16/06/2013 Sunday Politics West


16/06/2013

Andrew Neil and David Garmston with the latest political news, interviews and debate, including the G8 and an interview with EDL leader Tommy Robinson.


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smoking. Should cigarettes be sold in plain

:01:10.:01:13.

packets to cut sales, and how will that go down in Bristol where so

:01:14.:01:23.
:01:24.:01:24.

Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2337 seconds

:01:24.:40:21.

that is just for us here in the West. We are talking about these

:40:21.:40:26.

things, fags. After the success of the ban on smoking in public places,

:40:26.:40:29.

should the Government get a move on and take branding of cigarette

:40:29.:40:37.

packets? That is coming up soon. Joining us in our no smoking lounge

:40:37.:40:40.

today are a Lib Dem MP Stephen Williams and the Conservatives

:40:40.:40:50.
:40:50.:40:51.

candidate for Wells, jeans hippie. -- James Heatley. Stephen, any hopes

:40:51.:40:57.

for a job for your good self? is always speculation about it. We

:40:57.:41:07.
:41:07.:41:09.

will just have to wait and see. Nick Clegg has my phone number. It is a

:41:09.:41:12.

job I would like. There is nothing wrong with that while your party is

:41:12.:41:15.

wrong with that while your party is in Government. Public Health

:41:15.:41:22.

Minister would be a good one. going to be smoking -- talking about

:41:23.:41:29.

smoking later on. Any thoughts you would -- about who you would like to

:41:29.:41:34.

see promoted or kicked out of the Cabinet? I have no thoughts on who I

:41:35.:41:38.

would like to be kicked out, but it is for David Cameron to build the

:41:38.:41:42.

strongest team possible to take the country forward. The economic

:41:42.:41:45.

recovery is still just beginning. There is plenty of work to be done

:41:45.:41:50.

there. It is important he builds a strong team to take the country

:41:50.:41:53.

forward and take the Conservative Party forward into pretty important

:41:53.:41:59.

elections. You write the speeches for Liam Fox will stop would you

:41:59.:42:06.

like to see him back? Liam was very kind to me when I told him he and

:42:06.:42:09.

was going to leave the army last year. He offered me a job. It has

:42:09.:42:14.

been great working for him. He has a data meant for this country, and it

:42:14.:42:17.

would be great to see him back if there was a sport for -- spot for

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him. Now, Weston-super-Mare's the Miss

:42:23.:42:27.

outdoor swimming pool, the Tropicana, could remain empty and

:42:27.:42:30.

boarded up four years according to local politicians. Last year, the

:42:30.:42:36.

promised to knock the swimming pool down. However, local people appealed

:42:36.:42:41.

that decision, and because of the political and legal process, it is

:42:41.:42:44.

likely to stand empty for the foreseeable future. Who is to blame

:42:44.:42:52.

for the delays? Weston on a bit. Marty. The sun,

:42:52.:42:56.

sand new pier and happy holidaymakers. On the horizon, you

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can just spot the sea. Cause the tide goes out so far, there is

:43:02.:43:06.

little chance of a paddle for these youngsters, and that is where this,

:43:06.:43:16.
:43:16.:43:18.

the Trop, came into its own. In its day, it was the place to go, with

:43:18.:43:22.

water slides, diving boards and even a wave machine. Thousands queued to

:43:22.:43:30.

take the plunge here. But when new quarter -- water quality standards

:43:30.:43:36.

were introduced, that all changed. It was back in 2000 that the doors

:43:36.:43:41.

to the Trop were closed for the first time. The council said they

:43:41.:43:44.

couldn't afford to run the swimming pool. We hope the private company

:43:44.:43:49.

would take it over. He said that should happen within a few months.

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13 years on and with the bop -- the building falling into disrepair, the

:43:56.:44:03.

council say the only viable option is to knock it down. No queues at

:44:03.:44:12.

the famous Tropicana pool. It is closed... �25 million. So the saga

:44:12.:44:19.

has run on and on. Derek Mead is a local businessmen who built this

:44:19.:44:23.

restaurant in the town. He thinks he has a solution that should save the

:44:23.:44:27.

