09/06/2013 Sunday Politics North East and Cumbria


09/06/2013

Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news, interviews and debate.


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In the north-east and Cumbria: is it time to set up our own local

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banks? And doctors in rural areas say

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2135 seconds

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surgeries may have to close if Hello and welcome to your local

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part of the show. With me this week Hexham's crow Guy Opperman and

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South Shields Emma Lewell-Buck just five weeks into the job. We are

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discussing if it is time to set up our own local high-street banks.

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And we are in North Yorkshire where doctors are warning changes to

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government funding may lead to the closure of rural surgeries. Labour

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started to set out what it would do to the welfare system if the party

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gets into government. Child benefit will not be restored to high

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earners and the winter fuel allowance will be cut for the

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richest pensioners but another idea has gone down like a lead balloon.

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Sir Arthur Shields, Labour territory for generations and after

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a by-election last month it stayed that way. This place has been a

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Labour for 80 years and while the party has fought off its

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challengers here it has been under pressure to say what it would do

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about the nitty gritty of the economy. Shadow chancellor Ed Balls

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said winter fuel payments would be taken away from well off all the

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people but how has that gone down here with just over 20,000 people

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They should just carry on with it because a lot of people have made

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their money through hard work. the man who would be Chancellor did

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not only talk about pensions. He is also considering a lower benefits

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for the North. A fare cap on household benefits which takes

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account of housing costs in different parts of the country,

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with an independent body advising on whether the caps should be

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higher in high-cost areas like London but potentially low but in

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other parts of the country. this senior Labour MP is have a

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number of it. I am found it opposed to regionalisation of pay and

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regionalisation of benefits. Four people seeking work in Newcastle

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upon Tyne alone there are not enough to of jobs for people who

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need them. Emma Lewell-Buck, where do you stand? My colleagues are

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correct. They have been asked a question about regionalisation of

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benefit rates. It would be unfair and costly. But what a Ed Balls was

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talking about was should a review should look at the housing benefit.

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He is talking about you would have different caps for benefits in

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different parts of the country. So the cap could go up in London and

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down in the north-east. It is unfair. Ultimately, we are a low

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wage economy, we already have high levels of unemployment. You would

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not want that. Does this not make sense? Benefits should reflect the

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housing costs in an area. You know that we fought for nearly 18 months

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working with the TUC to stop regional pay and that was a

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campaign that we were successful with before and after the election.

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I believe we should maintain the equal levels of pay across the

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country and I find the pronouncements of Ed Balls and this

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is the first Labour policy we have had in any shape or form, to tried

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cuts to winter fuel but still provide free TV licences, it is

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illogical. The principle of regionalisation of benefits? A I am

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not in favour. I do not believe a nurse in a Surrey should receive

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more than a nurse in Middlesbrough. There was also the stuff about

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winter fuel payments. What do you think? We are talking about

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pensioners in over 40 -- �42,000 a year. Those pensioners would not

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suffer if the winter fuel allowance was cut. They'd normally spend

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their winters abroad. But you are making the system more complicated

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and also there is inconsistency here. In tis not taken away a

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universal benefit because that was put into a dress fuel poverty. A

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lot of people benefiting from of it are not suffering from fuel poverty.

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We specifically looked at it and decided not to do it. No one has

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committed anything beyond this Parliament. It is not a possibility.

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I can guarantee you it is not our proposal nor would it be our

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proposal in any way to make regionalised pay all benefits.

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If you have a bank account the chances are it is with one of the

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big high-street operators which control three-quarters of all

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accounts but 70 years ago it was all different. That sort of choice

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and competition is what many believe we need once more in the

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banking sector and on Friday a conference was held to explore the

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options for creating a new network of regional banks run by local

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communities or even our councils. The government has heard it has

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already legislated to make it easier for those who want to

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establish a new back. We want to make it easier. People said

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regulatory approvals were a nightmare. What we have said is

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that if you are setting up something that is new, it should be

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straightforward, you should have help getting, clearing those

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hurdles and they should be lower for a bank that will be smaller. We

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have done that so the conditions are now in place for people to come

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forward and propose regional banks. The first new bank to set up on the

