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Here in the east, and a happy New Year for families, and that the big
society steps in to save you services provided by councils. --
Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1685 seconds
Welcome to the first Sunday politics from the east. This week -
some people still able to get together, but with churches and
charities. Families are left stranded in their own homes.
thought every step of the way not to put my child into care. First
let's make this week's guests, Kelvin Hopkins and Brooks Newmark.
Are you a fan of High Speed Two? need a dedicated rail service to
get traffic off the roads, and to link us more effectively with the
Continent. �17 billion is a lot to pay? It tears, but every �1 put in
there is to pound returned. -- �2 return. It will double capacity, it
is a good deal for the tax payer. Is it important that we get about
faster than before? We have to travel, I commute from Luton to
London, I know the trains are crowded. I think we want to get
people out of their cars. Back to both in a moment. -- back to.
The government calls it the biggest welfare shake-up in the last 60
years, living allowances or replace council social care. The Welfare
Reform Bill suffered defeats in the House of Lords, this mother of a
severely autistic boy have recently been me -- recently been reassessed.
The reassessment means he has become a prisoner in his own home.
We don't have a family. The only time we get is when he's at school.
We don't go out as a family, are less I have a our person would need
to taking out. -- unless I have another person to help me. He
doesn't walk very far, there has to be two a bus with him. Every
Christmas he has been asking to go out to the cinema, things he enjoys
doing, and I haven't been able to take him. I can't afford the petrol.
We don't have any other options. This is our life now. If you could
ask the government to change things, what would you be asking for?
us to have a life, without having to beg every step of the way. We
have to fight and bake for everything that we are given. To be
treated with respect as the human beings that we are. I am sorry, it
has been so hard. My son did not choose to be disabled, and I have
fought every step of the way to bring him up in a normal family.
Brooks Newmark, Liam Byrne, the shadow Secretary of State for
contentions says the government has crossed the line of decency when it
comes to the Welfare Reform Bill. It is Liam Byrne who said that
times are tied. Under the old system, it was not seen as fair or
targeted to the most vulnerable. The new system, it is a more
focused on the most vulnerable, it says see -- it is seen as fair. It
is focused on getting people back to work. What is fair that putting
families under more pressure? cannot comment on that individual
family. It is a moving story, and I can't comment on the specifics.
What I can say is that the focus on the new programme is to focus on
the most vulnerable. By Reynard does look like they are vulnerable
child -- he does look like a bundle child, under the old system there
was millions wasted, it has been a waste of a lifetime. Individuals
changed over a lifetime, and this pavement at made sure that people
are assessed every year, and make sure they get the right payment.
Kelvin Hopkins, the end of sick note Britain began under Gordon
Brown, this is hypocritical isn't it? I am wholly opposed to these
cuts, I think they are squeezing the most vulnerable, to alleviate
the problems of the rich. The rich are getting away with tax avoidance
to the tune of �120 billion a year, to collect just a fraction of that
would solve this problem. Surely there should not be a target of how
much cuts there should be? It should be based on needs. It should
do. But we have a problem in this country, we were living way beyond
our means, therefore all departments have to share the
burden of the cuts. With respect to the disability living allowance,
that was seen as be wasteful, unfair and not particularly well
targeted. We hope, not withstanding the 20% cuts, that what will be
delivered will be that the most honourable will be protected -- the
most available will be protected. think we should cut Trident. The
reality is we are not collecting in the tax. If we collected that these
problems would go away, and we could make sure that vulnerable
people would be looked after. We been here comes the time that
the council start to set to their new budgets, and make tough
decisions. Last year the biggest casualty was the provision of youth
services. Almost the entire budget was slashed. The good news is that
the big society has stepped in, but for how long?
It is Friday night at this youth centre in King's Lynn. Around 60
youngsters are head, some are disabled, and some are young carers.
Others are just kids who want to be with their friends. I have lots of
friends here, I can enjoy myself. What would you be doing if you
weren't here? To be honest, I have no idea. I would probably be sat at
home. Quite bored. We filmed here last year, when it was about to
close, targeted by council cuts. There were fears that this, and
other youth groups in Norfolk would never open again. I would do
anything to keep it open. One year on, it is still open, just one day
a week, it is run by volunteers, parents and former members of staff.
