01/04/2012 Sunday Politics East Midlands


Andrew Neil and John Hess present. Including an interview with health secretary Andrew Lansley about his proposed reforms to the NHS and what they would mean for patients.

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Here: Why do pupils in our county schools


attract so much less funding than students in our big cities?


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2168 seconds


And our MPs debate whether to Hello, I'm at John Hess, and our


guests in the East Midlands are Vernon Coaker, the Labour MP for


Gedling, and the Conservative MP for Loughborough, Nicky Morgan. Why


is there such a gap between funding for county schools between City's


cause? A Leicestershire council ahead to Whitehall to persuade his


government colleagues to change the system. And in the Commons, East


Midlands MPs on whether helping a loved one to die should be


effectively decriminalised. First, a new approach to revenue


raising by one of our councils. Charnwood Borough Council in


Leicestershire hopes to raise �100,000 a year by selling off


space on its museums, leisure centres for advertising. In an era


of cuts, is this a partial solution? Vernon Coaker, is it?


All councils are wrestling with the cuts, so they are looking at how to


save money. They are looking at how to deal with the cuts. A council


like John would are looking at a �2.5 million reduction, so they are


looking at how to raise money. -- Charnwood. But it must be


appropriate and both -- apply to a standard of practice will stop


Nicky Morgan, what d'you think? It is a brilliant idea. It will


give this this is an opportunity to talk about themselves, and we want


people to be advertising and telling them what is going on. But


it means tax can be kept a low, it can only be a good thing.


�100,000 is a big ask? Yes, you could not only bring


businesses in, bring up health authorities in, bring a leisure


facilities into the council so that everything is provided over one


roof. There are money-saving objectives.


Where should it stop? I was told of a bankrupt town in Japan were the


pick -- where the town is offering companies the chance to buy the


name of the town. We could have a situation where the could have


Bootsville or ExperianTown. You could have alcohol advertised


outside schools. There is an opportunity here, but as I said in


the introduction, what they said is that it has to conform to a code of


practice and be appropriate. Nicky Morgan, where would you draw


the line? Is there a conflict of interest?


Yes, we do not want a situation where we have a town brought you


buy a company, but any organisation will be looking at it assets and


looking at how they can make these work. This is good news for


taxpayers and businesses, a sensible move by the council.


So we will not have counsellors excepting the sponsorship like


footballers? No, there is a line, you're


absolutely right. On a more serious note, this week,


the Director of Public Prosecutions decided on a -- made a decision on


the bringing the law on assisted suicide to Parliament.


Suicide it was decriminalised, but it is an offence to a -- assisted


suicide. It is a highly unusual events. I cannot myself think of a


another example of whether it is a crime to assist someone into is a


thing which is not a crime. But giving that assisting someone is an


area potentially open to a good deal of abuse, it was thought right


to make it a criminal offence. We are joined in our Leeds studio


by Professor Ray Tallis, a chair of Healthcare Professionals for


Assisted Dying. Thank you for joining us. Can I clarify that you


must be delighted that the House of Commons discussed and debated this


issue after such a wild? Absolutely. It is 50 years since


there has been such a substantial debate in the House of Commons, and


I think the unanimous support of the MPs for the guidelines was very


encouraging indeed. What is your own experience dealing


with families who have found themselves in this situation?


I have always kept within the law and never been involved in assisted


dying, but in my 37 years as a doctor, there are many cases when I


thought it was a monstrous cruelty that patience who are mentally


competent, who had symptoms that were not alleviated and were dying


could not be helped to die. I thought it was craw, although I had


to obey the law. -- thought it was crawl.


Should we prosecute someone for helping someone to die?


No, we should allow the law to take into account the specific


circumstances of a case. People should only be prosecuted where


there is a malicious Villa -- militias element. My constituents


were concerned about what could happen if someone decided to help


someone to commit suicide for the wrong reason.


It is a reason that has crossed your desk?


30 people have written to me, and it is a good subject to be debated.


