Bradford Metropolitan Council: debate. Sample containing about 3968 words speech recorded in public context

1 recordings

  1. Tape 112411 recorded on 1994-01-20. LocationWest Yorkshire: Bradford ( Council chamber ) Activity: debate

Undivided text

(JJFPSUNK) [1] personally I've got better things to do, like being at home.
[2] But I believe that the decisions made to go on the trips this autumn have been good ones.
[3] I would apologise unreservedly if I thought any of them have been a mistake but I don't believe they have been.
[4] Any decision that has been made has been with the best intentions of the people of at heart, to maintain as a leading European city and to derive benefits for the people of this community.
[5] I'd just like to say a few words on the conferences that I attended.
[6] The Euro Cities Conference in , and this is where the Tories fall down on the facts, because Councillor doesn't really understand what Euro Cities is about.
[7] Euro Cities is a group of independent cities who're putting pressure on Brussels to maintain funding in urban areas after the review of the structural funds in 1993.
[8] And, because of that pressure, the pressure that's already been put on, we got good news at .
[9] The European Commissions Director for regional policy said that he'd accepted the submission from Euro Cities that funding would be made available for urban areas.
[10] We need to make sure that that pressure stays on because urban areas, as we know with the City Challenge bid and others, have got distinct and unique problems which we need to address.
[11] The Euro Cities Conference was also important because it was the founding of that organisation formally and it was important to go there and say to the big monopoly that's emerging between some of the Western European cities, the big six, Birmingham, Barcelona, Frankfurt, Rotterdam, Milan and Strasbourg, that they weren't gonna get it all their own way and they weren't going to monopolise those funds that were available for links with Eastern Europe.
[12] I also went to Prague, Czechoslovakia, hardly sun sangria and sea, Councillor but one thing I'll say about Prague, and this is where all the arguments about Brussels fall down, it's alright to go to Brussels and not to Prague.
[13] Prague is a sleeping giant as a city in Europe.
[14] Prague will be the major city between Western and Eastern Europe in the future.
[15] There's tremendous under-development in Prague at the moment and that's gonna take off.
[16] We gave the paper on our links with Estonia.
[17] We also made links with the region of [...] in Poland to develop tourist strategy and also links with a number of cities who were very interested in citizens' participation and are going local initiative.
[18] There are a number of reasons why we need to make sure that we are in at the starting post in terms of links with Central and Eastern Europe.
[19] Because the European Commission is making a number of funds available to develop those links, the overture fund, the knowhow fund funded by the Foreign Office, the [...] fund, the enterprise fund, the fur fund, the tempest fund, all these are in the reportback which I'll gratefully give to the press and also the opposition if they'll bother to read it.
[20] But I think there's something more important than funding that was realised at that Conference between Eastern and Western Local Authorities and that is that we need to be there to assist because we can assist.
[21] One of the last speeches that the Conference heard was a very emotional speech from a delegate from [...] , Russia, within a winds breath of Chernobyl.
[22] He explained to the delegates there the mountain they have to climb before they even reach the status that we have in Britain as Local Authorities.
[23] Ten thousand people left the city last year and emigration is on the up.
[24] The tremendous problems that they have need addressing and we should be there, not because we can reap the benefits necessarily in funding, although of course that would help, but because we can lend a hand, because we can reach out [...] Local Authority and in my view that is also what the people of would want this Council to do.
(JJFPSUGP) [clapping] [tape breaks here]
(JJFPSUGP) [clapping]
(JJFPSUNK) [25] Councillor [tape breaks here]
(JJFPSUNK) [26] Thank you.
[27] Lord Mayor, may I begin by congratulating so many from the majority group for taking the time to attend today's Council meeting.
[28] We know that many of them may well have undergone long and arduous journeys, having travelled many miles across many frontiers and indeed possibly even across many continents just in order to be with us here tonight.
(JJFPSUGP) [...]
(JJFPSUNK) [29] I'm sure, I'm sure that the good people of will be the first to appreciate the great sacrifice made on their behalf.
[30] Lord Mayor, I would be the last person to criticise either Councillors or offices who attempt to represent this district on foreign shores, whenever and wherever such trips are perfectly legitimate.
