News

The Prime Minister’s proposal to bring back grammar schools is based not on any firm evidence of educational need but on nostalgia for a supposed golden past.  The reintroduction of selection and grammar schools would reverse 40 years of educational progress. Indeed, Sir Michael Wilshaw, the head of Ofsted, has spoken out against Theresa May’s proposal, saying that it would stall progress in continuing to improve educational standards. Nearly 50% of young people now go to university as opposed to just 5% in the days of grammar schools. Even more have qualifications that were then only available to the selected few.  It is the comprehensive school system that has opened up opportunities for the many.  Even more needs to be done to improve education for those that are failed by the system, but grammar schools do not offer any solution.

Schools in Cheshire deliver some of the best education in England without the need for selective grammar schools.  We need to support those schools in their mission to deliver high quality education for all with higher investment, the widest possible curricula and greater respect for teachers.

Congleton Labour Party calls on all Cheshire MPs, from whatever political party, to resist, in Parliament, the reintroduction of selection into education and to support education not segregation.

 

Grammar schools - a step into the past

The Prime Minister’s proposal to bring back grammar schools is based not on any firm evidence of educational need but on nostalgia for a supposed golden past.  The reintroduction of...

John Healey MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Housing,commenting on new child homelessness figures from Shelter, said:

“Tory Ministers should hang their heads in shame over these shocking figures showing over 120,000 children are facing homelessness this Christmas. These are the children that can’t go home and after six years Conservative Ministers can’t dodge their responsibility for this scandal.

“Six years of failure on housing has led directly to today’s rapidly rising homelessness. Since 2010, Ministers have ended funding for genuinely affordable social rented housing, cut housing benefit for families on low incomes, done nothing about rising costs and insecurity for private renters, and slashed funding for homelessness services by almost a half.

“Homelessness is not inevitable and the last Labour Government cut homelessness before it rose again after 2010.

“Ministers should back Labour’s plans to build thousands more affordable homes to rent and buy, and re-think further planned cuts to housing benefit which will make the problem of growing homelessness worse.” 

Child homelessness figures from Shelter

John Healey MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Housing,commenting on new child homelessness figures from Shelter, said: “Tory Ministers should hang their heads in shame over these shocking figures...

Jeremy Corbyn's comment on the High Court ruling on triggering Article 50

Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party commenting on the High Court ruling on triggering Article 50 said:  “This ruling underlines the need for the Government to bring its negotiating terms to parliament without delay. Labour respects the decision of the British people to leave the European Union. But there must be transparency and accountability to parliament on the terms of Brexit.

“Labour will be pressing the case for a Brexit that works for Britain, putting jobs, living standards and the economy first.”

High Court Brexit vote ruling

Jeremy Corbyn's comment on the High Court ruling on triggering Article 50 Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party commenting on the High Court ruling on triggering Article 50 said:  “This...


Carers from Macclesfield were understandably angry when a review of respite
care that was due to be discussed at a Health and Adult Social Care Overview
and Scrutiny Committee was abruptly cancelled by Cheshire East Council. The
review had been promised to carers at a scrutiny committee on 29 April. The
review is now due to be discussed at a meeting in November.

When Cheshire East Council closed Hollins View and Lincoln House, the
Conservative leader of the Council, Michael Jones, promised that quality
respite care beds would be available throughout Cheshire East. The truth has
been very different, with residents being allocated places at Weston Park
Nursing Home in Macclesfield which has only once managed to meet the
requirements of the CQC in the past five years. The latest CQC inspection in
August said that it 'required improvement'. Weston Park failed in every area
of inspection and has since changed ownership.

Not only are residents now having to put up with lower quality respite care,
but the shortage of beds is also causing concern. Both Hollins View and
Lincoln House had been used for Intermediate Care, helping to keep patients
who are not well enough to go home but not poorly enough to be in hospital,
out of acute hospital beds. There is a shortage of care beds in eastern
Cheshire, resulting in delayed discharge of patients from hospitals;
patients who are ready to leave hospital but have nowhere to go, so stay in
hospital beds longer than is necessary.

Councillor Laura Jeuda, Labour Spokesperson on Health and Adult Social Care
said, "Despite pleas from carers and members of the Labour Group, Cheshire
East Council chose to go ahead with closing a tried and trusted resource
which had a high level of customer satisfaction. The problems caused by the
closure of Hollins View and Lincoln House were predicted at the time, but
the Conservatives pressed ahead with their ideological plans to close
council-run services and promote private health care."

