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Westminster diary – 20.07.19

THIS week marks the end of the academic year for most of our schools. I’ve spoken several times recently in the commons on the topic of education cuts. I questioned the prime minister about 18-year-old constituent Sian and her fellow students who have been teaching themselves A level German for the last two terms, due to cuts to the school’s teaching staff. Our primary schools are also facing a crisis. One in south Leamington has lost almost £650 per pupil. Similarly, a school in north Leamington has had to cut £570 per pupil and six teaching assistants. In Whitnash, one school has lost £540 per pupil. I commend headteachers, leadership teams, all staff and governors who are steering our brilliant schools through these challenging times. I want to see the next Labour government invest in a National Education Service, ending Conservative cuts to our schools and increasing per pupil funding in real terms.

I was pleased to attend the Federation of Small Business’ annual small business engagement event last Friday to talk about our remarkable small businesses and to hear about their issues. I was also delighted to receive the Small Business Friendly award (Coventry, Warwickshire and Solihull) for my work in parliament and the area. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and government must do everything it can to support them, whether through reforming the business rates system, offering business support and expertise, or simply providing the certainty they are sorely lacking currently.

Finally, I got on my bike for the Buwan Kothi International Trust’s (BKIT) annual charity cycle last weekend. For the past 13 years, BKIT have raised over £70,000 for the Gilly Mundy Memorial Community School in Haryana, North India. Former Labour councillor Mota Singh started the school in memory of his late son Gilly. It is an extraordinary achievement and through his dedication the school continues to flourish. If you donated, thank you.