Liberal Democrats created 1,190 new apprentices in Gloucester last year – Jeremy Hilton

New figures from the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills show 1,190 people started an apprenticeship in Gloucester in the last 12 months.
Liberal Democrats in Government have led the apprentice drive and are on course to deliver two million apprenticeships in Britain by the end of this parliament.
Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Gloucester, Cllr. Jeremy Hilton said:
“Gone are the days when a vocational education was seen as the poor relation when it came to choosing a career path. Apprenticeships offer young people an opportunity to earn a living while they learn their vocation.
“We are seeing more young people choosing apprenticeships while hearing from businesses in Gloucester who say they simply couldn’t function without the talent and ambition they bring. The recent Grow Gloucestershire Showcase Awards held at Cheltenham Racecourse, which I attended, showed how important apprenticeships are to young people starting out on their careers and to their employers.
“All young people in Gloucester should have an opportunity to get on in life and apprenticeships are a great way to deliver that.
“Vince Cable the Business Secretary and Liberal Democrats have pushed this policy in Government and made sure apprentice programmes are rigorous, responsive and meet the changing needs of the future economy.
“Delivering on apprenticeships helps build the stronger economy and fairer society Britain needs.”

Disadvantaged Gloucestershire primary school pupils to receive £18.27 million boost

Disadvantaged primary school pupils in Gloucestershire are set to receive £18.27 million to boost attainment, the Liberal Democrats have announced. The pupil premium funding for 2015/16 will help teachers support those children at most risk of falling behind their colleagues. It means primary schools will receive £1,320 for every pupil who has registered for free school meals at any time in the last six years. Evidence shows raising the attainment of pupils by the end of primary schools has a direct impact on future exam results.
Liberal Democrat county group leader, Cllr. Jeremy Hilton said:
“Every child should be able to reach their full potential, whatever their background. The pupil premium will get extra money to schools in Gloucestershire, targeted at the children who need it most. The whole class benefits when fewer children are struggling. Teachers in Gloucestershire do a great job, and I can’t wait to see how they use this additional funding to help all our children and young people succeed.”
Liberal Democrat Schools Minister David Laws said:
“In government, Liberal Democrats are building a stronger economy and a fairer society, with opportunity for everyone. We have already protected school budgets, introduced the pupil premium and expanded early years education for the very youngest children. This additional funding is another boost for schools in Gloucestershire Liberal Democrats are determined that teachers will continue to have the resources they need to give all pupils the best possible start in life, regardless of their background.”
ENDS…

Born and Bred in Gloucester – Jeremy Hilton will fight to become Gloucester’s MP

Jeremy Hilton - Wotton Pitch

Jeremy Hilton, a well-known figure in Gloucester has been selected by the Liberal Democrats as their parliamentary candidate. He has fought the Gloucester seat three times before in 1987, 2005 and 2010. Mr Hilton currently serves as local councillor.

Jeremy Hilton was born and bred in Gloucester. He lives in the heart of the city close to the cathedral and vows that his fight is for a stronger and fairer Gloucester.

Cllr. Hilton has an excellent track record of public service, representing Kingsholm on both the city and county councils, where he is also the Liberal Democrat group leader. With over 22 years experience as a councillor, Jeremy is a local person ideally qualified to become Gloucester’s next MP.

As the current chairperson of the Local Government Association’s, Fire Service Management Committee, Jeremy is experienced in parliamentary matters. He has given verbal evidence to a House of Commons Select Committee.

As the Next MP for Gloucester, Jeremy Hilton will work hard for a strong economy and fairer society, by:-

• campaigning for good education for all Gloucester children and free school meals for everyone at primary school

• delivering better rail connections to Gloucester and a new central bus station

• raising the income tax free allowance to £12,500 and securing the triple lock, in law, for state pensions

• securing Gloucester’s regeneration with UNESCO World Heritage Site status for the cathedral, whilst building more affordable homes for young families

• increasing the number apprenticeships for young people and ensuring a diverse and growing economy in Gloucester

• guaranteeing equal care and waiting times for mental health as for physical health, by increasing spending on the NHS

Tory MP challenged over Europe

Here is my letter to Richard Graham the Tory MP for Gloucester over his suggestion we have a referendum on Europe

Dear Richard

I see from your email to me that you want a referendum on Europe, even though the coalition has passed legislation for this to happen if there are further transfers of power.

Why would you want to hold and in out referendum just for fun? The uncertainty would create instability in the economy and discourage inward investment. Many jobs in Gloucester could be put at risk.

Membership of the European Union is good for Britain. It is good for jobs and business. Good for international co-operation. In my lifetime, it has helped democratise many European countries. Membership of the European Union helps to protect the human rights of millions of people in Britain and across the continent.

If there is a referendum on Europe I shall be campaigning and voting to stay in. You may willing to appease UKIP, but I am not. Britain must retain its membership of the European Union. Why would you want to put our membership at risk!

The public in Gloucester need to know. If there was a referendum on the European Union, would you vote to stay in or get out?

Cllr. Jeremy Hilton
Kingsholm & Wotton

Liberal Democrats Conference report – day four

On the day that Gloucester City Football Club secured planning permission for a new stadium at Meadow Park, Liberal Democrats were debating the future of football at our Glasgow conference. It was good to listen to my old friend Paul Baker, the chairman of Cheltenham Town FC, who has kindly provided the Tigers with a home in the last few years. The Tigers have been homeless for the last few years since the old ground was flooded back in 2007.

Following on from this debate, delegates debated and voted on the party’s pre-manifesto policy paper “A Stronger Economy and a Fairer Society”. The debate was introduced by the Schools Minister, David Laws MP, who is also in charge of writing the party’s manifesto. He has been consulting members widely on what we want to do if in government again for the next 5 years.

