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Nottingham Labour Launches 2015 Manifesto

Nottingham Labour is proud to launch its manifesto for the 2015 local elections.

We are proud of the achievements we have made over the past 4 years- with unemployment down by more than a quarter from 6% to 4.3%, crime down by 14% and anti-social behaviour halved, more than 90% of school leavers getting a job, training or further education placement, all neighbourhoods as clean as the city centre and thousands of homes insulated and solar panels installed to help keep energy bills down.

We are excited to build on the progress as we set out our vision to make our city even better over the next four years.

In this manifesto, the top 5 pledges will be:

top 5 pledges

 

We’re committed to making Nottingham the best place it can be for everyone who lives, works, does business and relaxes here. And we believe that only with a Labour Council can the city reach its full potential.

You can download a copy of Nottingham Labour’s 2015 manifesto here:  14074 NL Manifesto 2015

Tories Giving Less to Council Taxpayers but Asking Them to Pay More

Fortunately, our population is living longer as a result of improved lifestyles and healthcare. Older people and people with disabilities in particular are living longer than in previous generations and this should be celebrated.

However, this has raised the cost of adult care in Nottingham by £12 million since 2011. Since 2013/14 Revenue Support Grant funding from Government has been cut from £126 million to £44 million for 2017/18, which means that in order to try and fund adult social care for those most in need in our communities, money has had to be taken from other Council services.

Nationally, social care is on the brink of collapse and pressure on the NHS is ever increasing. Chair of the National Care Association, Nadra Ahmed has said ‘we are now beyond the crisis point. We really are at the edge of the cliff’ and still the Tory Government is shifting responsibility and inadequately addressing the problem.

Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government announced that an additional 3% precept could be added to council tax, in order to try and fix the problems faced by councils and solve the social care crisis.

This is effectively asking local taxpayers to take responsibility for a national issue caused directly by Tory policies of austerity. National taxation would spread the cost of social care across richer areas and businesses; instead the burden is shifted to council tax payers in more deprived areas.

As a Labour Council we planned to increase council tax rates by 2%, the government has proposed an additional 3%. Since 2010, government has cut direct support and for councils and adult care but are now charging council tax payers to cover the bill.

Not only is this unfair but it is also inadequate; the extra 3% council tax is only set to raise £2.9 million in Nottingham but the additional amount needed to cover social care costs was £10 million this year and is set to rise.

In real terms, this year, the amount of money it costs Nottingham City Council to fund adult care has increased by 10%, the 3% the government has proposed to cover this cost will not be enough.

This incompetence will further increase pressure on the NHS and cost the taxpayer more money in the long run as to care for someone at home costs £350 per week; in a hospital it costs £2500 per week.

The government should stop shifting responsibility onto local taxpayers and find other ways to fund social care before more vulnerable people across the country lose out.

Councillor Alex Norris, Portfolio Holder for Adults and Health

Labour would reverse Conservatives £22 million cut to Nottingham’s schools

It’s nothing less than outrageous for the Government to take £22 million from schools in Nottingham, the equivalent of £578 per child, only to hand the money to new grammar schools.

While our schools in Nottingham face serious and damaging funding cuts, the Chancellor, Philip Hammond allocated £320 million to pet projects in his last budget.

The scale of the proposed funding cuts would affect front line services in schools, reductions in staff numbers and would lower the standard of education that our children receive.

It is urgent that the Government focuses resources where they’re most needed. Rather than cutting money from schools in big cities such as Nottingham, Leeds and Manchester it is essential that the Government provides adequate funding.

New grammar schools will not help children in Nottingham. It would be wrong to take money from our existing local schools given that there isn’t a shred of evidence that grammar schools improve education outcomes for children. In fact there is evidence that demonstrates that poorer pupils suffer and achieve less. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/grammar-schools-do-not-boost-social-mobility-report-says-a6697401.html

Nottingham Labour Councillors and Members of Parliament oppose the Government’s proposed national funding formula which takes money away from local children. Our children deserve a good standard of education and properly funded schools. This choice by the Government is the wrong choice for Nottingham.

In the upcoming local elections on May 4th (Sherwood ward, Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County Council) and the General Election on 8th June the people of Nottingham will be able to have their say. The Labour Party would reverse the proposed funding cuts. Our local schools and our children deserve better than £22 million of cuts. A vote for Labour is a vote for a better future for local children.

Councillor Sam Webster (Lab)

Portfolio Holder for Education, Employment and Skills, Nottingham City Council

Sherwood Kids lose £520,000 in Tory School Cuts

Sherwood School Cuts

Under new government proposals, Nottingham schools are set to lose over £22 million by 2020, whilst schools in some of the wealthiest areas of England are set to gain.

