16/06/2013 Sunday Politics South West


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carbon footprint of our meat industry. And the disabled woman


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2336 seconds


who's losing care just because she's on the Sunday Politics in the South


West. Measuring a cow's carbon hoofprint. Could meat farming


actually be good for the environment? And for the next twenty


minutes, I'm joined by Alison Seabeck, the Labour MP for Plymouth


Moor View, and Adrian Sanders, the Liberal Democrat MP for Torbay. Now,


both the Labour and the Liberal Democrats have criticised David


Cameron's plans to crack down on political lobbying. They fear the


Tories are using the row over lobbying to attack Labour's links to


the unions. But it's also become clear that companies are paying


money to all kinds of parliamentary groups. You both sit on several of


these groups. Take one, Alison, it is sponsored by a campaigning group,


a charity, the all-party BA group which serves a similar purpose is


served by brewers. It is very difficult. All-party groups often


have a useful purpose, I still serve on the water group. It gave me an


opportunity with the problems about water to really keep pushing the


issues we were facing in the south-west. That is funded by water


companies. It was a reverse lobbying going on. I think some people have


questioned whether it is right. People are rightly and comfortable.


It needs to be transparent. Most people did not know the water


companies funded the all-party water group. I am involved with defence


groups with the Armed Forces and NATO talking to us for good


reasons. But it is funded by defence manufacturers. They do not go to


lobby asks because the meeting is about the person has come to talk to


us about NATO but if anybody looking in was to pick up a newspaper, that


is paid for by the defence sector and it cannot be right. There is an


argument for change. It needs to be more transparent. We need to know


who they are, their contact with ministers, and I think the public


have a right to know who the MP is talking to. You sit on a couple of


health-related groups. I think they are supported by associated


charities but what is your view on the relationship? I think it works


very well. I chaired the diabetes group, the secretary at does not


receive money but it is run by diabetes UK. Of course they


represent patients and they bring along representatives of patients to


the meeting. But also the pharmaceutical companies come along


and send wraps. They do not have any participation in the meeting but


they are there and they get to hear what the problems are patients are


experiencing. There is no money. Alison is right. We need to be


transparent. The way to do that is to have a register of lobbyists and


that is something that was in the coalition programme for government


but is still waiting to be put into practice. It was put there by the


Liberal Democrats side. OK. Good plug, Adrienne! This week changes to


disability benefits came in, bringing tougher tests for


claimants. Charities are warning that half a million disabled people


will lose out under the new regime. A few days ago the Care Minister met


one disabled campaigner from Devon who's already lost a lot of her care


package simply because she's moved house. Jenny Kumah reports.


After years of communal living, Sarah decided she wanted to live


more independently. It took 13 years to find suitable accommodation to


meet her needs. But when she made the move from Exmouth to Paignton


there was an expected price to pay. 23.5 hours of carer support to help


with daily tasks in Exmouth and it went down to 16 and I also lost


respite in the move. Sarah was macro care was provided by Devon County


Council but now it comes from Torbay. One big impact has been


physiotherapy and swimming. The one sports activity I can do is forming


but afterwards I am really tired. Currently my level of support means


I cannot have a support worker to support me. So, that is impacting on


my health and my doctor is keen to take up swimming again but it can't


happen. These are hard times for local authorities, they have less


cash and rising demand for services. This year, Torbay Council is saving


�1.7 million from its adult social care budget. Sarah lived here for


more than two months before she was assessed for care needs. Devon


continued to fund her for 12 weeks after she moved out of the county.


In the 11th week Torbay assessed me and it was just after that I got


told my care would drop which was difficult. Torbay care trust would


not comment on this case but say it is important for the trust to


carefully and fairly allocate adult social care resources to those who


need it most. They haven't given a clear reason but in the assessment I


was told things like going out food shopping or cleaning and clothes


washing would be something I would have to pay out of my DLA care which


is fine in some ways but it is there to support with the additional costs


of disability not specifically paying for carers. The disability


living allowance is now being phased out. The government is replacing it


with personal independence payments. Ministers say this will


make better use of resources but charities think it will leave people


like Sarah worse off. Disabled people are worried at the moment


because it seems like they -- their support and income is being cut from


all sides was 600,000 disabled people are about to lose their


entitlement to disability benefits and on top of that those same people


are losing their social care support. This week, Sarah met the


care and support minister. Norman Lamb reassured her laws were coming


in to give people confidence care would continue if they move house.