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High Street was Metro Bank. Most of its branches are run London but its

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founder was born and bred in the North East and is here now. There

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is too much concentration in the big six banks which control three-

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quarters of all current accounts, they have become very complacent,

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they make bad loans, they are having to cut back on the lending

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they are doing, all of which is to the detriment of people and to

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small businesses. But to compete with the Barclay's Bank's and HSBCs,

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do you not be their scale? Crap it is quite possible to create local

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banks. Metro Bank has proved that. Over the last three years it has

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grown over 180,000 customer accounts, almost �1 billion in its

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balance streets -- sheets. government talked about what it has

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done so far but what else needs to be done to make this happen? From a

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regulatory perspective the government have done a huge amount,

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they have reduced the amount of capital of the backs have to hold,

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they have simplified the or the preservation process, so all of the

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barriers we faced three years ago in launching have in effect been

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removed. There is a tremendous political will to see this happen

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throughout the UK. This is a personal crusade for you. You tread

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that conference. Could it transform the north-east and Cumbria? Yes,

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for too long people have felt the city of London banks are not

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serving their constituents whether that is in South Shields or Hexham.

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What we have tried to do is try to shake-up the banking system and

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produce real competition and that competition would be a local or

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regional banks working with the local community and you could have

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towns all regions of 30, 40, 50,000 people have been a community bank.

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If the Germans can do it, we can. Spain where some of those local

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banks got into trouble had to be rescued. America did not stop the

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sub Prime crisis. But the Spanish banks made the simple mistake of

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expanding a wider and beyond the local crack recognition. What we

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saw on Friday was a real charge for a university to set-up a bang, a

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local authority to set up a bank, it can only be a good thing and I

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would happily move away from Barclay's all Lloyd's to a local

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regional bank. Where are Labour on this? We are fully supportive of

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regional banks. It is a good way for small businesses to get credit.

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People have lost faith in the big banks. What they would trust is a

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local bank on their High Street which understood the region and

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business. Deal applaud the Government's efforts so far? I just

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want to get on and do it. One thing I would say is there was some

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missed opportunities here. Northern Rock could have been this very

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regional bank we talked about. You have not broken up the bank's you

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alone. Talking is one game but actions suggest there is not that

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much commitment. I spoke with the Chancellor on Wednesday this week

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and discussed with him the progress we have made. We pass the Financial

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Services Act of 2012, sorted out the regulators, encourage a new

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entrance and it is not just neutralising or taking back to the

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community big banks that exist, it is putting in new local

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organisations. But the government chose to sell Northern Rock off

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rather than turn it into a local operator? There would have been

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able -- there would not have been... What we are talking about his local

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entrants starting afresh and giving the sort of finance we need for

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bank lending, houses and for small businesses. What would Labour do?

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The idea that Ed Miliband has talked about is a British

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Investment Bank raising the capital that would filter down to regional

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banks. We do have that already with the regional bank Vince Cable is

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doing. Or regional banks have to be created by people within the

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regions, people who are part of the fabric of the local society, who

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understand the businesses. But it certainly needs a level of

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expertise as well? Absolutely but I have talked to a lot of business

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people here and there is a real commitment and passion to create

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new banks. They raised a lot of expertise to be called upon. I

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would be pleased to offer the experience I have to support people

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but the backs have to come from local communities. What are the

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dangers hear of someone being over- generous? We have seen the problems

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of over lending, lending to householders that cannot sustain

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that level of debt and you get a collapse. One of the reasons we

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have these problems was that banks were making loans back clearly were

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not going to be paid because they did not know the people they were

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lending to well. One of the advantages of regional banks is

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they would have those relationships. The only caveat is aware that the

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future will be in regional banks or banks based in regions? The idea

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for 40,000 people is great but not realistic. The community needs to

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be a little bit bigger and with the changes in technology, geographical

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boundaries are disappearing. The fact that 60 % of all banking

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transmissions will be done by mobile phones does away with the

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whole issue of geography. When will this happen? I think within the

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next 18 months you will see a bank being set up. I except entirely

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that there may be a larger one based out of Newcastle, but in

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Germany they have a much smaller local banks which service the

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40,000 people, it takes organising but it is very durable and there is

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great desire for this. It has been a busy week with

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debates in Parliament on the East Coast main line and the new

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emergency service telephone number 111. Here is the week in 60 seconds.

