Contact David (Constituents Only)

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Showing 697 reactions

  • commented 2017-03-23 09:30:48 +0000
    Good morning Mr Mowat,


    I hope you are well?


    I am contacting you in regards to your talk at Pulse Live Conference yesterday about the EU GPs and the 5000 GP scheme.


    On behalf of my CEO here Tawhid Juneja, has already set up practice and has 5000 GPs that will be coming through to the UK.

    We have a few exciting projects we are currently running that are secure GP 5000 and the safe and healthy Practice of Primary Care.


    We would be extremely keen to discuss with you as we believe we can assist with helping the country with the recruitment of the 5000 GPs.


    I hope to hear back from you soon and to discuss this with you.
  • followed this page 2017-03-20 16:24:32 +0000
  • commented 2017-03-20 16:20:05 +0000
    Dear Mr Mowat

    I recently read in a national newspaper that patients could soon be transferred to and from non emergency hospital appointments in Uber cars. After reading the article, I felt I needed to contact you and tell you of our success as a local cancer charity transporting clients to any cancer related hospital appointment. Rowan Tree Cancer Care is a local community based charity situated in the Valleys of South Wales. The charity has been in existence for 17 years covering the geographical area of Rhondda Cynon Taff. we currently have over 12,000 people registered with the charity and on an average day we make over 30 trips per day taking clients to their cancer treatment to any hospital required. We are a small team of staff, 11 in total with 162 volunteers who support the everyday services of the charity. We have 56 volunteer drivers who most have either suffered from cancer themselves or have cared for a loved one and want to give something back to the charity that has supported them. The volunteer drivers are paid expenses of 40p per mile which helps cover fuel and general wear and tear on their vehicle. The charity volunteer drivers, pick clients up at their home address, take them to treatment , wait at the hospital and then transport the client, plus carer if needed back to their home address. Our service is very unique, personal and could be successful anywhere in Britain. If you require additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me on 01443 479369 or email rhian@rowantreecancercare.co.uk.

    Kind regards Rhian Dash

    Chief Executive Officer
  • commented 2017-03-20 12:52:29 +0000
    I am contacting you to voice my concerns over the funding crisis in our schools today. I am a new governor at Thelwall Infant School and involved in Learning and Curriculum.

    As a parent, although my children are now adults, I have a deep interest in Early Years education. The start of a child’s school life is where the foundations are built and set up for the future. If we skimp on these first years then we are building on unstable ground and not the solid start that children need. So much experience and exposure to new information is vital to these pupils and it is sheer folly to let them down with such false economy. Yours Val Hassall
  • commented 2017-03-17 20:57:01 +0000
    David,


    As I’m sure you aware freelance workers in the public sector have recently been deemed to be inside IR 35. This means that they are considered to be in hidden employment and taxed accordingly. However, they are not entitled to the rights or privileges that would normally be associated with employment i.e. holiday pay, sick pay, maternity leave etc. Also they have to pay their own training costs.


    A consequence of this legislation is that many public sector freelancers have now resigned or declined to accept further work. This has left essential projects in limbo and led to the rather ridiculous position of Local Authorities having to make substantial increases in the day rates they offer.


    It seem that in an attempt to increase taxation receipts the Treasury has in managed to create a situation where the local authorities, who are already struggling financially, now have to subsidise the Exchequer. In other words the Government is robbing Peter to pay Paul.


    I understand the need for an equitable tax system but this seems to be taken things as little far and once again the Government appears to be attacking the small businesses that provide a vital service to our country.


    Whilst I fully expect your response to mirror the Government position, I would urge you to review the situation and make representation to the Chancellor in an attempt to encourage him to better understand the situation small business are in and the effect it could gave on central and local government if freelance consultants decide to no longer be involved with them.
  • commented 2017-03-16 19:18:45 +0000
    Dear Mr David Mowat,


    I am very saddened to hear that both amendments proposed by the House of Lords regarding the triggering of article 50, have been voted down by a majority of MP’s, including yourself.


    It is difficult to see how either of these amendments could have negatively affected the UK’s negotiations in leaving the EU and will almost certainly put Theresa May at a significant disadvantage when trying to secure the best deal for British citizens.


