Monthly Archives: August 2010

COVENTRY DELEGATION TO MEET TRANSPORT MINISTER TO DISCUSS RICOH RAIL PLANS

A delegation from Coventry – which includes Bob Ainsworth, Jim Cunningham, Geoffrey Robinson and Councillor John Mutton – will meet with Theresa Villiers MP, Minister at the Department for Transport, on Wednesday 13th October at 10am to discuss the Coventry-Nuneaton Rail Upgrade Scheme.

The delegation will press the Minister to approve plans to fast-track the proposals for a new railway station at the Ricoh Arena and release Government funding to ensure it is built in time for Olympic football in 2012.

Bob said:

“This railway line is vital to the economy of the sub region, as well as the Arena. After much delay we had managed to get it recognised as a priority and I hope the minister will ensure that it goes ahead.”

16 August 2010

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MP slams Liberal Democrat and Tory betrayal of local pensioners

Bob Ainsworth – Member of Parliament for Coventry North East – has slammed the Liberal Democrats and Tories for voting against a plan to protect local pensioners from the VAT hike.

The Commons vote came as new research showed Britain’s pensioners will be stung by an £8 billion VAT bill over the course of this Parliament.

There are around 52,200 pensioners in Coventry, all of whom could be affected.

Worse, figures hidden in the Budget show that local pensioners will be hit every year by changes that hit them in the pocket;

• From January, pensioners will face a £400 million VAT tax bill which they will have to start paying months before any increase in the Basic State Pension. Pensioners face paying nearly £8 billion in VAT over the parliament.

• In 2011, weekly pension increases fall behind VAT-fuelled price rises.

• In 2012, pension rises fall behind price rises again, after the Treasury quietly changed the way the so-called ‘triple lock’ up-rates pensions in practice.

• By 2013, pensioners face cuts to Disability Living Allowance benefits, which may total £350 million a year by the end of the Parliament, alongside cuts to Housing Benefit and the lower uprating of public service pensions and benefits.

Bob last night sought to protect local pensioners by supporting an amendment to the Finance Bill which would have delayed the VAT increase until a proper plan for shielding pensioners was in place. But Liberal Democrat and Tory MPs ganged up to block the move.

Coventry’s 52,200 pensioners will now start paying £33 million extra in VAT a month starting in January.

Bob said:

“This is a betrayal of our local pensioners by the Tory-Liberal government. Our retired community has paid in for a life-time and is now being hit hard in the pocket.

“I wanted a plan in place to protect local pensioners from the £8 billion VAT bill but the Liberal Democrats refused to help.

“I can’t believe the Tories and Liberals are trying to disguise the tax bill with a few promises which on closer inspection just don’t add up. The Budget small print says pensioners keep up on getting hit every year with a host of Treasury tricks”.

WEDNESDAY 14th JULY 2010

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Coventry delegation to meet with Secretary of State for Education on Building Schools for the Future cuts

Bob Ainsworth, Jim Cunningham and Geoffrey Robinson are due to meet with the Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, to discuss the cuts to the Building Schools for the Future programme announced by the Coalition Government last week. Also attending the meeting will be Cllr Lynnette Kelly, Cllr George Duggins and representatives from Coventry City Council.

The meeting is due to take place on Thursday 15th July 2010 at 2pm in the Houses of Parliament.

Under the BSF programme, which was introduced by the previous Labour Government, Coventry had been allocated £355 million to rebuild nine secondary schools and secondary specialist schools and refurbish 11 others. The programme has now been halted as a result of the decision taken earlier this week by the Tory-Liberal Government.

Bob said:

“I believe that Coventry has been unfairly and disproportionately hit by the cuts to the Building Schools for the Future programme. This meeting will give us the opportunity to seek clarification from the Secretary of State on why Coventry appears to have been affected more deeply than other local authorities.

“It’s clear that these cuts will hold back the education of Children in Coventry and I will be making this point to the Secretary of State most forcefully.”

o A list of the schools affected can be found here;

http://www.education.gov.uk/news/news/$/media/Files/lacuna/news/bsf/LAwidelistofSchools050710.ashx

NOTES

MONDAY 12th JULY 2010

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MP urges council to consider legal action against government over Building Schools for the Future cuts

Bob Ainsworth – Member of Parliament for Coventry North East – believes that Coventry City Council may have a legal case against the Department for Education over their decision to cut the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme.

Under the BSF programme, which was introduced by the previous Labour Government, Coventry had been allocated £355 million to rebuild nine secondary schools and secondary specialist schools and refurbish 11 others. The programme has now been halted as a result of the decision taken earlier this week by the Tory-Liberal Government.

Bob said:

“I believe that Coventry has been unfairly and disproportionately hit by the cuts to the Building Schools for the Future programme. It seems to me from conversations I have had with other MPs that different criteria have been used by the Department for Education when deciding the fate of individual schools and I believe that Coventry has been discriminated against.

“I would urge the Council to look into the possibility of legal action to stop these rash cuts which will hold back the education of children in Coventry.”

NOTES

o A list of the schools affected can be found here;

http://www.education.gov.uk/news/news/$/media/Files/lacuna/news/bsf/LAwidelistofSchools050710.ashx

FRIDAY 9TH JULY 2010

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MP says Coventry disproportionately hit by cuts to Building Schools for the Future Programme

Bob Ainsworth – Member of Parliament for Coventry North East – believes that Coventry has been disproportionately hit by the Tory-Liberal coalition Government’s decision to axe a flagship school building programme, Building Schools for the Future (BSF).

Under the BSF programme, which was introduced by the previous Labour Government, Coventry had been allocated £355 million to rebuild nine secondary schools and secondary specialist schools and refurbish 11 others. The programme has now been halted as a result of the decision taken earlier this week by the Tory-Liberal Government.

Bob said:

“If you look at the list of school affected, Coventry seems to have been disproportionately hit. At this stage I’m not sure whether that is the result of the Tory Government targeting the City or a result of the previous Tory Council not running the Coventry Building Schools for the Future programme expeditiously enough.

“I am hugely disappointed for local parents, children and teachers who will now not get the new school buildings they were promised. I will be fighting tooth and nail against these rash cuts which will hold back the education of children in Coventry.

“I have contacted Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Education, and asked that he meet with a delegation from Coventry to discuss the matter and explain why Coventry has been affected more deeply that other local authorities.”

THURSDAY 8th JULY 2010

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