21/10/2012 Sunday Politics West


21/10/2012

Andrew Neil and David Garmston with the latest political news, interviews and debate including Home Secretary Theresa May on the plans for new Police and Crime Commissioners.


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In the West: We're keeping an eye on the criminals, too, but will the

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new Police Commissioners make offenders like this think twice?

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2284 seconds

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I'll be asking the Minister for Thank you, Andrew. You join us live

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from Bristol on this Sunday morning. Coming up in the next 20 minutes:

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Political control over the police - what the new Commissioners will

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mean to us here in the West. We've already got cameras everywhere, and

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crime is falling. Will an elected Commissioner make things better or

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could crime actually rise if they make a mess of the job? Joining us

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in our little police cell this week is the Lib Dem from Taunton, Jeremy

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Browne. He's the Minister in charge of crime prevention. And the

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Conservative from Kingswood, Chris Skidmore. Given that crime is

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falling, what is the problem? should one on the fact that crime

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is falling. Crime is at its lowest level since records began. It is

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great to have good news in the media. But what this is about is

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trying to improve the accountability of police. At the

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moment, we have police authorities. They are meant to hold to account

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and said budgets and priorities of the local police. We want that

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accountability to be more high profile. The most important thing

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is that crime is falling, so why change it? Because of the desperate

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economic circumstances, we are having to make reductions in police

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budgets. The received wisdom is that crime would rise. Because we

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are spending money more efficiently, it we would see police deployed

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with low budgets. What we have to do is make sure we continue to get

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more of those deficiencies -- deficiencies. Just take Avon and

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Somerset. The biggest concentration of population is in Bristol,

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therefore, an elected Commissioner would need to boat from Bristow

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millions. Whoever is elected would be taking a police and crime

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Commissioner oath. -- would need of votes from Bristol people. The big

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cities will have the loudest voice. At the moment, we have a problem

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because big cities are less neglected and smaller cities. The

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elected Police Commissioners targeted those hot spots with crime

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maps. You would find that crime is reduced. If you focus on the small

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areas, crime is brought down. of the main jobs of the new Police

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and Crime Commissioners will be providing a clear link between

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local people and the police in their area. They'll be expected to

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listen to the concerns of the public and act on them. They'll

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also have a pot of cash to give to local groups working to fight crime.

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Caught on camera - crime levels may be going down, but there are still

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far too many victims. Those committing crimes are desperate for

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money to feed their drug addiction. Clare was one of them. We have

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changed her name to protect her identity. For 16 years, I had a

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heroin habit and had on and off binges on crack cocaine. My it

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offences for all drug-related, the most severe one was an armed

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robbery -- robbery. She beat her habit with the help from the

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Bristol's a drugs project. I was an extremely dark places. I was also

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on the verge of doing a long prison sentence. If I had not had

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treatment, I would still be out there, if not dead. I know that

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without a shadow over doubt. Those running the programme are worried

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funding could be cut. People would have few opportunities to get the

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support they need to move on from maybe 10, 15, 20 years history of a

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problematic drug abuse, alcohol use and crime. They need to make the

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changes in their lives that people here are doing day-in, day out.

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may not care about drug addicts, but the money be used is keeping

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them out of places like these and a streets safer. Figures show that

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for every �1 spent on drug treatment services in Bristol,

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almost �5 is being saved on tackling crime. It is not just

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drugs agencies that benefit. Sex workers and victims of hate crime

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are two of the groups supported. The charity uses some of their

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money to pay for CCTV. They put cameras outside one family's home,

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catching this man/and their car tyres. But from April next year,

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many of those who work to keep Bristol safe, it may have to fight

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to keep their funding. They find themselves competing in a much

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bigger market, their specialist skills be ignored or people are not

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aware of how effective they are. When you stock -- stop ring-fencing

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money, you will now have to negotiate with all 43 police and

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crime Commissioners for a share of the budget. We are worried about

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small charities because it is often those charities that really can

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reduce crime effectively. So, while the elections may not have captured

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the imagination of the public, community safety groups will be

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keeping a watchful eye on who gets the job.

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Batook Pandya is from the organisation Support Against

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Racists Incidents. They are one of the groups that get funding to help

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prevent crime. Do you think your funding may be at risk? I hope not,

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David. It is a small pot of money. It started with the Home Office

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project, going back 21 years ago. I am hoping it doesn't. A new police

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and crime Commissioner could say to you, sorry, I need to spend his

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money somewhere else. Off course, and in the present climate, big has

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been going down and down. It is the money for hate crimes, and we

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should have a zero-tolerance towards hate crime, or whether from

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a race, Equality, disability, it we need to support those people.

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will not be a candidate who does not agree with that, though. Yes,

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but firm -- I won them to walk the walk cannot talk the talk. If a new

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Commissioner said, sorry, I want to spend the money somewhere else, is

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there any buyer of opposing that? - - anyway. There is small scope now

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for supposing that. People can go and ask the candidates, they can

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say these are my priorities. And Sue have candidates respond. There

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is no reason why the budget could not go up as well as down. That is

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the whole point of localism. seemed reassured you? Taking the

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point is correct, but what happens if the third sector, which does go

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a lot of work within the community,... To do that we need

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that support and a long-term solution rather than chasing money

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every six months. Christopher wants the mumming -- funding to help

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victims. On the other hand, you are cutting police officers. A police

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and crime Commissioner, that will be their priority. There is an

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issue with cuts. We have cut one million police hours out of

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backroom staff and put them on the front line. Frontline numbers are

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falling as well. Crime is falling. You cannot argue against efficiency

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it when it works. It is not government or police money, it is

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taxpayers' money. Organisations like yourself, if you can prove

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that actually do reduce crime, you have nothing to fear.