She is still worried that the wider package of cuts could still leave


people like her without the help they need. Do you sympathise with


Sarah was to mark yes, I think the problem we currently have is people


with a range of disabilities are facing a series of different cuts to


services. What the government have failed to do is do a assessment on


how these different changes through the bedroom tax to DLA are


reflecting this significant group of people with disabilities. And the


Conservative minister recently refused to do that assessment. It is


difficult to know, if you do not understand the problem, what you do


about it. It is left and right-hand not knowing what it is doing.


issue of the problems with Sarah moving, this is nothing to do with


the coalition, this is the systems that have been in place since you


were in government. There has all been a degree of choice. And what


local councils can afford to support. We know they are all


cutting back. Should there be a national standard? It wasn't a pro


two for the Labour government. is a strong argument for looking at


that because of the multiplicity of changes that are affecting people.


We are seeking to look at and understand the nature of the problem


as a whole before we commit to changing the system again. Quite


frankly, there has been a lot of turmoil in the system. Sarah is your


constituent. Is Torbay right or wrong to be cutting care? This is


the problem. You have a Tory Devon Council assessing differently to a


Torbay Council. You also have a big structural care system in Devon, a


smaller one in Torbay. It is not always the case of the bigger one


does better and is more generous. In this case, those factors. You need


to have a bar and which cannot fall if you are to have different


assessments in different local authority areas a national


assessment. We do not have either. I think I would rather have a bar and


which cannot fall so an area can go way above the bar if it wants to but


the bar has to be high to begin with. I also think things might


improve the bit and the Social Care Bill occurs that will try to rectify


these things but the problem we have got is to get the kind of


Rolls-Royce social care system we want is going to cost more money


than we have. There will be difficult decisions and it is really


unfair that somebody is an area that perhaps is feeling the pinch more


than when they were in Devon and deciphering and it is compounded


further by other decisions like not all local areas are charging people


Council tax who qualified. This government is keen on postcode


lotteries and localism. Localism works if you have the funding to


offer the same level of services everywhere else. You might choose


not to. You still get one level of care in one local authority and


different in another. It would be fine if areas could choose but if


the public could be clear they can remove the people making the


decision at the ballot box which they cannot and a first past the


post voting system. Localism. party sat there repeatedly in


committee after committee saying localism is the answer, support the


local agenda and we said you will get a postcode lottery because we


were aware that in certain circumstances that was happening.


And it is postcode lottery writ large with no national control over


anything. The government are farming it out. Any system that is complex,


like a healthcare system, you need local decision-making to reflect


different demands and needs. The problem is the funding streams do


not recognise where those problems are more acute, that is why localism


does not work. You have to make sure you have the right funding streams


then localism can work. OK, we must move on. The commonly-heard argument


that eating meat is, costly, inefficient and downright bad for


the environment is back in the news. But the meat and farming lobby has


sharpened up its steak knife and struck back. A report, authored by a


Devon MP and farmer, claims rearing livestock could actually be good for


the planet. Johnny Rutherford reports.


A quarter of the countries capital reside in the South West but for how


much longer? Is the meat industry is under attack. Last week a report


said Britain should cut down on the meat they eat. A group of MPs said


meat should only be eaten as an occasional luxury rather than as


part of the everyday diet. A statement welcomed by animal aid.


