01/07/2012 Sunday Politics West


Andrew Neil and David Garmston with the latest political news and debate including the Leader of the House of Lords, Lord Strathclyde, on plans to reform the second chamber.

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 01/07/2012. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



In the West: Should you be allowed to keep a dog


in a council flat? A local authority has changed the rules,


saying it is a human right to keep a pet. But now other tenants are


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1681 seconds


Coming up in the West this week: They are said to be man's best


friend. But not all council tenants in this block of flats are happy


with their neighbours keeping dogs. They want the council to ban them.


But will Europe have the final say? Joining us today is the cat-loving


Lib Dem from Bath Don Foster. And the Labour Councillor from Taunton


Libby Lisgo. I want to talk about the banking scandal first. Is there


an argument to say the find that Barclays had should be used to


build a big prison that people at the top can be properly punished?


do not think so. Not directly. I, along with a lot of people, feel


that the situation is an obscenity. The banking system has clearly got


completely out of hand. We need a completely independent, arm's


length inquiry to look at who has done what so that people who have


done the worst things can be punished. People are saying it is


one rule for the rich and another for the poor. You fiddle your


benefits and they come down on you like a ton of bricks, but you do


something on a massive scale and you are untouchable. It was a


massive fine. �300 million, which is peanuts to a bank like barkers.


It was only �60 million of the find in the UK -- Barclays. The rest as


in the USA. Some have said for a long time that at the moment the


banks have two different parts, high-street lending and the risky


casino banking. And if they get into difficulty with that, we end


up bailing them out. None of us is getting any younger.


But who is going to pay for our care when we get older? At the


moment, if you have savings of more than �23,000, you have to pay for


yourself. But it is proposed that limit should go up to �100,000. But


is that affordable? At a senior citizens' social club on the east


side of Bristol, it is raffle time. Most who attend still live


independently. But they know one day they'll need help. I could live


until I am 100 and I do not know who will -- what will happen.


the moment I manage on my own. will have to sell powerhouses. --


RN houses. The Emersons Green club is run by volunteers. But charities


are small players in the country's care system. Everyone agrees that


the amount must go up massively, not just because people live longer


but also that an official report concluded the state should pay a


greater share. The problem is how to afford it. At her home in


Melksham, Patricia Simpson-Bysman is among one and a half million


adults who need help. Carers visit four times a day, paid for by her


and Wiltshire council. They have to realise that while we may be living


longer, we have paid, financially, and many of us in emotions, to fund


the country's welfare. The funding of care was investigated by


economist Andrew Dilnot. All main parties welcomed his commission's


conclusions. We need to the States to provide certainty and


reassurance so that people know the worst case is something they can


manage. At present in England, people must pay for all their care


if they have more than �23,250 savings. It still leaves the


Government paying 12 billion. Andrew Dilnot suggested raising the


threshold and putting a cap on individual contributions. The cost


to the Government, �1.7 billion extra. The commission recognised


implementing the reforms would have significant cost that the


Government will need to consider against other priorities. It has


proved very difficult. The government's white paper on social


care is months overdue, after a rough passage in the Treasury.


not think they are holding it up. I think there are strong discussions


at the heart of government. Everybody realises this is an issue


that for too long politicians have not have to worry about the cars if


you push it into the long grass because you don't need to worry


about election time. The time has come when we can no longer avoid


delay. He has thought about it and come up with proposals which he


reckons could save taxpayers �1 billion a year. Elsewhere in Europe,


they have said if you want to look after an Old City -- elderly


relative we can give you the cash directly at two-thirds the cost. In


Germany and the Netherlands, people have taken cash and it gives them


greater freedom to choose where to spend that money. It brings down


costs. Back in his constituency, lunch is being served. These senior


citizens were not sure about simply relying on family members. They


know care ultimately needs cash. think any expenditure like that


should come out of income tax. If it is not high enough to pay for it,


it should be increased. Whoever is in Parliament, they are not miracle


workers. They only have so much money. We grumble about them, but I


would not like to be in their shoes. They voice of reason. We can


discuss those points. People feel they have paid national insurance.


Why should they pay more? I am not sure that the question is as simple


as that. If people are fairly well off, they can make choices about


care, about how they live in older age. It is the people who have not


got so much money that really get stuck sometimes with some of our


least well-funded least good services. If people cannot afford


to pay, in my view,... The state has to be there as the last stop


provider. That is the important thing. What is really important in


paying for care, it is massively important. It ought not to become a


political football. It needs to be a cross party approach. That's why


Ed Miliband initiated cross-party talks. It is �1,000 a week to put


them in a care home, what about giving the relative �600 and it


might give them an incentive to give -- to do the job. 5 million


people in this country care for older people and for some of them


it is a full-time job and the Government has provided more


support for them. The ultimate issue as you heard Inverkip. The


Andrew Dilnot report says we have to put a cap -- in the kip. He


suggested an amount and thereafter the state picks up the rest. Let me


suggest a way of funding it. The richer pensioners, maybe they could


give up some of the things they currently get such as the winter


fuel allowance. If you are poor, it is provided anyway. If you are rich,


looking after your own care is peanuts anyway, it is the people in


the middle. That is why there should be a limit. Andrew Dilnot


suggests �35,000 and thereafter the state picks it up. That means


everybody can be assured they will get proper care. That would stop


people losing their houses which is distressing. And they do not


actually use their houses the way it works, but they are required to


use the value of their property to pay for care. That is a


misconception. In Scotland, you get it for nothing. You only get the


personal care free in Scotland. is a burden on the young, younger


taxpayers. Paying for our generation as we get older. That is


why I suggest one way would be to look at other things not on general


taxation but which can -- tax pays for, such as the bonus you get for


winter fuel allowance, which I do not think wealthier pensioners


should get. It would be a way of the people who benefit funding it.