In Sherwood, schools are set to see funding reduced by over £520,000, an average of £467 less per pupil.

That is why Nottingham Labour is against the proposed cuts and asked parents to take part in a consultation. The results were forwarded to the Government. Over 4500 parents told us that they thought the cuts were unfair and would be damaging to their child’s education.

In Sherwood, Labour Councillors spoke with parents and encouraged them to take part in consultations.

Your Nottingham Labour Councillors will continue to fight to stop Conservative cuts and ensure that Nottingham children receive the good standard of education they deserve.

Nottingham Labour Councillors and MP’s have written to the Department for Education expressing the views of parents and opposing cuts. Sherwood Councillors will continue to campaign against these cuts and fight for additional funding in Sherwood schools.

Portfolio Holder for Education, Employment and Skills, Councillor Sam Webster said, “These budget cuts will mean cuts to important aspects of school life. Faced with reducing funds, schools in Nottingham will have to reduce services.

And it’s the added enrichment – the out of normal hours services, the holiday clubs, the breakfast clubs, the trips to broaden the horizons of our children, the reading sessions for parents, the extra-curricular sports, culture and arts activities – that I fear will be first to go.”

Going Green in Sherwood

Councillor Brian Parbutt planting one of the many new trees in Sherwood

Since 2012, Sherwood Labour Councillors have secured over £170,000 of investment for parks in the area.

Woodthorpe Grange Park, Valley Road Park, Peggy’s Park and Pirate Park have all seen significant improvements in recent years following Nottingham City Council and charity funding.

Woodthorpe Grange has had a new play area, toilets and café installed, as well as having the pitch and putt course rebuilt. The park is highly popular with families in Sherwood and is used all year round.

Pirate Park has also had a new play area installed and is benefitting from the involvement of a ‘Friends of’ community group.

Councillor Jane Urquhart said, “My own children grew up playing in Pirate Park and I’m delighted that the next generation of children will benefit from the fantastic new equipment and green space both there and in Peggy’s Park. It’s also fantastic that we were able to bring in new money to the city to enable this to happen”.

Additionally, at the last election, Sherwood Councillors made a commitment to continue the successful programme of planting new trees across the area. Work has been taking place and 30 new trees are set to be planted in the coming months.

Nottingham Works – Helping Young People into Employment and Training

Over the past year, Nottingham Works has helped hundreds of young people into work or training places. The programme, that is funded in partnership between Nottingham City Council and the European Union, provides mentoring for 18-29 year olds who are unemployed, Traineeships for 16-24 year olds and general careers support and guidance. The scheme also offers financial support to employers who create jobs for young people.

Nottingham Labour made a manifesto commitment in 2015 to guarantee a job, training place or further education place for every 18-24 year old in the city; that is why Nottingham City Council and Labour Councillors secured the £6.9 million in EU funding to make this project possible.

The scheme is designed to help young people, who are at risk of social exclusion, into work. Last year alone the scheme supported;

  • 550 people into the Intensive Careers Support programme

 

  • 124 people into Traineeship’s

 

  • 50 people into Nottingham North Traineeship’s

 

  • 199 people into the Step into Work programme

 

  • 30 employers through the Nottingham Jobs Fund Plus

In addition to supporting projects such as Nottingham Works, Nottingham Labour has helped to ensure that all entry level jobs and training places at Nottingham City Council are only available for city residents.

If you would like more information or to see what support is available to you, please visit the Nottingham Jobs or Nottingham City Council website.

Councillor Sam Webster, Portfolio Holder for Education, Employment and Skills.

Private Tenants to Have Their Say on Licensing Scheme

 

High quality housing is a priority for Nottingham Labour, that’s why we have pledged to build 2500 new homes that Nottingham residents can afford to rent or buy. We also want to improve the standard of existing homes, that’s why we are planning to introduce selective licensing.

Consultation is currently taking place on a selective licencing scheme that Nottingham Labour Councillors hope will improve the quality of private rented housing in the City.  The scheme was proposed in reaction to 1000’s of complaints regarding poor quality and dangerous private rented housing.

Issues reported to Councillors have included pests such as cockroaches and rats, dangerous wiring, unhelpful or unresponsive landlords and a lack of safe escapes or smoke alarms.

We want to hear from people who live in private rented accommodation so we can get a clear idea of what conditions are like and then we can try and make improvements. The scheme will provide more help and protection to people who rent privately and experiencing problems that their landlord is not dealing with. Council staff will be on hand to ensure that privately rented houses are of a high standard and that all residents are living in safe conditions.

The cost to landlords is £460 over 5 years – which works out to just £1.80 per week if they sign up to a free accreditation service. This cost should not be shifted onto residents and we believe it is more than reasonable for landlords to cover this cost over 5 years to provide extra support.