Many people are worried about legalisation, but a sun did support


going further and wanted better guidelines. Most supported these


guidelines. I think that is absolutely right,


what the professor said. This is a hugely sensitive and emotive


subject for people, they will be lots of people watching who have


been in difficult situations, and I think what everybody wants is to


get away situation when you do not have people prosecuted, and that is


what the guidelines say. Where do you distinguish between


assisting suicide and encouraging It is a situation where you do not


want to prolong life unnecessarily. Allowing people to die be dignity


is where the are trying to get to. Sometimes, the professionalism of


the doctors in consultation with the family and other loved ones


often leads to a situation where life is not unnecessarily prolonged,


life is not a -- life is not all four at the end, and with proper


care, you can actually arrive at a situation where loved ones can die


with the dignity that we would all want for our own loved ones.


Professor, what protection would you like to see for health care


professionals? What should doctors At the moment, the situation is


very unsatisfactory. One of the ironies of the guidelines is that


any professional involvement will increase the chance of prosecution.


It means that assisted dying is left as it were, to amateurs, and


people have to take the burden of responsibility for assisting their


loved ones to die. It must be appropriate that the professional


should be involved, that they should not abandon the patient at


this moment at -- of greater lead and leads the patients get on with


it. -- of greater need. We need a law that will make assisted dying


decriminalised under certain circumstances.


Let me put that to Nicky Morgan. I think the professor is wrong. One


of the things that he mentioned his palliative care. That is where


professionals are most involved. We have wonderful hospices, and this


is where we can help people to die and have a good death, and we do


not talk about it enough in this country. I had a daughter write to


me about this debate, and she's dead that because of her


Hippocratic owed to -- Hippocratic oath to keep people alive, and I


think she would be failing if she did not, and help people to end


their lives. I think it is difficult to have am


absolute law with respect to all of this, and I think the guidelines


put forward were that it is virtually impossible in many


situations for somebody to be prosecuted for allowing somebody to


died with dignity, and I think in that situation, that if you allow


commonsense and professionalism of the health professionals, but with


the family and be loved ones, what we are seeing is people being


allowed to die with that dignity that we all want.


Let's go back to Leeds. You have heard from our two and lawmakers


here. What do you think? A I am very disappointed. Many


patients have the best palliative care, and I have worked with a very


good ones, and they do not get the alleviation of their symptoms. Most


care specialist except this. Referring to the Hippocratic Oath,


we do not take that, we take the declaration of Geneva or the


decoration of Helsinki, which does not prohibit assisted dying. One


cannot walk away from people who are unable to get any kind of


relief in the last few days of their life.


We have to leave it there. Now to an issue that can pitch


County against City, and we are not talking about football. The


government is try to tackle the issue of alleged unfairness in


school funding. There is a disparity did a -- between city and


county spending throughout the region, especially in


Leicestershire. Building for the future. It comes


at a cost, and a complicated one at that.


We want to make it simpler, so people can see what the criteria


are and why their area receives the money that it does.


At the moment, the government allocates school funding to local


authorities per pupil, through a series of separate ring-fenced


grants. This means a people in one area can get a dramatically


different amounts of funding to his student elsewhere. Herein the East


Midlands, it is our cities that are far better funded than our counties.


This side of this sense we are in the county, on the other side it is


a city. If we could lift our school and place it on this side of the


fence, it would have a dramatic effect on funding, a difference of


�240,000 per annum. I do not begrudge the scores on this side of


the Fens any of that, however, think of the things we could do


with that money. The Leicestershire councillor has


taken the campaign for fairer funding to Whitehall.


We are campaigning for an increase in to the money that comes into


local authorities. Leicestershire County Council finds it self- at


the bottom of the funding pile. We argue with the difference between


us and other councils. Every pupil in the city of


Nottingham get almost �1,000 more spent on him or her than their


equivalent in Nottinghamshire. Derby gets just over �280 per pupil


more than Derbyshire, and the City of Leicester get almost �900 more


per pupil than Leicestershire. An advantage the City defence fiercely.


My worry is that if Leicestershire were to receive more money from


this government, they would be taking that money from authorities


like Leicester City. That is simply not acceptable. The money should


follow need. We have 18 of the -- we are a deprived city, the county


however is not. This week, the government announced


his latest debt in the reform of school funding. It is committed to


simplify the system local authorities used to distribute


money to schools, but a delayed any move to change the formula used to


to calculate how much money local priorities get from Westminster to


their pupils. How can it be fair for one school


one side of the road to have primary aged children who are �900


a year less well off than at the school on the opposite side of the


road that belongs to the city? The system needs change.


