Students continue campaign against cuts
4th March 2011
Leicester South MP Sir Peter Soulsby and Councillor Rory Palmer paid a visit to Regent College today to collect a petition against the government’s plans to cut the Education Maintenance Allowance. Over 300 students from the college have signed the petition.
Peter said: "The number of students who have signed this petition clearly shows the depth of anger about the axing of the EMA. I am concerned about what cutting the EMA means for the aspirations of young people in Leicester. It has been a great success in encouraging young people to stay on in full-time education. I am urging the Government to reconsider their decision to axe the EMA and to listen to what students in Leicester have to say."
Student Sahib, 18, said: “I went around college collecting signatures for the petition as it’s going to affect the majority of our students next year. I thought it was wicked that Peter Soulsby came in to collect the petition and speak to us because it will give our views representation when presented in the House of Commons.”
Paul Wilson, Principal of Regent College said: "It is encouraging for young people to see their local MP taking such a keen interest in the issues that they feel passionate about. Leicester has one of the highest proportions of young people entitled to financial support and the removal of EMA will present a real challenge to many able young people with high aspirations. We hope that our local MPs support will make a difference."
Sam, 17, from Beaumont Leys is studying A2 Government & Politics, Psychology, English Literature, Drama and Theatre Studies at Regent. She receives EMA and signed the petition. Sam said: " I think that petition is a good idea, I think that we need to let the Government know that it's an important issue and the impact it is going to have on students. It appears that the people axing EMA are the people who will never have to apply for it or depend on it."
During their visit to the college, the politicians joined AS Government and Politics students in a debate on the upcoming referendum on our electoral system. They discussed the pros and cons of the Alternative Vote (AV) system. Peter and Rory also spoke to students taking part in the Model United Nations Conference.