We have had both Julian Knight and Caroline Spelman wax lyrical about the fantastic new funding formula for schools in recent weeks. It would appear that this is the message (oft repeated, rarely challenged) that the Tories have adopted for the summer recess and the more they say it, the more we are expected to believe it. The reality is not the rosy picture that has been painted by our elected officials however.
The institute for fiscal studies have reiterated that there will be a real terms cut on school budgets up to and including the year 2020 but Mrs Spelman delights in telling us that all local schools will receive (on average) an extra 3% for two years.
After that, she is a little vague as to future funding but then Ken Meeson informed us all that the inequitable funding formula has been remedied.
It has indeed. Now all schools (not just in Solihull) will have to get by on lower funding and have to decide where the cuts will fall.
We were also informed that Labour shadow ministers welcomed the new funding formula. They did not. The shadow education secretary, Angela Rayner, said the movement of funds was nothing more than a sticking plaster when facing up to the real issues in education.
I look forward to hearing from our elected representatives about the government’s U-Turn on providing a nutritious 7p breakfast for all schoolchildren and also about the national scandal of over one million school aged children going hungry over the school holidays.
Can we have a bit of clarity regarding government funding for education and health.
Two weeks ago a letter from a reader (Coleman Doyle) pointing out that Julian Knight MP, in his Westminster Diary (20th July), claimed that “the Government was adding an extra £1.3 billion to the core school budget” without explaining that this was not new money but was to be taken from elsewhere in the education budget.
Previously, on July 6th you published my letter asking how Caroline Spelman could say, in her Westminster Diary, that the government had recruited 12,000 extra nurses in a week when the numbers leaving the profession exceeded the numbers joining.
So it seems both our local MPs are using their column in your newspaper to make misleading claims. I think it’s called “alternative facts”. To make matters worse you have given over half a page to congratulating them on this so-called extra money for schools. Fortunately you do point out later in the article that the money is to come from elsewhere in the budget such as healthy pupils projects.
Are Solihull parents really happy that their children will benefit at the expense of children who do not get enough to eat?
Once again we have the same ongoing problem with the “travellers” descending upon the leafy green open spaces of Solihull, taking up valuable car parking spaces and generally making a nuisance of themselves, leaving behind a mound of unsightly rubbish and desecration – only when evicted after a lengthy procedure involving needless and costly red tape by the Council.
They have moved onto parkland at Streetsbrook Road – where they were in May – just three months ago, despite a large ditch being dug around the perimeter as a deterrent… Whoever dug the ditch managed to leave large gaps whereby vehicles the size of caravans could gain access to the parkland.
What we need in Solihull is someone on the Council who will have the strength and temerity to stand up and fight for the rights of the taxpaying residents and put into force such measures as needed to prevent these travellers from parking up in the first instance.
W. H. Mills