Cotswolds Conundrum

Countryside Issues

How fortunate am I to be living in the Cotswold’s? A place of outstanding natural beauty, a rich history, and, by and large, unspoiled by industrialisation. Many people would believe that the Cotswold’s is an affluent area, everyone is happy and for the most part rich. Especially with Prince Charles and Princess Anne living in the vicinity. Well that is an illusion that many would like you to believe.

For example there is a food bank in Cirencester and Tetbury which opened in 2012, and, according to figures on their website

‘Over 2,783 three day emergency food supplies were provided to local people in crisis in Cirencester, Tetbury, Lechlade & Fairford, by Cirencester Foodbank during 2016-17, compared to 1,640 in 2015-16. Of this number, over 1,000 went to children.’ That has almost doubled in a year. Many of these people are in villages and small towns with an ever decreasing public transport system, which limits the opportunities they have as they may not be able to afford to run a vehicle.

Many of the children of those using foodbanks will be eligible for free school meals and will be hit the hardest in the school funding change.

Most of the schools in the Cotswolds are primary schools, serving little villages and small towns, that feed into a handful of secondary schools and colleges. The majority of schools in the Cotswolds are going to lose funding in the new formula, for example Cirencester College where many go for further education and training for a future career will lose £737,819, which equates to £355 per pupil and could result in a loss of up to 19 teachers by 2019. The obvious result of this would be limiting the options regarding choice of subjects to learn thereby curtailing the hopes, aspirations and future careers of young people. Young people who are the next generation, will be woefully ill prepared to cope in the ever changing society. These changes won’t affect the more affluent in this society, those who can afford fees for private schools, those who mostly vote Conservative.

The incumbent (in my view incompetent) mp in the Cotswolds does not represent the many, indeed his voting record as can be viewed on ‘they work for you.com’ website clearly shows that he votes for the few.

Examples

  • Generally voted against equal gay rights
  • Generally voted against laws to promote equality and human rights
  • Consistently voted against the hunting ban
  • Almost always voted against UK membership of the EU
  • Geoffrey Clifton-Brown voted against guaranteeing EU derived rights, and the potential to acquire residency rights, for EU and EEA citizens legally resident in the UK.
  • Consistently voted for raising England’s undergraduate tuition fee cap to £9,000 per year
  • Consistently voted for ending financial support for some 16-19 year olds in training and further education
  • Generally voted against transferring more powers to the Welsh Assembly
  • Almost always voted against transferring more powers to the Scottish Parliament
  • Generally voted against more powers for local councils
  • Consistently voted for merging police and fire services under Police and Crime Commissioners
  • Consistently voted against increasing the tax rate applied to income over £150,000
  • Almost always voted for reducing the rate of corporation tax
  • Generally voted against measures to prevent climate change
  • Consistently voted for selling England’s state owned forests
  • Almost always voted for culling badgers to tackle bovine tuberculosis
  • Consistently voted for phasing out secure tenancies for life
  • Consistently voted against restrictions on fees charged to tenants by letting agents
  • Generally voted for restricting the scope of legal aid
  • Almost always voted for reforming the NHS so GPs buy services on behalf of their patients
  • Generally voted against restricting the provision of services to private patients by the NHS
  • Consistently voted for the privatisation of Royal Mail.

The people of the Cotswold’s deserve better, much better. It has been a Tory stronghold for way to long. After the LibDems went into coalition with the Tories, although they may be popular in this area they won’t be getting my vote.

We need Labour in government, working for the many not the few. This is why we need our local candidate Mark Huband, secretary of Cotswold Labour, who knows the area, knows the challenges, knows the people and who will pledge to work for everyone.

Vote Labour on June 8th.

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Cotswolds Conundrum

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