THIS week and next will be some of the most important for our young people as they receive their A level and GCSE results. Together with their amazing teachers, they will have defied the odds given the shocking £244 per pupil cuts that state schools in Warwickshire have suffered. I wish them all well.
May I also wish a happy Eid Mubarak to everyone who has been celebrating the festival of Eid Al Adha.
Elsewhere, the new Prime Minister appears to be hell-bent on undemocratically forcing through a ‘no deal’ Brexit against the wishes of parliament. As I’ve said repeatedly since I was elected, it would be a catastrophe. This week Michael Gove, who is heading up government’s no deal preparations, has been told by his civil servants that a significant increase in food prices is inevitable in the event of a no deal. The government should not be making its citizens poorer, especially at a time when essentials like fuel are already creeping up in price. He has also been told the government’s plans for no checks at the Northern Irish border would be unsustainable, a situation which risks the delicate peace there.
Mr Gove has said the government will spend ‘whatever it takes’ to prepare for no deal, now budgeted at £6.3 billion. Is this more important than our children’s education or investing in our hospitals? You be the judge. And if you find yourself walking past another rough sleeper in our town centres, just figure this – that sum of money would be enough to fund around 60,000 council homes.
On a more positive note, I was delighted to attend the amazing Art in the Park event held in Jephson Gardens the weekend before last. Some 40,000 people were expected to attend and I was pleased to bump into many of you. The event, which is just six-years-old, is a fantastic showcase of the creative talent we have across our wonderful region. Well done to everyone involved.