Is it your human right to own a dog? Councillors in Bristol have


decided it is and changed the rules to allow tenants in council flats


to keep pets. But what about the rights of the other residents who


do not want to want to hear the hounds next door? Maybe it's their


rough luck. Man's best friend is not proving


quite so popular here. Two years ago, Bristol City Council relaxed


the rules to allow any tenant to keep pets in their council flats.


It has prompted a surge in the number of dogs and a raft of


complaints. People go out to work all the time. They do not take


their animals out enough. But they bark, basically, everything.


will have an owner who is not responsible to pick up dirt. The


other day we had it in the doorway. Just inside the door, dog muck.


Why? Can may not bend down and pick it up? Their concern is shared by


the RSPCA. We do not think it is right that animals are kept in


high-rise flats. The reasons are hygiene issues, exercise, the dog


needs to go out and stretch its legs. Not everybody is a fan of


animals and does not want the animal in a communal area. In other


parts of the country, housing authorities have a blanket ban in


high rise flats, but in Bristol the council says such a ban is


difficult to end force and not fair. And an ombudsman has found it could


contravene the European Convention on Human Rights. That allows the


right to enjoy possessions and the right to a family life. It is that


mention of Europe that has upset the Tories. In common with lots of


councils and large organisations, they use these European d'etats to


justify steps they wished to take. -- rulings. I think it is one of


the reasons I feel that Europe is a difficulty for us all. Is this a


case of Brussels meddling in Bristol affairs? Not so say the


ruling Lib-Dems. We have a strategy in the city which is your home is


your springboard for life. People of every 10 year has arrived to use


their home. -- tenancy. It is their home. Everyone needs to be


reasonable. By and large, most people are reasonable. Where that


goes wrong, we have to do something about it. The council says it could


be tougher on those with noisy dogs. It is writing to the housing


minister for more powers to tackle nuisance neighbours, but for now


some neighbours high above Bristol say that Barking and fouling


continue to make their lives a misery.


We are joined by the Lib Dem responsible for housing in Bristol


and the Conservative, Chris windows. You have made a life -- life a


misery for tenants? We have had a policy for a long time for not


having pets in flats, but in reality that has been allowed to


lapse for a long time for the good reason that you cannot enforce it.


You can have a dog on the 15th floor? You cannot enforce demanding


people not to have pets. Why is it not a enforceable? We only have


under the Housing Act 1 real final redress, which is eviction. And


there is nothing between. They should be something between. People


love their animals. I am sure they do. I had large dogs as pets until


a while ago. I loved my animals. If I lived in a high-rise, there is no


way I would have a dog as a pet. I understand that some elderly people


on their own would like a pet as company. Why would you object


about? I would not. Is there any way you can say you could have a


small dog, but not a pit bull? is a big dot macro? It is difficult.


We have rules about -- dog. We do have rules about the type of animal


that can be kept and bread, it cannot be a dangerous breed or a


dog that causes a major problem. I do not how to distinguish between a


small dog and a larger one. Somebody's nice dog might be


another person's problem. How the politicians do with his? It is


difficult. I do not recognise -- I do not envy the job he has to do.


Some people do need an animal for company, but the ultimate issue is


whether the council can enforce rules it has to ensure noise and


nuisance that can be caused by irresponsible overs -- owners can


be dealt with. I live in a flat. I know about this. It is not the


right environment for animals. you live in a private flat, they


have very strict rules, no barbecues, no animals, no ball


games, and all that. Why should the council not take the same rules?


There is a difference in terms of the law. It is difficult to enforce


much of the conditions of the tenancies under the law as it


stands. Why has Bristol gone out on a limb on this? They are banned in


other parts of the country? So I understand. I do not know why the


council has taken this view. I cannot understand it. I can


understand better the elderly ladies and men who come to me,


absolutely distraught, or I go to them and see them in their flats,


because they are kept awake through the night by dogs barking. Some of


them have been there for years in those flats and they are frightened


to go out of their front door. They are frightened to identify


themselves. That is pretty bad? That is pretty bad. And the fact is


we get very few complaints. Perhaps people do not dare? We get fewer


complaints. Should we ban stereo systems because people might make a


noise? A lot of people might appreciate that! Thank you for


coming in. It's time now to see some of the other stories making


the headlines this week in just 60 seconds. Figures out this week show


nearly 3,000 families in the West face having their homes repossessed.


This is Michael Conway, his home is about to be taken away. He says


there's not enough help for people like him. A quarter of working


people in the Forest of Dean are on the brink of poverty. The Citizens


advice bureau say over 60% of people looking for debt advice are


in work and owe an average of �15,000.


Bristol City Council is planning to borrow �70 million to fund major


changes to its offices. It is also considering turning the vacated


buildings into schools, nurseries and housing.


There have been celebrations in Brussels after the Lib Dem MEP Sir


Graham Watson won his battle to have prunes branded as a laxative.


He challenged an EU commissioner to a prune eat-off last December. Now


in a change of heart, the EU says prunes do help bowel functions,


after all. I am sure they do. We can talk


about one of those stories, repossession numbers. Not as high


as the last recession, but still serious if you are in that


situation. Very serious and dreadful for people, especially


families, where they are trying to get through. It is a reflection of


the economic situation. Perhaps the banks are being more lenient than


last time? I think they are, but they could do more to develop a


shared ownership scheme whereby they take back half ownership of


that house and allow the people to continue to live there. There are


ways forward and we have to find more effective ways to help people


in those circumstances. That's all we've got time for today.


Thank you to Don and Libby for joining us. We're off air next week


because of the Wimbledon final. But we will be back with you on Sunday


Download Subtitles