14/04/2013 The Wales Report


14/04/2013

As the measles epidemic continues to spread, should more be done to improve awareness of public health issues? And what effect will welfare changes have on households in Wales?


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measles epidemic in Swansea. Should the MMR be obligatory for all

:00:14.:00:19.

children? Welfare of people - a special report by the Paralympic

:00:19.:00:23.

champion and member of the House of Lords, tanning great champion --

:00:23.:00:28.

tanning great Thomson. And wait take on closer look at Mrs Thatcher's

:00:28.:00:38.
:00:38.:00:41.

involvement in Wales. -- we take a closer look. Great to be back, The

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Wales Report will examine the issues and to hold the decision-makers to

:00:46.:00:54.

account. One of those decision-makers -- what are they

:00:54.:00:59.

doing about the measles epidemic? There are growing fears that the

:00:59.:01:02.

epidemic will spread and one expert says it is certain to spread to

:01:02.:01:07.

Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan. Public Health Wales believes that

:01:07.:01:11.

40,000 miles children remain unvaccinated. Emergency clinics have

:01:11.:01:21.

in full this weekend, all of which prompts rather big question - if

:01:21.:01:25.

parents are not responsible, shouldn't the authorities take steps

:01:25.:01:35.
:01:35.:01:35.

to make the MMR mandatory? It has been an anxious time for parents in

:01:36.:01:41.

Swansea. And the queues at the emergency clinics get longer as the

:01:41.:01:48.

outbreak grows. More than 6000 people, many teenagers, still have

:01:48.:01:53.

not been vaccinated against measles here. Measles can involve much more

:01:53.:02:00.

than a fever and a rash. Obligations can lead to deafness, brain damage

:02:00.:02:08.

and it can kill. This is the second egg measles outbreak in West Wales.

:02:08.:02:13.

Four years ago there was another without break and fewer than ten

:02:13.:02:22.

miles away from here. This nursery was at the centre. 265 people had

:02:22.:02:30.

the disease and VM's. Was one of four children attending the nursery

:02:30.:02:35.

who ended up in hospital. I woke up one morning and she was still in

:02:35.:02:41.

bed, not responding. I called the doctor and the doctors said it was

:02:41.:02:46.

measles and she sent us to the hospital, and we were admitted. It

:02:46.:02:53.

was a horrible time. She was lifeless, it was one of the scariest

:02:53.:02:58.

things I have been through as a mother. The outbreak in Swansea is

:02:58.:03:02.

three times eager. And she is terrified that other daughter will

:03:02.:03:11.

get it. Although Olivia is too young to have the vaccine, her mother is

:03:12.:03:15.

among a number of parents asking for the jab early to give their babies

:03:15.:03:20.

protection. There is a panic. Thinking she will go through what

:03:21.:03:25.

Abigail has been through. We have spoken to the doctor and they are

:03:25.:03:30.

willing to have her go down to have it earlier. They are happy for her

:03:30.:03:40.
:03:40.:03:43.

to have that. So, why is this big outbreak happening? Why here and

:03:43.:03:53.

now? In the 1990s, there was widespread panic. There was the

:03:53.:03:56.

publication of the now discredited research strongly linked the MMR

:03:56.:04:02.

with autism. The number of babies receiving the MMR -- MMR dropped

:04:02.:04:09.

across the UK but in Swansea, it plummeted. The finger of blame has

:04:09.:04:12.

been pointed at the South Wales Evening Post, which at the time that

:04:12.:04:17.

the campaign which featured worried local parents. The editor at the

:04:17.:04:24.

time stands by his story. As I saw it, the concerns were totally

:04:25.:04:31.

genuine. What were we supposed to do? Tell them to go away? Newspapers

:04:31.:04:37.

listen to readers and report and they go to the relevant people and

:04:37.:04:42.

say, what have you got to say? that the outbreak we have no is

:04:42.:04:48.

happening, any regrets? No, it is impossible to have regrets because I

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am certain that if we wind the clock back and started again, I cannot

:04:54.:04:59.

imagine any bees and why we would not do it the same way. At no time

:04:59.:05:05.

did the newspaper ever say to parents, do not let your children

:05:05.:05:11.

have this? We never said that. I could argue that I regret the health

:05:11.:05:17.

authority did not make that point more effectively. Since then,

:05:17.:05:21.

professionals have been proactive in trying to rebuild trust in the MMR

:05:21.:05:27.

vaccine. Now, many in the medical community want to go further. They

:05:27.:05:31.

are calling for tougher rules to make sure children are immunised.

