Friday, 14 March 2014

Julian Huppert MP: Weekly Newsletter 14-MAR-2014 (Education, Housing & Spring Conference)

Government Announces Cash for Cambridgeshire Schools 

For thirty years, our schools have been underfunded - we get £600 pounds per pupil per year less than the English average. This is something I’ve been campaigning against for a decade, and I made it a personal priority to change this as the MP. After all this work from me and many others, I was delighted that on Thursday morning, Liberal Democrat Minister David Laws announced that for the 2015-16 year we’ll be getting an extra £20 million for Cambridgeshire – over £100,000 for a typical primary school!

But it’s not quite a done deal - there’s technically a consultation. Please sign my petition and send it to your friends - to make sure our schools are finally given the resources they need to give every child the education they deserve.

Protecting Private Rental Tenants 

On Wednesday, I proposed a Bill, under the so-called 10-minute rule, to give more protection to private rental tenants. Too many tenants are unfairly overcharged by letting agents who see tenancies as a way of making extra money from standard admin jobs, such as performing credit checks and preparing or renewing contracts. According to Shelter, 1 in 7 people using letting agents had to pay over £500 in fees. In Cambridge this is a huge problem, and with more individuals and families renting, change is desperately needed. The Bill I presented also calls for the Housing Ombudsman to cover all private landlords and for Councils to set up accreditation schemes – something our Lib Dem City Council has already done. You can read more about the problems and what I propose to do to fix them in my speech to Parliament. My Bill passed unanimously - but is unlikely to become law.

Lib Dems Gather for Annual Spring Conference

It was a weekend of good news at the annual Lib Dem Spring Conference as both the firm, liberal and well-researched immigration policy paper and my Digital Bill of Rights motion successfully passed. It was great to see so many faces from Cambridge there and it was clear that people from Nick down were enthused by running a pro-EU European election campaign. We will have a tough fight on our hands in May but I think we are up to it - if people get involved and make sure that we get the results we deserve.