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A public enquiry in candle has heard the case for extending the

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boundaries of the late Christopher national parks -- Lake District

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Where does the political accountability for the 111 system

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like? Annie Macdonald wants the East Coast main line to be kept in

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public ownership. And UKIP has become the official opposition to

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Labour in South Tyneside after sitting three independence join the

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party. There is a warning this week that

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doctors' surgeries may be forced to close in rural areas because of a

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reduction in funding. The government says it wants to ensure

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money going to practices reflects the number of patients they serve,

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but local doctors fear that could have an impact on remote well what

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areas. The West Dales, 700 square miles

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with scores of different bird species, tens of thousands of

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pounds and hundreds of thousands of sheep. There were also 4,500 people

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here served by two GP surgeries. Dr Pam West is the senior partner at

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the Central Belt practice, it covers a vast area. We are an hour

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and a quarter's drive from the nearest hospital with an accident

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and emergency department. We provide a minor injuries service,

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we deal with people who are walking casualties, all our visitors as

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well as looking after our own patients. The main surgery is in

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The main income is worth about �78,000 a year. Without that money

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we would have to close one of out to a surgeries making all the stuff

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that that surgeries redundant. My concern is that when I come to

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retire, and I need my reward GP, they will not be a practice there.

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In the Dales village, the monthly lunch club is being held. These

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villagers are among those who rely on the surgery. I have been having

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treatment for none Hodgkinson's lymphoma and they have acted in

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taking a my blood samples to send off to the hospital. I have been on

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medication for a long time which necessitates going to the doctor

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sometimes as much as once a week, so if there was any suggestion of

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closing down the surgery, I would be pretty upset. The lower call MP

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is William Hague. He has written to the Health Secretary to raise his

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own concerns about the changes. In his reply, the Health Secretary

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says the plan is to move towards a more Urquhart will practise

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He has referred in his letter to fairness to GPs and I am asking for

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fairness to patients. There is deprivation, their last single

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parent families, elderly Pope Paul who do not drive. �78,000 here will

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spread out here. Eight government says X three directing NHS money

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where it is most needed. You're the party is supposed to be

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the big supporter of rural communities, why are you insisting

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on these changes? They are not necessarily at risk. What we are

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doing, I have met with my GPs who serve equally a well what airier

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and they accept that there is a difference but what we are doing is

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making the case that there has to be a rural element that goes with

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the GP practices in truly rural situations. We are still

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negotiating with the Department of Health and NHS England and the

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point was raised with me so I have exactly the same problems. There is

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the point being made by a number of MPs representing well what areas. I

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made my case and was the candidate for the Friends of Bellingham

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surgery who sued the Health Trust to get a greater part or all

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funding. My mother was a matron in an age NHS facility in rural Wales.

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What you see is part of the process of us making the case for the

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Department of Health. Potentially South Shields may benefit from this

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so do you have any sympathy for these will practices? What this

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shows its once again the Tories and the coalition cannot be trusted

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with patient care. They are spending nearly �2 million in the

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north-east on a top down reorganisation at the same time as

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talking about cutting GP services. M R's constituents would end up

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with more funding. The a would not. There is a crisis in the health

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service because of your government. Labour looked at phasing this

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payment out in 2008 said this is not a new proposal. It was always

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supposed to be a temporary measure. It needs to be connected to the NHS

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because it is about patient care ultimately. In his Emma saying she

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would increase the health budget to take care of this? It so, why are

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they committing less money to the NHS. We should be supporting

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patients but we need to find some element of compensating GPs like

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the one in the film for the will of Parliament that goes with such a

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practice. What would Labour do different need to protect GP

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services? It goes back to what I said earlier, they risk a lot of

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money being spent on we organisation in the NHS. We do not

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know what the situation will be like if we come back into

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government but we have always been the party of the NHS. What you can

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see it is that it is incomplete crisis at the moment. Your

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government has done a lot of GP bashing this week. I have nothing

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but support for GPs. It is not easy, Beryl problems. But we are sorting

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