Trop from the wrecking ball. He says the council would listen and it is

:44:27.:44:33.

getting personal. We want to turn it into a charitable trust, and be

:44:33.:44:38.

better advised by our MP that the best way forward was to put it into

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a charitable trust. That would open the door for lottery money, heritage

:44:43.:44:48.

money or whatever. We don't think the figures add up. We don't think

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the costs are realistic, and the ongoing revenue costs of running it

:44:53.:44:58.

are dependent on resale. It has become a constant headache for the

:44:59.:45:03.

Council, discussed in meeting after meeting. They say there is fed up

:45:03.:45:08.

with it as local people. Too many, the other ones to blame. There is

:45:08.:45:14.

nothing wrong with the building itself. To leave it to go to ruin,

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like they are doing, is wrong. There is going to be a preservation order

:45:19.:45:25.

on it, because it will be that old. This is a town that relies on to

:45:25.:45:29.

list 's money, and having a building such as this empty is not good for

:45:29.:45:34.

the city. The council wants to do something about it, but it is now in

:45:34.:45:36.

the hands of Eric Pickles and the Department for local governor to

:45:37.:45:41.

take the final decision. The problem could come if we don't get

:45:41.:45:48.

permission to demolish, literally go from there? We have still got the

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power under English law for a judiciary review. We don't want to

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do that. Why should we waste more money that could be put into more

:45:58.:46:04.

useful use than actually getting it going? While they fight it out over

:46:04.:46:07.

what should happen to this once thriving pool, you can be pretty

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sure that the boarded up swimming pool will be here for one more

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summer and possibly many more. We did ask North Somerset Council to

:46:17.:46:20.

appear on the programme, but they said no-one was available, which is

:46:20.:46:27.

a shame. We are joined by the chair of the Weston-super-Mare to dress

:46:27.:46:36.

for the association. -- restaurant Association. I think they are so fed

:46:36.:46:42.

up abandoning the same questions over the last 13 years. Why did they

:46:42.:46:47.

want to pull it down? They said it was an eyesore, and it is also

:46:47.:46:56.

become a bit of a problem. It is unsafe. They feel they ought to put

:46:56.:47:02.

down before there is any injuries. It has been going on for 13 years.

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How do you feel about that? I personally feel that they should go

:47:06.:47:15.

ahead. The restaurant Association should go ahead with that as well.

:47:15.:47:20.

He should do what he wants. It is the perfect plan that we have been

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looking at. He says if it doesn't work, he is willing to post on

:47:24.:47:30.

himself and foot the bill and save the taxpayers. What has happened

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between the relationship of the council and people like you? They

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have stopped listening to the general public. The town council are

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all in support, but it just seems that North Somerset Council doesn't

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want to be listening. They have actually said in many meetings,

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let's just go free this meeting without bringing the Tropicana at

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all. Let's bring in our other guests. James, does it make you

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proud to hear about this sort of fiasco going on for the last 13

:48:01.:48:08.

years? I have to be honest and say that once -- whilst I've been to

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their many times growing up, I have not involved in any way in the

:48:12.:48:16.

Tropicana redevelopment. I feel uneasy talking about the details of

:48:17.:48:24.

that. I do think that councils face a difficult challenge. There are the

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needs of the community, needs to be developed, needs for economic

:48:29.:48:32.

growth. That is never going to be complete agreement over projects.

:48:32.:48:37.

Yes, the Tropicana seems to have been dragging on over quite a while,

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but it is difficult to comment on the details of that case went and

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saw unfamiliar with it. It is the ability of a council to act

:48:46.:48:51.

reasonably quickly. Stephen, what do you think of the performance of the

:48:51.:48:58.

Council on this issue? As a point Western Europe, it is something you

:48:58.:49:02.

have to do it many times over the years. As a boy, I swum in the

:49:02.:49:07.