It is the best we can do with what we have got at the moment.
council has let them have the building a rent-free for a year. It
has given them a grant to get started. They do lots of fund-
raising. We are led a hand-to-mouth. -- we are living hand-to-mouth.
inspires you to keep coming, to keep it going on, to do what you
can to help. With a few exceptions, most of the youth activities in
North a car still being run -- in Norfolk are still being run. The
diocese of Norfolk is now one of the biggest providers. His youth
provision better or worse? You know, strangely, I think it is better.
What has happened is that with all the publicity around the cuts,
there are more local communities saying that they want to have
provision in their village, and they want to something about it. In
that respect something around the big society is working, but can
only be sustained with money. It is really exciting times for the
provision in Norfolk. What if they run out of money, or people whose
interest -- lose interest? I think it will flourish. We still have a
professional service, that was established over many years, it
went overnight. To expect any group to come in and fill that vacuum
with no lead-in time it was always unrealistic. Do you worry about the
future, how long you can keep going? I am confident that we have
a enough gumption to keep it going. We are worried, because there is
only so much money in people's pots. Joining the is the man from Norwich
council to approve the cuts. have a massive financial challenge,
we have to make hard choices. We concentrated on front line services,
helping the most them vulnerable, we would like to keep certain
things going, but we had to redesign the youth service. I youth
services a luxury? Not to the people that use them. We wanted to
engage the local committee, your programme shows this has been
successful. There is a lot of enthusiasm, I am so pleased that
the diocese of Norwich has been destructive. We have set up in
Norfolk community fund -- set up. We have done our part. We are
trying to help local communities to help meet their own local needs.
we saw, people want continuity, that is what young people need,
having a service run by volunteers is not the same as professionals
doing it on a regular basis. someone said on your piece, the
service operated there now is better than it was before. I know
that area, the work but they are doing is continuing what was done
in the past, but in a voluntary capacity. We seem to have got it
right in Norfolk. What is going to happen in the long term? What we
say is that we want to see community's takeover, with some
help from ourselves. What you make about what to have heard? I'm very
sceptical. I spoke against these cuts in the Commons. Even the
Government's own research suggests that the absence of youth services
was a picture Ritchie factor to be a riots last year. -- was a
contributory factor. We need the services run by professionals, to
make sure youngsters are not on the streets and doing constructive
things. I'm interested to note that he doesn't think we have poverty in
Norfolk. Some of the most socially deprived areas are in King's Lynn
and Great Yarmouth. We are showing that the big society can work.
I saw you nodding their, presumably you agree? I think that what
Norbert has shown is that you can have a big society, and the balance
the books. Does that mean you are giving the young people what they
need? As he showed yourself, they are all positive. Fantastic. One
night a week, but it used to happen if three or four nights a week.
voluntary sector is taking a bigger role. The government should not be
doing what the voluntary side should be doing, and has
traditionally done. What has happened historically in recent
years is that the government has gone in and given more and more
money. The reality is that most people in their local community are
actually want to get engaged with young people, and they are getting
engaged. I want to ask Derek Murphy one more question. What is this
giving to young people? messages that councils are coming
in to help, rent free, Right to Buy, a very positive role of people who
want to deliver the big society. will have to leave it there.
I have to stop there. This is our new one minute weekly political
round-up. It is not a New Year fitness regime
for Eric Pickles, he was inspecting the Olympic mountain biking site in
Essex. Is he a ban? This is my first time. I could tell you it is
my life ambition to see it, but that would not be true. Sir Richard
Branson is keen to improve banking, he told staff in Norwich.
banking industry has been discredited, it almost brought the
world to its knees. There are 300 jobs at risk at this printing firm,
prompting the local MP to ask for help. In case you are wondering,
heres the Olympic sport that sets Eric Pickles heart racing. I love
showjumping. Does showjumping do-able you?
love all sports. I would watch it on television. I have a wide range
of interests in sports. My major interests is probably music. -- my
major interest. How much as the Olympics mean the business in this
county? I think it means something, it brings people into the county.
More importantly, it is inspiration to young people. The county has
taken at the Olympics very seriously, they have put a lot of
time and money into making sure it is their success. There is a torch-
bearer from a Braintree. The big benefits, what will they be?
think the big benefits will be the airport. I'm pleased to say that