    In regards to Lords amendment one, failing to secure the rights of citizens of other European countries, will not only risk the rights of British ex pats currently abroad and those wishing to travel in the future, but is also wrong on a social, ethical and moral level. How can you find it acceptable that families and individuals, legal residents in the UK for many years, will suddenly find themselves unsure of their standing in our country?


    The decision to vote down Lords amendment two is also confusing. How can allowing Theresa May and David Davis to carve their own path out of Europe be democratic or good for Britain? Surely having the ability to say to EU negotiators, “that will never get past our parliament” will strengthen our position? There was absolutely no mandate ‘by the people’, to leave the EU at any cost and there is a real possibility that May could come back from negotiations with no deal at all. Voting down the amendments has allowed May and Davis etc to pursue their own undemocratic, highly damaging agenda that is tearing Britain apart and is certainly not the “will of the people”.


    It is not my aim to start a discussion about the many wrongs of the Brexit process or the Conservative party leadership, but I would appreciate an explanation about how you think it is acceptable to firstly risk the rights of EU citizens in the UK, and secondly damage the chances of the UK leaving the European Union with a deal that is beneficial to all of Britain; not just MPs, the wealthy and Westminster.


    I look forward to hearing from you.


    Yours Sincerely,


    Jack Hesketh
  • commented 2017-03-16 08:34:17 +0000
    Dear David, I don’t want to over stay my welcome, I’m not as literate as many so just once more I’ll explain my concerns! It’s encouraging the Government have given the public a voice. All the top issues are a concern for most of the public ie: Brexit, Education, NHS, Homeless, Welfare etc, Charities and aid are encouraged! While rough sleepers are being left? Immediate emergency shelters are well within Government abilities, to be honest all the modern Governments achievements are not encouraging while the most basic needs are left, I go for a walk early in the morning and see the rough sleepers, it rips my heart out! They need a base, after working with the homeless for a short while I understand some abuse the system while others would grab and make use of an opportunity! The abusers shouldn’t be able to manipulate Governments judgement! They need immediate assistance… I have done enough research into rough sleepers to know the Government are contacted daily with concerns of the homeless…

    All the best

    AJP No need of a reply

    PS: most of us can relate to rejection, rough sleepers are being rejected by shops etc, and I have never seen as much bulling as I’ve seen since living in Warrington making rough sleepers an easy target… Sorry for going on
  • commented 2017-03-16 08:34:11 +0000
    Dear David, I don’t want to over stay my welcome, I’m not as literate as many so just once more I’ll explain my concerns! It’s encouraging the Government have given the public a voice. All the top issues are a concern for most of the public ie: Brexit, Education, NHS, Homeless, Welfare etc, Charities and aid are encouraged! While rough sleepers are being left? Immediate emergency shelters are well within Government abilities, to be honest all the modern Governments achievements are not encouraging while the most basic needs are left, I go for a walk early in the morning and see the rough sleepers, it rips my heart out! They need a base, after working with the homeless for a short while I understand some abuse the system while others would grab and make use of an opportunity! The abusers shouldn’t be able to manipulate Governments judgement! They need immediate assistance… I have done enough research into rough sleepers to know the Government are contacted daily with concerns of the homeless…

    All the best

    AJP No need of a reply

    PS: most of us can relate to rejection, rough sleepers are being rejected by shops etc, and I have never seen as much bulling as I’ve seen since living in Warrington making rough sleepers an easy target… Sorry for going on
  • commented 2017-03-15 20:40:21 +0000
    Dear David Mowat MP,


    On the specific issue of Britain’s membership of the EU, the people have spoken.  In line with the views I have held on this subject for about 20 years, I voted Remain, and there was no possibility that I would have voted differently.


    However, I completely respect the result.  Furthermore, I have no interest whatsoever in the British people being asked to vote on this matter again.


    We saw the highest electoral turnout since 1992, and everyone’s vote counted equally.  Now, everyone having an equal vote, is not something that can be said of Britain’s regular electoral process.


    I don’t particularly fear with dread the prospects of Britain existing outside the EU.  What does concern me is not having a fair vote on future issues. 