The government admits the current system is inconsistent and unfair.


But, at a time of constrained finances, says it needs to make


gradual progress towards reform. Critics argue these children could


be picking up their GCSE results before there is any sense unsure


change in the calculations for school funding.


Nicky Morgan, has the government bottled out on this issue? They


have shoved it into the political long grass, haven't they?


This is the first government for 20 years to acknowledge the problem,


and we are on the right track to realise that this is something that


is not sustainable off-air for pupils in my constituency, or any


of the county constituencies to be receiving so much less than people


in the city. The defeat faculties is because of the economic climate.


-- the difficulty is because of the economic climate. We would simply


bring everyone up to the same level. But we are not in that climate.


Let me put that to Vernon Coaker. It is a very long track that the


government is on, and they are wrestling with the problem that


different schools get a different amounts of money at different areas


get different about, but what before Miller tries to do is


reflect the different needs of pupils within those schools, how


many free school meals, English as a second language. It is easy to


say it is outrageous, when you actually tried to deal with debt...


Not all city schools are the same. Not all the county's schools are in


leafy, suburbia with rich kids. Is it fair to allocate funding on such


a sweeping generalisations? That is why the government are


looking to simplify the formula, we started to look at that as well,


because we recognised that there are pockets of deprivation within a


shire areas, and their role wealthy areas in the City. At the end of


the day, you still have a problem about how you actually deal with


some of these additional needs that some schools have over and above


others, and that pits city against counties sometimes.


Nicky Morgan, you must be the first two except that CDs course have


higher pressures and costs. They will have more children that do not


speak English, pupil turnover tends to be much higher, and they roar


more kids from deprived backgrounds. -- city schools. Should they get


more money from this cause? That is why we have introduced the


people premium, and that is what that money is there for. What we


are talking is a base funding which every pupil is entitled to receive


a. Teachers are paid the same across the country, books and


equipment costs of the same. It may be that in some city areas there


has been more investment than in the county. Schools are responsible


for the budget and have to find that money. I would disagree, and I


would say that we do have deprivation in my constituency, I


do not know Gedling well enough, but one of my head teachers came to


me in an area that you would think looked fine, and she says they had


real issues with pupils not ready to come to school.


Why does Michael Gove leave it to the next Parliament?


He said that there are 37 factors that are taking to a cat with


funding, we will reduce that to 10. -- taking into account.


You sign to this letter, didn't you? Someone is going to lose out.


The people premium argument, the Institute of Fiscal Studies says


large numbers of schools will lose out on that additional funding, so


even that does not work. The government have picked this into


the long grass, because when they have tried to deal with it, there


are real problems, added comes down to how you ensure that schools with


additional needs get the support they need. One way is that cities


generally have more need than county areas.


Is there an eerie at a -- an issue of deception, in that the Tories do


not want to be seen to be taking us -- finding a way from inner-city


schools to offer it to their Tory shires?


That is something people are conscious of, but we have got to


get over that. We have got to deal with the fact that there are a lot


of the shire counties schools that have been underfunded for a long


time. The gap has just been getting worse. We are not going to get


their act if we do not tackle these difficult problems.


As a former schools minister, Vernon Coaker, what should the


government be doing? The amount of money going into


education is being cut over the next four years. That puts pressure


on schools. What we are seeing in my constituency is things like


special-needs struggling as well. We will return to this issue. Thank


you for joining us this lunchtime. It is time to round up some of the


other political stories in the East Last week's Sunday Politics guest,


John manner, but pass these on the national agenda when he asked the


Chancellor when he last 81. I can't remember the last time I


bought a pasty. That sums it up.


Last month we revealed local anger at Leicester City Council's


decision to put free travellers' site in one corner of the city. Now


the mayor has agreed to put up a more extensive list of sites.


Another pressure group we featured has been tried to stop not injured


-- Nottinghamshire County Council Private Eye's a care home and it


specialised dementia unit. The sale went home -- went through on Monday,


but will it stay open beyond its obligatory three years? There is no


let up for the leader of Leicestershire County Council over


his expenses. Opposition councillors have called a vote of


no confidence after Easter. There was not time to ask Nicky or


Andrew Neil and John Hess present. Including an interview with health secretary Andrew Lansley about his proposed reforms to the NHS and what they would mean for patients.

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