Bradford Metropolitan Council: debate. Sample containing about 8361 words speech recorded in public context

1 recordings

  1. Tape 112409 recorded on 1994-01-20. LocationWest Yorkshire: Bradford ( Council Chamber ) Activity: debate

Undivided text

(JJDPSUNK) [1] There is concern about funding for the Children Act and it's too important to start scoring political points, whether there's a General Election or not t and I must admit I was off, I was off ill, off work during the week of the Tory Party Conference.
[2] It was actually something that happened before the Tory Party Conference but it didn't, it didn't actually help me recover
(JJDPSUGP) [laugh]
(JJDPSUNK) [3] and nearly every day, nearly every speaker actually attacked Local Government in some way.
[4] What the Children, what the Children Act does at least recognise in the Conservative Government passing the Children Act is the importance of Local Government.
[5] These are very important services and they are placed, just like care in the community will be, when it eventually is put into practice.
[6] They will actually [...] responsibility of Local Government and er we've tried to put in here something that even Conservative Councillors could support, even though it's attacking Conservative Ministers, cos they must actually believe in Local Government to actually serve on Local Government, one would think, but er, but th the problems of under-funding are th could be very serious.
[7] During the summer we had serious problems, we had a report on children homes which erm which y'know which pointed out a few things y'know that hadn't been doing well, mainly, mainly in defence of erm because they did put in a lot of effort into fostering y'know and the children homes y'know need, as Councillor would y'know will, they did a very good job actually representing at the time.
[8] Yet I listen to the television and Virginia Bottomley with th within er hours of the r the news breaking in trying to make political capital out of, threatening to come to to inspect inspected children homes.
[9] Clearly that's what worries me about this Government's implementation of the Children Act.
[10] I mean our motion you can do with it what you will but like I say we have actually aimed to actually get something which recognises all party support for the Children Act and recognises concern about the funding.
[11] Thank you. [clapping] [tape breaks here] [clapping]
(JJDPSUNK) [12] Councillor [tape breaks here]
(JJDPSUNK) [13] D d I've put I've not gone too political on this and you're running me down already I don't know.
[13_1] There is, as has been said, all party support for the Children Act and it is nice to see the Labour Party agreeing with Conservative legislation, as with the care in the community, asking us to rush our legislation, so it makes a change for us to be united on something.
[14] Probably the Act the Act will work as a framework through which our children's futures and their needs will be of paramount importance in all our decision making.
[15] One of the key points of the Children Act being that gone are the days of parents' rights.
[16] The Children Act clearly replaces this with parents' responsibilities.
[17] I think that's one of the things that we're we're all pretty much in agreement on.
[18] What about the responsibilities of the Councillors to the children in our care?
[19] We all know the grave problems in some of our children's homes but we can't run away with the fact that er they're unique to or the problems don't exist elsewhere because we all know they do.
[20] It's nothing new, it's an age old thing.
[21] Speaking to one of the workers in one of the children's homes, said do you think that child prostitution in the children's homes is something new because it's on the front of the T and A?
[22] I've worked in these homes for fifteen years and it was going on when I first started there.
[23] So, it's it's just a problem that's come to the surface that obviously needs addressing.
[24] As custodians of the children we've a legal duty to take care of thes of the children that we in our care.
[25] One of the major problems for us, whichever Party's in in control, and I think if Councillor had gone to the press after this report was done and, rather than trying to score points and saying it's all because it's lack of Government cash, if he'd appli if he'd said, let's all get together on this, let's try and solve the problem, the problem's been going on indefinitely, let's try and s , he might have gained more credibility.
[26] But of course he came out with his usual dry diatribe of er not enough Government cash.
[27] The major problem being, if one of our children gets out of hand, one our own children, we've got our own ways of dealing with it.
[28] Some parents still give their kids a clip round the ear, some of em send the children to their room or whatever, but when the children are in care you can't do any of these things because if you lock the child in the room, if the child gets sent to the room, you're accused of pindown when there's a report done.
[29] You can't physically restrain the children.
[30] So the problem is, if your child wants to go, if one of our children wanted to go at midnight, I'm fairly sure that everybody in this Council Chamber would have quite a reasonable way of er of retaining that child in the home but of course we've all heard the stories of what happens when the unruly children in the children's homes want to go out at midnight and I do think we we have a problem because with the [...] report and the new legislation, we're in the situation where there's plenty of advice for us as to what to do, what not to do should I say, we can't we can't use pindown, you can't shut them in a room, you can't physically restrain them, so how does one of the workers in the home stop them from going out?
[31] I'm meeting Virginia Bottomley next Monday afternoon at central office and I'll be putting the I will be putting whow I will b I will be putting the very question to her as to we've had a lot of advice as what not to do, how do you chastise the children in the homes?
[32] So what of Councillor claim that it's all down to lack of Government cash.
[33] I'd rather be constructive about this and meet Virginia Bottomley, put these points to her as an all party thing cos we've all said in Social Services that that is the problem that we're faced with.
[34] But what of Councillor claim then about Government cash?
[35] It's the children themselves in the homes who'd graffitied the walls, broken up the fabric of the homes.
[36] No amount of money would have stopped them, or is that if there was Laura Ashley on the walls they wouldn't bother spraying it?
[37] I don't think money will solve any of these problems.
[38] Would more Government money in the home stop young girls going out to engage in prostitution?
[39] I don't think so.