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difficulty is it is a small budget, and whether the sector gets left

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behind in a wider funding picture, that is what my fear is. You need

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to get out there and publicise your work.

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There was some welcome news on the jobs front this week - there's been

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a slight fall in the numbers of people looking for work in the West.

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Unemployment in our region fell by nearly 2%, according to official

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figures. But young people are still finding it very hard to get work,

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and the number out of work for more than a year has never been higher.

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It was training day at this fundraising agency in Bristol today.

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They represent dozens of local and national charities, and these new

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recruits must swat up on all of them. What is the oldest age a

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supporter can be? For 19-year-old Nathan, it's his first day at work

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after three years unemployed. feels good, getting up and

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everything. It makes me film that from this, I can go on to do even

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more. Nathan's not alone. Nearly 1,000 people have found work in the

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West this month. It's not a huge fall, but unemployment is coming

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down. The call centre has so many young people, it feels like a

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student union, but these, it seems, are the lucky ones. How many young

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people were out of work before the recession for more than a year? In

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Bristol, at 34 stop by this morning, this number had risen to 675.

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this that Pinter here. The younger profile brings a lot of energy and

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enthusiasm. -- it is a sad thing to hear. So, why are so many young

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people finding it such a battle? The youngsters, who do not have any

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skills and experience, are the people getting pushed out. Lucy

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Bristow has been in recruitment for 20 years, and right now, she says,

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the job market is as tough as ever. The employee years see it as pretty

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much a bargain. They can get the people they want with the skills

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they need, and they do not have to pay for training. Nathan got this

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job because a friend told him about it and because he was enthusiastic.

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In a tough market, you need to play every card you've got. The young

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are paying the price for this financial crunch under your

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government. I would not suggest that this has been a short-term

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thing. Structurally, youth unemployment has been sky high

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since 1997. We had nearly one million young people unemployed

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pre-crash. It has gone up progressively. In the good times,

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the previous government did nothing to tackle the structural issue.

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are talking about young kids. They are talking about the here and now.

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You are cutting, and that has created austerity. The official

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term is not in education work for training. The problem is, we never

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got to grips with this issue. During the good times, we should

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have focused on youth unemployment. Political parties cannot blame each

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other. Can you offer them any headway? It is unfair to blame the

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Government for young people, or when they had 13 years of being

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educated under the previous government. Youth unemployment is a

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serious problem. But the Government have created... Well, over one

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million jobs had been created in the private sector since this

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Government came to office. We have to create the right environment for

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employers to create those opportunities. I am very pleased

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unemployment is going down. It is better than it is in countries like

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Spain, where half of young people unemployed. We need to do more here.

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The austerity programme you are both equally committed to is making

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it very hard for these young people to find jobs. We are borrowing �1

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billion every three days. Who will pay that money back? Today's young

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people. Borrowing more and more money we do not have, that is

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unfair on young people. This generation, people of my age, have

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a duty to get a grip on public spending for the benefit of young

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people. In the meantime, it is just tough? We brought him measures like

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corporation tax to get investment in this country. How long before

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the long-term young unemployed can realistically see an improvement?

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We could have been like Greece or Spain, if we increased borrowing.

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Government money is taxpayers' money. We cannot just plug that gap

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with borrowing. The role of government is to get private

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investment and businesses to set up. It's time to take a look back at

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the political highlights of the week in 60 seconds.

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A family split can often lead to grandparents being cut out of the

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lives of their grandchildren. Now, one Bristol grandmother is asking

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politicians to change the law to guarantee them some access rights.

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To see your family falling apart is absolutely heartbreaking.

:57:01.:57:04.

Plans to remove the heart of Gloucester from its Parliamentary

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constituency and put it in the Forest of Dean have been reversed.

:57:07.:57:10.

There were protests a year ago against the idea, which was part of

:57:10.:57:13.

reforms to even out the number of voters in each seat.

:57:13.:57:16.

Campaigners opposed to the imminent cull of badgers have managed to get

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the issue debated in Parliament. A petition against the cull has been

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signed by more than 100,000 people after being started by Queen

:57:23.:57:29.

guitarist Brian May. On your bike... You must be joking!

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Many Bristolians still see it as too dangerous to ride around the

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city. This week, a group of experts from the Netherlands came here to

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:57:46.:57:50.

tell the council how it should be done.

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Badger culling - more and more controversial by the day. Huge

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pressure on the Government to change its mind. I think the issue

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here is we have got to look at what is happening with the farming. We

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have to have a small cull. All we do not focus on is the number of

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cows being shot because they get TB in the first place. We need to

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understand the concerns of the countryside. This is something that

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needs to be done. You are from rural Somerset. I do. I have met a

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lot of farmers devastated by the impact of a TB on their herds, and

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they take it extremely seriously. They see it as a livelihood issue.

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No one wants to cull any wild animals by choice, but I do not

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think we should rule out the option of getting to grips with an eternal

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problem. Sign says you can kill thousands and thousands of badgers,

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but the reduction in TB is only 10%. Its is a limited trial. If it is

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ineffective, it will not be extended. We do need to get to

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grips with the problem. There is in real told him the human cost up to

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farmers. -- Gabriel told in -- it a real tour in the human cost. Your

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critics say you're up in the pockets of the farmers. You have

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got to remember that the dairy industry is an extremely important

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part of our economy. That's it from me, but don't go

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away because Andrew has more for you. Thank you to our guests,

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Jeremy and Chris. If you want to know more about the candidates

:59:45.:59:48.

Andrew Neil and David Garmston with the latest political news, interviews and debate including Home Secretary Theresa May on the Government's plans for new Police and Crime Commissioners in England and Wales.


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