It’s great to see the warm weather return at last! This week I want to write about Education, both locally and nationally and ask whether or not our schools are being funded properly by the Conservatives? The answer is a definite NO. Nationally 91% of schools have had their pupil funding cut. For example Penrice Academy lose £715,675. I have been out campaigning with the local Labour Party members for some months now to get the message across that school cuts are damaging our children’s education.
As usual however, after denying that there was an issue, the Conservative Party have now realised that schools in Cornwall have been less well funded than schools in other parts of the country. Schools across the country have seen their funding cut. To get the full picture nationally please have a look at the website www.schoolcuts.org.uk
I have been really impressed by the schools in St Austell both in my work and as a parent. My daughter went to St Mewan and Penrice and both schools were excellent, the teachers superb and very often doing far more than their jobs called for. In many parts of the country we read that some teachers bring in extra food for children who arrive hungry at school. Funds are short and parents are often asked to help supplement what in the past would have been provided by schools. This cannot be right.
Labour will invest in schools and protect budgets. We will introduce a fair National Funding Formula in which no school loses out. We will reduce class sizes and introduce free school meals for primary schoolchildren.
If you feel like I do, that schools should not have their budgets cut please sign the St Austell and Newquay Labour Party petition at www.staustellandnewqauylabour.com
For many families finding money for new school uniforms is very tough. Start Clothing Bank St Austell has just put out a call for donations of school uniforms ready for the new term in September. If you can help please take your donations to the Swap Shop at 17 Duke St, St Austell, PL25 5PQ. It’s open Monday and Tuesday 9.30-15.30 and Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 12-16.00.
Thankyou, I know that some of you will be able to help.
I also want to mention the charity Cornwall Neighbourhoods for Change (CN4C), with whom I am a trustee. Sadly they have recently received a negative reaction in some quarters in connection with setting up at the Bank at the Bystro premises in High Cross St. CN4C work with residents and partners to transform disadvantaged neighbourhoods.
CN4C works across Cornwall delivering a range of services that help local people make a difference. This includes:
Employment support, Training, Youth Work, Community Development, Environmental projects, Play and Parenting programmes and holiday clubs.
We already have a clothing bank and a swap shop in St Austell, and it has been suggested we use the great space in the Bank as a re-use/recycle/upcycle centre, a library of things (where you can donate or borrow tools and equipment that you might need on an odd occasion but not want to buy), a training venue, taking forward plastic free St Austell, and maybe even the development of an advice centre and town centre venue for other groups. Its up to residents to say what would be most welcome and helpful.
It’s very early days yet but I think this initiative can only help everyone but particularly those in need. It’s good to see one of the towns empty premises being used too. If you would like to have your say you would be very welcome at any of the consultation events they will be holding over the summer and they will be advertised locally or email Clare at firstname.lastname@example.org to say what you think.
I think there are many people that want to help those in need and make St Austell a better place to live.
This blog will be created by members of the Exec committee on topics of interest to the St Austell & Newquay Labour Party