Archives for January 2010

Election: "should we renationalise the railways?"

Jennifer Tracey | 09:22 UK time, Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Comments (11)

Any excuse to watch this again...

But there is a connection. This week, the iPM Election Question service is trying to answer this question from David Sterratt:

"British Rail was cheaper for taxpayers and for passengers than the current privatised system. So why not renationalise the railways?"

We invited David into the studio to listen to what the political parties had to say and talk to Professor Stuart Cole of Glamorgan University. Listen to the piece, David began by explaining his concerns...

If you'd like to send us an Election Question drop us a line

Election: "I live in a safe seat, should I bother to vote?"

Jennifer Tracey | 17:35 UK time, Saturday, 23 January 2010


Suffragette Alice Hawkins

Between now and the general election, we at iPM are offering a new service to you called Election Questions (if you have a better title, let us know...).

We tried to come up with some answers to Jean Buckton's question on disability last week.

This week, we try to answer David Anstey's poser:

"I live in a constituency that has returned the same MP since the constituency was formed nearly 40 years ago.

My younger son will be able to vote for the first time this year. I've already told him that there's no point him voting because the result in this constituency is a foregone conclusion.

What plans do the political parties have to make it worth both him and me voting in the future?"

And David wasn't the only one, this question has come up time and again. So

1. We asked the three main UK parties to provide us with a single sentence as to why David and his son should vote.

2. We asked Peter Barratt what he thought. He gives talks about his great-grandmother suffragette Alice Hawkins, pictured above, and her fight for the right to vote.

3. We invited the Director of the Power 2010 campaign, Pam Giddy, to put her case.

4. And we asked Politics professor John Curtice, of the University of Strathclyde, what options David and his son have.

Listen to the result.

If you'd like to send us an Election Question drop us a line

Leaseholders and 'The Right to Manage'

Jennifer Tracey | 17:03 UK time, Saturday, 23 January 2010


Peter Rochford runs an organisation in Hastings that helps leaseholders of flats and apartments who feel they're paying over the odds for the upkeep of their building.

Peter was nominated for the iPM New Year's Honour by Sarah who wrote that many elderly people with retirement flats in the town were being overcharged.

She said unscrupulous landlords added administration charges on top of their standard buildings insurance premiums and maintenance costs leaving leaseholders with big bills.

We sent reporter Andrew Bomford to meet Peter and some of the people he's helped with his group called S.E.L.C.H.A

Election: "Which parties will help the long-term disabled?"

Jennifer Tracey | 10:27 UK time, Friday, 22 January 2010


Radio 4 presenter Peter White

Between now and the general election, we at iPM are offering a new service to our listeners imaginatively titled Election Questions.

The first question we tried to answer was from Jean Buckton

"I am totally blind and in a wheelchair due to osteoarthritis of the spine, I'm 42. My daughter (14) was born with cerebral palsy.

My husband had to give up work 14 years ago to care for us both full time. We rely solely on benefits such as Disability Living Allowance and Income Support.

My question is: which parties will help carers and the long-term disabled the most?"

That's a judgement only you can make Jean, but we can help with information about what the parties say. And what better guide than the BBC's Disability Affairs Specialist Peter White. Listen to his advice

Radical studies: security and student visas

Jennifer Tracey | 17:38 UK time, Monday, 18 January 2010


It started with an email from listener Andrew Skilton:

"I was admissions tutor in a Theology and Religious Studies department at a British university between 2000-04. I was bemused by a surge in applications from applicants in Pakistan.

I ignored them because they were so bad, but a common theme was they all came from young men with a background in chemistry, physics or engineering who now wanted to write about the glory of god.

Overseas students are a major income stream for British universities. No-one has made the connection with the cut to university funding just announced by the government. How will this affect British security, as universities, which are businesses, are starved of cash?"

On Saturday's programme we spoke to Andrew about his concerns. We talked to the Director of the Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies at the University of Buckingham, Professor Anthony Glees and finally we took the points raised to the President of Universities UK, Steve Smith.

Listen to the item as it appeared on the programme

If you have experience in this area or there's something you'd like to add, drop us a line ipm [at]

Election questions

Jennifer Tracey | 18:29 UK time, Friday, 8 January 2010

Comments (18)

Ask Auntie

The talk of manifestos, pledges, gaffes and u-turns has started. As an election year begins, iPM is offering a new service to help you through it.

Is there a question you'd like to ask or something you'd like explained? Send it to us and we'll see if we can find an answer for you.

It may be about transport, schools, hospitals, childcare, taxes, Europe, MP expenses, whatever, we don't want to be prescriptive, but do keep it succinct.

We'll try and invite the relevant politician or a panel of politicians on to answer it, or perhaps one of our correspondents could explain whatever it is you'd like explained - we can't promise we'll be able to get hold of them, but we'll do our best.

How do I send it
Email ipm [at] putting Election Questions in the title and the best way for us to contact you

or write to

iPM Election Question
Room G601, BBC TV Centre
London W12 7RJ

The great British painter you've never heard of?

Post categories:

Jennifer Tracey | 17:58 UK time, Friday, 8 January 2010


Dave Pearson painting

The name of Dave Pearson may not come to mind when you think of great British painters of the twentieth century.

But to his admirers, this painter exemplified what it means to be an artist: committed, eccentric, a determined outsider who was obsessed by his work.

Dave Pearson died in July 2008. One of his students, artist Bob Frith has spent the last year restoring his mentor's cluttered and decaying studio.

We came to hear about Bob when he was nominated for an iPM New Year Honour. Reporter Nigel Wrench went to the Rossendale Valley to meet him at that studio.

The iPM New Year Honours Special

Post categories:

Jennifer Tracey | 18:10 UK time, Saturday, 2 January 2010


Huge congratulations to our winner Delma Hughes who was nominated by Janet Rich, she wrote:

"Delma is a fifty-year-old mum of two who was brought up in care in Wales in the seventies. Like for many children in care at that time, life was often harsh and there was no rights for children to know who they were or what their family circumstances were.

Delma was one of seven siblings but knew nothing about them until later in her life when she tracked all of them down....Delma has campaigned to end the way that sibling groups are split up in care and often never have any further contact with each other.

She has created the charity Siblings Together and has run summer sibling camps to enable a small number of children, separated across the country, to have high quality and fun time together."

Listen to Delma talking on the programme

So, um, Delma was out when we called....but hopefully she'll want to talk to us in the new year, if Eddie's message hasn't put her off.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.