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Gordon is to hold one of his regular advice surgeries this Friday (23rd February).

This will take place from 3.00pm to 4.30pm at his constituency office at 304 Highfield Road, Blackpool, FY4 3JX.

Appointments are required and can be made by either calling 01253 344143 or emailing gordonmarsdenmp@parliament.uk

Gordon's next Advice Surgery - Friday 23rd February

Gordon is to hold one of his regular advice surgeries this Friday (23rd February). This will take place from 3.00pm to 4.30pm at his constituency office at 304 Highfield Road,...

Gordon has written the following article for Huffington Post in response to the Prime Minister's announcement of a review into Higher Education. You can read it in full below.

By Gordon Marsden: Theresa May’s Review of Post-18 Education and Funding has taken as long to come to the stage as some ageing rock star’s farewell tour. The lengthy leaks that preceded her speech confused rather than clarified, and the Review’s ‘terms of reference’ did the same.

The irony of the Prime Minister speaking at a Further Education college while omitting any strategy for 16-18 year olds apparently eluded her. Although she spoke about shiny new Institutes of Technology, what the FE sector desperately needs now, after almost eight years of Tory-led rule, is genuine parity of esteem – long discussed but not delivered – for its students and staff.

The Prime Minister talked about lifelong learning, but with no recognition of the havoc the Tories have created since they came to power in 2010: tripling HE tuition fees, scrapping maintenance grants and introducing Adult Learning Loans, half of which have been handed back unused to the Treasury. The Open University, part-time courses and lifelong learning across a swathe of universities have fallen victim to years of relentless Tory cuts.

Her reluctance to back maintenance grants, as well as the way she ducked and dived around questions from the BBC’s political editor, Laura Kuenssberg, painfully revealed the hollowness of the Prime Minister’s speech. Even as she reluctantly acknowledged the issue, she implied it was a problem for universities and colleges to address rather than government.

By contrast, Labour has had a firm commitment on reintroducing grants for nearly two years now; a fully funded and costed policy, along with reintroduction of the Education Maintenance Allowance, both of which gave a helping hand to young people before the Tories scrapped them.

Labour’s emphasis on maintenance grants is now being echoed by a rainbow coalition across the education sector: Universities UK and Million Plus, the (Conservative) Chair of the Education Select Committee and the recently published report of Treasury Select Committee, also chaired by a Conservative MP. Even the Vice-Chancellor of the private University of Buckingham, Sir Antony Seldon, has chipped in his support.

Many across the Higher Education sector are warning that access and participation funding for disadvantaged young people could be cut to pay for whatever new proposals the government pushes. A token reduction in fees, without matching the new funding Labour offers would take billions out of the sector while students would still face massive debts. That option, trailed by the government over the weekend, will satisfy no one.

If Theresa May really wanted to break down the ‘false boundaries’ between HE and FE she talked about, 16-18 year olds would be in this Review. It is Labour that promised in our manifesto to set up a Commission to align HE and FE, making the UK fit for purpose for the challenges we face into the 2030s. It is Labour that has talked about allowing credit accumulation across HE and FE to reflect the revolving mix of skills and learning that both young and older learners will need to have. It is Labour with our new National Education Service that has the narrative and vision to achieve this, alongside our promises on HE and FE fee abolition.

Theresa May has openly admitted students face “one of the most expensive systems of university tuition in the world” and by doing so highlights what nearly eight years of a Tory-led Government has left us with: an unprecedented HE student debt levels among the UK’s competitors and a mess in lifelong learning. Theresa May has forfeited the right to address those challenges.

 

HUFFINGTON POST: May's Offer On Higher Education Will Satisfy No One

Gordon has written the following article for Huffington Post in response to the Prime Minister's announcement of a review into Higher Education. You can read it in full below. By...

Hospital charity Blue Skies Hospitals Fund has welcomed a visit by Gordon.

Gordon_Marsden_Blue_Skies_visit.jpg

He visited the charity office in Blackpool Victoria Hospital to speak to Head of Fundraising Kila Redfearn about the work it does to support patients of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Gordon offered his ideas to broaden the awareness and support that Blue Skies receives in and around Blackpool.

Kila said: “We are delighted Gordon was able to take the time to come and visit us, and to hear about the work we do to enhance the care patients receive under NHS care in Blackpool.

"He was very interested to hear about the history of our charity, the work we have been doing and our focus for the year. He was able to offer some very valuable guidance using his contacts for the area which we are keen to follow up on straight away.

"We very much look forward to welcoming him into our offices again."

Gordon also met other members of the team during his visit last week.

He said: "It was good to have the opportunity to be briefed by Kila and her colleagues on the work and initiatives that Blue Skies is doing across the Hospital Trust - not just at the Vic - to enhance patient support and for the families that support them, and not least in the current challenging day to day circumstances which the NHS is experiencing. 

"It is always important to recognise and value all the traditional support that volunteers give day in and day out across the NHS in Blackpool but the new ideas events Blue Skies can bring is a proactive element as well, and I look forward to seeing its progress."

Hospital charity Blue Skies welcomes Gordon

Hospital charity Blue Skies Hospitals Fund has welcomed a visit by Gordon. He visited the charity office in Blackpool Victoria Hospital to speak to Head of Fundraising Kila Redfearn about the...

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