Over the last two years since Labour councillors took control of the council we’ve faced some big challenges, not least the deepest ever cuts to local government funding. But we’re determined to make the right decisions now for the long term, securing the future of our city as a great place to live for York residents. Here are just a few of the things we’ve done so far...
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City of York Council's ruling Labour group will trigger a cross-party debate on the Conservative Liberal Democrat student debt sell-off and plans to cut student grant support at the next meeting of full council on 12th December.
Labour will invite other parties to condemn the sell-off and push David Willetts, and the business secretary, Vince Cable for written assurances the Conservative Liberal Democrat policy will not lead to an increase in the interest rate graduates are currently paying.
The Conservative Liberal Democrat Government recently privatised £890m of student debt (1990 and 1998) through selling to private companies for under one-fifth of its value. York Labour have called this economically illiterate and immoral. The Government intends to push on and sell further student debt to debt collectors.
The motion - to be proposed by Hull Road Labour Councillor, Coun. Neil Barnes and Heslington Labour Councillor, Coun. David Levene - will also highlight the potential cuts to student grants being planned by Government ministers, despite the Liberal Democrats reneging on their ‘no tuition fees’ manifesto pledge when teaming up with the Conservatives in a Coalition to force through a tripling of tuition fees to £9,000 a year.
Coun. Neil Barnes said:
"The Liberal Democrats rightly received large amounts of criticism for reneging on their 'no tuition fees' manifesto pledge by agreeing with Conservatives to increase tuition fees to £9,000 after the general election. Let's see in York whether the Liberal Democrats will stand with Labour against their Government's student debt sell-off, or whether they will side again with the Conservatives as they often do."
Coun. David Levene said:
"Access to Higher and Further Education should be about ability to learn not ability to pay. The Conservative Lib Dem Coalition defended tripling tuition fees by saying they were offering more generous student support, and now they're considering going back on that too. This would cut the legs out from under those on low and middle incomes and put HFE even further out of their reach. This is wrong and makes no sense for the future of the country, and the Government should drop these plans now."