Across the County Council the Tories have done a DOUBLE CUT to services…. One as a result of the cuts made by central government and one imposed by Tories in Somerset because they say the County council needs to reduce accumulated debts. The second cut is seeing about £30 millions of extra cuts.
Both the Lib Dems and the Tories have done nothing to deal with the low funding Somerset gets for education from Central Government. Somerset children get £400 less per year for their education, than the national average. That means, fewer teachers, fewer teaching assistants, worse buildings and less in the way of support and opportunities. Both parties have let Somerset children down – children deserve better. Both parties are seen as a ‘soft touch’ by central government.
The double cut has had a disastrous effect on education provision in the County:
- The Youth Service has been destroyed in most areas and if elected again will go completely – relying on the voluntary sector (which so far has shown only limited interest in working with the most challenging young people)
- Arts funding has been removed making it far more difficult for schools to offer high quality opportunities to young people in music, drama and the arts
- Support to vulnerable young people has been drastically reduced in relation to Education Psychologist support and behaviour support.
- The programme to develop more Childrens’ Centres has been cut leaving young families without much needed support.
- Cut transport provision post making it more difficult for students to get to the colleges of their choice
In destroying Somerset services schools are now having to go elsewhere for provision – that means jobs going out of the County, further weakening the Somerset economy. The Tories have been so obsessed with cuts they have lost any vision for the education of young people across the County