Tropicana and played on the dodgems at the pier. The Tropicana saga

:49:07.:49:11.

seems to have gone on for many years. It is a puzzle why the

:49:11.:49:14.

council hasn't got a grip on this and sorted it out. The sun doesn't

:49:14.:49:19.

shine all the time in the area, so you do need dry attractions for

:49:19.:49:25.

people to enjoy. What may be puzzling to some viewers is that it

:49:25.:49:31.

is going to Eric Pickles to make the decision. If the council can't even

:49:31.:49:34.

decide what happens to a pretty average swimming pool on the

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seafront, without going all the way to the Government, does that

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indicate something has gone very wrong watermark I think it indicates

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absolutely the way that planning has been done previously in this country

:49:48.:49:54.

is indeed very wrong. I think what the Government introduced last year,

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which is to empower local authorities to make decisions that

:49:58.:50:02.

have been arrived at through consultation with the local

:50:02.:50:05.

community and plans developed, the expectation is that as those changes

:50:05.:50:10.

come into effect and as those plans are developed, less things will need

:50:10.:50:16.

to be referred. Do you think local people would have sorted this out?

:50:16.:50:21.

They would have sorted it out in no time. Thank you very much. Let's all

:50:21.:50:28.

for some sunny weather. The latest wheeze to stop smoking.

:50:28.:50:32.

I've not of Bristol was built on tobacco and it is still the

:50:32.:50:35.

headquarters of Imperial, which has announced profits of more than �1

:50:35.:50:40.

billion in just six months. But now the company is fighting to protect

:50:40.:50:45.

its pants. It spends millions on nice, shiny packets like this. But

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no campaigners want all branding stripped off and cigarettes sold in

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drab containers like this one. They all look the same. The Government

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seemed up for the idea but nothing happened.

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It was once tobacco city. Crystal prospered manufacturing cigarettes.

:51:05.:51:11.

A jobs with -- a job with Imperial Tobacco was much sought-after.

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Workers were given free fags. One who worked at the giant complex was

:51:17.:51:21.

George Bookham. That was the head office, and I used to work over

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there. He started smoking as a child and only stopped after the end of

:51:26.:51:33.

his quarter-century with the firm. I think the majority of blokes

:51:33.:51:43.
:51:43.:51:43.

smoked. I mean, we were all brought up like that and note it could do

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any harm or anything. He pleases parliament for the 2007 ban on

:51:49.:51:55.

smoking in public places. One of the staunchest supporters was Bristol

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West MP Stephen Williams, whose work has been recognised with an award

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from the world health organisation. Presenting it, Health Minister Anna

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Soubry. It was all part of making smoking socially unacceptable. That

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had a big impact on me. Government is thought to have

:52:16.:52:22.

stalled on standardised packaging, she hasn't. The result is a bit of

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resistance, and certainly that can be said about the ban on smoking in

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public places. All these years later, with the huge success of it,

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you think back to it, and say, how was that not ever seen is a great

:52:37.:52:45.

idea? It has beautifully handwritten Vogue, and they are very alluding to

:52:45.:52:50.

young people. This is what they would like to see the place it. --

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replace it. This is the sort of pack we are keen that they bring in

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because it tones down all those holograms, all those pretty Paschal

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collars. The idea is spreading. is a, Australia became the first

:53:06.:53:14.

place to make the change. Ireland is following suit. Research at Bristol

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University showed people different packs and work to be impact with

:53:19.:53:25.

people, especially those who aren't committed smokers. We used an eye

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tracker to see exactly where people looked at packets, and what we found

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is that standardised packaging increases the amount of time people

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look at the health warning. Fighting the change are big, profitable firms

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like Imperial Tobacco have their headquarters here in south Bristol.

