Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with political news, including an interview with Danny Alexander. George Galloway and Bob Stewart go head-to-head on the future of the Falklands.
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In the North East and Cumbria, a total of 10 school buildings
contain asbestos. An MP says teachers are dying and children are
Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2004 seconds
Coming up, these are some of the men and women who want to run the
North's five police forces. As more candidates are unveiled this week,
we ask what qualifications they need to do the job. Talking about
that are Carlisle MP John Stevenson and Grahame Morris.
Around 8 out of 10 schools in our region contain asbestos. That is
according to a Sunday Politics survey of -- across the area. Do we
need to do anything about it? More than 140 schools staff have died
from exposure to asbestos across the UK and the last decade. A North
East MP says the risk is so great it is time to act.
A typical chorister in a typical school. Like so many, this one
dates from a time when asbestos was a basic building material --
corridor. In the school, we have asbestos in the heating ducts. We
know it is there, we know where it is. We have good records. We do
periodic inspections to make sure that it is as it should be. And
that nobody has been up there or there is no sign of deterioration.
According to figures, nearly 1,700 schools in the area, more than
1,300 contain asbestos. Like all new school, this has been built
without asbestos. North East MP showed me round. He told me about
his parliamentary campaign to have the material removed from all
schools. He is worried by the growing number of teachers are
dying from asbestos related cancer. One of the big problems is that it
affects thousands of children. We must look at a phased removal. It
must be removed from every school in the UK and I understand that
will be very difficult. It will be a difficult task, but we must do it
in the best interest of the school and in particular, these children.
Teacher Patricia Cameron was exposed to asbestos in the 1970s.
She died in 2004. As her daughter explains. In came as such a shock.
I had never heard of their cancer. It was something I did not
associate with teachers or teaching. Obviously after this is -- after
the receipt -- the research I did, I know all about it now. A few
months ago, builders working at the school unexpectedly does that --
discovered some old asbestos and a wall. There was no exposure of
school that -- staff. That would have had an impact on a lot of
parents. Of course, three days of the children's education was lost.
Why not take asbestos out of all schools? There is a massive cost
implications. Authorities face huge cuts at the moment. The teaching
unions say the price of Izmit -- removing asbestos is worth paying.
We did a national survey last year. We found very few members of staff
actually knew whether their schools had asbestos and them and knew what
to do if they came across up damaged asbestos. The official
advice is that as long as it is in good condition and done disturbed,
it poses no threat. -- understaffed. Tipped to protect the next
generation, there are growing calls -- to protect. We know the North
East has had a lot of problems with asbestos. How serious do you think
the threat is? I think it is a threat. I would like to pay tribute
to the work that my colleague has done and raising the issue. We know
140 teachers have died in the last 10 years. We do not know how many
other cleaners, caretakers, maintenance workers have been
involved because no records have been in -- no records have been
kept. I think the idea that we should have a phased programme is a
sensible approach. You must remember that one of the problems
we face with the cancellation of the Building Schools For The Future
programme and the dramatic cutbacks in the repairs budget, there is an
issue of how quickly those schools built after 1975 are going to be
replaced. Do you agree it is safer to have removed their asbestos?
have sympathy with local authorities because there is a risk
here. They must manage that. -- I have. In my constituency, I am
quite and -- quite fortunate. There is no issue. Not inured you going
in before refurbishment and removing this and a phased way?
must balance the risk. They must assess what they can do to remove
asbestos where they can. When the opportunity arises, you should take
that opportunity. Over time, schools are refurbished, as they
are replaced, that is a real opportunity to deal with it.
experts' advice is that this is safe as long as it is not disturbed.
The truth of the matter is that we do not know the scale of the
problem because there are such a queue each time lapse between
exposure to asbestos and the illness. Every day activities, it
does not have to be a refurbishment. Slamming a classroom door five
times can put 600 times more asbestos fibre into the atmosphere
than the normal background evidence. When resources are tight, it is not
a priority, is it? What price do you put on an individual, a child
or a teacher or a caretaker, what price do you put on their health
and safety and -- and their well- being? A you must be professional
about this. I think that is what local authorities must do. You must
make sure that schools are inspected on a regular basis. That
is what I think... They is a gamble here. 30, 40 year period. We are is
another side to it. Apart from the Managed Risk, there is the issue of
publicising it to make sure every school where they are being gripe -
- quite proactive, lots of schools are not aware of the dangers.
Parents are not aware of the changes. It must be clear. It is
important that local authorities make sure that schools are aware of
the issue if there is asbestos and a school. As you see schools been
refurbished, and... Our the Government risking more of this
danger by not dealing with schools as fast as the previous government?