[40] May be Councillor efforts'd be better employed asking his leader to stop wasting public money and direct a bit more into Social Services
(JJDPSUGP) [41] hear hear
(JJDPSUGP) [clapping]
(JJDPSUNK) [42] You talk of the, you talk of er wo should we take it out of this, should we take it out of that, Councillor .
[43] received a thirty two point seven million pound increase from the Government compared to last years' i revenue support grant and this doesn't include the additional money given for the Community Charge.
[44] But your group sold the children's budget woefully short.
[45] You were told at the time you did, and Councillor told you at the time that th it was totally inadequate was the children's budget, so how can you expect more money from the Government when your sense of priorities is so blatantly wrong on the money that you're already handling.
[46] I make a plea for Councillor not to use the children as a political football.
[47] This matter could have been put forward.
[48] We could have tried to address the problem without all this talk of more Government cash, more this, more that, more the other.
[49] Let's all get together.
[50] The policies are starting to work, as we've already heard from Councillor .
[51] We're very far advanced in our Social Services department.
[52] The policy of trying to get more foster children is picking up momentum.
[53] Let's all work together to promote more fostering, get the children into family environments wherever possible.
[54] Thank you Lord Mayor. [tape breaks here]
(JJDPSUGP) [clapping]
(JJDPSUNK) [55] Councillor
(JJDPSUNK) [56] Thank you Lord Mayor [tape breaks here]
(JJDPSUNK) [57] Er, I er hope Councillor has got his pen ready because there are one or two things I'd like him to mention to Virginia Bottomley and I wouldn't like him to forget them.
[58] But er I'll deal first of all with the Children Act.
[59] Whilst most commentators are agreed that the Children Act 1989 is in the main a good Act, all of them, all of them Councillor are critical of the fact that the Government has not properly provided Local Authorities with sufficient resources to implement the Act.
[60] The Government deserves no praise for the Act.
[61] It was not their idea.
[62] It was an idea which sprang from pressure groups and voluntary groups as well as Social Services departments, not to mention the House of Commons All Party Select Committee in 1984 [...] .
[63] But I want to ask the Tories, I want to ask the Tories, and I want an answer.
[64] If the Act is as good as it is claimed in their motion, why hasn't the Government ensured proper funding for it?
[65] Of course, of course the opposition won't
(JJDPSUGP) [...]
(JJDPSUNK) [66] of course the opposition won't answer that question, but the truth is that it is the usual hallmark of the Tory Government not to fund anything properly.
[67] Look around you.
[68] Is it not, we can mention this to Virginia Bottomley.
[69] It is not only the Children Act which is under-funded but the entire spectrum of Local Government and the National Health Services.
[70] The fact remains, and will become more and more evident as the year goes by, that the deliberate under-funding of the Act was an act of incompetence by incompetent ministers.
[71] Ministers who should never be allowed to govern this country again, just as the Tories should never be allowed to run again.
[72] And while I'm talking Labour running , I notice that the original seconder if this motion was one Councillor , the former arch cash-cutter of Social Services
(JJDPSUGP) [...]
(JJDPSUNK) [73] will never be allowed to forget that she cut the Social Services budget by one tenth.
[74] Money, incidentally, that we shall never be able to put back.
[75] She deformed Social Services and now has the gall to congratulate the Government for this under-funded Act.
[76] If it was not for her, this Council would have had more opportunity of addressing some of the deep problems the Tories either created or left behind.
[77] Now what if I support in the main the aims of the Act, there are one or two areas I think that some things are not a good idea.
[78] I'm concerned about the loss of the access of parental rights panel and the handing over of this work to the Courts and the lawyers.
[79] I take this opportunity to thank all the Councillors of both major parties who served on our access parental rights panels.
[80] I feel that they did an excellent job
(JJDPSUGP) [clapping]
(JJDPSUNK) [81] Putting this putting this work to the Court will not, I fear, help the situation or improve matters for children or their parents.
[82] In fact I think that making this a Court issue will deter some parents from seeking access to their children which is a very bad thing.
[83] I do not believe that magistrates will be able to show any greater compassion or understanding that our own elected members.
[84] In fact, with the involvement of solicitors, I think the whole business will be less personal, with much less informality and genuine understanding.
[85] I must also say that I resent the tendency of the Act to line the pockets of lawyers out of the tragic situations of families and children in trouble.
(JJDPSUGP) [...]
(JJDPSUNK) [86] If I was a cynical person, which you all know that I am not, I would have said it was the Government's intention to help lawyers make more money out of the Act.
[87] However, I shall confine myself to believing that it was an unintentional consequence.
[88] Another area of this Act which I disagree with is over the definition of need.
[89] I remember in 1990 attending the same conference as Councillors and Councillor , hearing from , the principle civil servant in charge of the Act, that the Government had not defined need and that would emerge through decisions made in Court.
[90] In other words, the Government were too frightened by the cost of the Act that they refused to name a price.
[91] However, at the same time, the Government wilfully left Local Government to exposure of the law and the high cost of judicial reviews and High Court actions.
[92] Only a Tory Government would be so irresponsible and unfeeling.
[93] Only ministers who have no understanding of either Local Government or Social Services would shrink from their own responsibilities in this way.
[94] It was their duty and their responsibility to protect Local Government but instead they acted like cowards and ran away.
[95] Is that the order of the day?
[96] Isn't that what we've come to expect from this worn out useless Government, that at the moment of decision making they run away?
[97] Didn't they do just the same with the Community Care Act?
[98] When the All Party House of Commons Select Committee reported in 1984 and suggested a further review of child care legislation was needed, did the same Select Committee envisage the incompetence of the Government ministers of the day to so irresponsibly deal with their duties?