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The industry has lobbied hard and spent money on newspaper and

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magazine advertisements. They have proved much more reluctant to

:53:50.:53:54.

publicly face journalist questions. A spokesman declined request for an

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interview, admitting that doing TV can be counter-productive. They gave

:54:00.:54:02.

us a statement saying that standardised packaging would make it

:54:02.:54:06.

easier for counterfeiters and that half a million people had indicated

:54:06.:54:10.

they were against plain packaging. One of their former employees

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disagrees. George Bookham hopes it could detect them people from

:54:14.:54:20.

starting. Knowing what I know now on the medical side, I think that is a

:54:20.:54:30.
:54:30.:54:32.

good idea. You can still put on their warnings or whatever, but

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people want a packet of cigarettes. They will soon get used to what the

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packet is and what is inside it. may not be a question of whether,

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more a matter of when. Joining the debate is Simon Clark,

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the director of Forest. We will continue in a moment or two. Stephen

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Williams, why wasn't this in the Queen's Speech? Why is the

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Government going to on this idea? The Government has done a

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consultation exercise on whether people favour plain and standardised

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packaging, and those results are being sifted through. It is also on

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behalf of the Welsh, and Northern Irish governments. I'm hopeful it

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will go ahead. I confident all the ministers in the Department of

:55:23.:55:27.

Health wanted to happen. There is a discussion as to whether it will

:55:27.:55:32.

happen. There is overwhelming goodwill towards the needs of the

:55:32.:55:38.

public, but also to health campaigners as well. It is pretty

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cynical, isn't it? Your campaign against standardised packaging which

:55:42.:55:45.

would take the glamour away from packets of cigarettes which look

:55:45.:55:51.

appealing. I would say it is a fallacy that children start smoking

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because of so-called glitzy packaging. There is no credible

:55:54.:55:58.

evidence to suggest that. For years, it has been accepted that teenagers

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start smoking because of family influence or because of pier

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pressure. Packaging had nothing to do with it. There is no credible

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evidence that plain packaging would actually stop young people smoking

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or convince adult smokers to give up. Only one country in the world...

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Only one country in the world has introduced this kind of packaging,

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which is still you. It is far too early to draw conclusions. You have

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opposed every move to try and limit smoking in public places and all the

:56:27.:56:34.

rest of it. Isn't this just exactly what you always do? That is not true

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at all. I am like everyone here. I don't want to see children smoking.

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We will support all reasonable measures to discourage that. We

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suspected -- we supported region the age of which cigarettes should be

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sold to children to 18 years old. We don't think that plain packaging is

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reasonable that it will work. Looking at the Imperial website, as

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I did this afternoon, it is about growth. They want more and more

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sales. I am here to represent the consumer, and this is all about the

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normalisation. We receive funding from the organisation, but why

:57:14.:57:23.

should... But you represent the industry customer --? We represent

:57:23.:57:29.

the consumer. Experts, retired and seven Place officers, for example,

:57:29.:57:34.

believe it will help illicit trade and increase false cigarettes.

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Criminal gangs will sell to children. Stephen Williams, if all

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cigarette packets look the same, then you might just as well buy the

:57:44.:57:47.

cheapest and the might be counterfeit with all sorts of

:57:47.:57:53.

rubbish in them. Counterfeit cigarettes are a big problem, that

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needs to be dealt with. It can be done the moment with the existing

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design of packs. Having a standardised design is not go to

:57:59.:58:04.

make it any more easy or difficult for criminal gangs to do that. Simon

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says there is no evidence that tobacco companies use glitzy

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packaging to attract children into smoking, but why do they do it? Why

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do they have cigarettes packaged with lipstick chips? I have seen

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packaging in the shape of iPods or camera phones, obviously designed to

:58:22.:58:26.

appeal to teenagers. If these tactics don't work why do they do

:58:26.:58:35.

then? It is a legitimate industry, they pay their taxes. Why should

:58:35.:58:43.

customers be treated like scum? Well, anyone who is in favour of

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treating 's customers like scum... I don't think any parent would

:58:49.:58:52.

rationally once the child to start smoking, but most people start

:58:52.:58:58.

smoking in their mid to late teens. But what I am about is trying to put

:58:58.:59:06.

