03/03/2013 Sunday Politics East Midlands


Andrew Neil and Marie Ashby with the latest political news, interviews and debate, including business secretary Vince Cable and former Conservative minister Andrew Mitchell.

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In the East Midlands: As the number of hospital admissions for alcohol


related illnesses soar, are we drinking too much? And it's one of


the biggest economies in the world, with strong links to the East


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2198 seconds


Midlands - but should we be giving In the East Midlands, are we


drinking too much? I've think it is a middle-aged age group who do


their shopping in the supermarket, get Barrar a whole much more


cheaply than they did in the past, and drink in the evening to relax.


One of the biggest economies in the world, with strong links to the


East Midlands, should we be giving aid to India? I stayed it should be


stopped. It is not really helping this country, trader, yes, aid, no.


Hello, I'm Marie Ashby. Joining me this week, the Conservative MP for


Bosworth David Tredinnick, and Labour's MP for Bassetlaw John Mann.


The head of East Midlands Ambulance Service was in Westminster this


week discussing radical changes to the service with Conservative MPs.


It's planning to cut 53 stations around the region and replace them


with 13 hubs. Phil Milligan, the ambulance service chief executive,


told MPs it would improve response times.


There's been a lot of concern over this - this week we heard about an


eighty four year old woman in Leicestershire who had to wait 3


hours for an ambulance after a fall outside her home. Do you think the


changes will improve things? No, I don't. We are not prepared to


accept it. We have put in about 20,000 submissions same we are not


prepared to lose our ambulance stations, with a vast array rethink,


-- we have asked for a rethink. We are not prepared to accept anything


less. I am getting a clear indication that they we think is


going on. They have not been able to argue against the points we have


made, we have pointed out that our ambulances go north to Doncaster or


and Sheffield. There is no logic in having a base that we don't news. I


think they raised a rethink. I think they understand that in rural


areas, it doesn't add up. Do you think there is anything going on?


Babb looked at it, subsequently I am informed that Hinckley will have


a hard station. I feel much more optimistic. There is a real worry


that ambulance services will be focused on the city of Leicester,


to the detriment of the countryside, Market Bosworth, up to Shackleton's.


I feel confident we will have a modern, efficient facility. We have


to accept that there is need for change. Some of the old stations


have to go, we do need a modern service, and the old buildings are


totally unsuitable, and the costs of refurbishing them is way above


that are putting in a new building. Well one thing our ambulance


service certainly has to deal with on a daily basis is alcohol abuse.


And there's been a shocking rise in the number of people in the East


Midlands being admitted to hospital for alcohol related conditions, up


by almost a third in just five years. More and more people are


having problems with alcohol, and at the Royal Derby hospital they


have found that the age group of people are changing.


Teenage years seem to have reduced their drinking in the last years,


the Education put into schools is reaping some benefits. I picked it


is the middle-aged people who do their shopping in the supermarket,


get ban alcohol much more cheaply than they did in the past, and


drink in the evening to relax. On a daily basis they are drinking


alcohol, and adds up to quite a lot. They had been looking more closely


at the causes of alcohol, at this pub, they say a change in drinking


habits has made the situation worse. They are buying cheap alcohol from


supermarkets, and drinking a lot more at home before they come out.


The night-time economy has changed, people are coming out a lot later.


From a landlord's point of view, it is difficult to judge how much


alcohol they have consumed. A recent inquiry into drink and drugs


has found that efforts to tackle drug problems are having an impact.


Now it is alcohol abuse that is on the increase. 44% of violent crime


is alcohol-related. If you look at the drugs side of staff, it is less


socially acceptable in British culture, alcohol has been more


acceptable, that is the attitude we need to change. In recent times the


focus has shifted, and I think they are taking the issue seriously and


providing more funding. Before figures show that in the East


Midlands there has been a 30% rise in admissions to hospital in the


last five years, but if you look more closely, there may be signs of


hope, with admissions falling in the last year. This charity in


Derbyshire say they are finding new ways of tackling the problem. One


of the biggest things is that there are no huge waiting lists, they are


in bed within five days of the referral being made. You have to


strike when the iron is hot. Politician has, health workers and


charities are turning their attentions to tackling the alcohol


crisis, back can any of them end our obsession with booze?


