokesperson for care, a more misnamed organisation you couldn't wish to come across, a combined association of residential establishments.
[39] ... A letter to G P s.
[40] Dear doctor, ... we have noticed that as a result of a press article, copy enclosed, that there's been concern stressed by a number of general practitioners with regards the slowness of the social services controlled community care programme ... as an association on behalf of our residential and nursing home members ... we have been stating the same fact to social services who have basically denied the existence of any problem, although we hope that in the long term the social services will be able refine their system to be more efficient, as an interim measure we are offering you a direct line service.
[41] If you wish to effect a placement in a residential or nursing home ... we hope for the time being it will help resolve your problem.
[42] This is an attempt ... to circumvent the assessment process.
[43] They cannot of course do that, this letter described by the director of social services as a disgrace.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
Roberts (PS3WL) [44] No, people sitting across in the other benches saying of course they can are wrong.
[45] Of course they can't.
[46] ... People may put themselves into residential care if they wish ... they will pay the whole of the bill.
[47] ... If they wish to be assessed as needing residential care and using public money then they have to go through the assessment process and be assessed as needing residential care.
[48] ... So ... this letter which refers to our processes in this county council, it's talking about people who want to go into residential care and to use public money.
[49] ... All of that being said ... and ... Mr will talk a bit more about the figures when he ... comes to speak.
[50] People will no doubt be relieved to hear what has finally been included in the planning sub-committee resolutions.
[51] That homes already furbished or in the process of being refurbished or identified for refurbishment shall not be closed and will re-open as county council E P H s.
[52] That reassurance is essential ... to residents, staff and to the community.
[53] ... That's what they desperately want to hear.
[54] We have also decided that we will look again at the costs of refurbishment.
[55] That we will seek to refurbish ... the homes which will cost least to refurbish, first.
[56] ... That way ... we will achieve more in the period and for the money that is available.
[57] ... That will leave us, presumably at the end of this process with ... some of the worst homes, which we will then have to decide ... what to do about.
[58] ... So ... although the Labour group will be moving a reference back of this matter ... as an amendment.
[59] ... I have to say that our input into what is going on is still very strong.
[60] We are still attempting ... to persuade people that the figures they have been given or have invented are wrong ... and if we operate on the real figures ... there is no reason for mass closures of elderly persons homes ... and we are still attempting to make the refurbishment programme ... work as best we can ... to achieve the most we can in the shortest period and for the least money.
[61] Chairman I move formally.
(PS3WK) [62] Seconder.
[63] Sec
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
(PS3WK) [64] Right we have ... an amendment to be moved by Mr .
Ryan (PS3WM) [65] I thought you would ... Chairman, take it later I see a lot of hands up on the other side.
[66] ... erm ... The reason why ... we moved the amendment on this is ... er Jim been ... [...] and that has, we started to query the figures ... I didn't get involved in the ... all this week and th people like Jim , David loads of my attention and the whole er exercise was a fraud ... they're all bum figures ... and when I checked, the figures I have checked here are done by a senior officer ... when I showed 'im what stuff was being [...] wrong.
[67] [...] apartments ... and ... I couldn't believe how they they there there could work up such a system ... and I'm serious, I I really mean this Mr Chairman, it is serious.
[68] ... Now what you were doing was, you got the top figure ... of available beds ... and you this time, I'm only going for the this paper that is shown to me ... [...] a an an an and produced some place in in your apartments ... and it says here, partly vacancies weekend in the first of August.
[69] I was surprised when I found out who the officer, a very capable officers what's done the figures.
[70] But then I was reminded ... how I thought of a an accountant who was at work ... what figure was five and five ... and he said what figures did you have in mind.
[71] ... So what has happened here I believe, that ... there was someone told, I don't know who it was was told ... this is the figure, now you you you're [...] .
[72] I will say that because as, we haven't heard the end by a long way for, of this one.
[73] Jim pointed out that ... and when I looked at, in the report here, page fifteen, two of your paper ... and there it says in little letters B, little little two ... appendix B a during the year, a three year period from June ninety three to October ninety six, the level of occupancy ... the department's [...] afford.
[74] ... Vacancies who arise from five seventeen, [...] had a figure of five seventeen, when I looked at this now, how could y , where did they get the figures from this [...] .
[75] Didn't [...] that someone to do the the the homework for them.
[76] ... So you did, right at the top one as I said two thousand ... four three four ... and then the closure of Coulson House in it.
[77] ... Well I hope there's nobody in Coulson House because it's boarded up ... and I cannot see how you get a vacant bed in Coulson House and this is [...] this exercise.
[78] So we take that away ... and then you got the refurbishment programme ... and now taken away from the refurbishment programme something like two hundred, now where is the [...] if you're refurbishing four homes ... where is the vacancies when you close the home, you have made the staff the redundant, they go up the road or out wherever they're going to [...] redundancy ... persons.
[79] You have made 'em red, you have made 'em redundant ... and you in, in ... you have ... and I hope you've had nobody redundant because I've I'd be pleased to go out to those homes and say them come back and I would be pleased to go up to and say you've got your figures ... wrong because you're saying that nobody's made redundant ... ooh well I I'm so pleased.
[80] I hope I've been given ... I hope I be [...] ... the temporary staff but, ... those homes are being refurbished, there are no vacant beds in those homes because they are being refurbished.
[81] You are carrying that number forward.
[82] Now if you have a rolling programme ... and you wanna say we refurbish four at a time, roughly ... I would say fifty beds in these two hundred, give or take ... some money because they vary.
[83] ... That's taken out, must be taken out of the calculation because they're not vacant, you can't get anybody in there, the criteria I say, should be beds available for permanent occupation.
[84] Now ... you count on that ... but the next vote ... then comes in and they're still not available ... beds are not available in it, and the next four and the next four so you'll have, for years you'll have those out of operation ... would you like to call it that way ... and out of production.
[85] Now to weight that ... and the next one ... is ... respite an short stay beds as you mentioned.
[86] Now if you any system you got to have beds ... for short stay etcetera, you don't count them into whether the those are vacant, because you have to keep some of those vacant in emergencies etcetera ... so you can't count them.
[87] Well, this is how you got the figures ... and then you have the temporary absence as Jim pointed out ... and advance bookings.
[88] I got a higher figure than Jim because I was ... I can't believe, believe this either th th the officer that, that, that, done this say to the, the, that's the figures that have produced ... then they're completely wrong ... and I can tell
Roberts (PS3WL) [89] Time ... time ... time
Ryan (PS3WM) [90] Time, right, I am moving the amendment the reference back and I'm handing those papers to the Chief Executive and I'm gonna ask the Chief Executive to get someone independent to do this ... because you can't get away from the numbers that the numbers ... I've [...] get someone independent I'll ask for that.
[91] You can't get away with a with a fraud like this.
[92] You can't away with er some bum figures like this one, it's not good enough for the members ... to give, be given wrong information ... and I [...] and I can tell you this ... we'll be coming back again and then we would know and [...] where they were getting [...] where they were getting the seventeen homes
(PS3WK) [93] Time [...]
Ryan (PS3WM) [94] Closed right down no ... is a load of bloody bunkum ... the whole [...] I move
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
(PS3WK) [95] Have we a seconder?
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
(PS3WK) [96] Have Mr
Clements (PS3WN) [97] Thank you Mr Chairman.
[98] ... For Mr information ... the vacancies are the difference between the number of beds we maintain and the number of residence we have.
[99] Every bed in that difference has to be paid for with wasted money ... but in addition the loss of income from that bed has to be found from cuts elsewhere in social services.
[100] I frankly can't deal in the time allowed with what Mr said, I have never heard so many inaccuracies and misconceptions in a speech, it was the most comprehensive political suicide speech I've heard yet in this council.
[101] The truth is Mr Chairman that community care had as it's major objective ... extending choice, give the chance to stay at home to many people for as long as possible, to eliminated the unwanted percentage of residential placements.
[102] What it's revealed, totally unexpectedly ... is the vast extent to which inappropriate placements have taken place for many years.
[103] Totally unexpected because frankly no government, no civil service would have given us as much money for residential places as they did if they'd known.
[104] The knumdrum where the people have gone has now been answered because ... the amount of domiciliary care needed to keep them out of residential places to meet their needs and wishes turns out to be ... very much less than we expected, on average less than seven hours a week.
[105] This report Mr Chairman is already history which is as Mr has said not to say it doesn't represent ... progress, it addresses for the first time the historical issues, it starts to address the lessons of the first quarter.
[106] We now know the outcome of the second quarter ... ignoring today and tomorrow which can bring, can make no ... major change in the scale of what we face.
[107] Leaving the rest of community care aside, the admissions to our part three E P H s were thirteen in July, twelve in August and in the first twenty eight days of September, just four.
[108] That's less than one placement for every ten homes over the quarter, an average of less than ten in total per month.
[109] ... We must now fear with good reason that it was the first three months which were not typical.
[110] Late last year I was accused of scaremongering, dismissive speakers rubbished the remarks of the district auditor, not interested in what he was saying.
[111] The only thing I could be safely accused of was understating the problem.
[112] I still commend this report to council as the first real stride along the road we have to take, there's no choice about that.
[113] ... This stride and those that have followed ... last week, as recently as last week as Mr said are already miles back along that road.
[114] ... The s the revolution of social services called for a rolling programme and a rolling review and the amendment Mr is utterly meaningless because ... the matter will be constantly referred back and further considered by social services whatever the amendment says that's what the original resolution said.
[115] ... It ... contains a rolling review precisely so that it should remain a valid basis for whatever tomorrow may bring.
[116] In truth ... the rolling review has become a running review ... circumstances are changing with no respect for the committee cycle.
[117] Indeed some of us think we now know what bankers in the [...] republic felt like, if you stand up to make a speech the matter has moved on before you sit down again but I must tell you of the next major problem.
[118] Flowing from that ... that which social service must face urgently ... and that is this.