Dorothy Flude, Labour Councillor for Crewe South, said, "There is a crisis
in the private care sector, reported nationally. Because of the low payments
for contract beds paid by local authorities to care home owners, the homes
are not viable. The number of care homes closing is increasing with dreadful
consequences for older people and their families. Locally, the short-sighted
closure by Cheshire East Council of Lincoln House and Hollins View, respite
homes that provided excellent care, has not helped."

Shortage of Care Beds

Carers from Macclesfield were understandably angry when a review of respitecare that was due to be discussed at a Health and Adult Social Care Overviewand Scrutiny Committee was abruptly cancelled...

Report is damning indictment on Tory Government's failure to acknowledge teachers as a precious resource - Angela Rayner

Angela Rayner MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, commenting on the Education Policy Institute’s report into teacher workload and development, said

“Teachers are our most precious resource and this report is a damning indictment on the Tory Government’s failure to acknowledge this.

“While the Tories waste time on bringing back failed old education policies, they are ignoring the most important factor in delivering an excellent education for all – great teachers.

“Labour would ensure all teachers have access to excellent professional development and training in order to provide an excellent education for all, not just the lucky few.”

Damning indictment on the Tory Government's Education Policies

Report is damning indictment on Tory Government's failure to acknowledge teachers as a precious resource - Angela Rayner Angela Rayner MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, commenting on the Education Policy...

Crewe is a proud railway town, with generations of expertise and experience. The HS2 hub station at Crewe is set to transform the town. But new documents reveal that the Infrastructure Maintenance Depot that was to have been built at Crewe, providing valuable jobs, may now be sited at Stone. The change of location for the depot is because Cheshire East Council have given planning permission for 370 new houses on the proposed depot site.

The changes proposed will have a major impact on what the final outcome of HS2 at Crewe will look like, but the latest consultation process has no venue in Crewe.

In 2014, Steve Hogben, Labour Councillor for Crewe South, welcomed the announcement of HS2 saying, “We must also ensure that the All Change for Crewe initiative and other local plans take full account of the challenges and opportunities offered by the HS2 project. The future location of the rail freight yard at Basford Hall will also need to be considered and resolved. We need joined up thinking so that Crewe benefits fully from this announcement.” It now looks as though the Conservatives on Cheshire East Council have made the big announcement on HS2, but not done the planning work required to ensure that Crewe benefits fully.

Cllr Sam Corcoran, Labour Councillor for Sandbach Heath & East, said, “Cheshire East Council seems obsessed with building houses on greenfield sites in the south of the borough, in order to protect greenfield sites in the north of the borough. The latest Local Plan proposals suggest 8050 new houses around Crewe (incl Shavington, Basford and Leighton), 2951 new houses around Sandbach, 2181 around Nantwich, but only 950 around Wilmslow and 689 around Poynton. Now it seems that the rush to give planning permission for houses around Crewe has led to the loss of a rail employment opportunity. The staff in the Cheshire East Council ‘planning’ department are clearly struggling with the flood of speculative housing applications that government policies have let loose.

“There is widespread agreement that as a nation we need to build more homes. Labour proposes building more council houses and would let local government planning determine where the houses should be built (such as brownfield sites in Stoke). The Conservatives have let loose private developers, allowing them to build on sites where they can make the greatest profit (greenfield sites in south Cheshire).

Labour would have plan-led development. The Conservatives rely on the free market and are allowing developer-led planning.” 

Crewe Set to Lose HS2 Depot After Planning Blunder by Cheshire East Council

Crewe is a proud railway town, with generations of expertise and experience. The HS2 hub station at Crewe is set to transform the town. But new documents reveal that the...

Barry Gardiner MP, Labour’s Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary, responding to the Tory Government’s decision to override Lancashire county council’s rejection on fracking, said:

“The Government’s decision bulldozes local democracy and risks locking Britain into an old-fashioned dirty energy infrastructure when we should be seizing the opportunities for new long-term jobs and investment in a clean energy future.

“Cuadrilla’s own figures on jobs show they would be very temporary, and their claims that fracking will lower British energy bills have been discredited.