David Laws is the minster responsible for introducing Free School Meals for year one and two infant school children in September this year, saving a family £420 a year for every child in this age group. Liberal Democrats will extend free school meals to all children in primary education, as resources allow.

Liberal Democrats Conference report – day three

The third day of the Liberal Democrat conference in Glasgow ended for me with my attendance at the South West Liberal Democrats reception held in the main conference hotel. This reception gave me an opportunity to hear short speeches from a number of South West MP’s and to meet members from other constituencies.

During the day I also had a one to one meeting with an officer of the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors to discuss the 2015 local election campaign in Gloucester. Next year we shall have elections to the city council on the same day as the general election. Polling Day, May the 7th, will be an important day for Gloucester and the country.

In his keynote speech to conference Vince Cable the Business Secretary cracked one of the best jokes of the day when he reminded delegates of the time when Gladstone spoke for five hours without notes, but didn’t forget what he was talking about, unlike the recent speech by Ed Miliband when he forgot to mention the deficit. Vince Cable also reminded conference how the coalition government had created almost 2 million apprenticeships since 2010.

Liberal Democrats Conference report -day two

The major speech of the day came from the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander MP. As our senior Scottish MP in the cabinet, Danny started his speech by thanking everyone who helped in the Scottish Referendum, in support of the No campaign. He also reaffirmed Liberal Democrat policy that we should have votes for 16 & 17 year olds in all elections as they did in the referendum.

Danny said Liberal Democrats should be proud that we gave the country strong government in 2010 at a time when we needed it most. He reminded delegates that Labour had bankrupted the country and that they should never be trusted to run the country by themselves again.

Since the Liberal Democrats had been in government, 27 million people had benefited from income tax cuts by the raising of the threshold to £10,500. This is something David Cameron said could not be done during the 2010 election campaign. Danny Alexander said we would raise the tax free threshold to £12,500 in the next parliament. This could only be guaranteed to be done fairly by Liberal Democrats being in government next time.

Danny Alexander said Liberal Democrats would borrow less than Labour and cut public spending less than the Tories. He said we would insist on a fairness rule on any changes to tax and benefits.

Liberal Democrat Conference Report – day one

Liberal Democrats are meeting in Glasgow for the annual conference. Saturday the conference started with hustings for the election of our new party President to take over from Tim Farron, who is stepping down. There are four candidates, former MEP Liz Lynne, Baroness Sal Brinton, Linda Jack and Daisy Cooper. The winning candidate will be chosen in a postal ballot of all party members.

During the day passionate speeches were given by two senior Lib Dem government ministers Lynne Featherstone and Simon Hughes both highlighting the many achievements that have been made that would not have happened if the Lib Dems had not been in government. For instance, £35 million has now been given to tackle Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), scrapping of ID cards and reduced detention without charge to 28 days.

The highlight of the first day was the Conference Rally, which Jo Swinson, Paddy Ashdown and Nick Clegg spoke to a packed house in the main auditorium.

Nick Clegg told conference delegates that only the Liberal Democrats could provide Britain with a strong economy and a fairer society. He asked people to imagine what life would be like with a Tory or Labour majority government. The Tories could not deliver a fair society and Labour cannot be trusted on the economy. Liberal Democrats will fight “tooth and nail” to prevent either of them forming a majority government.

Locally Liberal Democrats will be fighting hard to win so that we can deliver a stronger economy and fairer society here in Gloucester, as well.

Council approves bid by residents to list Civil Service Sports ground as a community asset

Jeremy Hilton & Sebastian Field with Civil Service Sport Club in nackground

Gloucester City Council has approved a second bid by local residents to make the former Civil Service Club in Kingsholm a community asset under the Community Right to Buy scheme. This would allow the community to buy the land if Redrow try to sell it. Redrow paid just £10,000 for the site in 2011.

The new bid provided comprehensive evidence that non-members as well as members regularly used the grounds and pavilion.

Both Liberal Democrat councillors, Jeremy Hilton and Sebastian Field provided written support for the bid and they are delighted that the city council has agreed to list the sports ground as a community asset.

Sebastian Field said: “There is a shortage of public open space in our ward as required by the city council’s open spaces strategy. The ownership of this land by the community would be a great benefit to our neighbourhood.”

Jeremy Hilton said: “The former Civil Service sports ground clearly is a community asset that we must save for sport and recreation. I am pleased that the land is now listed as a community asset giving residents of Kingsholm the first option to buy the land if Redrow try to sell it. The next step in our campaign is for the city council is to include the former civil service sports ground in its emerging open spaces strategy.”

Introduction of Free School Meals is Good News

Liberal Democrats at Shire Hall are delighted that the Deputy Prime Minister’s free school meals initiative had the support of the council and is on track to be delivered from this September.

The free school meals policy, announced by the Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg at the Liberal Democrat Autumn Conference last September will give all year 1 and 2 pupils free school meals.

The £450m funding in 2014/15 and £635m in 2015/2016 will be made available to the Department for Education to fund this commitment.

The equivalent of £2.30 for every meal served in Gloucestershire. A government grant of £1.2m is also being used to upgrade kitchen to deal with the 19,000 free school meals that will be served every day.

Commenting, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, Cllr. Jeremy Hilton said that:

“The introduction of free school meals for every single infant school pupil is a positive step in the right direction.

“It is great initiative that will bring positive benefits encouraging positive eating habits and helping to improve concentration and performance in the classroom. It will also save families £420 per pupil per year.

“I am disappointed that the Tories abstained in welcoming the free school meals initiative especially considering that nationally cross-party support has now been given for this policy”.

ENDS