[119] From the low admission rate, the nine hundred thousand in our revenue budget which was shown this year as savings, seven hundred thousand of which was met by fudging community care money in June ... is now ... short by three hundred thousand so at the end of this year there will be an overspend or rather a loss of income of three hundred thousand ... which will show up as a deficit on social services budget for this year.
[120] Next year the full year effect of the revenue budget ... one point five five million, already two hundred thousand short, the estimated loss of income from reduced placements will now put another eight hundred thousand on that ... er, so there will be a million next year, so I have to tell you there is a gap of one point three million pounds in the social services budget which we have not yet faced.
[121] ... Mr Chairman the social services committee and it's sub- committees face many more agonizing d decisions.
[122] ... Nobody wants to close any bed that is offering a good quality service, that is wanted and being used.
[123] No one can afford to keep open beds that are not being used, not just losing savings ... but soaking up resources that can only come from cuts in other vital social services.
[124] ... The social service of this council.
(PS3WK) [125] You're on time.
Clements (PS3WN) [126] Are controlled and driven ... by events ... not by any one party or any parties.
[127] For the sake of our service and their users we must ensure we are not overrun by those events.
(PS3WK) [128] Thank you Mr
Clements (PS3WN) [129] The support of the whole council now would recognise
(PS3WK) [130] Thank you Mr
Clements (PS3WN) [131] and gratefully aid that work.
(PS3WK) [132] Mr please.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
Parsons (PS3WP) [133] Chairman, I must confess to being erm, to being somewhat pessimistic about this whole er ... this this whole problem of of the need to refurbish and the need to tackle numbers in our elderly persons homes.
[134] I I listened to Mr speech with some incredulity I must say, but I did listen to what he said and if what he said is true then I ... I find some of the things ... disturbing and and er I'd like to see his figures and I ... I w I I ... that there have certainly been er two messages coming to the social services committee in in in that case.
[135] ... I'm pessimistic because I believe that if the council is to tackle what I still believe to be a big problem ... of the local authority then it cannot really do so without [clears throat] the support ... of the largest party on this authority and if ... we have heard ... erm an honest assessment of their perception of of the case, I I really I really do despair that this council ... will will get to the bottom of the problem.
[136] ... Er, we were told by Mr that there is no problem with numbers, remember there are two, there are two things we've got to tackle, one is numbers, two is conditions in our home.
[137] ... I mean, one's, one's entitled to ask I think if there is no problem, if we only have vacancies of two or three in our elderly persons homes ... throughout the county ... wh erm ... why on earth did the director of the social serv , did the director of social services and his deputy at the meeting on the twenty fifth of August of the social services committee, say that this was the greatest problem which was facing this council.
[138] ... Why on earth eighteen months ago did the district auditor issue a letter saying that unless the council did something about the situation of numbers and of finance within its elderly persons homes then it would come in and it would require the council to ... take action.
[139] ... Why on earth on the twenty fifth of August at the social services committee meeting did Labour put an amendment which [...] accepted that there was a vacancy problem ... I quote from the Labourer, from from Labour amendment ... that er we don't agree to closures, fair enough, that's your position.
[140] ... But that that we ask for an exploration of the feasibility of widening the use of homes ... into nursing care, very sheltered accommodation, apartment style accommodation etcetera.
[141] Now if there is no problem ... why on earth do we have to put that sort of ... that sort of work by officers erm, in, in to action erm, so between the, if I understand Labour's position now Chairman, between the twenty fifth of August and the twenty eighth of September, we have now gone from [...] accepting the problem and seeing how we can solve a number problem to saying that there is no no number problem and that everyone is cooking the books.
[142] I find that quite incredible, if it's true erm ... if it's true then it's a very serious allegation which Labour is making against the officers in social services department ... and I imagine that if er, that if those numbers are proven then er I I shall be looking ... I shall be looking for scalps because I have been, I would have been, so would the Liberal party and so would the Labour party, have been wrongly informed.
[143] I don't believe we have been wrongly informed but that's the logic of the charge which has been made.
[144] ... I I simply, I simply want er er a direct message from from the programme which is going on Chairman ... incidentally I I note that Nottinghamshire County Council erm has found a a and the Labour group there has found it necessary to tackle ... just the same problems ... erm in elderly persons homes and that I understand that they have a a closure list of seven, now presumably that has been drawn up from a long list of a lot more than seven, say fourteen or fifteen from which they've made their final choice.
[145] I think we're entitled to ask if Nottinghamshire faces those problems, what is peculiar about Leicestershire that it did face those problems but all of a sudden it doesn't face those problems.
[146] I I don't think myself and I still have an open mind and I don't think that the Labour case ... erm ... adds up to be perfectly honest.
[147] I simply wanna say two things and that is this that within a month if this scheme is to work I believe that the council or the social services committee must draw up a long list of homes which it proposes to close and that long list will be in teams and that must be done not behind closed doors so that people know what is being proposed, we level with people who live in those institutions and they are fully acquainted with our, with our intentions ... and secondly I think it's necessary to understand from this programme ... that it is not just refurbishment programme, it is a refurbishment and closure programme ... the simple equation being that the money that comes from closures from capital receipts and some revenue savings, actually goes into the rest to refurbish them.
[148] That is the scheme er as as I see it and unless, unless I I thi , unless that is progressed quickly then as I say I am extremely pessimistic and let me just ... say Chairman the dangers of not going along that line ... the dangers of the present scheme which was at the last planning committee meeting or or or was it ... one of the social services committee anyway, where four were chosen or or it was said choose a small number.
[149] ... That I think is half a programme and while that might ... erm ... while that might appeal to er members of the Liberal party, half a cake's better than none.
[150] What I think the danger is there, from a Conservative political perspective, is that having, having, Liberals having with us if you like, got the principle through, Liberals may then go with the Labour party and say right we've got the principle through, we've identified four homes, let's have a refurbishment programme, a bit of airport money here, a bit of slippage there and we'll get this through and then we'll tackle the problem of closures and if closures is proving difficult let's ignore it for a year, let's do these four and let's go on.
[151] I would not recommend to this side that they have any truck with that particular perspective.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [152] Here, here.
Parsons (PS3WP) [153] Erm, that is why I I b , that is why I'm against the amendment, I believe that decisions have been made.
[154] ... I still n , I still think that we need to make er quick pro progress Chairman but er unless we do make quick progress and unless we do understand what's going on and call a spade a spade then I think this programme is doomed.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
(PS3WK) [155] Thank you.
[156] Mrs
Buxton (PS3WR) [157] Thank you Chair.
[158] Mr asked why we should close our homes and let private homes profit ... erm, if people choose either to go into the private sector or to stay into their own homes, what are we supposed to do ... tell them they've got no choice but to keep our substandard homes going?
[159] That's quite ridiculous.
[160] He says seventy to seventy five percent are being directed towards the private sector ... so why.
[161] I thought our social services people did that ... if they run that why should they direct people away from their own livelihoods.
[162] That's quite ludicrous, why should they shoot themselves in the foot ... and is Mr seriously suggesting the same thing?
[163] I mean apart from a monstrous attack on our own officers who can't answer for themselves in this place.
[164] Why should they be prejudicing the the jobs of the their colleagues, I, it doesn't make any sense whatsoever.
[165] Now I think the tables speak for themselves ... and they're born out by paragraph sixteen B of the report on page fifty nine.
[166] ... I just wonder when Mr asks for other figures from the independent sector ... what would have happened if the figures that you've got before you today had actually come from the private sector.
[167] I suspect he would have been making exactly the same speech but saying that the figures were suspect because they had been come from somewhere else.
[168] ... Thank you.
(PS3WK) [169] Mrs
Avanby (PS3WS) [170] Thank you Chairman.
[171] I re do regret that this has come to full council yet again because I thought we'd already had the debate.
[172] ... At the social services planning committee ... we stated that we were anxious to make a fresh start in addressing the problems of our elderly persons homes.
[173] ... In the end Chairman, ... we did reach consensus ... and I find no difficulty with that.
[174] ... But our original vision ... had almost been lost ... in the unclean political battles which have taken place.
[175] ... I re-read the speech that I gave in this full council chamber ... on November the twentieth nineteen ninety one ... nothing has changed except possibly it has got worse.
[176] ... What has changed though is the refurbishment programme and I'm not quite sure what Mr was on about about er er the refurbishment programme.
[177] The officers advised us ... that we could deal with four homes a year.
[178] So that's why we said well let's get on and decide which of the next four homes to be refurbished.
[179] So as that we could have the rolling programme.
[180] ... No one should ever underestimate the trauma of change on res on residents ... their relatives ... and the staff involved, either in the refurbishment programme or ... in future closers and we have never denied that there will not be closures, we have consistently proposed that there should be.
[181] ... It's unfortunate that yet again ... the Mercury got it wrong ... they stated that we had made a decision to close four homes
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
Avanby (PS3WS) [182] ... unnamed ... that is not true and I do agree with Mr ... that when we make a decision to close ... some homes that they should be named to avoid the terrible indecision which exists at the moment.
[183] I'm sorry Mr has referred to closures in their teens cos this again throws residents and staff into total confusion ... we're too early ... in the ... programme of community care to know how many homes are going to close.
[184] We do know that two or three or four may have to in the foreseeable future.
[185] ... But without rationalisation Chairman ... we will not be able to extend those services that we all know that we want to assist people to stay in their own homes.
[186] We've argued for years ... about meals on wheel service ... that there should be seven day a week service throughout this authority, we've only got it in the City, we want it throughout the authority.
[187] ... We will not be able to supply an adequate home care service without the release of the resources that are tied up in our elderly persons homes.
[188] ... We shall not be able to produce ethnically appropriate services without the necessary finance ... and nor will we be able to develop new services which are innovative to assist people to stay in their own homes and I'm just going to take one moment to mention one or two Chairman.
[189] Why can't you have a flying warden service if you stay in your own home like in warden assisted accommodation.