What we need to do is rely more on a plant -based diet, it is better for


the environment, every study shows this. You can feed more people, you


get less environmental pollution. It is better for help and animals. It


gets rid of the slaughterhouse. That is why more and more young people


are thinking to the Guinness. Devon MP is leading the fight back


with a report calling for a robust scientific way to measure carbon


emissions from livestock. To give as a clear idea of the extent to which


the carbon stored in grassland balances the methane. What I would


say to the vegetarian and vegan fraternity is much of this grassland


we do not want to plough and the way we keep that managed is through


raising livestock. There was a great need to eat the meat from that


grassland so it is one and the same. And people choose to eat meat


and people choose to eat meat across the world. Now we are seeing China


and Vietnam and these countries getting richer and they are eating


more meat. The meat needs to come from somewhere. Cattle farmers said


the landscape is naturally ideal for grazing and not suitable for


anything else. If you were to change that land use into arable, you would


have to do plough it, which would release nitrogen and carbon, you


will also be looking to go down a high input farming system than is


presently on the land. That produces livestock and meat at the end of the


day. Farmers are beginning to work locally with scientists to happen


choose their carbon footprint. At these laboratories they are


developing a system for measuring carbon in livestock farming. We know


a lot about what goes on in the top 30 centimetres of the soil. What we


do not understand is what goes on in the subsoil down here. We know there


is potential down here, this is containing less carbon. From


experiments we know soils that have been degraded and lack Qabun have a


great potential to store more. Experiments are going on to develop


a grass with deeper roots to store more carbon. Some believe we would


still be better off without cattle. It is an inefficient way of


producing food and it's a global picture. Whatever the exact figures


and I agree we should get an exact picture as we can, the overall truth


is the human population has to rely far less on animal products if we


are either to survive in the next hundred years. Are you firmly on one


side or the other? It can be polarised. It is not a good way


forward. I eat meat. But I have the message that I ought to be eating


less red meat for health reasons there is nothing new about issue, 30


years ago I read about the forest being cleared in South America to


graze cattle to meet the demands of North America. As that package


shows, other countries are beginning to change their diets. The argument


is persuasive but we will see more and more people rejecting redmeat


and other meats as there is more information out there as to how food


is produced. That is why there is greater demands for animal welfare


to be improved all of the time. The next generation will probably have


less meat eaters than the last generation. There will be changes


over time. It is people who want a radical solution and overnight


everybody to change their diet, that ain't going to happen. British


farmers are leading the way in terms of their carbon footprint. In the


developed world they are at the cutting edge and they really do


understand the need to reduce the carbon footprint. But the chap in


the video is right, �2 of beef takes up the same amount as running a car


for three hours. It is not efficient. I cannot see a sudden


turn off, people stopping eating meat. And you accept the argument


about certain landscapes. You could not grow crops on them anyway.


farmers, we should be listening to them as well. They clearly have an


interest but they have expertise I do not have. It is challenging. We


do need to see the science and therefore the work, the all-party


group on beef, have produced and are intending to produce a report which


is worth looking at to inform the debate. One thing that strikes me is


you describe yourself as progressive MPs. Only rich people ate meat and


the hoi polloi ate vegetables. There is an argument that the meat is more


widely available and affordable now, that is progress in a way. Do


we want to go back to the past where aristocrats eat meat? Meat is not


particularly cheap. It is not progress if it damages the


environment. No doubt about that. It is right and proper that information


is there in order to make -- so people can make informed choices and


do that over a period of time. Over time, we will see less meat eaten in


the country but you then have the case, as we know, of meat production


increasing to meet the needs of other countries. The period of time


before the discussion has run out. Now our regular round-up of the


political week in sixty seconds. As new planning restrictions are


placed on wind farms, a call for solar panels to get the same


treatment. Many constituents in Cornwall are becoming increasingly


concerned that the green fields are becoming solar fields. She decisions


regarding solar fields is subject to the same planning laws as wind


turbines? Anger at the Cornish homes which can only be let to Londoners.


We have major problems in Cornwall in terms of housing people.


Criticism of the councils running anti-smoking campaigns while


investing money in tobacco companies. I strongly suspect all


political parties are guilty of it. But it is a matter for local


authorities. And 300 years on, called for the government to pardon


the witches of Bideford, the last English women to be hanged for


witchcraft. Alison, you agree with the criticism


of investing in tobacco companies. Yes, local authorities on the back


of the problems with the Icelandic banks, they ought to be looking at


whether they are investing and they should invest ethically. Adrian, do


you agree? It is a difficult situation, there should because


rotation with staff but we want the best return on the money being


invested. I have a feeling if you ask, they would agree, ethical


investment over tobacco company returns. Alison, this does not


affect your constituency but the debate about wind farms and solar


panels, what about the suggestion the government clamps down on wind


farm developments but solar panels are rampaging. It is getting


prescriptive, what next? We do need renewable energy sources. Wind farms


and solar... They do have a visible impact, I can see one from part of


my constituency. Or a nuclear power station. There are strict planning


controls. We want a nuclear power station at Torpoint? But logically


if the government is restricting wind farm development as it is,


shouldn't solar panels been bought in as well? I think there is


something about people, solar farm is and whether there is something


they can pay in compensation to the community in the way they are moving


on wind farms. Apart from that, no. And these homes in Cornwall only


being given to Londoners in XL. Well, it is an interesting story.


London councils, for other reasons are moving people out of London


because they cannot afford the rent. So, Annable Forsyte! We must leave


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