[31] Whenever and wherever they result in a lasting benefit to the whole of our district.
[32] I would find it difficult, for example, to criticise the three visits made by Councillors and officers to Brussels.
[33] It would be naive for anyone to suggest that politicians in should not be seeking to gain the maximum advantage from the European Community.
[34] Indeed, in recent years has done rather well out of its visits to Brussels by both politicians and officers.
[35] The millions of pounds this district has been able to secure through I D O is testimony to this, despite the rather luke warm support received at the time from the Labour group.
[36] If Councillor as a director himself, or through senior Council officers, had bothered to keep the oppo opposition party fully informed of his visits, he may well have found us, perhaps to his surprise, in full agreement and support.
(JJFPSUGP) [...]
(JJFPSUNK) [37] But politicians generally have very suspicious minds and when things are kept hidden from them they tend to want to know why.
[38] They tend to ask questions in t in an attempt to find out what is going on.
[39] Leaving the visits to Brussels aside, for I assume that these were entirely legitimate, what do we find when we start to unravel the mysterious secrecy surrounding the civic junkets to far off lands?
[40] We find three trips, all of a rather dubious nature, to attend what are officially described as Conferences on European co-operation.
[41] One to Prague in Czechoslovakia, a second to Florence in Italy and a third to Olympus in Greece, all at a total cost of five thousand to local tax payers.
[42] But why, and the people of this district have a legitimate right to ask, why did it take three people to represent in Czechoslovakia?
[43] And why did the air fares to Florence total in excess of six hundred pounds each?
[44] Didn't Councillor travel tourist class?
[45] And it does not end there.
[46] What is the assembly of Eurip European unity policies and regions and why was it necessary to send two representatives to Portugal to attend at a cost of over one thousand five hundred.
[47] But perhaps, my Lord Mayor, most intriguing of all, what exactly did the people of Estonia, let alone the people of , gain from the visit by Councillor , who is said to have undertook an economic and social audit of that country?
(JJFPSUNK) [...]
(JJFPSUNK) [48] came to , asked for a briefing on what we did in Estonia and then said, can we give you seventy thousand pounds so you can spend on projects in Estonia, so they got seventy thousand pounds off your Government.
(JJFPSUGP) [clapping]
(JJFPSUNK) [49] One two nine.
[50] Do I take it Councillor that they would not have received it without your visit?
[51] I would have thought, Lord Mayor, that a country like Estonia currently has enough problems of its own without Councillor [...]
(JJFPSUGP) [...]
(JJFPSUNK) [52] but at least the people of Estonia are not stupid.
[53] They made sure that the two thousand six hundred and seventy pounds cost of Councillor was fully met by the long suffering tax payers of .
[54] At a total cost to local Charge payers of around twenty thousand, some people may think such civic junketing has been terribly excessive but the truth is, Lord Mayor, that this is just the tip of the iceberg.
[55] This is after only eighteen months of Labour control and is rapidly becoming the of the North.
[56] How long will it be before our Labour Councillors are spending a quarter of a million on trips abroad, as in ?
[57] The controlling group is blatantly guilty of deserting its proper role, the Government of our district.
[58] At a time when we have child prostitution in our child children's homes, Labour Councillors are entertaining themselves to sun sand and sangria in exotic foreign locations and in conclusion I would like to make just one comment, that this episode brings to mind a famous quotation in circles.
[59] It was made famous by the then Labour education chairman who said, and I quote, I am a spendthrift, I love to spend the rate payers' money.
[60] Thank you.
(JJFPSUGP) [clapping] [tape breaks here]
(JJFPSUGP) [clapping]
(JJFPSUNK) [61] Councillor
(JJFPSUNK) [62] My Lord Mayor I move under standing order A fifteen B that the vote now be put.
[63] I so move Lord Mayor.
(JJFPSUNK) [64] Seconded
(JJFPSUNK) [65] All in favour? [tape breaks here]
(JJFPSUNK) [66] Those against? [tape breaks here]
(JJFPSUNK) [67] That is passed by forty six votes to twenty five. [tape breaks here]
(JJFPSUNK) [68] Those against? [tape breaks here]
(JJFPSUNK) [69] Those in favour of the substantive motion please show.
