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Recent updates

  • Article: Dec 19, 2014

    There has been a marked increase in the number of out of county pupils taking the Kent Test for starting school in September 2015 and being assessed as suitable for grammar school, compared to the previous year. I believe KCC is required to open its test to anyone who applies to be tested and that the authority also receives basic need allocations for the additional school buildings that might be required, but would the Cabinet Member for Education and Health Reform please provide further information with regard to this worrying situation, including where the out of county pupils will be offered grammar school places.

  • Article: Dec 19, 2014

    With the backdrop of the Child Sex Scandal in Rotherham and the release of Ofsted's report "The sexual exploitation of children: it couldn't happen here could it", Debbie Jones, Ofsted's National Director for Social Care, said it "cannot be acceptable that local authorities and partners are still failing to grasp and deal with abuse effectively". She stated, "We are calling on all local authorities and their partners to ensure that they have a comprehensive multi-agency strategy and action plan in place to tackle child sexual exploitation,"

  • Article: Dec 19, 2014

    Energy bills can be a significant expense for our schools. In recent years a number of schools across the country have arranged for solar energy companies to install panels on their premises. Thus the schools have significantly reduced their electricity bills and significantly reduced their carbon footprint for zero capital outlay, a true win win.

  • Article: Dec 19, 2014

    Liberal Democrats in government have announced a further £12 million investment to help people with mental health conditions get back into work.

    This ties in with the Liberal Democrats' commitment to bringing treatment for mental health problems out of the shadows and in line with physical health.

    You can back our campaign to help us stamp out the stigma attached to mental health here.

  • flooding
    Article: Dec 19, 2014

    The River Thames Scheme is designed to protect 15,000 homes on the flood plain from Datchet to Teddington from risk of further flooding.

    In his Autumn Statement Chancellor George Osborne announced an extra £60 million of funding for the £302 million River Thames Scheme.

    The total amount left for councils to provide was £142 million, however the Thames regional Flood and Coastal Committee have already pledged £29 million and Surrey County Council have added a further £1.5 million. Deducting these and the extra £60 million brings local government contribution to an estimated £51.4 million.

  • Article: Dec 19, 2014

    As the number of university entrants passed 500,000 for the first time this year, the gap between the most advantaged and the most disadvantaged students is at its lowest.

    Liberal Democrats put safeguards in place to encourage disadvantaged young people to go to university. Setting the system on a sustainable footing, with the poorest 30% of graduates paying less overall than under the old system.

  • Article: Dec 18, 2014

    A progress report into the processes and cultures within the Liberal Democrats has been published by Helena Morrissey.

    You can read the full progress report here.

    Responding to the report, Party President Tim Farron, said:

    "I very much welcome the report, and I'm pleased the party has made positive steps in the right direction. Helena Morrissey has undertaken a badly needed review that has already triggered important progress in our party.