(JJDPSUNK) [99] Councillor , time's up please
(JJDPSUNK) [100] Yes thank you.
[101] It's time for a change.
[102] It's time we had ministers who will listen to Social Services and in a few months time we shall have them, a Labour Government.
(JJDPSUGP) [clapping] [tape breaks here] [clapping]
(JJDPSUNK) [103] Councillor
(JJDPSUNK) [104] My Lord Mayor, I move under standing order A fifteen B that the vote now be put.
[105] I so move Lord Mayor.
(JJDPSUNK) [106] Seconded my Lord Mayor.
(JJDPSUNK) [107] Those in favour please show
(JJDPSUGP) [...]
(JJDPSUNK) [108] Those against?
(JJDPSUGP) [...]
(JJDPSUNK) [109] [whispering] thirty, isn't it? []
(JJDPSUNK) [110] That is carried, forty nine votes to thirty.
[111] Those in favour of amendment I moved by Councillor please show.
(JJDPSUNK) [112] [whispering] yes, that's ok.
[113] That's gonna be fifty one, isn't it? []
(JJDPSUNK) [...]
(JJDPSUNK) [114] Mhm?
(JJDPSUNK) [...]
(JJDPSUNK) [115] [whispering] fifty one? []
(JJDPSUNK) [116] Those against?
(JJDPSUNK) [117] [whispering] thirty []
(JJDPSUGP) [...]
(JJDPSUNK) [118] [whispering] that's carried []
(JJDPSUNK) [119] That's carried, fifty one for, thirty against.
[120] Those in favour of amendment H stan moved by Councillor please show.
(JJDPSUGP) [...]
(JJDPSUNK) [121] Those in favour of the substantive motion please show
(JJDPSUGP) [...]
(JJDPSUNK) [whispering] [...] []
(JJDPSUNK) [122] Against?
(JJDPSUNK) [123] [whispering] thirty against []
(JJDPSUNK) [124] That's carried, fifty one votes to thirty.
[125] At this stage in the proceedings I'm going to adjourn Cou the Council meeting so that you can all have your tea.
[126] We shall reassemble at er five minutes to seven. [tape breaks here]
(JJDPSUNK) [127] We now under er the powers to choose and the right to own
(JJDPSUGP) [...]
(JJDPSUNK) [128] Lord Mayor, I'd like to firstly say why I refused to sit and listen to this next debate.
[129] I think it's the worse example of pure political self-indulgence that I have ever come across in the eight ye nearly eight years on this Council
(JJDPSUGP) [clapping]
(JJDPSUNK) [130] I think, I regard it as an insult to the people who actually elected us to come to this Cou these Council meetings.
[131] I apologise on behalf of Council to the members of the press who are here, and to the Council officers who have to endure this and I am only grateful that there are not members of the public here to witness this total farce.
(JJDPSUGP) [clapping]
(JJDPSUNK) [132] Now Councillor , you're entirely out of order but er
(JJDPSUGP) [shouting] [...] []
(JJDPSUNK) [133] however, I call upon Councillor to move the motion, together with amendment K standing in his name.
(JJDPSUNK) [134] Lord Mayor
(JJDPSUNK) [...]
(JJDPSUNK) [135] Are you going to move, formally move it?
(JJDPSUNK) [136] I'll move it [...]
(JJDPSUNK) [...]
(JJDPSUNK) [137] Shush.
[138] Is the is there a seconder?
[139] Remarkable.
(JJDPSUGP) [laugh]
(JJDPSUNK) [140] I call Councill Councillor to move amendment G standing in his name
(JJDPSUNK) [141] I so move my Lord Mayor
(JJDPSUNK) [142] Is there a seconder?
[143] In accordance with standing order A thirteen E, the opposition group has specified this motion as the one to which a minimum debating time of thirty minutes is to be allocated.
[144] So we will proceed.
[145] Councillor
(JJDPSUNK) [146] Thank you Lord Mayor.
[147] As I was saying, if the Labour Group would like to leave the chamber we don't really mind, if they stay out for the voting at the end of this debate which actually contrary
(JJDPSUNK) [...]
(JJDPSUNK) [148] contrary to what, contrary to what Councillor er erm what's his name?
[149] Councillor said, is extremely important to the people of and we've learnt a lot in politics over the last ten years.
[150] One that I look a lot more like the Prime Minister wearing my reading glasses than the Prime Minister actually looks like the Prime Minister and two, the hidden benefits of wearing your reading glasses, group, here, is that I can't see a thing over there and for the first time in ten years I'm gonna enjoy delivering a speech.
[151] The power to choose and the right to own.
[152] The power of the individual to choose and the power of the individual to own is the central political plank of the Conservative Party and in fact goes back to Disraeli and one nation.
[153] If Councillor had actually stayed, he would know why this is so important to the people of whom I may say he has cruelly deserted by walking out of the debating chamber and what he's saying to the people of is that Liberal Councillors A won't prepare speeches like his colleague earlier on or they won't stay in the debate they are not going to be properly represented when we take important decisions, both nationally and locally.
[154] The Right to Buy given to all Council tenants opposed by the Labour Party, has allowed one point two million Council homes to be sold to their existing tenants and make them home owners, and home ownership is a central plank of our policy.
[155] It is no, it is no coincidence that in a question asked today to the Labour Party, we will find that we a year ago when the Tory's proposals were still being implemented, over eleven hundred people were granted in the right to buy their own Council house.