You set up the inquiry we mentioned in Bassetlaw. So which was the


bigger problem, drugs or alcohol? It used to be drugs, but we have


got on top of the heroin problem. Many of our addicts are back paying


taxes, or are in treatment. We have had some great results, and have


saved money for the taxpayer. How bad is it? It may not be a new


problem, it was there before. looking at the cost in policing,


the cost to the health service, the cost to employers, and we intend to


challenge that head-on. We are looking at a number of things, but


in particular, the biggest mistake of the last government was bringing


in 24 hour alcohol everywhere. It may work in big cities, but in


market towns, it doesn't work. We don't need pubs that are open all


night, and it has cost us a lot of money. Admission that Labour made


some mistakes? The R idea of 24 hour drinking was to getting line


with the rest of Europe. -- the idea. We are losing our pubs, we


are losing that social interaction. Far too many people are drinking


cheap alcohol, which supermarkets have as loss-leaders.


The doctor in that report, Andrew Austin, supports a minimum pricing


for alcohol. And this week, 70 health groups have said it should


be a minimum of 50 pence per unit. Is that going to happen?


committee which I sit on have looked at it, I have looked at the


situation in Scotland, and I think there are a compelling number of


cases. They are not finding it easy, but that does not mean you don't


have to do it. We live to affect middle-class drinkers? -- will it


affect middle-class drinkers? will affect some of them, but there


is a much bigger issue, awareness of what alcohol does to you. It


will increase your chance to diabetes, it will reduce your


potency, it will make your eyes deteriorate more quickly. Your life


expectancy will be reduced. These are the messages we need to get


across. There are some glimmers of hope. They are very small. I will


back the proposal for a minimum price, I don't know whether it will


work, but it is worth a go. The health message has to be ramped up.


If you are 40 years old, trying to hold on to your looks, and you


drink a lot of alcohol, you will Ajay lot quicker. That message has


not been there. -- tubal you will age. In message doesn't seem to be


getting through, the British are known for their drinking? In some


parts of the country it is getting across. There is work-in-progress.


The supermarkets, three bottles of wine but �10, it is extraordinary


you can get it so cheaply? It has changed to people staying in,


television ratings are going up, people are staying in, doing some


cooking, drinking a bottle of wine, or some beer. They are not


realising how much they are drinking. It is all of us. We are


all doing it. We have to get on top of it. People are not realising


quite how much we drink at home. It is not like the pub, where you hand


over the money. Is it something that worries you personally? It is


another big issue. I will let John think about the answer. They used


to be eight glasses of wine to a bottle, and now you're getting much


bigger glasses in pubs, people are filed into drinking -- are full


into thinking that they are drinking less. I worried about


people driving a black a whole. There is a clear disparity between


the amount people say they are drinking and what they actually do.


I have no idea how much I could see him. Your must know how much you


are drinking? If you go to a reception in Parliament, it is hard


to know. Parliament is one of the worst, they run a copy bars in


Parliament, bars everywhere. Should the UK be giving aid to a


country that's got a space programme? Well, according to the


government, no. Aid to India will end in two year's time. The


government says it is one of the fastest growing economies in the


world - and even the Indian government has said trade is better


than aid. But one of our MPs doesn't agree.


Jon Ashworth, from Leicester South has been in India. Earlier I spoke


to him and asked him what he's seen that's so convinced him aid should


continue. I have seen kids playing next to an open sewer, no shoes,


toddlers walking round in the slums. It is extreme levels of poverty.


Although I don't believe we should keep on giving aid to India for


ever, I don't pick it should have ended abruptly in 2015 -- I don't


think it should have ended abruptly in 2015. I think we will lose


influence with India. I don't think it is in the British national


interest. We are country with deep bonds, deep ties with India. We


needed to maintain a modern relationship. That will help in


terms of trade, and economic development.


Well Jon Ashworth, mentioned business as well as aid there and


we're joined by Uday Dholakia, a Leicester businessman, who's the


chairman of the Indo British Trade Council.


Is Jon right, will we lose influence if we end our aid


donations? Geraghty macro parts to the argument. As a local


businessman, I want to make sure that taxpayers' money means there


is something in it for our institutions. The point that John


is trying to make, he has clearly picked up by a number of serious


issues. I think we have cut the aid programme a bit too quickly, it is


a unilateral decision, we need to be humane and compassionate.