everything we can, all our values, of stopping cigarettes appealing to

:59:06.:59:12.

susceptible minds. I do have a slight concern of, is this the tip

:59:12.:59:16.

of the iceberg? Will we get to the stage where there is no branding on

:59:16.:59:25.

beer taps and -- in pubs quit you might -- in pubs? We do need to

:59:25.:59:29.

drive down the number of smokers. How we package cigarettes is one way

:59:29.:59:34.

of doing it. Encouraging healthy lifestyles is another. Advertising

:59:34.:59:37.

campaigns of showing the impact of smoking on the human body is also

:59:37.:59:40.

important. There is room for what Stephen is doing, but we need to do

:59:40.:59:46.

much more. That is a slippery slope, because confidence in Ireland last

:59:46.:59:50.

week called for plain packaging on alcohol. That is the way we're

:59:50.:59:53.

going, will be state intervenes in perfectly legitimate businesses and

:59:53.:59:58.

them of their intellectual property. At the same time, they have asked

:59:58.:00:04.

consumers, and yet, tobacco is perfectly legal. Would you say the

:00:04.:00:10.

same thing if we were saying the same thing and a cancer ward and not

:00:10.:00:16.

in this nice to you? I think adults should make an informed choice, and

:00:16.:00:21.

that is what most adults do. Time to take a spin through the

:00:21.:00:31.

other political stories in our 62nd round up. -- 60 seconds round-up.

:00:31.:00:35.

Drivers beware. There will be more speeding tickets issued in even and

:00:35.:00:38.

Somerset if the new Chief Constable gets his own way. He has written to

:00:38.:00:45.

local councils offering them help to switch councils back on. More than a

:00:45.:00:50.

year, this 22-year-old has been at the battle with the council.

:00:50.:00:53.

He says the council has acted illegally by shutting down dedicated

:00:53.:00:59.

youth services. Three judges and the appeal court will take the final

:00:59.:01:03.

decision. Weston General Hospital has been

:01:03.:01:06.

issued with more warnings that it must improve after failing to meet

:01:07.:01:10.

five out of six national standards. The local MP says it is not good

:01:10.:01:15.

enough. And congratulations to Tony

:01:15.:01:18.

Robinson, the left-wing Bristol activist and actor who has been made

:01:18.:01:23.

in night. Sir Tony says he will use the statist to boost his campaigns

:01:23.:01:32.

for better care homes for the elderly.

:01:32.:01:37.

What would Blackadder say? Let's pick up on one of those subjects,

:01:37.:01:42.

speed cameras. The new Chief Constable in Avon and Somerset one

:01:42.:01:49.

symptom back on. What do you think, James? As I have been going around

:01:49.:01:51.

in my constituency, people are concerned with the speeds that

:01:51.:01:55.

people drive. I would say that where cameras are placed to genuinely

:01:55.:01:59.

improve road safety, there is a place for them. It is a suspicion

:01:59.:02:02.

that they might have been previously put in place to maximise revenues.

:02:02.:02:08.

We need to need sure safety is the priority. The danger is they do

:02:08.:02:13.

criminalise tens of thousands of motorists? Deservedly so, in that

:02:13.:02:19.

case. Speed kills. One of the lessons I learned 20 years ago when

:02:19.:02:22.

I was first elected to the council -- county council was a

:02:23.:02:25.

demonstration by road safety officers at what happens when a car

:02:25.:02:30.

hit you at 20 mph, 30 mph and 40 mph. There is a catastrophic

:02:30.:02:37.

difference. Driving at speed is a huge danger. Is there evidence that

:02:37.:02:42.

cameras stop that? It must change the behaviour of people.

:02:42.:02:49.

shouldn't be doing it anyway. you ever been over 30 with your Mac

:02:49.:02:56.

-- over 30? No-one is a saint, but speed cameras can make a difference.

:02:56.:02:59.

That is all we have time for this week. Thank you to our guests for

:02:59.:03:03.

joining us. If you want to e-mail us with your comments or stories, the

:03:03.:03:08.

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