The aim of this scheme is to ensure that all residents are living in safe, high quality housing and that all landlords reach the high standards set by many who already operate in Nottingham. It will also provide extra support and peace of mind to all residents who rent privately.

Landlords, tenants, letting agents, businesses and residents in the City and the surrounding area are invited to have their say on the proposed scheme by completing the online questionnaire at www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/selectivelicensing.

Alternatively, you can contact the Council for a printed version of the questionnaire by emailing selective.licensing@nottinghamcity.co.uk or calling 0115 876 2312. For more information, visit www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/qualityhousingforall. The consultation runs until 31 March 2017.

Councillor Jane Urquhart, Portfolio Holder for Planning and Housing

Aspley Parents to Have Their Say on £22 Million Government Cut to Nottingham’s Schools

 

Parents and carers of Nottingham school children are being asked to have their say on the Government’s proposal to slash funding for almost all Nottingham schools. The Conservative Government’s proposed method of funding directly targets schools in Nottingham for big budget cuts.

While our schools in Nottingham are set to lose over £22 million by 2019/20 in real terms, schools in some of the wealthiest areas of England are set to gain. Nottingham City Council is writing to parents to encourage them to take part in the Government’s consultation.

By favouring London and the South-East, the government have demonstrated yet again that they don’t act in the interests of our children, our schools or our City.  This latest move simply takes money from children in Nottingham, only to hand it to children in wealthy, rural areas of Britain. Other large cities and urban areas with the highest levels of child poverty such as Birmingham and Manchester are also facing these cuts.

Back in December the then Chief Inspector of schools Sir Michael Wilshaw warned the Government that they must do more to tackle the growing gap in education outcomes for children in wealthy areas and lower outcomes for children in poorer parts of the midlands and the north of England. These proposed cuts show that, yet again, the Government is ignoring the advice and the evidence of education experts including the former Chief Inspector of schools.

The National Audit Office has said that the scale of the cuts mean that schools in England will have to reduce spending by £3 billion between now and 2019/20. 98% of Nottingham schools will receive lower funding under the new Tory school funding structure  (87 out of 89 schools).

In Aspley, schools are set to lose over £600,000– an average of over £530 per pupil.

It’s important that parents and carers of Nottingham’s school children have their say on the Government’s proposed funding cuts. You can do so by visiting the Nottingham City Council ‘have your say’ web page here: http://www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/schoolbudget 

Nottingham Labour will be fighting hard to stop the Government’s plan becoming reality, but we need your support. So give your views to the council or email us whatyouthink@nottinghamlabour.org.uk

Cllr Sam Webster, Portfolio Holder for Education, Employment and Skills at Nottingham City Council

Bestwood Parents to Have Their Say on £22 Million Government Cut to Nottingham’s Schools

 

Parents and carers of Nottingham school children are being asked to have their say on the Government’s proposal to slash funding for almost all Nottingham schools. The Conservative Government’s proposed method of funding directly targets schools in Nottingham for big budget cuts.

While our schools in Nottingham are set to lose over £22 million by 2019/20 in real terms, schools in some of the wealthiest areas of England are set to gain. Nottingham City Council is writing to parents to encourage them to take part in the Government’s consultation.

By favouring London and the South-East, the government have demonstrated yet again that they don’t act in the interests of our children, our schools or our City.  This latest move simply takes money from children in Nottingham, only to hand it to children in wealthy, rural areas of Britain. Other large cities and urban areas with the highest levels of child poverty such as Birmingham and Manchester are also facing these cuts.

Back in December the then Chief Inspector of schools Sir Michael Wilshaw warned the Government that they must do more to tackle the growing gap in education outcomes for children in wealthy areas and lower outcomes for children in poorer parts of the midlands and the north of England. These proposed cuts show that, yet again, the Government is ignoring the advice and the evidence of education experts including the former Chief Inspector of schools.

The National Audit Office has said that the scale of the cuts mean that schools in England will have to reduce spending by £3 billion between now and 2019/20. 98% of Nottingham schools will receive lower funding under the new Tory school funding structure  (87 out of 89 schools).

In Bestwood, schools are set to lose over £750,000 – an average of £500 per pupil.

It’s important that parents and carers of Nottingham’s school children have their say on the Government’s proposed funding cuts. You can do so by visiting the Nottingham City Council ‘have your say’ web page here: http://www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/schoolbudget 

Nottingham Labour will be fighting hard to stop the Government’s plan becoming reality, but we need your support. So give your views to the council or email us whatyouthink@nottinghamlabour.org.uk

Cllr Sam Webster, Portfolio Holder for Education, Employment and Skills at Nottingham City Council

International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day – Wednesday the 8th of March 2017

It’s a shocking statistic that, on average, two women every week are killed by their partner or ex-partner, and that 1 in 4 women will experience Domestic Violence (DV) in their lifetimes.   Sadly these figures haven’t changed for decades.  