[190] I'd love to see a service where somebody could come and knock on your door in the morning ... and say are you alright and call again in the evening, just as if you were in warden assisted accommodation.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
Avanby (PS3WS) [191] If we have a night sitting service, an elderly person may not have to go in hospital if they are temporarily gone off their legs as sometimes happens.
[192] ... After tiny U-turns Chairman ... two by the Tories and one by the Labour group, I do ... hope that finally we're going to make progress tonight.
[193] Thank you.
(PS3WK) [194] Professor .
Pritcher (PS3WT) [195] I was only going to say Chairman I wish people wouldn't ... band the figures around the council chamber which nobody ... has seen before therefore can't assess.
[196] ... The issue here is quite simple, Labour ... have consistently ... turned their back on any closures, that's fair enough, so you wouldn't expect them then to produce figures ... which demonstrate that they're right.
[197] The Conservatives have now ... the Conservatives have now decided ... that home closure is the thing and you'd expect them to produce figures to say we've got to have thirteen or whatever number closed.
[198] What the, I believe committees have never had and least of all Mr ... papers produced on behalf of Mr have never had a serious ... rigorous ... objective assessment of ... the vacancy situation of the future which first of all starts from [...] issue ... a rolling programme of refurbishments ... that we haven't really seen sight of the of the implications of that on the number of vacancies.
[199] This has never had it ... so this ... as far as I'm concerned really, the only thing that is needs to be made clear, is that we must accept ... of principle ... [...] that's all we need to ... reason.
(PS3WK) [200] Mr .
Radford (PS3WU) [201] Chairman I think this is probably the first time in this council chamber in twenty years ... that er I will probably have spoken on er social services issues ... er and I speak from an entirely private capacity and any information that er ... that comes my way is from what I might call ... informed members of the public ... erm, people who I come into contact with and from my own experiences as a ward councillor and from ... as we all do from time to time, my own family experience, my own domestic experiences ... and I do know ... something about the problems which are associated with the ... the care of elderly people ... er although I don't have that problem now ... erm ... things have taken their course.
[202] Er, Professor is right ... erm ... there may always be a possibility that at some time er you have to ... you have to recognise that there may be excess capacity in the system ... and I I don't believe that the Labour party is not prepared to recognise that there may well be ... excess capacity in the system at some time.
[203] ... S what in fact er Mrs said ... is too early in the process of ... community care ... to know how many homes you have to close ... she really is approaching it from the wrong way, it's equally too early in the process of community care to know how many homes ... you need to have open, keep open or open ... and that is one of the problems which I believe this council and other councils will will face.
[204] Now from my ... observations of these debates ... I've not heard anybody on this council saying council debates that there is no role ... for ... this local authority or any other local authority ... there is no role for them in the provision of residential care ... or any extension of residential care because some of our residential care ... is getting very, very close to providing a degree of nursing care.
[205] Nobody stands up and says that we shouldn't be in the business at all, we should get rid of all of them, so all the argument about how many.
[206] ... Every group in this council and I believe every member who speaks, agrees that we have a need to refurbish homes.
[207] So those are the positive things about which we we all agree.
[208] ... Now I would ... urge this council that it really is too early in the process for you to start making up your minds about what you're gonna in future.
[209] You simply do not have enough data.
[210] ... There is ... a perception amongst informed people in the community ... that ... there may well be a shortage of long stay beds in Leicestershire ... and you do need to bear in mind ... that the National Health Service ... is increasingly going down the road ... of not keeping people in hospitals longer than they have to because hospitals are perceived as being ... very, a very expensive way ... of providing beds ... and you have to take that into account because that's a fairly clear national policy ... and you are likely to see an acceleration in that process from what I read ... in the national press.
[211] ... There's also a general view in the community that community care itself is not necessarily really working very well, there's some fears about it, some uncertainties ... and a member did mention, it may have been Jim you know or somebody mentioned about the seven hours domiciliary, from my experience as a councillor ... I am not sure that simply because that figure exists that that means that that is satisfying the need of those people ... and in any case ... the sort of people who need to go into residential care, who can no longer be maintained in their home, with whatever help we give them or with whatever help their family have to give them ... they're not necessarily the sort of people who we're talking about need to go in a home.
[212] You must always remember that it's been a fairly small percentage of the frail elderly people who've actually ever had to go into homes.
[213] Most of the people in some way or other, have been looked after by somebody else and that's the experience which I ... I've certainly gone through ... and if in fact you start making up your mind too early ... about which homes you're going to
(PS3WK) [214] Near time
Radford (PS3WU) [215] close, I can assure you Chairman ... recognise the time, I can assure you Chairman ... that our social workers when doing assessments will not, because I've had this from them, at grass roots level in a branch local party meeting, ... that our social workers will not indicate to those people who they've assessed that there are vacancies in those homes.
[216] They steer people away from any home which they believe is likely to be closed ... and once you start doing this, you will in fact be sealing the fate of those homes and you it's a very, very dangerous game, you've gotta be, you've gotta play it very, very carefully indeed and I ... hope Chairman that there can be a degree of ... common sense and rationality introduced into discussions between the ... members of the various groups who have to deal with these very difficult issues.
(PS3WK) [217] Thank you.
[218] Mr
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [219] Thank you Mr Chairman.
[220] Well I believe that the report that er ... is before us that has been moved ... erm ... actually sets out a framework which the social service committee is able to ... work to ... and to monitor and I see no point whatsoever in referring this ... back to social services ... erm ... to delay further what is the inevitable.
[221] The figures that have been mentioned er ... and the danger with figures that are mentioned ... is that they can't be everything ... to everybody.
[222] Now eighteen months ago ... we had three hundred and, it was April, the report in April nineteen ninety two ... there were three hundred and sixty ... five I think it was ... places that were ... vacant in our homes and this is before we started the refurbishment.
[223] Now if ... Jim is telling us that there are four hundred and ten vacancies now ... and he's explained where those four hundred and ... ten vacancies are ... we've picked up another fifty p places within that eighteen months.
[224] ... So we do have a problem to address ... but the ... I I like Mr would certainly want some explanation from the director of social services if ... erm the report that we have before us at the ... planning sub-committee is incorrect because I [...] deal with it said it it be noted that the capacity now exists to arrange for the transfer of residents from four homes to other res residential units as part of the rationalisation programme.
[225] Not part of the refurbishment programme, not the difference.
[226] So we do have a problem ... and and we need to grasp that ... the a conclusion ... talking about rolling programme ... we are concerned about resources we're, we're, we're concerned about using them to the best ... advantage.
[227] We set up [...] to be able to look at the refurbishment of our homes.
[228] Now if we are going to say that this rolling programme, we we don't mean this rolling programme because it it's all going back to committees again to be ... to be looked at ... then we are putting our [...] at a disadvantage ... they will disband and the cost to us for refurbishment ... will ... increase.
[229] ... It's essential that in the terms of the ... er report from the social service committee that we work, we work to the framework within that report.
[230] We have the ability to monitor it and I think that the discussions will have to take place as the director brings forward his proposals.
[231] ... There is a great deal within that framework ... er, it's not just about closing ... elderly persons homes, it's not just about refurbishment ... it's about resources and it's resources that we're very short of, to implement the sort of care programme that this council should be addressing.
[232] Thank you.
(PS3WK) [233] Er, Mr
(PS3WK) [234] Thank you Mr Chairman.
[235] ... As I, as I said earlier the new boy, the rather elderly new boy ... but I can assure the Professor if I were a hundred years old I'd still be younger than 'im.
[236] That's how I look at life.
[237] ... Now ... I
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [laugh]
(PS3WK) [238] I wondered whether you'd ever get it or not, come on quick quick.
[239] ... Now what we'll be Mr Chairman is this.
[240] This has been hanging about for a long, long time ... while I've been on this [...] ... and these people ... and they're very special people ... I've got this sword of [...] hanging over my head.
[241] ... Now ... these, why do I call these special people, for the first thing ... we're just coming out of a recession ... they s
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [242] With three million unemployed
(PS3WK) [243] These people suffered the depression ... and if you saw deprivation ... that was deprivation.
[244] ... There were no giros in them days.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
(PS3WK) [245] I beg your pardon.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
(PS3WK) [246] Now ... they went into war, they came out of this war ... the weren't, there was no tip of the glory for them.
[247] There was fourteen feet of snow ... floods ... but the main thing about these people, they took their jackets off and got stuck in ... and they became special people because they laid ... the foundation of the welfare state that everybody else in this room g gained out of.
[248] ... They got the jackets off, they did the job, they laid it out for us.
[249] Now surely we owe these people something better than this ... surely ... there's [...] got the wickedness out or the intelligence to get ... this thing off the ground.
[250] If we've got to close homes, let's close them but make sure the homes that's left are warm ... welcoming and give these people the dignity ... and the independence to which they are entitled to ... which they've earned and which they thoroughly deserve.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [251] Here, here.
(PS3WK) [252] Thank you.
(PS3WK) [253] Mr do you want to speak or reserve your remark.
Roberts (PS3WL) [254] Yeah, I think some of the new members should wait to speak Chair.
[255] ... Chair, sorry ... right, I I've I I've don't very often.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
Roberts (PS3WL) [256] It's gone, it's gone ... [laughing] I don't very often agree with [] Professor ... erm ... I very often don't agree with David either but I've got to admit that I agree with both of them today, we've got to make haste slowly on this one.
[257] It's alright ... us starting to ... go along the road of closures, but some of us have been here ... through it a lot, little bit longer than others and I think ... we have got to watch what we're doing.
[258] We don't know ... what the capacity is gonna be needed in the future.
[259] ... If the government gets its way and starts slapping ... seventeen and a half percent, twenty percent V A T on fuel, we might need some more residential places ... you don't know.
[260] If the figures that we've been given ... the recent figures, cos w I've been working on figures for August ... [...] up to August but now we've got even better figures.