    As one of your current constituents, my vote is very valuable in the Warrington South Constituency, provided I vote Conservative or Labour.  However, a boundary change which could see me voting in the neighbouring safe Labour Constituency of Warrington North, would render my vote as totally meaningless.


    The state of democracy in this country is appalling in my view.  There are two petitions to Parliament which are currently running, and which have both passed the 100,000 threshold to trigger a parliamentary debate.


    Here are the links to the 2 petitions I refer to:

    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/170686

    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/168657


    One of these petitions concerns replacing the House of Lords with a democratically elected public body, whilst the other petition concerns introducing Proportional Representation Elections to the House of Commons.


    On the subject of Proportional Representation, supporters of the status quo constantly state that the British people had a say on this matter in 2011.


    This is not the case.  The Voting System Referendum in 2011 merely asked the question on whether the British people would like to replace the current First Past The Post (FPTP) voting system with the Alternative Vote (AV) voting system. 


    AV is not a proportional voting system, and there has been much change in British politics since 2011.  Brexit is of course the most significant moment.


    Regardless of how people voted in the EU Referendum last year, what happens next needs to see people better engaged in the political process.


    We need no more of unelected peers having a say on the Country’s important issues.  I say this even though I did agree with one particular House of Lords’ proposed amendment to the recent Brexit Bill.


    On the question of changing the House of Commons voting system, it is not a Left versus Right issue.  It is one of simple fairness, and ensuring that as with the EU Referendum, that every vote should count.


    My hope as one of your constituents, is that you recognise that these two petitions symbolise an increased interest the British people now have in improving the state of democracy in the UK.


    Yours Sincerely


    Andy J Watson
  • commented 2017-03-15 06:03:51 +0000
    Hi Dave/Warrington… I think it’s agreed most of us can live with a little less, A problem for Governments are the rebellious and/or criminal element… I’m proud to have a little of both, it makes a man an individual. I’m slowly retreating from a GGHT alert broadcast although due an apology at least in favour of a split project for the homeless (Rough sleepers) 1 million voices at http://www.goldengrates.n.nu I believe you care and many others too, a majority vote is being overlooked, I go for a walk 3 or 4 am most mornings and would feel ashamed not share and demand attention, this morning a group of homeless youths outside the shelter near the YMCA was being told “Go away NOW!!!”…

    AJP
  • commented 2017-03-14 11:58:33 +0000
    Dear Mr Mowat


    I thought you might like to see this – an open letter posted today to your boss- pretty much nails it for me


    Yours sincerely

    Tony Sudworth


    Dear Mrs May


    I hope it has all been worth it.


    As leader of the Conservative Party and UK Prime Minister, I imagine your life’s ambition has now been realised. A little bit of luck involved, perhaps, and nothing as vulgar or complicated as actually having to win a General Election, or even a party leadership contest. No. It all just sort of fell into your lap really.


    Of course there was the small matter of having to ditch your principles over the EU referendum, where you made clear and credible arguments against the UK leaving the EU and rightly pointed out the damage this would do the the UK economy. But what is that to a battle hardened politician like yourself, particularly in this post truth environment we suddenly find ourselves in? The will of the people had to be respected after all.


    No matter that apart from 37% of the eligible electorate registering a desire to leave the EU, it is impossible to know exactly what this means. Or how this might have changed now that lies about NHS funding have been exposed and the route you are taking for Brexit has become clearer. A route that takes us out of the single market and customs union, against your manifesto commitment, your own instincts, and the historic tradition of the Conservative Party, where Margaret Thatcher herself championed the benefits. A route that endless experts, including HM Treasury’s own economists, have warned will lead to massive economic damage and put thousands of jobs at risk.


    No matter that the EU referendum was deliberately set up to be advisory, the only credible explanation for why a minimum two thirds majority was not demanded, as is normal when the outcome involves potential constitutional change. Why worry yourself with inconvenient truths like this when you are in the driving seat and call the shots? Why, indeed, when we have an opposition leader so derided and devalued that there is no-one to act as a restraint on what you now feel empowered to do?


    Having subdued parliament and threatened The Lords with abolition for merely performing their constitutional duty you are on the verge of triggering Article 50, something you bizarrely wish to do with no safety net in place.