“Tory ministers pay lip service to tackling climate change but are bending over backwards to force through new fossil fuel infrastructure, with divisive bribes, tax breaks and ministerial powers that override the wishes of local communities.

“The next Labour government will ban fracking and focus on unlocking the jobs and growth that a new clean low-carbon energy infrastructure can provide for our industry, workforce and communities.”

Government rides roughshod over local fracking decision

Barry Gardiner MP, Labour’s Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary, responding to the Tory Government’s decision to override Lancashire county council’s rejection on fracking, said: “The Government’s decision bulldozes local democracy...

Responding to the Education Secretary, Justine Greening’s speech to Conservative Party Conference, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner said:

 “Any new investment into disadvantaged communities is welcome, but the truth is that grammar schools fail the vast majority of children.

“The Tories cannot provide any evidence that new grammar schools will aid social mobility for children from the most disadvantaged communities.

“As the former Tory Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said yesterday, a return to a selective system will only put progress at risk in all our schools. This is not creating ‘a level playing field’.

“Theresa May’s government are the same old Tories – backward-looking and still obsessing about old-fashioned, discredited policies which will only entrench inequality.

"They have no answers to the real challenges facing all our children – school budgets falling, the teacher shortage crisis, rising class sizes and a total failure to give early years children the best start in life. 

"More grammar schools offer no answers and no change, and will only make things worse for most vulnerable.”

Grammar schools fail the vast majority of children

Responding to the Education Secretary, Justine Greening’s speech to Conservative Party Conference, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner said:  “Any new investment into disadvantaged communities is welcome, but the truth is...

Jeremy Corbyn’s response to Theresa May’s speech at Conservative Party Conference 2016.

"Conservative Party leaders have sunk to a new low this week as they fan the flames of xenophobia and hatred in our communities and try to blame foreigners for their own failures.
“Drawing up lists of foreign workers won’t stop unscrupulous employers undercutting wages in Britain. Shutting the door to international students won’t pay young people’s tuition fee debts, and ditching doctors from abroad won’t cut NHS waiting lists.
“The Conservatives will instead foster division and discrimination in our workplaces and communities.
“Once again, they are making false promises on immigration they can’t deliver. Instead of turning people against each other, ministers should take action now to deal with the real impact of migration.
“They should stop the abuse of migrant labour to undercut pay and conditions, which would reduce numbers. They should support communities with high levels of migration and they should set out a positive agenda for fair migration rules as part of the Brexit negotiations for a new relationship with the European Union."

Response to PMs conference speech

Jeremy Corbyn’s response to Theresa May’s speech at Conservative Party Conference 2016. "Conservative Party leaders have sunk to a new low this week as they fan the flames of xenophobia...

The coalition government restricted council tax rises by insisting on a referendum for rises over 2% and gave councils significant financial incentives not to raise council tax at all. The rules were relaxed for 2016/17 so that councils could raise council tax by up to 2% plus an additional 2% for social care. Cheshire East Council increased its council tax by 3.75% in 2016/17 including 2% for social care. The Cheshire East Health & Wellbeing Board met on 27 September to discuss the impact of this social care precept valued at £3.5m.

The extra income of £3.5m a year is welcome and has enabled the council to ensure that there is no charge to carers, free telecare equipment for all residents over 85 who live alone and investment in new information systems. However, the increasing costs of adult care provision has necessitated additional investment of over £21m between April 2015 and April 2017, so the additional funding from the council tax increase is insufficient on its own to cover the increasing costs.

The severity of the financial outlook for health and social care is illustrated by the predicted £132m deficit of Eastern Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), with similar projections for other local CCGs.

It was suggested that the Council & local NHS need to seriously think about adopting a single health and social care budget and approach

The Health & Wellbeing Board resolved to note that the social care precept is welcomed but not sufficient to meet the rising complexities and demands of meeting care and support needs in Cheshire East.

Sam Corcoran, Labour Councillor for Sandbach Heath & East, said, “The restricting of free telecare equipment to those over 85 and living alone will benefit more people in the wealthier areas of Cheshire East where life expectancies are longer. Charges should be set to protect those least able to pay, but the Tories rig the rules to benefit those in their own wards.”

Funding Social Care

The coalition government restricted council tax rises by insisting on a referendum for rises over 2% and gave councils significant financial incentives not to raise council tax at all. The...

Liquid syntax error: Error in tag 'subpage' - No such page slug cookies