[261] If these figures are right ... that we've been given by the department and I'm not saying them whether they're right or whether they're wrong ... but ... well we have to r rely on what we're getting this is why Mr ... is sending this lot to the Chief Executive for him to do some work ... I think it's very important that it is done independently, not by the independent sector but by done independently.
[262] If those figures are right of four hundred and ten now ... you don't need to ... be a real big mathematician, even at this time of night, ... but you, if you have the two hundred and thirty four ... out of commission and you've got to have those cos that's gotta be a rolling programme each four years.
[263] You're gonna have that two hundred odd ... there rolling over, it's gotta happen until the end of the programme and that is likely to take six, seven, eight ... years.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [264] You're way about half a century.
Roberts (PS3WL) [265] That might be the simplest way ... and if you add that to the seventy two that are out of commission short term beds, holiday beds, which you've got to keep empty anyway.
[266] You've got your three hundred and six.
[267] Now ... we've been told by, in reports ... that we've got ... five, six hundred up to ni , we're gonna have nine hundred vacancies ... this is Mr
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
Roberts (PS3WL) [268] ... at committee I said that
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [269] unclear
(PS3WK) [270] Can we, can we come through the Chair
Roberts (PS3WL) [271] I think it's, it's very interesting that erm ... the these figures are there.
[272] Now if we're gonna have those sort of figures we're talking about.
[273] What are we basing them on?
[274] ... I want to see, I'm I mean I saw Mr and erm Mr nodding when Martin said he wanted to give these figures to the Chief Exec ... and ask him to er ... get it sorted out.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
Roberts (PS3WL) [275] I think that's right so, we we mustn't even start even thinking about closing beds at the moment.
[276] If we've only got two or three in each home empty, where are the people going to?
[277] I've checked with Demontfort House ... today.
[278] ... Ear early before I came over here and they've got no vacancies ... none ... none at [laughing] Demontfort House at all.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
Roberts (PS3WL) [279] We're told, we're told though in the report for Au for August ... that we've got so many vacancies here, if we look at Nuffield House in the August report there was fourteen, but we're only just refilling it again [laughing] after closing it. []
[280] We're only just refilling it.
[281] Now ... I don't know where ... Mr has got some of his figures from but I think we ought to ... check ... both our figures and his figures before we start jumping to
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [282] Not my figures please .
[283] Erm Mr Chairman on a point of information, the figures he has obtained on my figures are figures in a report ... issued by the director of social services and I think on a point of ... information he should acknowledge that they are the figures given by the officers.
(PS3WK) [284] Thank you.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [285] They were not supplied [...]
Roberts (PS3WL) [286] And orders from you, yep.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [laugh]
Roberts (PS3WL) [287] Now we must keep ... we must keep be I know people and I'm sure every member in this council chamber knows people that need respite care.
[288] If you don't you're not wal you're walking around with your eyes closed.
[289] ... I certainly do in my patch.
[290] There are people that we are redirecting, we were re redirecting ... from Demontfort House at one time, it was denied ... denied by by officers that it was happening.
[291] Denied by Mrs she had a letter.
[292] ... But you ask the people that work there, you ask social [laughing] workers [] .
[293] That place was gradually being run down ... like a lot of the other are.
(PS3WK) [294] David, near time.
Roberts (PS3WL) [295] As far as the Nottinghamshire erm ... thing ... the reason Notts are having to close it is because the they've been capped haven't they and they've gotta save money.
[296] Now I think this is what's behind all this actually.
[297] Not to do with looking after people at all.
[298] It's to start saving money and give some and give some of this money to their private sector friends.
[299] Once again this is what's happened.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
(PS3WK) [300] Thank you David, thank you.
Roberts (PS3WL) [301] So Chair, I will second these resolut , the the amendment.
(PS3WK) [302] Mr
Roberts (PS3WL) [303] Yes, thank you Chair, erm ... A lot of this debate circles around ... what we do about community care, I have to tell this council ... as far as I'm concerned, community care's dead in the water.
[304] ... Without massive input from central government and local government there is no community care ... there are people out there ... not receiving the services they deserve ...
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
Roberts (PS3WL) [305] With no prospect of receiving the services they deserve.
[306] Let's not pretend that we can escape from our responsibility to these old people ... by pretending that the community will take care of them, that's not the way it's gonna be.
[307] ... er ... Mr talked about the figures, I'm convinced that the figures that, that I was given still include Perzon House ... I'm convinced that those figures were not, have not been taken out ... erm ... I don't know who should audit the figures, perhaps the internal audit should audit the figures.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [308] Yes, Yes, here, here.
Roberts (PS3WL) [309] Mr was completely wrong about the Labour amendment ... erm ... in fact he read out the wrong amendment altogether.
[310] The Labour amendment was to explore ways in which resources can be provided to fund and enhance refurbishment programme without closures and that for the next two years the additional necessary funding be sourced from ... [...] housing benefit income and income from the sale of East Midlands Airport and from other capital receipts.
[311] Now ... if the Labour group had moved a widening of erm ... the sort of provision in our elderly persons homes, I could have understood that, because we didn't have real figures, we could not get hold of real figures, every time I went back to a local party meeting, to the Labour group, to any other member they said, do you realise this home has this number of vacancies and your report says that number.
[312] Do you realise that the figures are out that everybody knows that the figures are out.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [313] Is Mr and is er capacity for understatement.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...] [laugh]
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [314] His desire to devastate our residential sector and close seventeen homes will be thwarted ... somebody ... over there, it may have been Mr it may not have been, said that there hadn't been any redundancies.
[315] ... Arbour House ... twenty four staff, twelve redundancies, twelve redeployed.
[316] ... Huntingdon Court twenty nine staff, ten redundancies, seventeen redeployed, two still in temporary posts.
[317] The Limes, ... provisional figures twenty nine ninety three, closing during October, thirty four staff, sixteen redundancies, fifteen redeployed, two ill health retirements, one retirement.
[318] Bythorpe Hall twenty one redundancies, six lay off agreements, two redeployed, one temporary for a year, one on trial period two to three months.
[319] Kurzon House ... twenty eight staff, seventeen redundancies of which two ... re since redeployed ... ten redeployed, one ill health retirement, of course there are no redundancies.
[320] We've not made anyone redundant, no one at all.
[321] ... That Labour amendment I read out ... mentioned the airport money.
[322] I'm aware ... as everybody else is, that we could ... do the sort of sweepstake that we carry out on th , what time the meeting's gonna close and everybody can just put down how
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [laugh] [...]
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [323] many times the the airport money had been spent.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [laugh] [...]
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [324] But the real fact is if this council regards elderly persons homes as the priority it pretends ... then it has to be the first priority for that money.
[325] ... It doesn't have to stand in line ... behind anything else.
[326] ... About ... er refurbishment and closure programme Mr talked about, a a refurbishment and closure programme is a Tory programme, not a Labour programme ... and of course this is all verified by Mrs coming along to the committee ... and saying please don't close Barleythorpe Hall, please tell the people that you're going to re-open Barleythorpe Hall, please do not allow them to think that it's going to close.
[327] Has anyone seen Barleythorpe Hall?
[328] ... Does anyone know what needs to be done there, what the work is and how much it is gonna cost, I'm sure Mrs seen it.
[329] ... So why are social workers directed people into the private sector, they are under the same constant pressure of letters from the private sector, the wingeing, the groaning, the moaning, the threats of ... legal action, the threats of judicial review as the rest of us.
[330] Hardly surprising that they over compensate is it ... put people into the private sector.
[331] I didn't understand her questions ... was it the figures had come from the private sector I'm not sure if she understood it herself either ... erm ... we've talked ... in the ... social services planning cuts committee about a list of homes for refurbishment ... and Mr wanted a very long list ... er ... a list which would blight every home not on the list.
[332] ... Mrs talked about four, we've actually agreed that there should be more homes on the list than four ... er for prospective refurbishment ... and ... Mr has stood up and protested that he did not produce the figures, but Professor ... still says you will produce figures for this and you will produce figures for that, none of us do that ... we all get our figures from the same place ... but we all get inconsistent figures.
[333] ... erm, Mr knows when he talked about getting rid of all the a ho , our homes that of course, we're not allowed to get rid of all of our homes, if we were the Tories would have moved it years ago.
[334] ... But ... what does happen is that people are directed away from blighted homes ... we know that that happens, it happens all the time, as soon as a home's name is mentioned ... social workers, quite ... honourably believe that there's no sense in putting down people's names, no no sense in sending people there and you would expect nothing different from them so ... it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.
[335] ... The point to Mr , the point of the reference back ... is simply to allow us to say that we do not accept the figures that we're being presented with.
[336] ... We will not accept those figures because they are not correct.
[337] ... Everybody agrees now that the figures before us are not correct as everybody produces a different set ... er, it's alright for Mr to sit there and Mr like Heckyl and Jeckyl saying no we don't, no we don't, but he comes forward with different figures, worst figures
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [338] than we're presented with in the reports, he does it all the time Chairman.
[339] ... As for Mr we're out of recession are we? ... well ... if that's an excuse for saying ... let's close homes ... well, I think that's a a terrible shame, all he, the certainty that he wants to offer to our elderly people is the certainty that their home will close and they'll be thrown out of it.
[340] ... People really do have to understand the trauma we are talking about with moving people out of homes, the trauma that ... moving them out for refurbishment is bad enough.
[341] ... But telling them that they will not move back is even worse.
[342] We really do ... have to put a human face onto these figures and these financial arguments, until we do that, we will not carry any decision ... in this council chamber which is worth a light to any single elderly person in any of our homes or outside of our homes Chairman.
[343] I recommend to you the amendment.
(PS3WK) [344] Right, we now put the amendment.
[345] Those in favour please show.
[346] ... Right, we're just going to count.
[347] ... right, those against ... the amendment is lost, thirty six forty, er those in favour of the substantive motion please say aye.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [348] Aye.