You're a regular visitor to the Indian High commission what's their


take on stopping aid to India. feel it is a unilateral decision on


part of the government, they feel they should have been bilateral


discussion. Seeing is believing and Jon


Ashworth has clearly been affected by what he's seen. How can we


ignore such obvious poverty? There are pockets like that in all


countries across the world. The perception of aid is not a good one,


people think that the money is pocketed. There is a determination


to make sure aid is targeted on the most bd, and as the fact of the


matter is that people are not going to begrudge the fact they are


trying to target the aid more effectively. Can we really turn our


backs on children in slums? It is not about turning our back, it is


about effectiveness. I was one of the first to call for aid for China


and India to be stopped, and money to be redirected to Africa, where I


think the developer needs are far more great. India is booming as an


economy, their growth rates are very good, we should be co-


operating with our expertise, including water, sanitation and


health. Well our politicians have strong


views on this sensitive issue over to Des Coleman to see what you


think. We give a the �200 million of aid to India every year.


We have come to Derby to hear your thoughts. I think each should be


stopped, it is not helping these countries. Trade, yes, aid, no.


Allowed to the time it goes into the leader's bank account. We need


to make sure goes to the right people. I can accept it going for


humanitarian reasons, but not for armaments. They should be


concentrating on the people. They should spend money on people here,


on cancer, finding cures, rather than sending it to other countries.


I think about all the children that are suffering over there, I have a


child myself, but I also think there are quite a lot of people in


this country but also need help. The homeless, that sort of thing.


So a lot of people thinking we should look closer to home before


we spend money abroad. Surely it would be better to taper it off


rather than cutting off aid so abruptly? There is an argument for


that, I'm not sure exactly what the aid packages. The charities depend


on that money? I don't accept that, the aid could be spent much better


in other areas. You mention Africa, half a million people can be saved.


They have to be judgments in politics, and I think it is the


correct judgment to move aid that are poorer, and let in Diego it's a


way as -- and let India go its way as the successful economy that it


is. There is a huge amount of wealth in India, the growth rate is


9%, and we don't have one. We need to give away expertise, and put


money in, and make sure it makes a big difference, in Africa.


Let's look a bit more closely at our links with India. We've got


such strong connections because of our communities here in the East


Midlands - Uday, can we benefit from that? I think we can, but a


lot of the arguments resonate with me. We need to shift the paradigm,


to make that relationships from. What is the relationship around


giving aid to institutions? Water, sanitation, everything else. We


must also leverage more support. I think I would still like to see


Bally for money for any money we spent. -- value for money. What


kind of benefits would we get? International aid, and trade are


very closely linked. I don't think we have been aggressive enough. I


would like to see more upbeat manoeuvring from the government.


John and Ashworth said he was concerned that we were -- Jon


Ashworth said he was concerned we would lose influence? I think we


would lose some respect. David Cameron obviously realises


the importance of India's economic power for the UK - he's just been


out there, but could we be doing more. It was a powerful statement


of intent. By developing wealth, you develop trade, they are very


closely linked. Can you separate aid and trade


though? You can indeed, there are other ways, it's off to a,


scholarships, ability to get visas, these have been on the agenda,


there is a lot more we can do. We need to build relationships. There


is a lot more to be done? We take a lot of Indian students to this


country, they go back with some fine degrees. And he very much for


coming in. Time for a quick look at some of


the other political stories in the East Midlands this week - here's


our Political Editor John Hess with the 60 second roundup. In so Brain,


a politician of start to think about the council elections, the


finance director has warned about whoever wins at the polls will have


to make more big budget cuts. We need to be more efficient, we


need to be more effective, and put your better goods and services.


new �500 million train station for Elkstone has moved closer with


approval for government funding. Campaigners are confident of


securing the rest of the cash from a government fund. With the cold


spell still fresh in our memories, the SNP has urged homeowners to


warm up with a green deal. -- this MP. The cost is paid back in


savings in fuel bills. The green deal will save energy, and create


thousands of jobs. Looking forward to those council


elections, what preparations are you making?


I am looking forward to the results, because we are going to see the


Andrew Neil and Marie Ashby with the latest political news, interviews and debate, including business secretary Vince Cable and former Conservative cabinet minister Andrew Mitchell.

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