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The first thing we should do is to ask for some evidence that the child

:05:35.:05:38.

has been immunised before they are allowed into school and that happens

:05:38.:05:45.

in America. Would that work?I do not know but we must try because we

:05:45.:05:50.

presently have a nasty outbreak of measles and we are hoping there

:05:50.:05:53.

won't be too many children affected severely and hoping we shall not get

:05:54.:06:00.

what is likely to be the inevitable death. What will it take to convince

:06:00.:06:06.

parents together children immunised? Will the week -- will be the

:06:06.:06:09.

required to have vaccines before being let into nurseries in order to

:06:09.:06:17.

stop another outbreak? Helen Callaghan. Joining the night, the

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Director of Health detection for Public Health Wales. So many

:06:23.:06:31.

concerned parents. What can you tell me? This outbreak has not gone away,

:06:31.:06:35.

we are still seeing 100 new cases every week and I am concerned the

:06:35.:06:39.

schools are opening next week and there will be huge opportunities for

:06:39.:06:44.

this to spread, more than over the Easter holidays. The vaccine is the

:06:44.:06:48.

only thing that. This, there are far too many children who have never

:06:48.:06:53.

been protected. We have seen parents demanding it. What is the level of

:06:53.:07:00.

demand? At the level that you think is showing a good response? There is

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no doubt that there must have been about 3000 parents across South

:07:04.:07:11.

Wales yesterday. That is tremendous. However, the children we really need

:07:11.:07:14.

to vaccinate or the older children and we have not seen them coming in

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the same numbers. What is your message to the parents of teenagers

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who are reluctant or think they have time on their hands? The important

:07:24.:07:27.

thing is that they signed the consent form, that is at the bottom

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of the schoolbag, so look out. Sign that and make sure their child

:07:33.:07:37.

leaves school with appropriate protection. I am convinced in my own

:07:37.:07:44.

mind that we have won the war. MMR is safe. You can see parents with

:07:45.:07:52.

little babies. I thought that everybody had agreed that it is?

:07:52.:07:57.

That argument was resolved some years ago? That is true, the Lancet

:07:57.:08:04.

in 2010, they said that. But for parents to be convinced. We have

:08:04.:08:08.

never had such media coverage or talked about the forgotten older

:08:08.:08:12.

children. We have not engaged parents of those children for a very

:08:12.:08:20.

long time in such an effective way. What kind of challenge are you

:08:20.:08:25.

looking at? How many people do you need to get vaccinated in the months

:08:25.:08:30.

to come? I would not like to say months, there is an urgency as soon

:08:30.:08:36.

as is. Within one month?Yes, huge efforts to capture the children in

:08:36.:08:42.

schools. How many?If you look at children who should have had at

:08:42.:08:47.

least one vaccination, there are 40,000. Children aged between five

:08:47.:08:54.

and 18, we should have had two doses, another 30,000. So about

:08:54.:09:00.

70,000 children. Within one month? This is across Wales and this is a

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priority, it is a public health emergency, and if we don't do this

:09:04.:09:09.

now, you might never get the opportunity again. While we have the

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media support. While this is on everybody's mind. Nobody wants to

:09:15.:09:22.

see any death. We might have to rip -- favoured sources but it should

:09:22.:09:27.

happen. Everybody will understand the force behind that statement. Is

:09:27.:09:34.

death possible to? It is, there were six in France in 2011 and five of

:09:34.:09:40.

those working ages. If we don't vaccinate, it will happen.

