On Tuesday there was a debate that took place in Parliament which was entitled Safety of School Buildings and at the end of the debate there was a voting arrangement. Sadly the Conservatives voted against the document and because they are the dominance group and so they were able to prevent it happening. As it happened four of the Sussex Conservative MPs did not vote against this document. Three of them voted against all of the votes this week and so their reason may be different reasons. The one Sussex MP who focused specifically on this occasion was Peter Bottomley who is the MP for Worthing West. The other MPs are East Worthing and Shoreham, Tim Loughton, Eastbourne, Caroline Ansell and Wealden who is also an Government Minister called Nusrat Ghani. Why can be proud that three Sussex MPs did vote in favour of the document, even though they lost. They were Peter Kyle and Lloyd Russell-Moyle who are both Labour MPs and Caroline Lucas who is the Green MP. All three of them represent the Brighton and Hove area. So back to the debate that took place, one of the MPs who spoke during the debate was Munira Wilson who is the Liberal Democrat MP based in Twickenham. She was the only person who spoke about Sussex during the debate. This is the element of her speech that focused on Sussex.
Communities across this country are feeling let down. In my borough, two schools that applied to the school rebuilding programme last year had their application rejected. Twenty-three of 25 schools in Surrey met the same fate, as did six of seven schools in East Sussex. People are fed up and angry, and they want to make their voice heard. The Liberal Democrats believe that education is an investment in our children’s future. Spending on human capital generates returns for generations to come. It is absurd that the Treasury will predict that a new rail line will generate returns worth multiple times its initial cost while predicting that capital investment in schools returns just a fraction of the amount. How can that make sense?
Perhaps we could challenge the 9 Sussex MPs who voted to reject the proposal and so their action prevented Sussex from benefiting the requirement.