Extra funding for schools in Bellingham
Jenni: changing the world one street at a time
Bellingham campaigner Jenni Steele has found out the hard way how difficult it can be to make a difference locally. As a mum of three teenagers, she’s worried about safety of children, but found all Bellingham campaigner sorts of barriers when trying to get Jenni Steele something done. “Getting people to listen was easy; getting them to do along real changes. “It’s one street at a something was the hard part.” says Jenni, time stuff, but it’s happening!” “so I decided to do it myself.” Although safety is a big priority for Jenni, Bringing local people together to work she’s involved in other local projects for safer streets was the first step, but from working with young children and standing for election to the council as a tackling anti-social behaviour, through to Lib Dem candidate last May helped raise developing the skills of mothers going her profile and rally support: “People back work - and has raised thousands of really responded to this issue on the pounds to support these schemes. doorstep, and it helped focus my work.” There’s always more to do though, and After the elections, Jenni became the chair of the police’s Safer Neighbourhoods Panel for Bellingham ward, where she has started to push she’s glad that her chosen party, the Lib Dems, are still committed to improving what the council does for Bellingham after 40 years of Labour failure. But hasn’t it been a bad year for her party? “You don’t start supporting another football team just because it’s had a few
bad matches or an unpopular manager you stick with them thick or thin because its your team,” comments Jenni. “Politics is the same - its your team because you share the same goals - and you keep working together to get there, even if the games get more challenging!” “I’m sticking with them because they’ve got the right ideas and the right people to help fix some of our problems locally, and they’re doing their best as part of the government in a difficult period. And there’s good stuff: finding extra money for schools even while the government has to make savings. “It’s easy to forget that it’s going to take time to sort out the what Labour left behind: huge debts and poor public services. The Lib Dems were right last May to challenge Labour about these things and they’re still right now.”
How you voted in Bellingham ward in May last year... ... the Lib Dems are now best placed to LAB take on Labour here... LIB DEMS ... and in the Town Hall, it’s the Lib Dems who are challenging Labour to deliver better services for you.
Cons & Green
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Additional cash available to schools from September
The Liberal Democrats have announced that the ‘Pupil Premium’ scheme will be put in place from this September. The extra funding, which was a key Lib Dem commitment at the General Election, targets extra cash at schools which take children from the disadvantaged backgrounds. The first year’s funding is an extra £430 per student eligible for Free School Meals, will mean over £3.5m more for education in Lewisham borough, despite the budget savings, and thousands of pounds extra for Bellingham’s schools. The government’s intention is for the Premium to rise annually over each of the next few years.
The Liberal Democrats scored a big jump in support in Bellingham ward at the elections last may, leap-frogging the Conservatives to become the main challengers in the traditional Labour stronghold. “We had a huge swing to us and our wonderful local candidates Danny, Richard and Jenni,” comments Lib Dem parliamentary candidate Alex Feakes. “People really picked up on our messages and liked what we trying to do, so I’m glad that even though we didn’t win, we’ve been able to do some of those things now we’re part of government. It’s great to
The Lib Dem team for the elections last May in Bellingham ward ( ): council candidates Danny Dignan, Richard Adams, Jenni Steele; parliamentary candidate Alex Feakes; and Lewisham Mayoral candidate Chris Maines.
From the Lib Dem Bellingham ward team
be able to deliver on Lib Dem policies like the ‘Pupil Premium’ at last.” Lewisham Mayoral candidate Chris Maines adds: “We met hundreds of local people when we were out campaigning in Bellingham last year there was a real appetite for change. So it was disappointing that Labour managed to get in again by scaremongering the voters.” “We’re not giving up though, and we look forward to seeing people out on the doorstep soon. Thank you to everyone we met last year for the warm reception, and to all those who voted for us and supported our work.”
£120m interest payments: Labour’s legacy for the UK
Even before the General Election, Lewisham Labour were planning cuts of £60m. They knew that years of wasting millions locally, and borrowing billions nationally, would end in this crisis. Remember, because of Labour, we’re all paying £120 million every day in interest on our national debt. received a reply to say that the Chairman is investigating this issue. Councillor Fletcher commented: "I really hope the Nationwide will change their mind on this. Although a lot can be done online nowadays it really makes no sense to leave customers with no local branches at all to visit."
Return this slip to:
Building Society no longer quite so Nationwide
The Nationwide Building Society has contacted local customers to say that it plans to shut all three branches in Lewisham Borough (Catford, Lewisham and Blackheath) and a number of other branches in South East London. Lewisham Lib Dem councillor Julia Fletcher wrote to the Chairman and Chief Executive of the Nationwide to complain about this decision, pointing out that Lewisham has a population of around 250,000 people. She has
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