:09:40.:09:43.

parents watching, still wondering if you are on top of this, what do you

:09:43.:09:50.

say? I think we have done a huge amount, there is a real effort to

:09:50.:09:54.

get this done in schools and they understand the seriousness, they

:09:54.:10:00.

understand that the vaccine is the only way to prevent the spread and I

:10:00.:10:03.

want them to work with us, the ball is in their court. In the weeks

:10:03.:10:10.

coming forward. Get the consent form. In some cases, is it not worth

:10:10.:10:13.

taking the ball out of their court and making this obligatory? I would

:10:13.:10:19.

not like that. I think parents choice is very important and parent

:10:19.:10:23.

choice based on good, accurate information is crucial. The choices

:10:23.:10:30.

that parents made 13 years ago were based on what they understood to be

:10:30.:10:34.

the risks. While the professionals might have said it was safe, they

:10:34.:10:38.

did not hear that, they saw a motive parents on television and heard

:10:38.:10:42.

tragic stories and they made the decision that was right for their

:10:43.:10:47.

children. They now recognise, and I have spoken to parents, that if they

:10:47.:10:53.

could go back, they would. But they did not know. It'll be a very month

:10:53.:11:00.

ahead. We wish you well. Thank you very much. This month sees the

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introduction of the biggest changes ever and limited in the welfare

:11:02.:11:07.

system. A study this week by Sheffield Hallam University says the

:11:07.:11:13.

changes will have a particularly adverse impact in Wales. Of the ten

:11:14.:11:14.

local authorities, most heavily affected across the UK, three of

:11:14.:11:24.
:11:24.:11:32.

them are in Wales. Tony Grey Thomson that came into force two weeks ago

:11:32.:11:36.

have described as the biggest shift since its inception. The restructure

:11:36.:11:41.

was required to make the system more simple. But also because of the

:11:41.:11:45.

number of times that cost was mentioned, to save money. I don't

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think anybody would have created a system that ended up being this

:11:48.:11:56.

contributed or this expensive. There are very few people who do not agree

:11:56.:12:00.

that reform is needed. It is harder to agree what that looks like.

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Successive governments have tried to tackle this demand inefficiency but

:12:04.:12:11.

it is an uphill battle. Welfare is an emotive issue. The language of

:12:11.:12:18.

elephant scroungers has changed to strivers and skivers. They remind me

:12:18.:12:22.

of the undeserving and deserving poor of the 1940s and I don't now

:12:22.:12:24.

anybody who thinks those who cheat the system should be allowed to. But

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part of the problem does lie in public perception and in reality,

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those cheating are relatively few. Emotion exists in the language and

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nowhere is this more clearly seen than when discussing the bedroom

:12:37.:12:43.

tax. Regardless of whether you think this is a tax or a subsidy, the

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words have got people talking in recent months. Steve from carefully

:12:50.:12:54.

as one of those people whose lives will be seriously affected by the

:12:54.:12:58.

new tax rules. The former security guard who worked all his life but

:12:58.:13:03.

had to give up his job because of chronic kidney disease needs

:13:03.:13:06.

dialysis three times a week and his spare bedroom has been transformed

:13:06.:13:13.

into his treatment room. The one spare room that they say I have,

:13:13.:13:20.

they want to stop 14 % of my housing benefit, roughly �12 a week, that is

:13:20.:13:26.

money I simply have not got. Benefits, that is not a great deal

:13:26.:13:31.

of money, it is the bare minimum that they think you can survive on.

:13:31.:13:38.

�50 a month out of that is going to be a real hardship for me. It is not

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a lifestyle choice. It is not, this is not a life, this is just an

:13:43.:13:48.

existence. It is hard to argue against the philosophy that people

:13:48.:13:52.

should be living in appropriate sized housing for their needs. But

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what has been attempted here is a correction to policy. But holding

:13:57.:14:00.

the right size automotive housing where it is really needed. There is

:14:00.:14:07.

no quick fix. The reality of moving people is somewhat different to when

:14:07.:14:17.
:14:17.:14:17.

you see it written down. Because of the move in people, it is not

:14:17.:14:20.

quantifiable and the true cost I'd only be realised in several years,

:14:20.:14:27.

when we can look back and analyse the data. Recent UK government

:14:27.:14:31.

statements have suggested that reining in the welfare spending will

:14:31.:14:35.

be an extremely challenging task. But I believe a huge amount could be

:14:35.:14:38.

achieved in terms of savings are looking at the administration of the

:14:38.:14:43.

system. By ensuring that benefit assessments carried out robbery in

:14:43.:14:47.

the first place and that the number of cases that go to appeal and

:14:47.:14:51.

overturned down. Sadly, that is part of the detail that we are never able

:14:51.:15:01.
:15:01.:15:13.