[156] This year, solidly under a Labour controlled Council, only two hundred and fifty people approximately have been allowed to exercise what actually is their legal right.
[157] We've had a debate on Local Management of Schools opposed by the Labour Party where we have seen that the right to choose their own children's quality of education and where school governing bodies can direct their cash where they want has been extremely popular.
[158] And I don't apologise to the people of that I voted with Councillor to take a hundred administration jobs out of education and direct that money to the provision of education in the schools cos that that is what running the education department is about.
(JJDPSUGP) [159] hear hear
(JJDPSUNK) [160] The city tecnol technological college was given the right, has given the right of education, a quality of education undreamed of by a n by the people who live in the inner cities of , particularly the Asian population of opposed by the Labour Party, a Labour Party committed to scrapping and closing the C T C's and if they can't get
(JJDPSUGP) [clapping]
(JJDPSUNK) [161] Oh you my clap, if you can't get your way, what bullies you are.
[162] We're not having the C T C playing football against our schools, God, how low can you actually sink?
(JJDPSUGP) [163] hear hear
(JJDPSUNK) [164] What is wrong, what is wrong with increasing the levels of education in our schools up to the quality and level of education offered by the C T C?
[165] And why does the Labour Party in always want to level things down?
[166] Under the Conservative Government the green belt in England has doubled in twelve years.
[167] If it was up to the Labour Party it'd be halved in two.
[168] And we've seen, we've seen the commitment to Local Government, haven't we, on the planning application on the , where two local Councillors, two Labour Councillors, sitting there, listened so much to their electorate that they abstain when it comes up to the vote?
[169] They abstain.
[170] Now, where's people's commitment to Local Government in circumstances like that?
[171] Under the Conservative Government the people in Great Britain, including people, have been given the opportunity of shareholding undreamed of before opposed opposed by the Labour Party.
[172] And what does say about that? says that we will keep the level of charges down in the now privately owned companies providing public utilities so there'll be nothing for dividends.
[173] I hope he's gonna put that in your manifesto.
[174] I hope the eleven million who own shares in those operations know that under a Labour Government there will be no dividends.
[175] The Citizens Charter announced by the Conservative Party has been one
(JJDPSUNK) [laugh]
(JJDPSUNK) [176] of the most outs , you may laugh, at least you stayed in
(JJDPSUGP) [...]
(JJDPSUNK) [177] Try reading it, try reading it some time because what it says to the people of is, if you don't like the level of services being provided by your Council, if you feel your Council are not giving you value for money, then we're gonna give you the right to complain about it and do something.
[178] And that brings us on to the question of money.
[179] We've heard tonight, and I do not believe it, a plea from Councillor , the Chairman of Social Services, that he wants ring fencing of Local Government money, I E the Government sends us our money and says, you will spend it on that and that and that and there will be now power of Local Councils to decide what the needs are in their areas and what their priorities are.
[180] Now if you want to serve as a Local Councillor, Councillor where you are told by any Government what the priorities of people are, on the services that we deliver, than I want no part of that in Local Government.
[181] No more than I want any part in Local Government where Councillors and Officers can spend twenty thousand pounds tripping all over Europe and let's put something straight, the T and A tonight, which we all believe, says Councillor has no right to complain about that cos he went on a jet plane to Brussels.
[182] There was nothing in our press release, in fact the contrary, criticising the Labour Party Officers going to Brussels where we've had tremendous support over the last ten years.
[183] And if we did spent twelve hundred pounds on an aeroplane and came back with fifty million pounds worth of grants, I'm not apologising for that.
[184] I actually don't think I actually don't think that the Community Charge payers of should pay for Councillor to go and watch a circus in Denmark.
[185] If he wants to watch a circus, he can attend the Labour Group [shouting] Labour Group meetings every month [] , the Labour Group meetings every month.
[186] We don't think we don't think that the citizens of are doing cartwheels at sixty four thousand pound being spent on a benefit bus to tour round this district and certainly if the festival organisers two years ago could commit themselves to breaking even within two years and were happy with that, why have we spent two hundred and forty thousand pound on a festival in when that money, and that's four hundred thousand pounds worth of money, could have been spent on the salaries and training of our officers who work in children's homes.
[187] No, we didn't sack anybody who worked in children's homes, we didn't sack anybody who was at the front line of s services and we certainly didn't expect other people to pay for our circus tickets.
(JJDPSUNK) [188] [whispering] didn't sack anybody []
(JJDPSUNK) [189] We actually believe that the people of would prefer prefer their money spending on the environment and front end services.
[190] And we actually believe that it's the individual's power to choose.
[191] What is now worrying us extremely about Local Government in Britain, in any Labour Authority, which is spreading now like a cancer in , that officers are not trusted now to even take the sick list of decisions so there has to be another sub-committee.
[192] I mean, I'm not that rude as to say that's for the payment of allowances, but some people may say that.
[193] Officers are paid to implement [...]
(JJDPSUNK) [...]
(JJDPSUNK) [194] you can speak in a second.
[195] Officers are paid to implement our policies.
[196] They're certainly not paid
(JJDPSUNK) [197] nursing homes.
[198] Where's the power to choose for those elderly people that want free at the point of service National Health Service treatment?
[199] It was, or it has been, a believe that the N H S was for all of us from the cradle to the grave.
[200] It's now a sick joke in the Health Service, it's from the cradle to the Waldergrave.
(JJDPSUGP) [laugh]
(JJDPSUGP) [clapping]
(JJDPSUNK) [201] The Trusts are in serious financial difficulties and may well be one million pound or two million pound in debt before the end of this financial year.
