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.