(JJFPSUGP) [...]
(JJFPSUNK) [70] Those against?
(JJFPSUGP) [...]
(JJFPSUNK) [71] Mhm?
(JJFPSUNK) [72] [whispering] carried forty eight to twenty two []
(JJFPSUNK) [73] That is carried, forty eight votes for, twenty six against.
[74] We'll move on to the final white paper motion on regionalisation.
[75] Call upon Councillor to move the motion. [tape breaks here]
(JJFPSUNK) [76] Call upon Councillor to move amendment O standing in his name.
[77] Seconded?
[78] Call upon Councillor to move amendment P standing in his name
(JJFPSUNK) [79] I move Lord Mayor
(JJFPSUNK) [80] Is there a seconder?
[81] In accordance with standing order A thirteen little C this motion will stand referred to the Community and Environment Services Committee for consideration and report unless the Council decide to deal with it at this meeting.
[82] What are the Council's wishes?
(JJFPSUNK) [83] I move that it be dealt with at this meeting my Lord Mayor
(JJFPSUNK) [84] Seconded?
(JJFPSUNK) [85] Seconded Lord Mayor
(JJFPSUNK) [86] Those in favour?
[87] Agreed?
[88] Councillor
(JJFPSUNK) [89] The Council [...] my Lord Mayor
(JJFPSUNK) [90] My Lord Mayor, I'm really going to enjoy this one.
[91] As somebody who is still under thirty and er like my good friend Mister young enough to have a positive approach to Europe, I am pleasantly surprised that the people opposite are gonna make my job a lot easier because the narrowness and the anti-diluvian attitudes that we see on the benches opposite explain why, in the last Euro elections, the Labour Party won a resounding victory on the issue of Europe.
[92] Now I'm making a very strong argument in this motion, as is the group, for regionalisation.
[93] The reason we want regionalisation is that we are the only country within the European Community as it now stands, bar Luxembourg and Ireland, not to have regional Government, regional co-ordination of our economic policies and a proper role for the regions to link across Europe.
[94] But had done brilliantly.
[95] We have got over fifty million, sixty million, pounds worth of grant and aid out of Europe.
[96] But as we look forward into Europe post 1993 we have industries in this city that will be vulnerable.
[97] We have a need for regional economic initiatives and what help do we get from the British Government, right?
[98] We don't get any help at all.
[99] If we'd had half the help from British Government for crumbling schools we've had from Europe, we'd have had a lot more done.
[100] There is up and down this country a crisis in the regions that is exacerbated by the British Government over additionality.
[101] It's a long a complicated issue but it's got to such a head that the complete scheme for regenerating the and the very badly affected coal fields in is being stopped.
[102] The commission is stopping it because the British Government will not make up its mind on whether it's gonna back the money.
[103] It's like the little boy who's got a toy, he don't wanna share it [...] , don't wanna share it, if forced to share it, he'll smash it rather than let somebody else have a go with it.
[104] Now I was one of those people that represented this city at Florence.
[105] I represented this city at Florence at the cost of two days' leave, and having my pocket picked at the station
(JJFPSUGP) [...]
(JJFPSUNK) [106] Yes, oh absolutely, it's not all great fun.
[107] But I'll tell you what the Conference it about.
[108] You bozos don't seem to realise it but if we hadn't been there at that Florence Conference, would not be in the leading position it currently holds with the commission to guarantee further funds and to create a positive role for Britain in Europe with the commission to wuk look at the issues that are gonna come up in 1993.
[109] And the private sector are very happy for us to do that.
[110] We have the best policies to get this across, and the work that we've done with and the European Commission, and we want to democratise that, is very positive.
[111] And to hear members opposite talking about the dead hand of bureaucracy and all these Tebbitite notions that oh Europe, y'know, I mean, y'know, we're going all the way back to ancient history here.
[112] I mean, what help has the British Government given us for preparing for 1992?
[113] British Rail, British Rail, that institution we all know and love.
[114] They have wasted, because of the Government, four hundred million pounds building a station at Waterloo that isn't even going to be used because of your Government.
