Monday, 7 November 2011

fair funding for Cornish schools an exercise in rhetoric?

I happened across a news story earlier about Cornish schools losing out on millions of government funding for routine maintenance repairs. The Cornish school system now faces a £38 million pound bill. The government system for allocating funding appears to be more postcode lottery than based upon the facts. Accordingly Devon, Torbay, Plymouth and the Isles of Scilly got funding. Be that as it may, I don't begrudge the other areas, you have to take what you can out of an administration that has an Ebenezer Scrooge approach to spending.

I think this is a sad day for Cornwall, we need our schools to be well funded, we pay tax and one of the things we expect in return is decent schooling. Everyone accepts this, as a quick search for fair funding for Cornish schools reveals on google. The first link is to Dan Rogerson's (Liberal Democrat MP for North Cornwall) site, he argues for fair funding:

"The Liberal Democrats have consistently campaigned for fair funding for Cornwall.  Under the previous Labour government, each Cornish pupil received more than £300 less than the national average.  Fair schools funding was part of the Cornish Liberal Democrat Manifesto launched by Lord Paddy Ashdown last year."

Andrew George (Lib Dem MP St.Ives)  is next up, his site offers this:

Funding formula review Fair funding for Cornish public services: for Cornish schools and Council under the Government’s review of Local Government Finance; accelerate achievement of health funding target (currently £56 million per annum under target)."

Stephen Gilbert (Lib Dem MP St Austell & Newquay) completes the trio to make it all of Cornwall's Liberal Democrat MPs.


How do these things stack up? It's a simplistic logic but if all of our neighbouring councils get government grants and we don't that's not fair. There seems to be a pattern emerging among the Conservative- Liberal Democrat Alliance a commonality that has perhaps been overlooked. Both parties are more than willing to bark out headlines about arguing for fair funding for Cornwall but when it comes to it, they roll over and Clegg and Cameron give them a belly rub. The Conservative led Cornwall Council (and Cornwall's Conservative led MPs) have done nothing about the Full Council decision to lobby government on fair funding. The Liberal Democrats and Conservatives at Westminster now stand idly by while Cornwall is obviously losing out.

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