to get our teeth into and why Case-study we saw the film, is that

:15:13.:15:23.
:15:23.:15:24.

the sort of person who should they lose out? In no way can the use of

:15:24.:15:28.

that room, where we saw that they Ellis's machine, can that be

:15:28.:15:38.

described as a spare room. What are his options klezmer going through

:15:38.:15:42.

an appeals process? One of the things we have then is double the

:15:42.:15:45.

amount of money available for Wales local authorities through

:15:45.:15:49.

discretion the housing payments to help the hard cases. Without

:15:49.:15:54.

knowing all the full details, just from what I saw, he is exactly a

:15:54.:16:01.

difficult case their knees and additional support. He clearly

:16:01.:16:05.

feels that within the rules as they are on paper he will be caught up

:16:05.:16:09.

in it. That is telling people that you are not targeting the right

:16:09.:16:14.

people. There is a lot of fear around. Any change brings with it

:16:14.:16:21.

uncertainty. We're talking about vulnerable people and our job as a

:16:21.:16:25.

politicians is to get close to these people. We could be looking

:16:25.:16:32.

at a clip of eight-bedroom with an two bunk bed and a four children.

:16:32.:16:36.

The issue of housing overcrowding as well as the issue of single

:16:36.:16:40.

people or couples living in three- bedroom houses where they have

:16:40.:16:44.

generally spare rooms. There is a real issue of fairness here as well,

:16:44.:16:49.

how we manage the housing stock and a change we're bringing means

:16:49.:16:54.

people living in council houses will have to make the same chain --

:16:54.:17:02.

decisions as people living in privates homes. In your area, how

:17:02.:17:07.

many sports -- spare properties do you have? The great demand in our a

:17:08.:17:11.

for two and three-bedroom houses. I get people coming into my surgery

:17:11.:17:16.

wanting to move out to their one- bedroom properties. It is something

:17:16.:17:20.

we started to see even before the change kicked in. People were

:17:20.:17:23.

living into a three-bedroom properties, started to were cows

:17:23.:17:28.

they were not going to be able to afford the extra to stay where they

:17:28.:17:32.

are. They are arranging swaps were tenants a one-bedroom properties.

:17:32.:17:37.

People can do that on the website of the local authorities. If people

:17:37.:17:42.

are making decisions. One-bedroom properties are being released. I'm

:17:42.:17:46.

not trying to downplay the issue of the shortage. Not everybody

:17:46.:17:53.

currently under an occupying will be required to move. Some of them

:17:53.:17:59.

will say they value the spare room and will pay for it. Some of the

:17:59.:18:05.

research we did shows in some areas of Wales, there is no council stock

:18:05.:18:09.

of the smaller properties, one- bedroom homes where people could

:18:09.:18:13.

move to. In those cases people don't have a choice, they will have

:18:13.:18:18.

to take the brunt of the reform. depends on what they want to do. If

:18:18.:18:25.

they want to downsize there is an issue. I recognise that. One of the

:18:25.:18:29.

reasons we are through the discretionary housing payments, we

:18:29.:18:33.

want to help the transition so it might be somebody wants to move

:18:33.:18:38.

because they can't afford to stay on won't be able to afford it. They

:18:38.:18:42.

won the that belong go in there comes property to manage the change

:18:42.:18:45.

will stop the payments will help them do that if their local

:18:45.:18:51.

authority are using those funds. point of principle, do you think

:18:52.:18:56.

and the research by Sheffield Hallam is clear, do you think Wales

:18:57.:19:01.

is being asked to share a greater burden of this than other parts of

:19:01.:19:05.

the UK? No, I don't think Wales has been asked to shoulder a bigger

:19:05.:19:09.

burden. We have a greater proportion of people in Wales who

:19:09.:19:13.

were reliant on benefits, we have a greater proportion of people in

:19:13.:19:17.

Wales who are registered as disabled. Any change to the welfare

:19:17.:19:22.

system will impact Wales. Fourth actually, when you look at the

:19:22.:19:26.

fruit of what the reformers bring through, encouraging people back

:19:26.:19:33.

into work, supporting people to live fuller lives, you come to the

:19:33.:19:37.

conclusion Wales needs welfare reform just as much as anybody else.

:19:37.:19:41.