[115] That money could have electrified railways that would've given industry a chance to get its goods into Europe.
(JJFPSUGP) [clapping]
(JJFPSUNK) [116] University.
[117] One of the reasons we've got a very good language link is the language univer courses that the University did in the East in the European department, the Baltic Studies.
[118] It's been cut again, as a result of your Government's policies, so the technology and the support that we need to go into Europe to win in Europe to help industry is being strangled once again by your Government.
[119] So if we look at the positive effects of Europe.
[120] If we look at regional Governments across Europe that don't have to go cap in hand every time to some deadbeat in White Hall, right, they go straight to Europe and they network across Europe and they exchange ideas and things happen.
[121] What we have to do in , and we've done it very well, and it's a massive tribute to the quality of staff that we've had working on this, that we've done this.
[122] We can do one hell of a lot more if the whole of is combined in Europe and fighting it's corner because as sure as hell that golden triangle in the South East is not gonna give us a slice of the action unless we take it, and for the members opposite to site their with their ancient out-dated ideas of Liberalism, right?
[123] The single market needs the Social Charter, the Labour Group backs the Social p Charter, the Labour Group is ready for 1993 and the sooner you lot get out of the way and let us get on with it, the better.
(JJFPSUGP) [clapping] [tape breaks here]
(JJFPSUGP) [clapping]
(JJFPSUNK) [124] Councillor [tape breaks here]
(JJFPSUNK) [125] I'm very glad to be having this debate as the last Council meeting we er put a motion down on P R which the Labour Group refused to discuss, and Councillor in the summer ma put some release out said he was in favour of it.
[126] So I'm actually glad that this is one that you're actually prepared to discuss.
[127] Now people have been looking at this for a long time.
[128] It may or not surprise you that there is already an element of regional Government actually in the U K already and [...] since development is the issue that the Labour Group has raised, we'll take the work of the Development Association, which I was involved in in the mid eighties and which actually does some good work to actually bring industry actually to this region.
[129] And that is a regional body that's been very successful.
[130] Nobody can argue it.
(JJFPSUNK) [131] Under a Labour chairman
(JJFPSUNK) [132] Under a Labour chairman who's who's got a nice job somewhere else now, I understand.
[133] It's not just about development, there's also a regional bureaucracy actually already in the U K and I'll give you two examples.
[134] There's a large Department of the Environment office in .
[135] If we want to define where our urban programme areas are, we c we find it very difficult to set them ourselves.
[136] It's not an elected person in who actually sets them cos although he might present, Heseltine doesn't know that well.
[137] There's an unelected civil servant in who has a large element in deciding where they are, and that is wrong.
[138] That sort of decision should be under some sort of democratic decision making ability.
[139] Counc tonight it was mentioned the actual the work of the Regional Health Authority and, again, I worked for the Regional Health Authority a long time ago.
[140] Er and it is actually doing a useful job.
[141] But who actually appoints people to the Regional Health Authority?
[142] Do people y do actually local people in actually pe appoint people to the Regional Health Authority?
[143] There is another regional body that should be under democratic control, local democratic control.
[144] But so I mean I think the case for Regional Government is definitely there and I'm surprised by Councillor , I'm surprised that you said your group isn't seeing it.
[145] They are actually a long way behind the rest of Europe.
[146] This is really happening in the rest of Europe.
[147] There's gonna be a lot of changes at the end of this century, the beginning of next century in Europe and if we're not with them then we're gonna be left behind.
[148] Now I know I've actually seen the paper that the Labour Party is actually putting out in discussion documents on regional policy and it's very good.
[149] It's been a long time coming but I'm glad you got there eventually.
[150] But the person in charge of it is Roy Hattersley.
[151] Now, what's Roy Hattersley's record of regional decision making?
[152] Well, the last time he was in , he actually went to a group of people who were determined to make their decision, were determined what their decision was.
[153] He refused to listen to it, [...] influence his own decision.
[154] If you haven't guessed, the last time he was in was in and he doesn't trust folk to actually select Parliamentary candidates.
[155] Now the effect is that if you make a decision from London, if you impose a decision from London, the people you impose that decision on are very very demoralised.
[156] And the Labour Party in is very demoralised.