(PS3WK) [349] Those against.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [350] No.
(PS3WK) [351] The ayes have it.
[352] We will now have a fifteen minute recess.
(PS3WK) [353] Six D the report of public protection committee.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
(PS3WK) [354] Yes, I've just counted them, Robert counts as two, Bob
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [laugh] [...]
(PS3WK) [355] that's important [laughing] you see [] [laugh] right .
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
(PS3WK) [356] That's promotion in the Labour rank ... would you like to move the motion please Mr .
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
(PS3WK) [357] Would you prepare to move the motion please.
Ryan (PS3WM) [358] Yes, sorry Mr Chairman ... erm ... I move, what'm I doing?
[359] ... I move in the er public protection report that er Mr Chairman, the bell's still going ... [laugh] do you want me to hang on a minute or what?
(PS3WK) [360] No carry on, I, the first bell there they should have been in.
[361] Carry on.
Ryan (PS3WM) [362] But people are gonna miss my blooming speech ... they'll miss it.
(PS3WK) [363] I know you spent hours, I know you spent hours preparing this speech.
Ryan (PS3WM) [364] I haven't actually.
(PS3WK) [365] The important ones are here, proceed please.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
Ryan (PS3WM) [366] I've prepared [...] the amendment in the ... in in removing the port er Mr Chairman I think it's erm ... important to note the reason why the public protection committee have asked the report to be put onto the council agenda.
[367] ... Not simply because ... we also want to put our ... bid in straightaway for the airport money ... which is er [laugh] contrary to opinion
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [368] [...] had been noted.
Ryan (PS3WM) [369] but to highlight to members of the council the importance of ... having ... the proper funding er er for the southern fire station.
[370] ... The reasons for the southern fire station are clearly outlined on page seventy and seventy one ... which is an extract from her Majesty's fire ... [clears throat] service inspectorate.
[371] ... In particular item eleven point three ... of that where the H M I said sufficient capital ... should be provided to enable the provision of the southern fire station to go ahead.
[372] ... There is ... a large area of new build ... around where the southern fire station ... will be and I do say will be ... because it will be.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [laugh] [...]
Ryan (PS3WM) [373] That sounded, that sounded er, sounded quite good [...]
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
Ryan (PS3WM) [374] A promise ... and er one of the ... im important things er is that the Chief Fire Officer is currently away in ... Glasgow at the Fire Service conference, as you're well aware.
[375] But I spoke with Mr about half an hour ago on the telephone, told him not to worry at all, that
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [laugh]
Ryan (PS3WM) [376] that's confidence.
(PS3WK) [377] This evening Bob will be changing his amendment to read the funds will be provided rather than consideration.
Ryan (PS3WM) [378] And the Chief said that doesn't compare ... he said that does not concur with a visit I had last night in Glasgow whilst asleep when he awoke to a gleaming light at his bedroom and ... he said who are you and this ... figure said I am God ... and the Chief Fire Officer said well God, all I want to know is one thing, will I get my southern fire station?
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [laugh]
Ryan (PS3WM) [379] And God said not in my lifetime.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [laugh]
Ryan (PS3WM) [380] Cos I've since spoke to God Mr Chairman.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [laugh]
Ryan (PS3WM) [381] and he is, as you do, as you do, and he assures me that er we will get the fire station.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
Ryan (PS3WM) [382] I don't wish to underestimate it ... the, our attendance times ... around the Meridian Park area, the large new build area Mr Chairman ... erm, our attendance times there are shocking to say the least.
[383] No fault of our brigade at all, there's a desperate need for the southern fire station to go ahead without any doubt whatsoever, lives are at risk ... and the longer we leave this ... the more the costs will keep increasing ... and er ... I ... I believe ... that ... the airport money ... should be used ... to build
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [384] Another one now, it's all gone now [...]
Ryan (PS3WM) [385] Owen, it's not spent yet.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
Ryan (PS3WM) [386] Trust me.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [laugh] [...]
Ryan (PS3WM) [387] Trust me I said not truss me, trust me.
[388] We have one of the best fire services and the best brigades in this country Mr Chairman ... and you none the least Mr Chairman on some of you recent visits and meeting some of our fire personnel are more than aware we are ... the the best equipped, the cheapest ... brigade ... and ... our chaps and girls in Leicestershire, the morale is very high, regardless of what's going on around the pay dispute at the moment ... and I think that we need to show our support ... to those fire personnel and provide the adequate funding for the southern fire station.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [clapping]
Ryan (PS3WM) [389] I'm assured by Tommy that after I open the ... Saw Valley Way er traffic jam on November the third, you you'll get a slight better erm, slightly better chance traffic through, er.
(PS3WK) [390] Have we a seconder?
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
(PS3WK) [391] Have you reserved any remarks, you want [...] er Mrs ... do you wish to speak?
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
(PS3WK) [392] I sorry, sorry.
Clements (PS3WN) [393] We'll have the amendment first shall we?
(PS3WK) [394] Yes, let's have the amendment.
[395] We have an amendment by Mr .
[396] I only did that just to test to see if you were awake.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
Parsons (PS3WP) [397] I think er in an effort to accommodate Mr Chairman, the members here this evening, it's been quite a long day, the the Conservative amendment is very close to ... the amendment that both er myself and Mr have put in ... and yes we would be willing to ... accept that, I think we've got the point across which the only thing missing from the Conservative amendment is the thing about the airport money.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [laugh]
Parsons (PS3WP) [398] I think I've made that point
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
(PS3WK) [399] Will you accept this subject in the raffle?
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [laugh]
Parsons (PS3WP) [400] Chairman all I've heard so far is music to my ears er thank you.
[401] I'd like to er say one or two words before er moving the amendment and I, I'm very pleased to to hear that the two are to be incorporated as it were into this one.
[402] Members of the public protection committee take due note of the contents of Her Majesty's Inspector's current report, but in particular we take note of his concerns that the standard of fire cover ... in an area to the South West of the city is inadequate.
[403] He's repeated his concern to us regularly for eight years ... eight years.
[404] I've no difficulty in seeing why he's concerned er because I've seen the figures and examine the situation in in great detail.
[405] But even without the figures it takes very little imagination to see why this council must not put off any longer the construction and commissioning of the southern fire station.
[406] ... Imagine with me Chairman if you will ... the thoughts of someone trapped by some misfortune in the midst of the wreckage of a road traffic accident ... on the M 1 motorway Southbound between junctions twenty one and twenty ... that's at Nutterworth or Northbound between twenty one and twenty two ... or Westbound on the M 69 ... they'll be thinking ... the fire brigade'll be here in a minute or two.
[407] Certainly the first appliance will arrive ... but on the opposite carriageway because it's coming from Nutterworth or Hinkley or Colvill ... severely hampering what that appliance crew can do speedily.
[408] ... It's unlikely that they will imagine that the most helpful appliance ... is most likely to be one of three, battling to get through the traffic from new parts of Leicester, Lancaster Place Leicester and Wigstone.
[409] ... Three because the Chief Fire Officer cannot guarantee any longer er that ... if he only despatched the one which is necessary, it would actually get through the traffic.
[410] ... Similarly in the vast residential and commercial areas of Enderby, Norborough, Homkirk, Cosby, Watchton Croft, parts of Broadstone and Meridian itself ... the delays have become unacceptable.
[411] ... This area is the furthest such populated area from a fire station in the county.
[412] I have witnessed myself the effects of the delays on a number of occasions.
[413] Within the past year a small fire in a large Victorian house only fifty yards from my workplace ... watching helplessly while the building became engulfed before the brigade arrived from Leicester and Wigstone, five and six miles distance ... distant.
[414] ... Minutes matter, we all know this because of regular news reports, videos and demonstrations to the committee.
[415] I know because many years ago I happened to be in the right place, in the ambulance I was driving at the right time and was able to e effect a rescue of an old woman from her smoke filled house at Burstill Ten minutes later I could not have done it because of the smoke.
[416] The fire brigade arriving five minutes later might have done it, ten minutes, definitely not.
[417] The Chief Fire Officer advises us that the attendance times to the areas I have mentioned are regularly over the response times allowed by the standards of fire cover.
[418] ... He tells me that attendances between three and five minutes, over the ten minutes allowed are common.
[419] ... Five, six, seven, eight minutes are understandable and acceptable ... lives are regularly saved in that time.
[420] More than the ten minutes allowed is no longer acceptable to the inspector ... or to the many thousands of people who live and work in a large and congested area of Leicestershire.
[421] Southern fire station will not only direct cover ... directly cover these areas but also provide essential back up cover to a much larger area including Glaby, Wigstone, Nutterworth, Hinkley and parts of the City.
[422] ... It is pleasing ... that there is a large degree of support ... for the Southern fire station as I said it was music to my ears.
[423] This has been expressed by the acquisition of land by this council at Meridian and by placing the scheme in the capital programme as a high priority.
[424] At our last meeting ... the council noted during question time that Mr and I agree that the saving of life from fire is an overriding priority for this council.
[425] ... I therefore urge members to agree ... on by whatever mechanism the financial experts deem proper, I'll say no more than that, er to place Southern fire station firmly in the capital programme for next year ... and ensure revenue monies are available to enable its swift and essential opening.
[426] With all sincerity ... er Mr Chairman on behalf of the people who live and work in that area I move the amendment.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
(PS3WK) [427] Mrs
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
(PS3WK) [428] Mr .
Clements (PS3WN) [429] Yes, thank you Chairman.
[430] I find this
(PS3WK) [431] Just a minute, can you hold just a moment er just a minute
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [432] Can I just make it clear Chairman on the amendment.
(PS3WK) [433] As I understand the position Mr and Mrs and the council have accepted that amendment so you've now got that as your motion with your debate.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [434] I am pleased to hear that Sir.
[435] Chairman it makes the whole thing far simpler I think because there isn't really no disagreement about this whatsoever.
