Cotswolds MP Builds Up Pressure on Government over National Star College Funding

Cotswolds MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown used today’s Prime Minister’s Question Time to challenge Gordon Brown over the decision to not provide funding for development at the National Star College in his constituency.

Mr Clifton-Brown asked “Is the Prime Minister aware that some of the finest residential training for severely disabled people has been put in jeopardy by the decision this week of the Learning and Skills Council not to fund the expansion of the National Star College in my constituency? Would he agree to meet a delegation of some of the disabled students, some of the principals of the college and myself, to discuss the unique situation of that college and see whether there is a solution to this problem?”

Gordon Brown replied he will get the further education colleges Minister (Kevin Brennan MP) to meet him about this, which was seized upon immediately by Mr Clifton-Brown and he will lead a delegation from the National Star College to meet next week and put forward the case for the National Star College.

This news was warmly received by the students and teachers from the National Star College who had made the trip down to London today to meet with Mr Clifton-Brown, Mark Harper (Forest of Dean) the Shadow Disability Minister and Mark Coote the Conservative Candidate for Cheltenham.

Following meeting with the MPs, Mr Clifton-Brown was then able to thank the students for making the time to come to London to meet with him by taking them on a guided tour of the Houses of Parliament and providing an insight into the running of Parliament.

Mr Clifton-Brown today said “I have long been a huge supporter of the Star College and to meet with the students and teachers confirmed to me exactly why. The decision to not provide additional funding is truly appalling and I am delighted that I will have the opportunity to help the College present their case to Kevin Brennan MP next week. The outcome of the meeting is by no means assured but I feel that we can all be proud that we really are trying our very hardest to get the Government to make the correct decision”

“Furthermore through my discussions with those who came down today highlighted to me that the Star College is a National Provider, and this decision will affect disabled students nationwide”

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