[202] And quite rightly, it's gonna be the subject of a Parliamentary Health [...] Committee Enquiry which starts next week.
[203] Meanwhile, it's chief executive, it's brains, it's driving force, is getting out.
[204] He says quote, there's unfish unfinished business for the Trust but not for me.
[205] And he's so desperate to get out he'll take a twenty thousand pound a year pay cut.
[206] He's obviously abandoning the sinking ship cos he knows what's happening to it.
[207] Now what effect is that gonna have on the staff who can't leave?
[208] Having said that, three hundred are been forced to leave, three hundred are being sacked, as we've heard before.
[209] Nurses are actually being sacked at .
[210] The official term is released, not sacked, released, made redundant.
[211] But that's been consistent because there are three thousand less nurses this year in the N H S than there were last year.
[212] I don't believe that's because people are being treated better, or more people are being treated better, but at a cost of eighty million pound, there are four thousand more managers or accountants, people brought in from business, people who will do business, people who will sort out privatisation.
[213] Now the Trust refuse to publish their business plans.
[214] These are the multi million pound supposedly public money going into it.
[215] Whey do they do that?
[216] Because they're in the business of competing with other hospitals, competing for treatment, competing with doctors.
[217] That's not co-operation, that's not a comprehensive Health Service, that's moving towards privatisation.
[218] Now I think it's a bit rich t to slam the Liberals for walking out on the last debate because the Tories didn't attend the Health Trust Select Committee which Council set up.
[219] I wish they had have attended, the Tories, because there were very very few people prepared to come and speak in favour of Trusts.
[220] Even the proposers from the Trust would not come and talk to the public.
[221] Not surprisingly, I heard today that in in there's to be a judicial review on the supposed Trust because they've not given enough information to the public on which to start their enterprise.
[222] The survival of the N H S is going to be a major election issue and I know who's gonna win it.
[223] Nobody trusts the Trusts, it seems, except the Conservatives and I fear that we're only a General Election away from a fully privatised Health Service.
(JJDPSUGP) [...]
(JJDPSUNK) [224] Well, give us the power to choose at the election.
[225] The position of the Conservative Party is clear.
[226] Opting out hospitals, two tier Health Service, an internal market, competition for business, competition for people's illnesses and treatments, secrecy, less accountability, and privatisation.
[227] It's already happening.
[228] Labour Party will bring these Trusts back into Health Service and to public control.
[229] One of the reasons why they're having such a hard time with trying to privatise the Health Service is because the British public actually feel they own it, they feel a part of it, they feel it's theirs, they know where the hospitals are, they know they can get treatment and they don't abuse it.
[230] The Government are steam- rolling these reforms through but the Trusts are failing, failing in , they're failing all over.
[231] It is true.
[232] For the first fifty seven of them to be set up , at a cost of half a million pounds, did a survey and found that only twelve of the fifty seven were financially viable and that didn't include the Trust.
[233] The public do not believe the N H S is safe in Tory hands.
(JJDPSUGP) [234] hear hear
(JJDPSUNK) [235] Give them the power to choose at the General Election and they will decide the future of the N H S. The future of the N H S is safe with the Labour Party, with your lot it's privatisation, it's started already and we're a General Election away from the end of the N H S.
(JJDPSUGP) [clapping] [tape breaks here]
(JJDPSUGP) [clapping]
(JJDPSUNK) [236] Councillor [tape breaks here]
(JJDPSUNK) [237] right to the very bitter end I assure you.
[238] Lord Mayor, we've always been opposed to Trusts because of their independent nature which we see as really making it impossible because of that very nature to plan for health care properly.
[239] The two are really incompatible in the way that the Trusts are deemed to operate.
[240] But one of the problems with attacking Trust, I mean it may be possible to to envisage some sort of modified Trust with some local input at some stage without the contracting apparatus.
[241] It may be possible to envisage a Trust that could work and could operate.
[242] There are many simil similarities after all with the D N U's anyway.
[243] And really we ought to be concentrating far more upon the other other changes which are proposed other than the Trusts and the things that in fact are fo far worse in my my own opinion.
[244] Most of the problems that are arising are not just because of the Trusts but because of other things like for instance the contracting process that is proposed, the t the changing in the financing that is incorporated and of course the general under-funding which there is within the N H S. These are far more important problems in the long term.
[245] Now, paragraph four of our amendment here is not really designed to knock the Labour Party.
[246] It's really more to do with the er means rather than the ends, which I think we sh we all share and so i it was actually included more out of of sadness than anger and we tearfully put the word regret, not condemns, but regret really, the way that the campaign has been launched against the Trust.
[247] What we feel is that by going at it like a bull in a china shop,we all sorts of accusations of widespread privatisation has actually backfired.
[248] It's been a classic g case of scoring a lot of home goals here, which the Tories have actually benefited from.
[249] Talking about privatising the National Health Service and opting out of the National Health Service is not actually very helpful because people don't believe that, they don't believe it's er N H S P L C. They do not, it is not a British Gas, it is not a British Telecom, they know it's not and it devalues your argument if you talk of it in those terms, and it allows Waldergrave to stand up and to renounce and reject your statements and weaken your case.
[250] The impression is that the Tories are winning the debate because you're having to amend some of your earlier statements.
[251] You're not walking, not about widespread privatisation, but creeping privatisation and you're now talking about not opting out of the National Health Service but you're now talking about opting out of local national Health Service control.
[252] People know this, they identify with this, they recognise that you're back-tracking and it looks as though your ke case is hereby weakened.
