01/04/2012 Sunday Politics East Midlands


01/04/2012

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

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

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2168 seconds

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

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

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

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

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cause? A Leicestershire council ahead to Whitehall to persuade his

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

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

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effectively decriminalised. First, a new approach to revenue

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raising by one of our councils. Charnwood Borough Council in

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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facilities into the council so that everything is provided over one

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roof. There are money-saving objectives.

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

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

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

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Bootsville or ExperianTown. You could have alcohol advertised

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

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

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

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the line? Is there a conflict of interest?

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

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

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

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taxpayers and businesses, a sensible move by the council.

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So we will not have counsellors excepting the sponsorship like

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

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

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

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the bringing the law on assisted suicide to Parliament.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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by Professor Ray Tallis, a chair of Healthcare Professionals for

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

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

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

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

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

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encouraging indeed. What is your own experience dealing

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with families who have found themselves in this situation?

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

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

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thought it was a monstrous cruelty that patience who are mentally

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

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

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

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Should we prosecute someone for helping someone to die?

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

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circumstances of a case. People should only be prosecuted where

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

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were concerned about what could happen if someone decided to help

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someone to commit suicide for the wrong reason.

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It is a reason that has crossed your desk?

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

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

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going further and wanted better guidelines. Most supported these

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guidelines. I think that is absolutely right,

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

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

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

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

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what the guidelines say. Where do you distinguish between

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

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

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

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the doctors in consultation with the family and other loved ones

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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any professional involvement will increase the chance of prosecution.

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

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people have to take the burden of responsibility for assisting their

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

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

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

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

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decriminalised under certain circumstances.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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their lives. I think it is difficult to have am

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

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put forward were that it is virtually impossible in many

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situations for somebody to be prosecuted for allowing somebody to

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

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commonsense and professionalism of the health professionals, but with

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

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allowed to die with that dignity that we all want.

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

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

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

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

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care specialist except this. Referring to the Hippocratic Oath,

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

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

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

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relief in the last few days of their life.

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

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

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government is try to tackle the issue of alleged unfairness in

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

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county spending throughout the region, especially in

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Leicestershire. Building for the future. It comes

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at a cost, and a complicated one at that.

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

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

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At the moment, the government allocates school funding to local

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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with that money. The Leicestershire councillor has

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taken the campaign for fairer funding to Whitehall.

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

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local authorities. Leicestershire County Council finds it self- at

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

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us and other councils. Every pupil in the city of

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

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

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

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

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

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this government, they would be taking that money from authorities

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

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

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however is not. This week, the government announced

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

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simplify the system local authorities used to distribute

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

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to calculate how much money local priorities get from Westminster to

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their pupils. How can it be fair for one school

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

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

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

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The government admits the current system is inconsistent and unfair.

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

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gradual progress towards reform. Critics argue these children could

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

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change in the calculations for school funding.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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different schools get a different amounts of money at different areas

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

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reflect the different needs of pupils within those schools, how

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

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

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

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

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a sweeping generalisations? That is why the government are

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

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because we recognised that there are pockets of deprivation within a

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

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

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

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others, and that pits city against counties sometimes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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real issues with pupils not ready to come to school.

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Why does Michael Gove leave it to the next Parliament?

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

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

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

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The people premium argument, the Institute of Fiscal Studies says

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

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

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

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

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

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generally have more need than county areas.

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

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

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schools to offer it to their Tory shires?

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

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

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

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

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their act if we do not tackle these difficult problems.

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

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government be doing? The amount of money going into

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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bought a pasty. That sums it up.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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let up for the leader of Leicestershire County Council over

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his expenses. Opposition councillors have called a vote of

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:57:17.:57:19.

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

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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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