[157] And what was a twenty thousand majority has [...] cut massively, massively.
[158] It will be seen as a marginal after this.
[159] The only question is, who will he put up next time?
(JJFPSUGP) [...]
(JJFPSUNK) [160] Now, I mean the emphasis is on development.
[161] I'm not quite sure the Labour Party's picked that out and I may be unfair to them in s it's not enough if you only see a regional policy d just development and economic led.
[162] Somebody mentioned somebody, a name from the past tonight, who would be very proud of this, very proud of this statement, would agree, would agree with it fully.
[163] David Owen would agree fully with this statement which surpri wsh which does surprise me but then may y'know then may be not.
[164] The Labour Party's changed a lot of it's policies already so maybe they're getting close to David Owen, I don't know.
[165] I do take on, I do take on one point that the Conservatives have begun to raise to make in their in their motion which what we don't want is another heavy tier of bur bureaucracy.
[166] And wh y'know we thought about this for a y'know a long time t and what we do want is a thin tier of bureaucracy.
[167] The one thing in the Labour document, and this is in the statement Labour made, I mean they're actually talking about paid Councillors on on a Regional Authority, which is a y'know which is would be very unpopular with the public but erm.
[168] A developing developing regional democracy is erm is a difficult thing to get to get across and it's one of those things that Liberal Democrats talk away for hours about at their Conferences.
[169] The Labour Party talk about the class war, presumably, or whatever.
[170] The Tories th the Tories talk about hating the Unions or whatever.
[171] Liberal Democrats actually get in corners and say we hate Government, y'know, what can we do to get po power away from London?
[172] And I tell you just, what I just wanna do, is give you one one one thought which is in our motion.
[173] The difficulty will be in getting regional policy through and in some areas of the country do not have natural regions.
[174] Some areas of England do not have natural regions.
[175] If you can tell me which region Hertfordshire is in, or Berkshire is in, I will find somebody else who can tell you it's in a different region.
[176] And so there needs to be a way forward to break this argument.
[177] The way that we've found it in this this year's Liberal Democrat Conference was to actually put forward the suggestion that Regional Government could be brought in in a flexible sense.
[178] You don't need a Regional Authority all the way across the country all at once and you can actually bring a Regional Authority in, and it's certainly that Scotland should have its own Parliament.
[179] You could then bring in Regional Authorities with less power for the North West, the North East and to Yorkshire and Humberside and I do hope you'll actually join me in supporting our motion for an independent .
[180] Finally, the [...] the best people to implement Liberal Democrat policies are Liberal Democrats.
[181] Thank you. [tape breaks here]
(JJFPSUNK) [182] Councillor
(JJFPSUNK) [183] Thank you Lord Mayor [tape breaks here]
(JJFPSUNK) [184] vague and woolly.
[185] As a textile man I don't mind woolliness too much but I do object to vagueness because this motion is so vague that it can mean as much as you want it to mean while, at the same time, it says to little as to leave an escape route for it's supporters.
[186] It produces no facts, no economic forecasts to substantiate it's ideas, if you can call them ideas.
[187] It merely hints that the world will be a better place if we support it because the unquantified benefits which will flow from it will put us on a level with Germany and France, assuming of course that we wish to be on a level with Germany and France.
[188] The motion speaks of regions and regionalisations.
[189] The Labour Party have committed themselves to establishing Regional Government, that is if Britain decided to commit suicide at the next election.
[190] They say that if they create Regional Government they will do so at the expense of National Government and not Local Government, but that isn't true because Mister has already said that erm strategic services such as passenger transport will b will be handed over to regions and if that goes obviously fire, police and strategic planning will be lost to us.
[191] The theory is also that the regions might be able to bypass the National Government and deal directly with regions of Europe.
[192] Well, I can understand the Labour Group wishing to bypass National Government if that Government were headed by Mister Kinnock, but without that particular incentive I don't think that international negotiations should be taken by any organisation outside National Government, otherwise we'd cease to be a nation.
(JJFPSUNK) [193] here here
(JJFPSUNK) [194] The Labour Group often speak in general terms of gross strategic overviews of the economy of these regions and we know from experience what that means