[253] Now the problem is that the Tories do not have to privatise the National Health Service to damage it.
[254] There are lots of other ways that they have found of doing it.
[255] The contracting system is damaging to the National Health Service.
[256] The proposals to do away with nationally negotiated pay and condition will damage the Health Service.
[257] The attack on funding levels will damage it.
[258] The G P's are in turmoil at the moment, the G P practices, they're in turmoil at the moment, that's damaging.
[259] It's interesting, there is no doubt, no doubt you are [...] there's a very learned journal called the Liberal Democrat News which
(JJDPSUGP) [...]
(JJDPSUNK) [260] which you are no doubt.
[261] Now it reports in here a survey carried out in The Doctor, September the twenty sixth, and it was asking there who they actually supported in terms of the National Health Service changes, and you may be surprised to hear who in fact came out on top of that.
(JJDPSUNK) [262] from doctors
(JJDPSUNK) [263] That's from doctors.
[264] Doctors themselves saying that.
[265] On what the Labour Party have claimed for themself as being their issue.
[266] Now that would worry me.
[267] That would worry me if I was a Labour Party member because you have got a good case but you are not putting it across in a way that convinces doctors themselves.
[268] You are actually, I know that many doctors traditionally vote Conservative, but you are actually behind the Tories with only twenty one percent support.
[269] That must, should, worry you in terms of the case that you're putting across.
[270] There are lots of things to attack the Conservatives on and it is a question of how that is actually done.
[271] We don't need to make things up.
[272] We don't have to.
[273] All we have to do is tell it as it actually is and then trust the people themselves to decide. [tape breaks here]
(JJDPSUGP) [...]
(JJDPSUNK) [274] Councillor [tape breaks here]
(JJDPSUNK) [275] My Lord Mayor, I'm delighted to have this opportunity to debate the Government's health reforms again.
[276] I'm disappointed by the two er contributions we've had so far.
[277] We've had a list of anecdotes designed to panic the public and patience of Councillor and I was disappointed that Liberal don't seem to understand that the Health Authorities have now been given the op the responsibility for planning and provisional health care in er in health authorities.
[278] This planning is being done in a way that it has never been done before and I'm surprised they haven't grasped that.
[279] I'd like to have a look at the er to examine Labour's motions today.
[280] The three sections of it.
(JJDPSUGP) [...]
(JJDPSUNK) [281] The most important part of their, the first section of their of their er their motion is opting out of local N H S control.
[282] Now this is a downright lie
(JJDPSUGP) [283] hear hear
(JJDPSUNK) [284] again designed to er to panic the public.
[285] Government and hospitals are not opting out of the N H S at all, they are every much of it a as part of the Health Service as they every have been and you all know that and it's about time you stopped saying it.
(JJDPSUGP) [...]
(JJDPSUNK) [286] They are now under local control, not opting out of local control, they are actually being managed locally and that is quite obvious to anybody
(JJDPSUGP) [...]
(JJDPSUNK) [287] They are no longer being managed by the Health Authority across the road, remotely, no no contact between the two, or not enough anyway, no longer being managed by a region fifty miles, or forty miles, whatever it is, up the road to .
[288] What way is that to manage a hospital?
[289] Ma Trust hospitals are being managed locally within the hospital building and that's the way to do it.
[290] They're being managed by the staff who work there.
[291] It's sensible.
[292] How can anybody disagree with that?
[293] And I know a lot of Labour people do agree with that.
[294] , who spoke so eloquently in this Chamber two years ago, has now joined the Trust staff.
[295] She was a candidate at North a as your candidate there and now she's joined the Trust.
[296] Some people are seeing the light, even from your own side.
(JJDPSUGP) [...]
(JJDPSUNK) [297] What would what what what are Labour's plans for the Health Service?
[298] Well, we haven't heard any have we?
[299] All they w all they're saying they would do is restore it back to what it was.
[300] Well, we all know what it was under Labour. [...]
(JJDPSUNK) [301] Under Labour, under Labour waiting lists are always
(JJDPSUGP) [clapping]
(JJDPSUNK) [302] under Labour waiting lists have gone up every time we've had a Labour administration.
[303] Every time we've had a Conservative administration waiting lists have gone down.
(JJDPSUGP) [...]
(JJDPSUNK) [304] It's not as if the contribution of Labour Councillors to th to the management of Health Authorities has been very er productive.
[305] I've sat on the district management board of Health Authority for four years and watched Labour Councillors coming sometimes, often not coming at all, sitting there saying nothing, debating very little in the way of useful contributions until, I have to say, Councillor came along and er a er, sorry to get you unpopular with the rest of your colleagues
(JJDPSUNK) [...]
(JJDPSUNK) [306] they seem to be there just to guard vested interests.
[307] It's no way to manage a Health Authority to have to have people coming along there to t guard their own vested interests.
[308] Trades Union members
(JJDPSUGP) [...]
(JJDPSUNK) [309] As as Councillor said, Labour keep altering their story about the Health Service.
[310] They started off saying opting out of the Health Service, now we're opting of local N H S control.
[311] We started off with privatisation, now we've got creeping privatisation.
[312] Well Labour were the first to introduce charges to people in the Health Service.
[313] They were the ones who started charging people for glasses and surgical appliances, wigs, things that are necessary and actually help in the management and care of patients.
[314] They're the ones who started charging people.
[315] All Conservatives have done is put out services to tender such as cleaning, laundry and portering, and allowed those services to be provided by the company or, and sometimes the Health Authority, that gives the best deal.