We also learn this week that Nottinghamshire’s Police Force was rated ‘Inadequate’ in the way it identified and responded to vulnerable victims, with women reporting Domestic Violence highlighted as a concern.  They say they have already taken steps to address this.

Nottingham Labour has promised to cut the number of victims of crime by a fifth in the City.  Because of this we have made sure that Nottingham City Council support services for those experiencing Domestic Violence, such as Women’s Refuges, have been protected from cuts.  This is despite the £82M cut in funding handed down by the Tory Government over the last four years.

Progress made – more to be done

So although International Women’s Day is partly a celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, the day also marks a call to action for improving the lives of women.

I’m proud of what the Labour Party achieved between 1997 and 2010 to help women dealing with Domestic Violence;

  • ‘Go’ orders, to remove a perpetrator from a property for 14-28 days.
  • specialist teams of Prosecutors to handle DV cases
  • IDVAs, Independent Domestic Violence Advocates to help women through the courts process.

Attitudes have changed so much that even the Tories have started to recognize the scale of the problem.  They’ve introduced;

  • Making controlling behavior and emotional abuse a crime
  • Stopping violent partners from cross-examining their victims in the family courts
  • More funding for women with complex needs, such as alcohol and drug dependence, for which Nottingham has received an extra £100,000.

And I cheered last week when the Labour policy of Compulsory Sex and Relationship Education was announced.  This will be introduced in all schools in England and will teach children a greater understanding of safe, respectful and healthy relationships.

The Women’s Quilt 

I’ve spent many hours over the last few months sewing patches for The Women’s Quilt.  The Quilt is made up of patchwork squares, each one containing the name of a woman killed by a partner or ex-partner between 2009 and 2015 – 598 squares.  The Quilt is being launched in the House of Commons at 11.30am today, International Women’s Day, just before Chancellor Philip Hammond announces his budget.  I hope it will soon be displayed in Nottingham.

The Quilt currently measures 3 metres by 3 metres square.  On International Women’s Day, although I have hope for the future, I still ask the question ‘How much bigger will the Quilt have to grow?’

 

If you are experience Domestic Abuse or Violence, or know someone who is, please call the 24 hour Helpline for help and advice.  0808 800 0340 – and 0341 for text phone with Language Line.

IF YOU OR A FRIEND IS IN DANGER PLEASE DON’T HESITATE TO CALL 999.

Councillor Linda Woodings

Clifton Parents to Have Their Say on £22 Million Government Cut to Nottingham’s Schools

 

Parents and carers of Nottingham school children are being asked to have their say on the Government’s proposal to slash funding for almost all Nottingham schools. The Conservative Government’s proposed method of funding directly targets schools in Nottingham for big budget cuts.

While our schools in Nottingham are set to lose over £22 million by 2019/20 in real terms, schools in some of the wealthiest areas of England are set to gain. Nottingham City Council is writing to parents to encourage them to take part in the Government’s consultation.

By favouring London and the South-East, the government have demonstrated yet again that they don’t act in the interests of our children, our schools or our City.  This latest move simply takes money from children in Nottingham, only to hand it to children in wealthy, rural areas of Britain. Other large cities and urban areas with the highest levels of child poverty such as Birmingham and Manchester are also facing these cuts.

Back in December the then Chief Inspector of schools Sir Michael Wilshaw warned the Government that they must do more to tackle the growing gap in education outcomes for children in wealthy areas and lower outcomes for children in poorer parts of the midlands and the north of England. These proposed cuts show that, yet again, the Government is ignoring the advice and the evidence of education experts including the former Chief Inspector of schools.

The National Audit Office has said that the scale of the cuts mean that schools in England will have to reduce spending by £3 billion between now and 2019/20. 98% of Nottingham schools will receive lower funding under the new Tory school funding structure  (87 out of 89 schools).

In Clifton, schools are set to lose over £1.5 million – an average of over £520 per pupil.

It’s important that parents and carers of Nottingham’s school children have their say on the Government’s proposed funding cuts. You can do so by visiting the Nottingham City Council ‘have your say’ web page here: http://www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/schoolbudget 

Nottingham Labour will be fighting hard to stop the Government’s plan becoming reality, but we need your support. So give your views to the council or email us whatyouthink@nottinghamlabour.org.uk

Cllr Sam Webster, Portfolio Holder for Education, Employment and Skills at Nottingham City Council