Climate change will have a huge impact on all our lives in the years ahead. If we are to stand any chance of limiting the impact, local Councils must have all powers necessary to act.
That's the call made by Liberal Democrat Council Leaders, including Chelmsford's Stephen Robinson, in a letter to the Prime Minister. The Lib Dems have called on the PM to allow local government to be mentioned in any declaration agreed at the international climate summit - COP 26 - in November.
Boris Johnson's failure to defend our children's education meant that his Government spent the same amount in one month on Eat Out To Help Out as in a whole year for our children's school catch-up.
Imagine a future where our children's education is a priority. Where schools raise their mental well-being and their maths grades. Where they can excel at English and find their talent for music or sport. Where they grow into happy, healthy, adults.
As students return to the University of Suffolk next week, a major change in government policies on higher education threatens the future of many of the newer universities. The Chancellor is determined to reduce losses to the Exchequer on student loans (currently estimated at £10 billion pa and expected to top £20 billion in three years' time). Additionally, the government has promised publication of proposals for radical reform along the lines of the 2019 Auger Review - re-allocating funding to apprenticeships and further education and away from universities. Reducing tuition-fees, cutting "low-value" courses and increasing entry requirements are all likely according to various leaks from the Department for Education. The reforms are likely to be announced before the Chancellor's Spending Review on 27th October.
The University of Suffolk is the newest university in the country and, as a result, is particularly vulnerable. Reforms will probably mean fewer, if any, courses in subjects such as film, dance, politics, history and photography. Ipswich's MP, Tom Hunt, like many Tories, is not a supporter of non-Russell Group (older, red-brick) universities and has said recently that "...far too many people are going to universities, often to questionable universities and doing questionable degrees." Presumably, this does not include the two universities he attended (Manchester and Oxford) or the Politics and History degree he took. He also believes that on graduating, students "invariably seem to be, a good chunk anyway, radical Marxists."
The Liberal Democrats will oppose restrictions on access to higher education. Newer universities, such as Suffolk, have brought in many students who would not have attended higher education in the past and this must not be lost. We also believe degrees in humanities are essential to the economy and wellbeing of this country.
We would love to get your feedback on our latest St.Margaret's Focus "On the Verge" concerning the management of urban green space, but also our items on the Ipswich Garden Suburb, Air Quality, Residents parking Permits, Electric vehicle charging and e-scooters / pedestrian safety. We want to find ways to use our Web-Page to develop our ASKING LISTENING LEARNING SERVICE to make Local Democracy work for the people we serve and represent.
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