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  • Article: Feb 5, 2016
    By Cllr John Howson

    The Government has axed support that helps small schools with 150 pupils or fewer fund universal free meals for infants.

    In 2015/6 the money was worth at least £2,300 for these schools.

    Universal Free School Meals were a key Liberal Democrat policy delivered in the Coalition Government to provide every infant child in England with a healthy meal at lunchtime, saving families around £437 per child per year.

    Evidence shows that where children have been given a free school dinner, students were months ahead academically of their peers elsewhere. These academic improvements were most marked among children from less affluent families.

    Schools with 150 or fewer pupils were this year given a grant worth £2,300 to help deliver the policy.

    Liberal Democrat education spokesperson on Oxfordshire County Council, John Howson said:

    "Many schools live with tight budgets and this taken with other government actions could threaten the viability of some small rural schools. Whitehall seemed to care about the bottom line rather than helping the most disadvantaged pupils. They need to put attainment before profit.

    "It is a horrific decision and it will both hurt rural communities in Oxfordshire who deserve better than this, especially on top of other cuts to services being imposed by the Tories and small schools in our towns and urban areas"

    Ends

    Cllr Howson is attending the Liberal Democrat Education Association annual conference this weekend.

  • school meals_no text
    Article: Feb 4, 2016

    The Government has axed support that helps small schools with 150 pupils or fewer fund universal free meals for infants.

    In 2015/6 the money was worth at least £2,300 for these schools.

    Universal Free School Meals were a key Liberal Democrat policy delivered in the Coalition Government to provide every infant child in England with a healthy meal at lunchtime, saving families around £437 per child per year.

  • Article: Feb 4, 2016

    The Liberal Democrats have made an official complaint over the content of UKIP's party political broadcast for inciting racial and religious hatred.

    The presentation and tone of the broadcast is focused on provoking negative and hostile reactions.

    The broadcast clearly uses images, music and misleading information to inflame racial tension - a direct breach of BBC and Ofcom rules.

  • Lynne Featherstone
    Article: Feb 2, 2016

    Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Energy and Climate Change Lynne Featherstone has tabled a fatal motion in the House of Lords against the Government cuts to Feed-in Tariffs.

    The staggering 65 per cent cuts to Feed-in Tariffs will be debated today (2nd February). These plans will shrink the currently thriving solar industry by over half its size and put 19,000 jobs at risk, according to the Government's own predictions.

  • CB
    Article: Jan 28, 2016

    The Commission has unveiled a set of proposals to crack down on tax evasion and avoidance, including requiring EU countries to share tax information about large multinational corporations with each other.

    The news comes amid growing controversy over a deal struck by the UK government with Google, which netted the Treasury just £130m in tax for an estimated £3.9bn in profits over ten years.

  • Article: Jan 27, 2016

    There has been a dramatic rise in serious incidents in mental health trusts across England, including thousands of unexpected deaths and suicides, Liberal Democrats can reveal.

    The Liberal Democrats have uncovered figures which show more than 8,000 incidents were reported last year.

    The figures from NHS England were unearthed after an FOI request from the Liberal Democrat Health spokesperson Norman Lamb, and cover serious incidents reported between 2012-2013 and 2014-2015.

  • A pair of wedding rings (Jeff Belmonte. Licensed as Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.)
    Article: Jan 27, 2016

    Liberal Democrats are rallying to stop plans aimed at penalising up to one million single parents who move in with a new partner.

    The party has said changes to Universal Credit - dubbed the 'Love Tax' - could affect up to a million low income working single parents. It comes weeks after the Conservative government was dashed in its attempts to cut tax credits for families.

  • Article: Jan 27, 2016

    Liberal Democrats are rallying to stop plans aimed at penalising up to one million single parents who move in with a new partner.

    The party has said changes to Universal Credit - dubbed the 'Love Tax' - could affect up to a million low income working single parents.

    It comes weeks after the Conservative government was dashed in its attempts to cut tax credits for families.

  • Lib Dem mental health poster from 2014
    Article: Jan 26, 2016

    There has been a dramatic rise in serious incidents in mental health trusts across England, including thousands of unexpected deaths and suicides, Liberal Democrats can reveal.

    The Liberal Democrats have uncovered figures which show more than 8,000 incidents were reported last year. The figures from NHS England were unearthed after an FOI request from the Liberal Democrat Health spokesperson Norman Lamb, and cover serious incidents reported between 2012-2013 and 2014-2015.

  • paddick
    Article: Jan 26, 2016

    The Government is pressing ahead with measures to allow Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) to take responsibility for their local fire and rescue services.

    In response, Brian Paddick, Liberal Democrat Peer and former senior MET police officer, said:

    "PCCs are a failed experiment, it is time to put them to bed not expand their remit.