[316] There's no expense to the patients, no charge to patients, no cost to patients.
[317] There are are advantages to patients, better quality control, greater efficiency and financial savings ploughed back into patient care.
[318] Now, if that's creeping privatisation, let's have some more of it.
(JJDPSUGP) [clapping]
(JJDPSUNK) [319] However, the Government has no intention to privatise health care.
[320] We've had it straight and true from John Major.
[321] I believe him.
[322] I agree with him and I would resign from the Conservative Party if it were anything else.
(JJDPSUGP) [...]
(JJDPSUNK) [323] I have worked for the Health Service for twenty six years and plan to carry on doing so and I fully expect to finish my work in the Health Service where it's still in Government hands.
[324] Let's look at the second section of th of Labour's motion.
[325] Stated policy of Labour Party.
[326] When I read the first six words of that I thought, good Lord, we're going to get a bit of policy here and but no, no, none of it.
[327] It's hardly a policy to say that they're stating we're intending to return the Trust to N H S when it's never left the N H S in the first place.
[328] Labour has no constructive policies, or at least we haven't heard any.
[329] Councillor came to a meeting in and spoke for for th for twenty minutes or whatever it was.
[330] He didn't give us a single inkling of anyth any Labour policies.
[331] All he did was suggest that the er the Health Authority chairman and the district general manager should resign, which which which he got the headlines for as, as designed, but it was no no contribution to the discussion about the Health Service whatsoever.
(JJDPSUGP) [...]
(JJDPSUNK) [332] One of th one of Labour's own party, the supporters, has called the Labour policies for health care, if they exist, a process of fossilisation.
[333] As I said, I've worked in the health service for twenty six years.
[334] I've seen strikes under Labour.
[335] I said this at the last time we discussed this.
[336] I've seen Labour inspired Trade Union control of hospitals, I've seen the patient to be the last in Labour's priorities
(JJDPSUGP) [337] hear hear
(JJDPSUNK) [338] Let's move to the third section.
[339] Considerable opposition in to setting up Trusts.
[340] Well this is a real joke.
[341] Everybody knows that the Community Health Trust had an extensive consultation exercise with the public.
[342] They had m several public meetings.
[343] Less than ten people turned up.
[344] And then the biggest joke, this Trust Select Committee, Councillor Committee.
[345] It was planned originally that there would be three whole days packed with people coming to coming to pass an opinion.
[346] It was watered down to three half days.
[347] Four hundred and seventeen individuals were invited to come, a hundred and fifteen organisations were invited.
[348] Who turned up?
[349] A few Labour Councillors, a Labour M P, two or three Trade Union representatives, a G P a G P who happens to be a Councillors, Labour Councillor's wife and one or two others
(JJDPSUGP) [laugh]
(JJDPSUNK) [350] Does this really show that the public of are worried about the Trusts' hospitals.
[351] It's not my experience, sitting there in the in the clinics.
[352] The practice of medicine is carrying on the same way as it has done before but we're addressing issues like quality and standards and timing and waiting lists in a way we haven't done before.
[353] I don't expect you to know this because you don't work there.
[354] I do.
[355] So perhaps you'll take it from me
(JJDPSUGP) [clapping]
(JJDPSUNK) [356] The truth, the truth is, the truth is that more and more people and organisations are realising the benefits of local control of N H S hospitals, as in the Trust hospitals.
[357] The public and especially hospital consultants are rapidly realising and acknowledging that Trust hospital status is a genuine attempt to address local health needs which is providing increasingly successful health care.
[358] If we look at cons sa take consultant's views, I'm afraid that hospital consultants are not the quickest to grasp the advantages of reform.
[359] They didn't want the Health Service in the first place but we rapidly came round to it.
[360] We didn't want the reforms it seems but now sixty to seventy percent of consultants are wanting the reforms.
[361] And we heard some figures about G P's, ninety two percent of those G P's who've got their own budgets are seeing the benefits to their patients and their patients are saying so as well.
[362] Undoubtedly benefits are coming from those sorts of changes that come from the Health Service reforms.
[363] And then we come on to the final point, the whole issue of N H S changes in the final section.
[364] Are Councillors and against all the changes in the Health Service, in the Government Health Service reforms?
[365] Have they read the white paper?
[366] Are they against medical audit?
[367] Are they against financial audit?
[368] Isn't it good to know the results of treatment?
[369] Isn't it good to know the costs of it?
[370] I've said G P budget holding is a success and so are Trust hospitals.
[371] My Lord Mayor, I totally reject this motion as a load of baloney.
[372] Trust hospitals are very successful and will continue to be so.
(JJDPSUGP) [373] hear hear
(JJDPSUGP) [clapping]
(JJDPSUGP) [...]
(JJDPSUNK) [374] Councillor
(JJDPSUNK) [...]
(JJDPSUNK) [375] Lord Mayor, I've only been brought up under the National Health Service for thirty two years and I feel sorry for that poor doctor.
[376] He started off as doctor in the house, then he moved to doctor at sea and now he's doctor in trouble, as a result of these Government policies.
[377] And it's clear, we're seeing already, that Health Authorities haven't got the money to refer patients to the Trusts unless the Government steps in and says, that's not Government policy, so you won't see the problems Councillor because they won't get referred to you, will they?
[378] The Government's policy is like an ailing comedy, carry on, except it's carry on regardless of professional and public opinion.
[379] The Government's dogma over the National Health Service has turned into panic.
[380] The second wave of Trusts has become like a second hand car sale.