You have seen the list because the 10 local authorities across the UK

:19:41.:19:47.

most affected by a welfare report, top-ten, is start with Blackpool,

:19:47.:19:50.

then Merthyr Tydfil is number four and then you come to Blaenau Gwent

:19:50.:19:55.

and Neath. If that is three in the top 10. What does that tell you?

:19:55.:20:00.

Way you have concentrated pockets of high unemployment you also get a

:20:00.:20:05.

concentration of people relying on benefits particularly disability

:20:05.:20:09.

benefits. And he's the type of people should be shouldering these

:20:09.:20:15.

changes? -- are these. If you are saying we should be running to the

:20:15.:20:20.

barricades to defend the existing system, a system that has kept two

:20:20.:20:25.

and 1,000 people in West from ever working at the end their life, that

:20:25.:20:29.

locks whole communities in worklessness, then no. What we're

:20:29.:20:34.

trying to do through our welfare reform, Tanni Grey-Thompson

:20:34.:20:38.

mentioned simplifying the system, it is about fairness and also about

:20:38.:20:43.

restoring the value of work, the incentives to work into the system.

:20:43.:20:48.

If the welfare system far too often encourages people to stay on

:20:48.:20:52.

benefits and does not create pathways out of poverty. We know

:20:52.:20:56.

work is the only sure way out of poverty. Hopefully in a few moans

:20:56.:21:01.

we will have you back and we will talk about the changes. -- in a few

:21:01.:21:06.

months. The headlines have been dominated by the death of by Miss

:21:06.:21:10.

Thatcher. Lot of the news and comment focused on that we deeply

:21:10.:21:15.

divided opinions of what the latter years achieved. Those divisions

:21:15.:21:18.

addit cues which isn't surprising when you consider the traumatic

:21:18.:21:23.

offered -- episode of the miners' strike. Her visits to Wales often

:21:23.:21:28.

sparked a lot of controversy. new industries aren't the heavy,

:21:28.:21:33.

clanking, dirty condition industries. They are good, clean

:21:33.:21:39.

industries. Doesn't that please do? Doesn't that please do? Owed cheer

:21:39.:21:48.

up. That was Margaret Thatcher. She was speaking on a memorable visit

:21:48.:21:52.

to South Wales. Joining me now is the former Labour MP, Dr Kim

:21:52.:22:02.
:22:02.:22:03.

Howells. Also joining us is Cheryl Gillan. Can I ask you, how much of

:22:03.:22:06.

an inspiration was Margaret Thatcher to you? She was the reason

:22:06.:22:10.

I got into politics. I was active in politics but never thought I

:22:10.:22:14.

would be an MP. A lot of women think like that and I didn't think

:22:14.:22:19.

it was for a woman. I remember in 1979 when she was leader of the

:22:19.:22:23.

opposition I sat almost next to her at the dinner for other candidates

:22:23.:22:28.

and she told me that I should be thinking about being an MP. I

:22:28.:22:32.

walked away from that in and sat with a whole load of male

:22:32.:22:37.

colleagues and set, "I think she was right". For she inspired a lot

:22:37.:22:47.
:22:47.:22:49.

of people in Wales. She started the buying the council houses scheme.

:22:49.:22:53.

She had the influence which was powerful enough to get 14

:22:53.:22:58.

Conservative MPs elected in Wales. People forget that. They tend to

:22:58.:23:03.

paint a picture of the 1980s as being a Tory-free zone in Wales. It

:23:03.:23:10.

wasn't. He even when I was elected in 1989, there were 14 Conservative

:23:10.:23:15.

MPs in Wales. Rise from the north all the way to the south. She had

:23:15.:23:22.

an effect. She had another effect which has really resonated over the

:23:22.:23:30.

past week since Lady Thatcher died. She had her virtues, she also had

:23:30.:23:34.

some civvy his defects, I think. The way she treated the call feels

:23:34.:23:41.

was one of them. Defects, do you agree? She did say in that famous

:23:41.:23:45.

speech when there was a vote of no confidence in the Labour government

:23:45.:23:48.

when she was leader of the opposition, no government can

:23:48.:23:53.

protect yesterday's jobs for ever. They can all put off the inevitable.

:23:53.:23:58.

