Older Persons: Provision of Public Services - Motion to Take Note

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:22 pm on 13th June 2019.

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Photo of Lord Foulkes of Cumnock Lord Foulkes of Cumnock Labour 5:22 pm, 13th June 2019

My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for giving me a couple of minutes. It has been an exceptional debate. My only regret is that it has not been at prime time, when more Members would have been here to hear the wonderful eloquence of the noble Baroness, Lady Redfern; the plea for art and culture from my noble friend Lord Howarth; the speech of my noble friend Lord O’Neill, who I welcome back from his hospital bed; and the contributions of all those noble Lords I have not mentioned. It has been a tremendous debate.

However, the Minister answered many questions on loneliness—he was helpful on that and other matters—but he has not answered the crucial question even though my noble friend Lord Browne put him under tremendous pressure. There were questions about the practicability of the BBC running this scheme—it will be impractical—and, on enforceability, whether the Government have the ability to make the BBC do what it apparently promised. I can assure the Minister that, as far as the TV licence issue is concerned, we will return to it again and again until we get a proper answer and action.

These older people, who have given so much to society, depend on TV for contact, news, entertainment and information. They deserve more from us and more from the Government, and we will return to this issue again and again until we get proper answers from the Government.

Motion agreed.

House adjourned at 5.24 pm.