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  • school meals
    Article: May 31, 2017

    Up to 400 children living in poverty across South Holland and the Deepings will have their lunches taken away under Theresa May's plans to abolish universal free school lunches for infants, Liberal Democrat research has revealed. In total 2,950 children in South Holland and the Deepings are set to lose out under the plans.

  • Anita at Bourne Academy.jpg
    Article: May 26, 2017
    By Richard Adams Education editor in The Guardian

    IFS says funding will fall by nearly 3% by 2021, with the Education Policy Institute thinktank drawing similar conclusions

    Schools in England will face real-terms funding cuts for years to come if the Conservatives win the general election, according to analyses by two thinktanks. The figures show year-on-year falls over the coming parliamentary term despite a Conservative manifesto promise to redirect £1bn in additional funding to state schools by slashing free school meals for infants.

  • John Marriott
    Article: May 25, 2017
    By John Marriott in Letter to the Guardian

    Dear Sir,

    Yes, I got a 'free' university education back in the 1960s. Mind you, my County grant meant that I had to work during every vacation - and a great experience it was mixing with ordinary people after a rather cocooned life at a boys' grammar school and four years at Cambridge.

    However, I was one of a very small minority of my contemporaries to receive higher education in a relatively small number of institutions offering degrees, certificates and diplomas. Today, with around 45% of school leavers succumbing to the blandishments of a seemingly ever growing number of 'universities', with teaching staff to pay and research to finance, it is just not financially feasible to offer the kind of assistance I was lucky enough to receive.

    Like the Lib Dems in 2010, with little chance of forming the next government (although shooting themselves in the foot could still give the Tories some worries), Labour can afford to indulge itself and promise the earth. If I were contemplating studying for a degree today I would think twice before signing up to a 'pledge' to abolish tuition fees. If I were a graduate already paying off their debts, I would be pretty brassed off at the thought of future generations getting a free ride.

    Yours,

    John Marriott,

    18 St Hugh's Drive,

    North Hykeham,

    Lincoln LN6 8RD

  • School Meals
    Article: May 21, 2017
    By Michael Savage, policy editor in The Observer

    Move could undermine key Tory target of helping families 'just about managing', as concerns grow over social care pledge

    About 900,000 children from struggling families will lose their right to free school lunches under a cut unveiled in the Conservative manifesto.

    The total includes more than 600,000 young children recently defined as coming from "ordinary working families", according to analysis for the Observer by the Education Policy Institute.

  • Nick Clegg - Free School Meals
    Article: May 19, 2017
    By Nick Clegg in The Guardian

    The Liberal Democrats pushed for the introduction of free infant school lunches in 2014. This Conservative U-turn cynically targets the vulnerable.

    So much for compassionate Conservatism. So much for helping the "just about managing". During my time as deputy prime minister, I repeatedly blocked the Conservatives from proceeding with tax, welfare, education and pensions policies that did not cater for the neediest in society. I became wearily familiar with the Conservative party's habit of placing greater priority on the needs of "their" voters than those of society at large.

  • Tim Farron
    Article: May 17, 2017

    Speaking at the Royal College of Nursing Congress, the Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron, has confirmed that the Party would reinstate student bursaries, which benefit nursing, midwifery and allied health students, with immediate effect.

    In 2015, the Conservative Government announced they would be scrapping bursaries for nursing students from August 2017.

    UCAS figures show that the number of applications for nursing courses due to start this year were approximately 10,000 lower - down by nearly a quarter - compared to the same point last year. The Liberal Democrats argue that this short-sighted cut will compound the existing shortage of nurses in the NHS, threatening the quality of patient care.

    Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron said:

    "The Government's decision to abandon bursaries for nursing students was clearly wrong.

    "The evidence has shown a drastic fall in the number of people applying to study nursing following this dangerously short-sighted cut.

    "We should be supporting more people into these vital professions - but instead this Government are putting up greater barriers.

    "The Liberal Democrats are proud that we are committing to support nurses, midwives and other NHS professionals, not only by reinstating the bursary but by ending the cap on public sector pay rises and giving our NHS the extra money it needs over the next Parliament, which will reduce pressures on our hardworking staff."

    Almost 10,000 fewer would-be nurses in England have applied for courses linked to the profession - nearly a quarter less than at the same point last year (2 February 2017, Telegraph)

    The policy will protect the bursaries of courses in

  • Tim Farron
    Article: May 17, 2017

    The Liberal Democrats have launched their manifesto for a brighter future on Wednesday. Change Britain's Future is a plan for a fairer Britain where people are decent to each other, with good schools and hospitals, a clean environment and an innovative economy.

    Nothing is more important to our children's future than Brexit. A bad Brexit deal, with Britain outside the single market, will wreck the future for our children, our economy and our schools and hospitals. That's why at the heart of the manifesto is a commitment to give the people the final say on the Brexit deal in a referendum.

  • Anita Day
    Article: May 15, 2017

    Liberal Democrats have announced they would end years of pay restraint for nurses, teachers and police in Lincolnshire by lifting the 1% cap on public sector pay and increases wages in line with inflation.

    Under Liberal Democrat plans, the 6,530 teachers working in Lincolnshire would get an average pay rise of £893 by 2021, while the 1,060 police working for Lincolnshire Police Force would see their pay boosted by £471.

    The plans would also lead to an estimated pay rise of £527 for the nearly 3,000 nurses working in Lincolnshire by 2021, helping to tackle the shortage of nurses and potential strikes over pay this summer.

    In contrast, the Conservative's public sector pay cap combined with rising inflation since the Brexit vote will mean that by 2021, the average nurse will be nearly £4000 worse off.

    The announcement comes as a survey by the Royal College of Nursing has revealed nine out of 10 nursing leaders say they are worried about their ability to recruit nurses and that there are an estimated 40,000 nursing vacancies in the NHS.

    Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Grantham and Stamford, Anita Day, commented:

    "Public sector workers in Lincolnshire are facing a double blow at the hands of this Conservative government, with years of pitiful increases to pay combined with a Brexit squeeze caused by soaring inflation.

    "Our NHS and schools are already struggling to recruit the staff they need.

    "Living standards are falling, prices are rising and nurses are going to food banks - but Theresa May doesn't care.

  • Tuition Fees
    Article: May 12, 2017
    By Rahul Mansigani in The Independent

    I felt betrayed by Nick Clegg walking back his promise on tuition fees. But now even Labour's latest tuition fees announcement couldn't make me back Corbyn

    In the autumn of 2010, over 50,000 students marched through the streets of London to protest against a trebling of tuition fees proposed by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government - and as the then President of the Cambridge University Students' Union, I led a huge number of them. We were furious, not just at the fee proposals themselves, but because we had once agreed with Nick. We'd agreed with him so much that we'd used our first ever votes for him. Needless to say, that betrayal led to those same voters brutally punishing the Liberal Democrats in the election five years later, with a decisive 30-point swing in the student vote.