That is how she saw a lot of our industrialisation, many of these

:23:58.:24:03.

jobs were the jobs for the past and could not been protected. We had to

:24:03.:24:08.

look for the jobs for the future. She was also passionate about

:24:08.:24:12.

reducing the involvement of the state which was enormous in those

:24:12.:24:17.

days and giving people individual freedom. We have mentioned the

:24:17.:24:21.

council house sales but reducing the level of personal taxation

:24:21.:24:27.

because she thought Welsh -- wealth creation was important. If we talk

:24:27.:24:32.

about the strength of the Conservatives in the 1980s, has

:24:32.:24:36.

started in 1979 when the upswing for the Tories happened. To what

:24:36.:24:39.

extent was that all about Mrs Thatcher and her brand of

:24:39.:24:49.

leadership? To what extent was it about the 1970s? She knew what the

:24:49.:24:55.

feeling of the time was. I remember right in the middle of the strike

:24:55.:24:59.

we wanted a quiet look and some ports in Essex which we heard were

:25:00.:25:05.

importing coal. In London, we were keeping as if we had landed from

:25:05.:25:10.

Mars at the wealth and the excess as seemed to be on the streets of

:25:10.:25:15.

the city of London in the middle of the miners' strike in 1984. There

:25:15.:25:19.

were severe deprivation here. It was a tale of two nations by any

:25:19.:25:25.

definition. I think Mrs Thatcher understood that. Many politicians

:25:25.:25:33.

did not. We didn't. Cheryl Gillan is quite right, industries lose

:25:33.:25:39.

their primacy and their purpose but, remember, they are not just jobs,

:25:39.:25:44.

the are not an abstract quality, they are people. The way people are

:25:44.:25:50.

treated has an impact upon their psychology in subsequent years.

:25:50.:25:54.

That is why there is such bitterness. If it had been managed

:25:54.:25:58.

better, the decline of that industry, the wheeze was phased out

:25:58.:26:03.

and new jobs coming in and people would be thinking differently about

:26:03.:26:08.

it. But believe me they don't. There are still a lot of people who

:26:08.:26:13.

feel very, very badly about Lady Thatcher event within News she has

:26:13.:26:19.

died. I just think we forget Wales was having not just a tough time

:26:19.:26:23.

but was having a really tough time under Labour governments in terms

:26:23.:26:27.

of the income policies, in terms of what was happening with the mines.

:26:27.:26:32.

If so many mines were closed under Wilson and Callaghan. Even people

:26:32.:26:36.

wanting to protect and develop the Welsh language were not exactly

:26:36.:26:41.

getting good feedback from the Labour government at the time. It

:26:41.:26:47.

took a Conservative government to bring in S4C. That wonderful

:26:47.:26:52.

turnaround in the election and the 14 MPs was the reaction to Labour's

:26:52.:26:55.

treatment of Wales and Wales on the Welsh people wanted to give

:26:55.:26:59.

somebody else a chance. If a final force for you both, one commentator

:26:59.:27:04.

said we have to accept, and the conservatism have to accept, there

:27:05.:27:11.

will always be divided opinion about Margaret Thatcher. -- the

:27:11.:27:17.

Conservatives will have to accept. What would you say? That is right.

:27:17.:27:22.

She was at a strong character and so decisive and so deferens in her

:27:22.:27:26.

views and in her leadership, there will always be discussions about

:27:26.:27:30.

her. We have got to remember there were good things as well as bad

:27:30.:27:35.

things from the perspective of Wales. He then the health and

:27:35.:27:42.

social benefit went up three times. -- health and social budget.

:27:42.:27:47.

Unemployment doubled. It was a time of transition but his was be

:27:47.:27:52.

remembered as the time of creative, imaginative time. It will be seen

:27:52.:27:56.

as an attack, communities that we valued so much in Wales and

:27:57.:28:02.

continue to value. We have survived it. I hope people remember that

:28:02.:28:05.

community is important. I'm not sure Margaret Thatcher believed

:28:05.:28:14.

that. I think she did. You must remember, as long as you're not

:28:14.:28:20.

selected in your memories. I am not going to be selective, in saying

:28:20.:28:26.

As the measles epidemic in Swansea continues to spread, should more be done to improve awareness of public health issues? And what effect will the biggest changes to the welfare system since its inception have on households in Wales?


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