Lib Dems petition Clegg over tuition fees

Seacombe's Cllr Adrian Jones, a former teacher in Higher Education, shares the students' views of the government's increases to tuition fees.

Monday, 29, Nov 2010

Wirral students are reported to be planning further demonstrations to show their disappointment following the Tory-led government’s policy on tuition fees.  They are said to be particularly dismayed at the Liberals for not keeping their pre-election pledges.  Meanwhile, it seems our local students are by no means alone in their view of the Lib Dems.

“The Liberal Democrats deserve years in the wilderness if the party abandons its pledge on higher education funding….”  over 100 of the party’s general election candidates have told Nick Clegg.  

Many young people from lower and middle income families will now find it impossible to take university degree courses because of their fear of being saddled with years of debt.

A petition signed by unsuccessful candidates from the May 2010 poll urges the deputy prime minister to reconsider the coalition government’s proposals to increase the cap on tuition fees to £9,000. All Lib Dem candidates signed a pledge promising to oppose any increase in tuition fees. But Mr Clegg now says changed circumstances mean the party’s former policy is no longer possible.   But  “The wording of this pledge clearly indicated that this would be unconditional,” the petitioners state.  

They point out Mr Clegg’s promise during the election that the Lib Dems are different because:  “When we say we will do something during election campaigns we then do it in government”.   

“We are different and must show that we are; especially now that we are in a position to do so,” the petition states. “Otherwise this party will rightly face many more years back in the political wilderness having been labelled as ‘just like the other lot’.”  

The activists’ petition criticises the broader approach of the coalition’s taxation policy, contrasting the 60% top rate of tax under Margaret Thatcher with the current 50% top rate. It calls the £2.9 billion raised by the tuition fees hike a “drop in the ocean” and asks: “Is this price worth the loss of our party’s integrity and our values?  “If not then we must let the leadership know how we feel and stop these fees from rising while we still can.”  

Mr Clegg faces intense political pressure over the tuition fees issue, following last Wednesday’s protests by students on Whitehall and on university campuses across the country.  

Another ‘day of action’ is expected to take place tomorrow. 

Across the country students voted in large numbers for Liberal candidates because of their election promises last May.  Now they are demonstrating in even greater numbers, across the country, against what they see as broken promises.  Here in Wirral students have already made their mark by marching and demonstrating – and the grapevine tells us they plan more in the weeks ahead. 

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Its The Tories That Have Been Dumbed Down Not Our Education System

New school site

 

091018 - Park Primary

Adrian and John were out delivering leaflets and meeting residents this morning.   

After stopping to speak to some allotment holders they they looked at the site where the new Park Primary School is shortly to be built.

The children are meanwhile using the former Poulton Primary School building until the new school is ready.