[436] I've read about Mr help line, I didn't realise he had a direct connection to the almighty but ... he's obviously got his instructions and erm we are very pleased that he's going along the right lines.
[437] Now this really is one of the most important things on the agenda today.
[438] It is far more important in my view than a token ban on fox hunting on which we spent hours earlier on in the afternoon.
[439] This is the kind of thing that we really ought to be addressing because this actually addresses the safety of people in this county, not only the safety of people, this addresses the safety of property as well and there's no disagreement about the fact that this enormous development that's happened over the last few years in an area where you've got a regular traffic snarl-ups mean that you have got a potential disaster there on your hands and we're jolly lucky we haven't any ... more serious incidents than we've had already and so I can see no reason why these two mo these two amendments shouldn't both happily be accepted ... though I'm very cynical about the number of times we've spent the airport money already and sooner or later we've obviously got to actually seriously address that but the important thing is that we do all take it seriously and it seems that we all do now take it seriously.
[440] That what the inspector's been telling us year after year, that we are in serious danger of not ... coming up to the ... protection safety standards, is something that we can't push into the background any longer and I'm very glad it's come to the full council so that the whole council can take it seriously ... the public protection committee has taken it seriously for a very long time.
(PS3WK) [441] Mr .
Buxton (PS3WR) [442] Mr Chairman, I I welcome this opportunity ... er of of saying just a very brief word about fire service because as a new member I think one of the services that this county ... has ... er er is top in is the fire service.
[443] It has impressed ... but it has to have the right tools ... if it is going to provide ... the safety that councillor referred to and the saving of life which was referred to by councillor .
[444] I welcome too that ... the Labour party have accepted the amendment.
[445] We now have a a piece of land ... which we can't use for fox hunting, so let's use it for the purpose it was bought for, use it for the fire station.
[446] But why I am pleased ... that this has been, that the amendment has been accepted is ... because of the words ... and that projection's been made of the eventual revenue requirements to enable proper future provision to be budgeted for.
[447] It is very important this is done, we can join the raffle for the East Midlands airport and I'll tell you this I will help you pick out the winning ticket ... er but ... we cannot use the East Midlands airport money for revenue to run the stations.
[448] To often we have heard of buildings that have been put under capital expenditure and then the revenue has not been available for their use.
[449] I think we must make it a positive step forward that this council not only goes forwards to build but it goes forward to use that building and give the firemen of this county ... the right tools, or firewoman, the firemen and the firewoman of this county the right tools to work with.
[450] Thank you.
(PS3WK) [451] Mr
Avanby (PS3WS) [452] [...] I suppose I'm the er ghost at the feast.
[453] ... First of all I [...] that at no time ... have the Labour, the Liberal and the Conservative not been totally in favour of this fire station.
[454] They were last year, they gave an undertaking to do it as soon as possible, it is a case of where the money comes from ... er ... Mr of course is relatively new ... er we don't bother about as a rule about what he casts as new costs in new staff.
[455] We just passed the revenue, the capital, the revenue then goes on the base budget, is called the revenue consequence of capital expenditure and all the fire officers ask for is enough to build a fire station ... and the cost of running it is automatically going onto your bill.
[456] ... Now somewhere we've gotta sort this out, because this is part of last year.
[457] Figures may be updated I seem to remember the fire station somewhere in the region of a million plus ... and the cost of running it was three hundred thousand a year.
[458] Now both of these costs were fine, if this is your priority it's alright.
[459] I hope you'll pick out what's got to come from the East Midlands National airport, can I remind you that ... a list of that has already been made and passed by this council when there was not a Conservative majority ... and that had on it about seventy traffic calming schemes ... bottlenecks'll be done all over this county which in themselves save accidents and save lives.
[460] Now ... er ... there are some areas based in my area where you wouldn't get the fire station, the fire engine ... through the bottleneck in ten minutes ... erm, all this has got to be put in its relative priority.
[461] Now as long as this is council budget if this is what you prefer rather than Dovelands school ... that's alright, this is the problem that the financial committee will be faced with this year.
[462] Urgent demand for which I totally agree ... for millions more than the money is available ... er, as long as all the council says this is our priority of course you can have it.
[463] As long as you're answerable ... for the other priorities that can't be met.
[464] I'm totally in support of this, I'm support of a lot, [...] want to be done.
[465] As long as we accept that there is a limit to what can be done and that in no way's detracted from fire station.
[466] I'm delighted ... [...] fire station's run ... at a low cost.
[467] Members here sometimes were almost ashamed of the fact.
[468] There's also want more money to [...] cheapest in the country and I say good ... and I hope we can fit it in ... this budget time and I hope we all support this, for this.
[469] I hope when the financial sub-committee ... suggests the capital expenditure ... one isn't there.
[470] You will carry back to your electorate and tell them why it wasn't there.
[471] Do you want Dovelands put back? ... cos Dovelands didn't come on this year either and this is a a dilemma that will face us all.
[472] I'm delighted it it's a Conservative erm ... er resol er erm amendment ... that I think is agreed by all the council.
[473] That all agree this is a very high priority.
[474] Next February will you still live with that priority.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [475] Well we will, you might not.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
Avanby (PS3WS) [...]
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
(PS3WK) [476] Thank you for putting some life in the proceedings Jim.
[477] Mr .
Pritcher (PS3WT) [478] In short all I hope that er this unanimous er feeling for the fire service stays in this next pending dispute.
[479] I hope you still support firemen through their troubled times in the next few months.
[480] Thank you Chair.
(PS3WK) [481] Right Mr you want to reply ... like to reply.
Radford (PS3WU) [482] Thank you very much Mr Chairman.
[483] ... Very quickly ... erm ... er ... the Mrs said that er yes I do have a direct er line to God and one of the messages he did give me was that I should start to write Focus.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [laugh]
Radford (PS3WU) [484] Perhaps we could er [...]
(PS3WK) [485] I thought God was writing that
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
Radford (PS3WU) [486] Very constructive ... er Mr .
[487] Mr erm er we've actually got the land for the er the fire station, I think you you were there with us.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [488] Well it can't be used for fox hunting now.
Radford (PS3WU) [489] That's true.
[490] ... erm, it's actually sitting there on the Meridian er Business Park, it's been sitting there for three years ... er overgrown with er ... grass and what have you and it's there.
[491] Mr just very quickly ... erm I disagree with your analogy about the ghost ... but probably the rest of it, I'm not too sure ... erm ... the figures for the running of the fire station have been updated.
[492] It's no longer three hundred thousand pounds, the Chief Fire Officer and the Deputy Chief Fire Officer along with the er, the finance wizard David, have worked very very hard on er producing revised figures, scrimping and scraping ... equipment from other stations ... and the the actual figure is about a hundred and sixty four thousand pounds now.
[493] We brought the figure down ... having at le , and waited two years and that's th , I think that proves the lad's foundation to the argument ... of how desperate the fire service need, need this station and it has absolutely nothing to do with Dovelands school er er whatsoever ... as far as I'm concerned, I'm the spokesperson for public protection not education and that's it ... and er I'm surprised er er that I know erm er er that Mr is is a very, very good supporter of the er southern fire station and supported us in the er ... in the er question we asked at the last council er meeting and er ... I'm surprised he hasn't spoke or even Mr ... who er, who likes to s , who likes to speak in the chamber but I've ... hasn't supported the fire station.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
Radford (PS3WU) [494] Thank you very much.
(PS3WK) [495] Would those in favour of the amendment ... I'm very sorry but er it's not an automatic right, sorry, I'd like to have called him but ... er we've summed up, what do we do now?
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
(PS3WK) [496] We have re, technically reached the end of the debate I'm very sorry Mr ... I'm sorry ... you'll have to wave a little I'm very sorry ... er, those in favour of the ... ame amendment.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [497] It's an amended motion
(PS3WK) [498] The amended motion please show.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
(PS3WK) [499] So that's subject to Robert getting confirmation on Sunday then.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
(PS3WK) [...]
Radford (PS3WU) [500] Er ... I wish to move that the ... er motion which is on the green order paper.
[501] I do draw ... member's er ... an an in particular Mr attention to ... paragraphs seven and eight of the report.
[502] Paragraph seven making it clear ... put that an initial assessment has already ... established ... er ... it has already passed the preliminary assessment stage ... er and that er ... the director is undertaking the data collection procedure so that the site can be properly assessed and I do drawn ... er Mr attention ... er to that ... I erm ... have taken the opportunity during the last adjournment Chairman to to speak to Mr about the appropriateness ... of the wording of his er er amendment and I believe that he ... he may ... wish to ... er move something which is slightly different ... er which will certainly er ... we'll deal with that er if he does move that but er ... it clearly is the intention of this report and of the committee that when the ... work has been completed on the assessment of traffic calming measure in Shalford and its priority established, that we would then bring er another report ... er to the highways and transportation committee in response to this petition ... er as as indeed is set out in paragraph ten B ... and if Mr wished that to be brought forward through to council then that will be done but I leave to him if he wish to move an amendment to make it quite clear, since er ... I must say this motion is rather bland.
(PS3WK) [503] Mr
Roberts (PS3WL) [504] Seconded Chair, reserve my remarks.
Ryan (PS3WM) [505] Can I, I would like to ... change the wording of the er amendment and I'm grateful to Mr for the advice he gave because I think by erm a slightly shorter and er ... er brisker wording I can achieve the objectives that I set out to achieve.
[506] If if if we ... if I withdraw the amendment in in terms that's on the order paper and substitute ... after the, after the ... erm, wording where it goes [reading] traffic calming measures on the B forty one at Charnford [] and add on ... and that a further report be presented on traffic calming measures in response to the petition.
[507] ... If that could be added ... that would achieve my objectives ... and we can all get on to the debate about V A T on.
(PS3WK) [508] Is that acceptable?
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [509] [...] .
(PS3WK) [510] Thank you.
[511] ... Agenda item seven.
