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Newcastle Labour has criticised the Government’s approach to education and the impact that their policies are having in Newcastle.

On Wednesday 1 November. Newcastle Labour brought forward a motion to Newcastle City Council criticising the Government’s approach to education and the harm it is doing to the life chances of children in Newcastle.

Since 2010, Coalition and Conservative Governments have imposed real terms reductions in funding to schools, removed ring-fenced funding for Surestart centres – leading to over 1200 centres being lost nationally, removed the Educational Maintenance Allowance, and tripled tuition fees – despite the Lib Dems promising to abolish them.

In contrast Newcastle Labour Councillors have

  • Worked with schools to introduce the School Bursary Scheme, to help young people remain in education following the removal of Educational Maintenance Allowance
  •  Supported the North East Holiday Hunger Programme - sponsored by The NE Child Poverty Trust – and which provided food, fun and learning activities for children from low income households during the summer holidays.
  • Campaigned against the Conservatives’ proposal to reintroduce grammar schools, which would have diverted further money from cash-strapped comprehensive schools to a Tory ideologically-led project.  

Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council commented:

“The Tories – supported by the Libs Dems in Coalition – have imposed cuts and policies that harm the life chances of children here in Newcastle.

“It is a disgrace in 2017 that there is an upsurge in foodbank usage during school holidays.

“Policies over the past seven years have removed support for Surestart and Education Maintenance Allowance has been scrapped.

 “These policies and cuts have harmed the life chances for children in Newcastle and the Lib Dems should never be forgiven for their complicity, or their tuition fee betrayal.

“Despite the unfair and disproportionate cuts imposed on Newcastle City Council, Labour Councillors have tried to protect Surestart services, where they are most needed, have introduced the Newcastle School Bursary Scheme and have supported projects to address holiday hunger.

“It is time that the Government reverse their cuts and properly invest in the future of children and young people in Newcastle.”

The Labour Party is committed to introducing a National Education Service, as well as

  • Halting the closures and increasing the amount of money available for Sure Start
  • Providing free school meals for all primary school children, funded by introducing VAT on private school fees 
  • Reducing class sizes 
  • Reintroducing an Educational Maintenance Allowance and maintenance grants for students from low and middle income backgrounds
  • Abolishing university tuition fees for all.

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Labour slams Government’s record on children and young people

Newcastle Labour has criticised the Government’s approach to education and the impact that their policies are having in Newcastle. On Wednesday 1 November. Newcastle Labour brought forward a motion to...

Newcastle Labour’s Living Wage

Newcastle Labour have again provided a much needed boost to the lowest paid staff at Newcastle City Council by increasing the Newcastle Living Wage.

In 2011, Newcastle Labour introduced the Newcastle Living Wage for employees of Newcastle City Council, ensuring all employees on the two lowest pay grades an increase in their pay. 

Despite years of Tory austerity, Newcastle Labour have taken the decision to again increase the Living Wage to try to ensure that council employees can have decent standard of living. The rate been increased this year to £8.45 per hour, benefiting over 1000 employees.

Not only will the increase help employees, but it benefits the wider economy in Newcastle.

Councillor Joyce McCarty, Deputy Leader of Newcastle City Council stated “We know that families continue to feel the pinch after years of Tory - and Lib Dem – austerity. We are committed to ensuring a decent standard of living for all council employees.

“Our Newcastle Living Wage is significantly higher than the so called Living Wage introduced by the Government last year and shows the different choices Labour makes in Newcastle compared to the other parties.

“We also continue to work with partners to encourage others to pay the Newcastle Living Wage”. 

Living Wage

Newcastle Labour’s Living Wage

Newcastle Labour’s Living Wage Newcastle Labour have again provided a much needed boost to the lowest paid staff at Newcastle City Council by increasing the Newcastle Living Wage. In 2011,...

Labour Councillors in Newcastle have supported calls for the lifting of the long standing government policy of public sector pay restraint and backed Unison, the GMB and Unite’s submission to the National Joint Council Pay for 2018. 

For workers in local government; pay and other terms and conditions are determined by a negotiating body; the National Joint Council, which froze pay between 2010-2012, with only 1% increases since then.

As a result, basic pay for local government workers has on average fallen by 21% since 2010.

Newcastle’s Labour Councillors brought forward a motion to City Council on 6 September 2017 which called for a decent pay award for National Joint Council workers and for an end to public sector pay restraint more widely. 

Since 2010, the Tories, supported by the Lib Dems in Government, have slashed Newcastle City Council’s funding by over £600 per household.

Despite this, Labour in Newcastle introduced the Newcastle Living Wage in 2012 to provide those on lower wage rates with a fair and decent rate of pay and are committed to working towards matching the Foundation Living Wage rate.

Newcastle Labour brought forward the motion - passed at Council - which called on the Government to support the claim for a decent pay rise and to ensure that this is properly funded by Government, not further passing the buck onto hard-pressed councils.

Labour Leader of Newcastle Nick Forbes said: “Council staff do a range of vital jobs in our communities – from caring for older and vulnerable people to cleaning our streets. 

"They’re the unsung heroes of our city, but the Tories have turned their backs on them. Their pay has been squeezed and reduced in real terms for nearly 10 years now and I think it’s time they had a decent pay rise. 

"We’re not asking for the moon, just for Government to make the resources available so that their pay can keep up with inflation."

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Newcastle Labour calls for an end to public sector pay restraint

Labour Councillors in Newcastle have supported calls for the lifting of the long standing government policy of public sector pay restraint and backed Unison, the GMB and Unite’s submission to...


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