MOTION: LIB DEM STUDENT BETRAYAL
- Meeting of Council, Monday, 13th December 2010 6.15 p.m. (Item 72.)
- View the declarations of interest for item 72.
Proposed by Councillor Phil Davies
Seconded by Councillor Chris Meaden
(1) This Council condemns the decision of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government to cut 80 per cent of teaching funding for universities and to ask the next generation to shoulder the bill through a tripling of tuition fees.
(2) Council shares the anger of thousands of students at the actions of the Liberal Democrats whose Leader and several MPs, prior to the general election, signed a pledge to scrap university tuition fees for all students taking their first degree, and has now reneged on this promise by agreeing to treble these fees.
(3) Council also condemns the abolition of the Education Maintenance Allowance which enabled many students from lower and middle income families to stay on at school or College after the age of 16 with a view to obtaining ’A’Levels or their equivalent and access higher education.
(4) Council notes that these cuts will reduce social mobility and create a system in which only those young people from affluent families will be able to go to university.
(5) Council therefore supports the campaign by students and others to stop these cuts and to develop a funding system which adequately resources universities, rejects any moves to make higher education elitist, and provides positive opportunities for young people to apply to study at university.
(6) Council calls on all members of the Council to support this motion and thereby show solidarity with the youth of Wirral.
Amendment submitted in accordance with Standing Order 7(2):
Seconded by Councillor Dave Mitchell
Delete all and replace with:
(1) Council notes that our Universities must be fully funded if they are to continue to provide high quality education to students.
(2) Council believes it was a mistake for the Labour government to introduce tuition fees in 1998 despite a Manifesto commitment not to and furthermore believes it was a mistake for the Labour Government to introduce £3,000 per year top up fees in 2004.
(3) Council notes that in 2009, the then Labour Government commissioned the Browne Report, because their funding policy had failed to produce enough resources for universities.
(4) Council believes that the Government's proposals improve on the system introduced by the Labour Government in a number of ways, including:
· Increasing the repayment threshold from £15,000 to £21,000
· Ending upfront fees for part-time students
· More generous grants for lowest income students
· Ensuring all students will repay less per month than they currently pay
· Under the scheme, any student eligible for free school meals who is accepted for a place at university would have one year’s fees paid by the state
(5) However, Council believes that instead of increasing top up fees, all tuition fees should be phased out so that students are not penalised with thousands of pounds worth of debt for entering into higher education.
(6) Council also believes that MPs should vote against any increase in tuition fees.
Having applied the guillotine in accordance with Standing Order 7(8) the Council did not debate this matter.
The amendment was put and lost (14:50) (One abstention).
The motion was put and lost (24:40) (One abstention).