[512] ... Confirmation of minutes of committees and sub committees.
[513] ... I move that the minutes of meetings of committees and sub-committees in sofar as they require confirmation be confirmed by the council, Except with regard to any matters still under consideration.
[514] For upon which a committee proposes hereafter to report to the council.
[515] ... All agreed.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [516] Agreed.
(PS3WK) [517] Appointment, agenda item eight, appointments in accordance [...] no appointments, all agreed.
[518] Agenda item number nine, notice of motion, notice of motion by Mr , Mr .
Ryan (PS3WM) [519] Thank you Mr Chairman.
[520] ... As you know it, this is the last ... I'm sure everyone's aware it's the last item ... on your agenda ... when I was looking at the agenda ... this item was before the fox hunting motion ... I thought well ... it'd be nice to have a debate before the fox hunting motion because we would have ... er ... a full house ... of people who I'm sure would be very interested ... to hear the discussion on V A T. As matter of fact I'm sure they would w w would welcome ... the opportunity to have a de , a discussion, but it seems they have gone and I got, I got it wrong Chairman when you ... [...] by taking the the the fox hunting motion ... it should really have, have held on till this time in the evening.
[521] ... Er ... I and the council will ... recall the last time we had a motion on V A T ... when we asked.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [522] [...] the last council.
Ryan (PS3WM) [523] The last council yes ... and why not ... and this council and we haven't heard the end of it yet, well I'll be coming to that bit ... don't rush, don't rush me ... [laugh] ... We did ask the Secretary of State ... not to impose V A T on fuel and light ... because of the hardship it would impose ... on the people and in particular ... elderly ... pensioners, sick and ... invalids.
[524] ... We wrote to the Secretary of State ... after you passed that motion ... so it appears from the correspondence we have back from the Secretary of State ... that ... they are bloody minded on this one ... and they're going to, he's going to support, press on ... with the imposition of V A T and ... since that time we we see he's well supported by the cabinet.
[525] ... Now the the motion's expressing concern over the government's intention.
[526] ... [...] when we got the letters back from the Secretary of State ... one of his ... excuses if you like, for imposing such a savage ... tax ... was that it was ... save fuel ... and help the environment.
[527] ... Now there's no mention ... of the human unhappiness ... by the imposition of the V A T ... and what this w w would, the concern ... no concern whatsoever about this savage tax.
[528] ... Now ... when the Chancellor in the budget ... said that he would ... help the poor ... he stopped short, there were no ... copper bottomed ... no copper bottom ... guarantee ... and then later on we had Michael Portillo ... got in on the act.
[529] ... Now Michael Portillo is one of the Tory high flyers, for anyone that don't know who he is, he's a Tory high flyer ... who finds it very difficult ... to look down, very difficult to look down on those ... but he should look down before he makes a such statements.
[530] ... Michael said there would be no special compensation ... so you can imagine why we're concerned ... and why we have this back on the ... as a motion again.
[531] A motion to ... monitor ... the effects it will have on people that we are responsible for.
[532] ... So really ... it's only right that this council ... should follow up on such a motion.
[533] ... Because things are looking fairly bleak for pensions, disable etcetera.
[534] ... Looking at the report and using the ... present criteria ... for increase in pensions ... and these are the figures that ... I didn't produce ... but er ... they look pretty bleak as I said because ... what the pensions can expect next year ... will be eighty four P for single pensioners and one twenty eight in that area for a couple ... and then we had look at ... we have some concern of what happened yesterday in a statement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer who said he is going to ... extend V A T ... and also it has now been [...] that instead of putting on half of it in nineteen ninety four ... he put the full [...] pile at seventeen and a half percent in nineteen ninety four because what was being saved ... is that if he's ... leave the other half to nineteen ninety five it'll be round near the elections and er there could be some difficulty.
[535] ... I was hoping there would and I will still hope because there's not for the political reas , I would hope that ... that the minister would not a U-turn, the Chancellor would do a U-turn on this one.
[536] ... Because ... I can, I'm surprised that the Tory party's [...] .
[537] It'll haunt the Tory party ... for years.
[538] It'll be a bigger bone than ... a bigger bone than ever the poll tax was.
[539] ... Now you say well why do a U-turn I see no reason why because ... they done a few U-turns ... on the child benefit ... they done a U-turn, they picked it up and then blocked it.
[540] Charging pensioners and children for medical prescriptions ... picked that one up and dropped it ... like a hot potato ... and charging for hospital treatment and why ... so why not do a U-turn on on this one?
[541] ... We must think Jim ... of those people as I said that we are responsible for.
[542] ... Our [...] they'll want to forget ... that the Tories ... programme and policies, they lied about taxes ... they promised ... not to extend V A T ... they lied about protecting the value of pensions ... well I hope the people who get the eight four P and the one twenty, the one's that the old dears will remember that because that's what they will be getting.
[543] ... That's what they will be getting ... because I can tell this ... to the Tories, let's be quite honest ... that with the throw up ... the the people ... put their trust in the Tories ... and I don't think they'll ever do it again.
[544] ... I hope that we will, I will debate even in this late hour, it's not too late to ... debate this ... very important issue and let the people out there know that we are thinking of them, not just about the things that happened early on today but least ... that we are responsible enough to dis to discuss ... this motion ... and to press and press and press again so ... the government, hoping the government will do a U- turn, if you don't you'll be gone forever.
[545] Thank you Chairman, I move.
(PS3WK) [546] Have a seconder.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [547] Seconded ... seconded Mr Chairman, reserve me remarks thank you.
(PS3WK) [548] The serious item of news situ at the moment one day.
[549] ... Mr .
(PS3WK) [550] Mr Chairman er ... when we discussed this last time ... er I expressed the view that in fact er ... the county council had better things to do ... I've not changed my mind erm since but I have been reminded that er ... when er ... the ... Roman Emperors er ... found ascension in the ... ranks ... when Roman Emperors found ascension in the ranks ... they ... provided bread and circuses ... and I have to say that I regard the two notices of motion which were placed in Mr ... notably fox hunting and this debate on V A T as ... bread and circuses.
[551] ... It could be that er ... he wishes to ... distract attention between ... the interesting arguments going on about one man one vote ... which I'm pleased to hear that Mr has won.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
(PS3WK) [552] Well it is remarkable that it's taken until nineteen ninety two for the Labour party to discover that democracy consists in one man one vote ... rather than somebody holding up ... holding up a card
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
(PS3WK) [553] saying one and a half million votes.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
(PS3WK) [554] And ... and it is also ... perhaps distracted er ... attention ... from the ... interesting disagreements also taking place at the Labour party conference this week between the ... one more pushes, if I might describe them ... and the ... hard liners who believe you've got to be radical.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
(PS3WK) [555] Just wait for it.
(PS3WK) [...]
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
(PS3WK) [556] So having said that I thought that there were more important issues for the council to discuss, I don't think it'd be fair to let this ... second debate on the subject pass without actually making a few er er a very short erm ... a few short remarks cos I think we need to be clear about the issues.
[557] ... There is a need ... to fund the deficit in public expenditure.
[558] ... Even that nice Mr Gordon Brown ... doesn't pretend ... that ... a deficit on the public ... borrowing requirement greater than fifty million ... is sensible.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
(PS3WK) [559] Indeed ... that nice ... it's interesting to note that that nice Mr Gordon Brown ... has just rec
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
(PS3WK) [560] Has just recently ... withdrawn Labour's promise ... to link pensions with average earnings.
[561] He recognises that there is a funding problem for public expenditure even if Labour members in this chamber don't ... er and in case the erm ... er ... Liberal group is feeling sanctimonious.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
(PS3WK) [562] They should be aware that Mr beat Mr Brown to the punch and did exactly the same thing ... a few months ago.
[563] ... There is a serious question as to how reasonably ... you should fund the deficit ... and it is all very well to criticise ... this suggestion as to how the a gap should filled without making any sensible suggestions of your own ... and Mr Brown, nice Mr Brown so far
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
(PS3WK) [564] has been singularly silent on the matter.
[565] ... The second fact issued before us and it's one that I referred to er when we did it, debated this last time ... is that if members ... do take seriously the whole question of ... [...]
(PS3WK) [566] Near time
(PS3WK) [567] of reduction ... of er emissions then in fact you have got to reduce the consumption of erm ... hydrocarbons ... er as interesting as the Liberal party has said for years but now er pretends it had nothing to do with ... erm, er V A T on fuel.
[568] One final quick note Chairman, there is no point complaining ... that there has not been a cop copper bottomed guarantee.
(PS3WK) [569] You're on time at the copper bottom.
(PS3WK) [570] Mr will find out whether or not there is a copper bottomed guarantee when the budget is announced and until then
(PS3WK) [571] Time please
(PS3WK) [572] until then
(PS3WK) [573] Please Mr please.
(PS3WK) [574] his criticisms are entirely er er surplus to requirements.
(PS3WK) [575] Mr .
(PS3WK) [576] I didn't mind waiting.
(PS3WK) [577] Alright, well the rest did.
[578] We have nine speeches including yourself.
Avanby (PS3WS) [579] On a much more parochial level and I er I have an interest and I am one of these old age pensions that Mr is determined to look after.
[580] ... Now the system at the moment seems to be ... er suggested by the government that V A T should go up ... and those that really need the money ... will be if not wholly, mainly compensated, they will of course get another rise if the cost of living goes up because their pensions will go up.
[581] Mr is very different ... we must all be protected, I've worked out my bill as the same as this year because no way shall I spend seventeen and a half percent more money ... I shall be as careful as I can and I shan't starve and I shan't get cold ... now I've worked out that the V A T on my fuel bill ... is eight hundred and eighty five pounds, I'd delighted if Mr could perform the trick and I needn't pay it, on behalf of the Duke of Westminster, the Duke of Rutland, I think I can also thank him.
[582] This is not er ... protecting that, no old age pensioner should pay these taxes ... they should pay the taxes unless they're in need and be adequately taken care of.
