In the summer the Government announced that it would fully fund the pay rise for all classroom teachers, yet it has since emerged that this will not apply to teachers employed directly by councils. The majority of these centrally employed teachers (CETs), provide music tuition.
The Local Government Association, which represents 370 councils in England and Wales, is seeking assurances from the Government that it will meet the cost of the additional 1 to 2.5 per cent salary rise for CETs – estimated to be £5.5 million – which councils will not have budgeted for. The LGA says this burden cannot fall on local authorities. Continue reading Music Lessons Under Threat
Further to our report on Suffolk’s new bus franchises Thedwastre South Councillor Penny Otton reiterates: “It now turns out Suffolk county council Tory council has awarded a contract for the Mid Suffolk area where you cannot use your bus pass. You can pay or swap your bus pass for a voucher worth £100. How many trips will that cover?? Is this fair?? I don’t think so!”
BSEVC covers not only MidSuffolk, but also Ipswich. Fortunately for the rest of Suffolk these are the only two areas where this iniquitous system is currently running -though the franchises are able to change their operating terms at any time.
“We’ve been told that BSEVC is able to refuse bus passes because they are operating 9 seater transport rather than the previous 22 seaters. This allows them to operate under different rules as community car schemes and Dial-A-Ride rather than Demand Responsive Transport. SCC officers have told us this is because the 22 seater buses are ‘not economically viable’ ; that BSEVC do hold 22 seaters, and that they could bring them back into use ‘should demand increase,” explains LibDem spokesperson for Transport, Caroline Page .
“But as the voucher system allows previous bus pass holders living in remote areas to make no more than 11 return journeys a year, it is hard to see how this promise is anything other than window dressing!”
Lib Dems are opposing the government decision to allow the tenants of Housing Associations the right to buy the homes they rent so the Mid Suffolk group are putting the following to the council
Motion to Mid Suffolk district council “This council supports the housing charity “Shelter” in its campaign to persuade the Tory government that its plan to introduce the right to buy to housing association properties is ill conceived. The council therefore resolves to lobby all Suffolk MPs and government ministers to reject this policy as the council is concerned at the loss of such social housing for future generations”
This council has one of its strategic priorities, housing, to ensure there is enough good quality, environmentally efficient homes, with appropriate tenures in the right location.
To have a policy of extending the right to buy to housing associations will not improve the housing crisis it will exacerbate it.
Even the National Housing Federation chief executive has publicly stated “this will have a serious and long lasting consequence for future generations. It will not solve the housing crisis : it will make it worse” Continue reading Liberal Democrats call on MPs to reject Right to Buy for Housing Associations