[381] It's accompanied by a wave of hysteria.
[382] Some Government ministers denying privatisation, under-funding, they've even denied those holy grails of ownership and choice which are the foundation of the Tory Party.
[383] But the fact remains we can't trust the Trusts.
[384] And I'll tell you what the problem is about the Trusts, and I'll explain why they are opting out of the National Health Service.
[385] Because the powers, responsibilities and assets of the National Health Service will be vested in a private Trust.
[386] That's right, we'll be waiting, as we did with the [...] planning applications to come in on hospital.
[387] They're not democratic, nor are they accountable.
[388] Only two [...] have decided to hold their meetings in public.
[389] Not many, Councillor , not many of us are gonna have the choice to see the minutes of those Trust bodies.
[390] The decisions that they make are gonna be based on comers commercial considerations, not health, so I'm sure the doctors won't be won't be bothered with decisions, Councillor because the accountants will be making them for them.
[391] The fact is that it won't be an integrated service.
[392] We'll all be separate cost units, won't we?
[393] Like the ambulance service who is having to go out and find income, having to do health and safety checks at factories just when you need an ambulance.
[394] Yes, who can refer to the ambulance service when they're out making money and, of course, the staff are gonna suffer.
[395] As has been said, only one in five Trusts have said they'll honour the terms and conditions of the National Health Service workers and we've seen the disgraceful decisions that're being made in .
[396] I'm sure we'll be seeing more of the same to follow, down the road at .
[397] The Trust process has been a sham.
[398] There's been consultation.
[399] I waited eagerly every morning, would it drop through the door, this Trust leaflet?
[400] I was wa I needed the information for that debate Councillor .
[401] It didn't arrive, even after had given me assurance every household in would get a leaflet.
[402] They got them in .
[403] I don't know why, it's outside the area.
[404] We didn't get em.
[405] So you can consult people in about what's happening in and wider afield.
[406] The fact is, there's been a complete lack of consultation.
[407] It's only this Authority that [...] the consultation process in this district and you've had the answer, a resounding no to the Trusts.
[408] I won't beat about the bush about creeping privatisation because in it's become a stampede.
[409] It's unique amongst Health Authorities.
[410] Every part of the National Health Service in is gonna be placed under the auspices of the Trust.
[411] That isn't creeping, that's a stampede.
[412] And we're gonna see a three pronged attack against the public service.
[413] Privatisation in three ways, increasing compulsory competitive tendering, and we know what that is at , we've seen it [...] plan, quality control, can't clean the operating theatres.
[414] Yeah, that really helps patients.
[415] They'll be coming out with more diseases than they went in with
(JJDPSUGP) [clapping]
(JJDPSUNK) [416] Specialist services specialist services hiving off.
[417] Let's talk with Water, let's talk with B T, anybody providing we can get a bit of private income in there.
[418] And a greater role for private health insurance.
[419] We know who's jumping the queue and we know which directors of the Health Authority have got private health insurance in .
[420] We know who they'll be jumping over, yes, the people who haven't got the choice of private health insurance Councillor because they can't afford it.
[421] And what stinks about it is vested interests to the fore.
[422] was a great man but the only problem was he left a vested interested in the National Health Service and that's coming to the fore.
[423] And yes, a district general manager should've resigned because he had an interest in the decision to go for the Trust status.
[424] had the decency to resign in but not in .
[425] We don't trust the Trusts.
[426] We know what it means.
[427] I can't give you a strategy on how to fund the National Health Service.
[428] We know that the British Medical Association say it's under-funded to the tune of six billion pounds but we'll say what we said before we took control of this Council, we'll open the books and we'll direct resources to priorities.
[429] And chief amongst Labour priorities is the National Health Service.
(JJDPSUGP) [clapping] [tape breaks here]
(JJDPSUGP) [clapping]
(JJDPSUNK) [430] Councillor [tape breaks here]
(JJDPSUNK) [431] still not a sign of any policy from them on the Health Service, par for the course.
[432] Lord Mayor, the Conservative Group welcomes this opportunity to debate reforms in the National Health Service.
[433] The only disappointment is the lack of substance in Councillor motion.
[434] I must confess to be somewhat surprised to see the Labour Group wanting to debate thisu this issue again after their lack lustre performance in Committee and Council on the previous debates on this subject and today's been no different.
[435] Let's look at this issues.
[436] At the last Council meeting I quoted figures on comparative performance of the Conservative record on health against Labour's and I make no apology for reiterating some of these figures, and you can howl and you can wail and you can say what you want, these are facts.
(JJDPSUNK) [...]
(JJDPSUNK) [437] No, these are facts that can be borne out.
[438] Nurses pay has risen by forty eight percent ahead of inflation.
[439] Under Labour it was cut by five percent.
[440] Doctors pay is up thirty nine percent after inflation, under Labour it was cut by seventeen percent.
[441] The Party that are the bastions of the Health Service.
[442] Just over one million additional hospital cases were treated in 1989, compared with seventy eight.
[443] The number of in-patients treated has increased by one point two million.
[444] Waiting lists have risen, as Councillor has already said, under every Labour Government, and fallen under every Conservative Government since the N H S was founded.
[445] That is fact.
[446] That is fact.
(JJDPSUGP) [shouting] [...] []
(JJDPSUNK) [447] It's ten o'clock.
[448] That is fact Lord Mayor and these facts will bear out.
[449] I challenge Councillor to bring me the evidence saying otherwise.
[450] So
(JJDPSUNK) [...]
(JJDPSUNK) [451] if it's doing so well