[583] ... I must remind you that in Europe ... that marvellous place with the social contract, hasn't prevented ... everyone paying tax on on fuel.
[584] I think in Denmark it's twenty percent.
[585] ... Somehow we are different.
[586] ... I don't know why we're different except that someone wants to makes some trouble.
[587] If we come into line with Europe,le Europe will soon be putting pressure on us ... by having a common policy and the policy to save fossil ... er burning of fossil fuels is international.
[588] ... The Liberals said it must be done and done quickly ... the Liberals said it must be done and done quickly, get extra tax on the fossil fuels for the sake of the environment.
[589] ... If you remember ... you did say that.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [laugh]
Avanby (PS3WS) [590] Er it's perf altered a little now because it's not very popular but that's what you've said.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [laugh]
Avanby (PS3WS) [591] And I'm sure you've had a bit of thought about it, I'm glad you're see it there ... er and the whole lot is a blessed mismatch, it's nothing to do with us though I do thank you Mr for the help you wish to give me, the Duke of Westminster and the Duke of Rutland if this goes through as I said this today because without a doubt the government will listen to what you have to say and I've no doubt it will be effect.
(PS3WK) [592] Mr
Roberts (PS3WL) [593] Thank you Mr Chairman.
[594] There is a sense of er deja vu about all of this isn't there.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
Roberts (PS3WL) [595] One seems to have heard it all and I'm sure you've heard before that I've, I've to say.
[596] Er, I wondered about this erm ... this Tory high flyer, about whom er, my friend over there speaks with such admiration and envy, he must have a tremendous influence ... because I wonder, had he been the mover behind ... the fact that ... this V A T on fuel is is there in every other country in Europe including Ireland ... where it's about eleven percent.
[597] So this Tory high flyer must be a very high flyer indeed.
[598] The truth of the matter is this of course, that Mr might just as well put here any indirect tax, because that's what it's about.
[599] In one sense all indirect taxation is hardly equitable because it falls on the rich and the poor, like the old saying the rain, it raineth every day upon the rich and just and unjust fellow.
[600] But more upon the just because the unjust have the just's umbrella ... but er this happens all the time.
[601] So there's no budget in picking out the f fuel for it.
[602] You might just as well pick out anything ... but having done it and taking up, er what Mr mentioned, this question I think it was Mr , about the deficit.
[603] ... There is a way of course, a classic way in which deficits trad can be ... absorbed.
[604] You do it by having very high inflation.
[605] ... That's all is easy, it swallows up an inflation and in fact all those many years ago when there was a ... a socialist government ... seems a long since, like a bad dream now doesn't it, but when there was a socialist government, they did just this.
[606] They have high inflation, I might add to you that it had a far far more ... damaging effect on poor old pensioners, like myself and I'm a war pensioner as well, poor old pensioners t to be serious, old people and ... people of limited means who are affected far more ... by the cure, the other cure that the Labour party tried that ... that was high inflation, mind you I'm sure that they tried it, I think it just happened.
[607] It does with Labour parties [...]
(PS3WK) [608] Thank you [...]
Roberts (PS3WL) [609] Thank you very much, er I can't ... carry along because you want to stop me, but if I were capable of telling, I'd say ... my attitude is still the same as it was before.
(PS3WK) [610] I'm glad you didn't mention the bank manager's umbrella.
[611] Mr ... Mr
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [laugh]
Ryan (PS3WM) [612] Than thank you Chair.
[613] Very quickly in, what, what can I say, I mean it's an appalling situation ... where you have a political party that believes that it can solve all the ills of these [...] the country that it has created in the last twelve years, I hope on the explicit [...] though I tend to think [...] renunciations are fairly clear here, but erm I hope you'll listen.
[614] ... That, that they have create these ills in the last decade through this, this increase in indirect taxation.
[615] Be ... bec , the appalling thing is ... that they're quite, they're quite happy to spread this pain on those who are in the least position to burden it ... and they believe quite rightly and this, this is the [...] I think, that exists between socialism and ... and and the Conservatism in that sense that ... whereas ... erm, you know opinion surveys bear out the fact that people are quite happy, those who can afford it ... to pay a little bit extra in terms of direct taxation for those service provisions, which are absolutely ... vital and these surveys have been conducted in public and they have been made quite er er open to the press, er, just before the last election ... particularly for the health authority ... and so forth.
[616] But I mean these, these surveys have indicated that the general public is quite prepared to give that little bit extra through direct t , through direct taxation, well listen, you you guys can't speak much after all there's only thirty one of you and there's thirty seven of us here let's face it.
[617] Er, but the interesting, the interesting thing is that they are prepared to pay and yet this obsession ... this obsession with this ideology that the only way you can get ... you can go forward in in terms of er ... placing this this country in any economic status in the way it may have been and er ... is is [...] to privatisation of V A T. Chairman I look forward to the day when ... when the very air and this has been said for that we breathe ... will either be privatised or more important they'll stick a bloody V A T on it.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [laugh]
Ryan (PS3WM) [618] But it, isn't it an awful situation ... when you, when you, when you look at it ... that evidence indicates that the erm ... the number of people that are either now elderly ... infirm or sick ... and [clears throat] and clearly that they all will have to face this, this, this terrible burden ... and I cannot understand because there is, this, there is, there is er a total disarray within the Conservative party, that all their er er back bench er MP s are ... making representations to their ... erm ... their leader who possibly may not be a leader tomorrow but as long as he's the leader today, John Major ... that he should do a rethink ... and here they are ... er ... you know, members of the same party, continuing to support ... something which is so ... idiosyncratic that ... you know it's really beyond belief, er Chairman.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [619] Not idiosyncratic.
Ryan (PS3WM) [620] I think, well, clearly those people ... those people who have ... er ... those who have some notion of decency ... and particularly ... even taking into account the mixed economy that we need to work in ... will ... support ... er the notion that those people who cannot burden this ... kind of tax ... should not have to ... er er should not have to partake.
[621] In actual fact it was mentioned earlier that V A T er could be imposed on fossil fuel but I think any administration ... .
[622] could clearly ... make some kind of differentiation between a conglomerate ... paying V A T or some such tax whereas er the exception could be made to those people who are not clearly in a position to make er er to say that.
[623] Ch Chairman I hope that the motion will get full support.
(PS3WK) [624] Thank you.
[625] Er is there a in the house?
[626] I, here he is.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
Clements (PS3WN) [627] Mr Chairman ... ladies and gentlemen, how's that.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
Clements (PS3WN) [628] I wanted to say a word, I know you don't want me to.
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [629] [...] .
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [630] Thank you, yes they should be ... but [...] stand up and I'm only trying to help in the situation.
Clements (PS3WN) [631] Mr you'll spoi you'll spoil us ... when I saw this tonight I thought we I gotta say something because Martin is coming up with the ... er same motion as it was last time, it was not much different so ... probably with the same reply's gotta be made and that is that ... the Labour party is not the caring party, everyone here, I'm sure the Liberals as well as the Conservatives care ... we are a caring party as much as you are ... and we are concerned, we are concerned about, we are concerned about
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
Ryan (PS3WM) [632] the old people and the people that are, are living on low incomes.
[633] ... I am an old age pensioner, you wouldn't believe that would you?
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
Ryan (PS3WM) [634] I've struggled
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
Ryan (PS3WM) [635] I know what it's like ... to struggle to pay [...] .
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [636] [laugh] here, here.
Ryan (PS3WM) [637] Thank you.
[638] You may think I'm joking ... I don't go abroad for my holidays, I go to Norfolk.
[639] I can't afford to go on foreign holidays.
[640] Anyway, the point is this ... that I am going to say as far as I'm concerned I'm gonna put all my maximum ability in making sure that this government stands by its obligation which it gave me ... when I wrote to the Prime Minister because I was very very concerned that I did not want to see the old people and pensioners who was having difficulty in making ends meet, suffer further ... and therefore I am with you when it comes to concerning yourself in relation to the O A P's or the pensioners or any one who is suffering because of the s seventeen and o half percent, the maximum is put on.
[641] So, I am looking after their interests.
[642] I don't need the Chief Executive to tell me what's happening because I'm going to be ... involved in seeing what's happening and as far as the Labour people talking about the cost ... it's going to create.
[643] ... You never said that when you were creating the cost, the cost of living which was inflation was soaring up to thirty percent, twice as much as what this bloody V A T will introduce.
[644] You were condemned of people then ... you couldn't care a damn about it cos you couldn't do anything about it because your methods of running a country was a waste of time.
[645] ... Er, so as far as I'm concerned and I'm sure as far as you're concerned, we are battling this together.
[646] We maybe on different sides, but we want to make sure that the O A P s and the people that do have to er ... er present th ... pay these bills, I mean if you consider ... if you think of ... Calor, Calor Gas, Calor Gas, the way that I actually heat my [...] I pay V A T on that, Calor Gas is is is V A T ed
Unknown speaker (J9MPSUNK) [...]
Ryan (PS3WM) [647] Now, as far as ... Conservatives are concerned, I speak myself and I'm sure everyone here would offer the same sympathy as the ... the government has promised that they will do something about this.
[648] I promise that I will look into it and can I, can report back to you if you wish me to when it comes out.
(PS3WK) [649] [...] Doctor
Clements (PS3WN) [650] Thank you very much Mr Chairman.
[651] It's qu , it's quite.
(PS3WK) [652] Can we just quieten down a bit please.
[653] Thank you.
Clements (PS3WN) [654] It's quite interesting that er ... two members of the Conservative party have referred to these very high rates of inflation ... er that happened under a Labour government er because ... they, the, the reason they occurred ... primarily, if you remember is because in nineteen seventy two ... oil, oil was three dollars a barrel.
[655] In nineteen seventy three it went up to fifteen dollars a barrel and in nineteen seventy nine it went up to thirty dollars a barrel.
[656] Now that was.