I think we must accept budgetary constraints. We must be careful of
the risk that there is. That is what schools must do and local
authorities. Night a group of men and women who
will be trying to get to vote. Elections take place in November
but what sort of person has the qualifications? Should they be
police officers are politicians? On the streets of fighting crime,
something is changing and the police. It stands for police and
Crown Commissioners. PCC. We're just starting to find out who wants
the job. Some are familiar faces. Now she has been selected as
Labour's candidate for the Police Commission. She has never been a
police officer. The job is the reverse. It is to represent the
community to be the voice of the people of Northumberland. What you
say to people who say this is just another way to get back into
politics? I am here to serve the public of Northumberland who were
suffering extremely badly from Tory cuts. Most of the candidates have
not been police officers. This man is standing for Labour as
commissioner. Labour's candidate in Durham has been a policeman. He's a
former police constable. The Lib Dems have not put any candidates up.
The Conservatives will suggest their candidates for the end of
July. This man has thrown his hat into the ring. A lot of the public
will see it as common sense that someone with direct policing
experience will be a good person for the job. I feel strongly that
this role should not be politicised. It should not been given to a
career politician who might bring in party politics. For local
councillors, ex-MPs and a few ex- police officers. They all want to
play a part. John Stevenson, we heard them
talking about the advantages of police work. Would it be better
with politicians who have experience of representing people?
I am delighted they're going ahead with this. I do not think there is
a problem he gets elected. I think what matters is the calibre Alok --
Caliber of that person. They have got to hold a police to account and
the electorate can help -- can hold them to account. I think it is
about confidence and quality. ludicrous these jobs should not be
politicised? To a certain extent, yes, they are. What we want to see
his quality politicians. Graham Morris, Labour have selected
retread politicians. Should there have been more referred to find new
faces? Labour resisted police commissioners on the ground of
costs. The cost, not of the salary, but of the election every four
years. It is the equivalent of 3,000 police Constable's. Let us
talk about the names. John Prescott is quite formidable. We have a good
mix in the North East. We have someone who is a former police
officer. We have someone who was a solicitor general. She has an
excellent record as a human rights lawyer. We have a man who was a
local councillor. He has years of experience. Some people will see
this as people who just want a salary. The Labour Party did not
support the concept of police commissioners. Now that the
Government have forced through there will, it is up to us to
select the best candidates that we can. We have a good next, some are
poor former police officers. -- some are former police officers. At
the end of -- cut the end of the date is up to the voters. It is
straight forward for non-party political dependence. It is down to
people like yourself to help out there. I am not going to go in one
�5,000. You can demonstrate there are independence -- independent
standing in an area. In depends on the media coverage. If people like
you cells, local radio, local newspapers take an interest in
these people, there is no reason there cannot be a robust debate.
For you believe a lot of independents will emerge? -- do you
believe. I think it will be principally main parties. I think
Labour has a very good record in terms of crime and tackling anti-
social behaviour. If you do get independent candidates, or is the
issue single-issue? Ron Hawke is bringing his experience to bear and
specialist experience. Elections in November, hardly anyone will turn
out? We will have to wait and see. I think people might be surprised
at how many people turn out. It is novel. Thank you.
England's game against Italy is hours away. Mark put aside thoughts
of formation fit all. -- football. Unemployment is up again in the
North East. It rose by 8,000. It fell in Cumbria.
Ian Wright told people the region was paying a high price for the
recession. Tyneside MP has called on a motion
called on missions -- ministers to abandon nuclear weapons.
Free schools and academies are not providing the same standard of
healthy food as local authority run schools. Ministers say there is no
evidence. Her many more calls for a U-turn does the Government need to
hear before it does the right thing and put evidence ahead of dogma and
make sure more children get the benefit of help the school meals?
Fresh research will be carried out on air passenger duty and the
impact. Some people believe that damages the North East economy.
Why do you think the figures for employment are falling income we
are will be a rising elsewhere? Partly, the reason the North East
is bucking the trend is that we are losing more jobs and the public
sector and job creation in the private sector. There is a robust
public it -- economy. Local businesses are holding up. You must
have some good examples were the private City it -- private sector
is being successful. We had a debate in Parliament this week that
in the private sector, it is haemorrhaging jobs. There is
145,000 people at work in a region now. There is a list of companies
in Nigeria -- in Nigeria. In my constituency -- in my constituency.
We have a real problem. It is not to say there are some bright spots.
I welcome the 200 jobs that Nissan is creating. There will be benefits
in the supply chain. There is no guarantee those contracts will be
placed in Durham. There is a potential there. In the North East,
it is about the private sector. It's only government is not helping.
-- saw the Government is not helping. It is doing its best to
help the private sector. We must accept we have a difficult economic
backdrop. Nevertheless, throughout the country, if you look at the
national figures, you're seeing improvement in employment figures.
There are jobs being created. What he must do is encourage the private
sector to grow and create these jobs. Her we must stimulate demand.
Lack of business confidence, factory production his own. We must
Andrew Neil and Tim Iredale with the latest political news, including an interview with the chief secretary to the treasury, Danny Alexander. Also in the programme, Respect MP, George Galloway and defence select committee member, Bob Stewart, go head-to-head on the future of the Falklands.