Reed demands apology from Government over Croydon College cuts
Tory Education Minister Matthew Hancock was put on the spot when Croydon North MP Steve Reed demanded an apology for the minister’s attempts to force the biggest cuts in the country on Croydon College. During a debate in Parliament the Tory MP spoke about the need for better training to help unemployed young people become employable. But Steve Reed pointed out that the minister had tried to slash education and training for young people in Croydon creating a risk they would lack the job skills they need. Earlier this year Mr Reed spearheaded a campaign to reverse proposed cuts that would have seen Croydon College hit with the most severe funding reduction in the country.
Steve visited the College in March to hear from staff and students just how damaging the cuts would be, then challenged the Government to think again during a debate in Parliament. One week later the Tory Minister performed a u-turn and reduced the scale of the cuts after being forced to accept that his proposals would unfairly hit colleges like Croydon.
You can watch Steve question the minister here.
Croydon Central’s Tory MP Gavin Barwell sat in silence next to the Minister as he failed to apologise, saying nothing to support Croydon students. Commenting on the exchange Steve said:
“It says all you need to know about this Government that at a time of high youth unemployment the Tories are trying to make it even harder for young people in Croydon to get a job. The proposals to slash the college’s funding should never have been made in the first place, but now the minister has shown just how arrogant he is by refusing to apologise to Croydon’s young people.”
A recent inspection showed that Croydon College is improving fast, yet we’ve got a Government trying to undermine that improvement. We need a government that makes getting people into work a priority, but we’re not getting that from the Tories.”