Cuts to education across all ages is something that I have raised time and time again.
I recently met with the director of further education at Sutton Community Academy, Simon Martin, and Liz Barrett, the principal of Academy Transformation Trust Further Education, to discuss funding cuts affecting adult education.
They were set to lose 40 per cent of their funding after the Education and Skills Funding Agency introduced a new process for applying for funding that left providers up and down the country short of the cash they needed.
This would have severely affected the academy’s ability to put on courses that, among other things, help those out of work gain the skills they need to find a new job. Colleges up and down the country complained and thanks to this pressure, more money is now being made available.
Although Sutton Community Academy still has a shortfall compared to its allocation last year, they are pleased to have got this extra cash.
The personal toll of cuts to, and restructuring of, local NHS services can be terrible. A man from Sutton, who was diagnosed with oral cancer in 2005, got in touch after the clinic at Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre, where he was having treatment, closed in 2007.
He has had to travel to Leicester for restorative treatment, which is a very lengthy process, but has now been told the service is no longer treating patients from Nottinghamshire. His dentist could not find any clinics willing to take his case on. I have written to NHS England and Nottingham University Hospitals Trust to complain about this awful situation and I will make sure this man gets the treatment that he needs.
I’d like to extend a congratulations to Ashfield District Council which has begun to roll out a licensing scheme for local landlords.
The licensing scheme, which has been introduced in the Stanton Hill and New Cross areas, will tackle problems such as poorly looked after rental properties, bad tenants and anti-social behaviour. Ashfield landlords in those areas are now required to license every property they let, or they could be subject to a whopping £20,000 fine. The full cost of a license per property is £350 and is valid for five years.