Record number of Jobs

Employment levels have hit new records today, with almost three quarters of working aged people now in work.

 

Youth unemployment has continued to fall over the year and our successful apprenticeship programme, which the Lib Dems prioritised in government, will help improve that further. Wages are now rising continuously faster than inflation and living standards are rising too.

 

The role of the Liberal Democrats in government has been crucial to promoting economic stability and a strong recovery. And the work  the Lib Dems have led to deal with abuses in zero hour contracts and strengthening the national minimum wage, will help ensure the recovery is also fair.

County Cllr Resigns

Christian Mahne

I was officially told today that Christian Mahne, our county councillor, resigned on Tuesday 17 March 2015 causing a casual vacancy.   A by-election will be called on receipt of a request from two electors within the Weybridge division and, subject to such a request, will be held on 7 May 2015.

He began with great gusto and enthusiasm but as many of you will know that with his illness and other commitments he was not able to fulfill his Surrey role in a way that he would have wished.

Being a councillor is a big commitment and as a councillor myself I understand how much work is involved.  Like Christian, I too have a full time job and I am still surprised how many people think that being a councillor is a career.  Respect to anyone who stands for election – of whatever political stripe – when there is so much cynicism abroad.

Better to serve for one year than to not serve at all.

Lib Dem £28.6 million school boost

School childrenDisadvantaged primary school pupils in Surrey are set to receive £28.6 million to boost attainment, the Liberal Democrats have announced.

The Pupil Premium funding for 2015/16 will help teachers to support those children at most risk of falling behind their colleagues.  It means primary schools will receive £1,320 for every school pupil who has registered for free school meals at any time in the last six years.

Evidence shows that raising the attainment of pupils by the end of primary school has a direct impact on future exam results.

The pupil premium will get extra money to schools in Surrey,targeted at the children who need it most. The whole class benefits when fewer children are struggling.

Police Share of Council Tax

Police-on-patrol-001The Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey, Kevin Hurley, says that following extensive consultation with local residents he has decided to propose a 1.99% increase in the police share of council tax for the coming year, rather than pursue a referendum for a 24% increase.

One of his six priorities as Police and Crime Commissioner is to give local people a greater say in how they are policed. From the beginning of his research into the idea of a referendum on a significant increase in the police share of council tax to mitigate against continued funding cuts and allow us to invest in better policing, he said that it would be the views of the public that would make the decision. It is their money and their police force. A referendum would cost over £1m to hold and he would not put that money on the line if he was not certain that a majority of residents would support the proposed increase.

Having surveyed and spoken to thousands of people over the last few months, it is clear that, whilst there is a consistent level of support from around a third of residents for paying a significantly bigger amount towards policing in their council tax, the majority view remains against that decision and instead in favour of the smaller increase of 1.99%. That has made his final decision on our budget proposals very simple. He says that he is grateful to everyone who has taken the time to have a say.

Money is the biggest issue facing Surrey Police. From his first day in office he has been lobbying the national government to either protect service levels by merging forces or if not, to provide more funding to where it is most needed. We receive the second lowest level of funding per head of population in the country and independent analysis shows that we are losing out on as much as £6m government funding every year that we need to keep the county safe.

Brooklands College Governor?

Brooklands College Web

Brooklands College is a further and higher education college located in our town. It is one of Surrey’s largest providers of vocational training and further and higher education. Its course offering is diverse, with students travelling long distances to benefit from the Brooklands College experience. The students leave with qualifications and skills that stand them in good stead for a place at university, a job or further professional or vocational studies to enhance their careers.

The college seeks to recruit associate and full governors to its governing body.

If you would be interested in bringing your community, business or professional experience to the college to help us in our work, the college would be pleased to hear from you. It is seeking governors with general skills and also have particular need for new governors with a strong financial or audit background, and governors with previous experience in further and higher education.

Please click here to download the leaflet and information pack about the college and the role of governor.

To apply please refer to the background provided in the information pack and send a letter of application and curriculum vitae to reach Ian Pocock, Clerk to the Governing Body, by Monday 23 February 2015.

Shortlisting will take place during the week beginning 23 February 2015 and interviews will take place on 11 March 2015.

Tories slash Surrey education funding by £250 million

HeathsideConservatives will cut the education budget by £253 million in Surrey by 2020 if they were in national government on their own, official research shows.

The Tories would be forced to slash local spending on schools,colleges, and nurseries to keep pace with George Osborne’s plan to drastically reduce spending.

The research, based on official House of Commons library figures, shows schools will bear the brunt of Conservative cuts but childcare, college and early years budgets would also be hit hard.

Unlike both Labour and the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats are committed to protecting cradle to college education spending.