    But how are you feeling now Theresa?


    Things seem to be slipping in the wrong direction don’t you think? You thought that the SNP would be cowed and would pull back from demanding a 2nd referendum given the undeniable economic risks this might pose for Scotland.


    But you were wrong.


    And you will most likely be wrong about Ireland as well, where the reinstatement of a hard border between the North and the South will lead to irreparable damage to The Good Friday Agreement and potentially reignite hostilities and/or lead to calls for a United Ireland. Maybe your famed political instincts are starting to let you down at a crucial moment. A bit like the budget, where it seems you are quite happy to throw your Chancellor Philip Hammond to the wolves. Surely that is not because he is seen as too soft on Brexit, whereas you are a true convert? The ultimate reformed smoker but in reverse.


    So what will be the glorious legacy of your time as our Prime Minister? You might think history looks unkindly on Tony Blair’s legacy because of the Iraq War, and you are right, but he did not preside over the break up of the United Kingdom itself. I think you might trump even him with that one.


    Your speech at the Tory Party Conference was bad enough (edit for space)


    But where you have really screwed up is by treating the Single Market with such contempt. Not even the most ardent Leave campaigners proactively argued that the Single Market was a bad thing by definition. How can it be? Unhindered access to a market of more than half a billion people “on our doorstep”, as Thatcher put it all those years ago.


    What this has done is expose you as an ideologue, whose obsession with immigration has led you to ignore what is undisputedly best for the economy and the majority of the UK population, regardless of how they voted in the referendum.


    Let’s hope for your sake that Article 50 is ruled to be reversible by the European Court of Justice providing a potential escape route for the country. Because without one the United Kingdom, the country of which you are currently the Prime Minister, may cease to exist due to your policy of hard Brexit driving Scotland towards a 2nd independence referendum.


    And think about that. A Union that has stood for over 300 years, one that has seen its populations stand together through two World Wars, gone in a flash. And for what? A desire to pander to a specific element within your party that would like to see the UK turned into some form of low welfare, unregulated, tax haven for the super rich.


    Is that really what you want your legacy to be?


    Yours sincerely
  • commented 2017-03-14 04:35:06 +0000
    Dear David, once again I’m just sharing my thoughts as invited to do? From a more simple point of view, The Conservatives appear to be using a physiology that people will adapt and most will although the criminal element in society are a law unto themselves! I feel I still have a criminal mind after staying out of petty crime for 26+? Years, (Poverty my success and reward) “Criticised by gght” Anyway Housing First HF have hit the nail on the head! That mental health is being left untreated and/or undiagnosed, I find it difficult to see further then that for many reasons! I see no reason to leave only❓4000 people sleeping on the streets? When a few emergency shelters well below expected living conditions and costs would be a burden?

    I have changed sites a number of times to manipulate seo onto gght first search page! Their incompetence of seo has paid off this time! I know they are pals and I think they are OK! But I was left without a bath, kitchen sink, lighting, my gas was even turned off for 9 months! Then no reply from any mail sent for two years! Poverty is my success or foundation, I feel bullied for not asking for charity?


    AJP
  • commented 2017-03-12 19:36:34 +0000
    Hi Mr Mowat,


    I feel that it’s time to contact you regarding “Making Tax Digital” (MTD for short).


    I am a Warrington resident, and have enlisted your assistance previously on personal matters. This time, it’s professional.


    I am a tax manager at a chartered accountants, having previously worked for more than 18 years for HMRC. I was (briefly) a small businessman, and currently represent SMEs in their dealings with HMRC. I should add, I do not prepare the accounts for the majority (my colleagues at work do that), my remit being entirely the taxation side of things. I do, however, have an understanding of accounting principles.


    I am nothing short of alarmed at the rate with which MTD is being rolled out. Even the 12 month grace period for business and landlords below the VAT threshold does nothing to reduce my alarm.


    There are accounting principles used in the UK (GAAP, FRS102, FRS105 etc.) which are, without exception, annualised accounting principles. UK tax legislation is based on an annual cycle itself. None of the proposed legislative changes affect this.


    What they do is impose upon business (by 2020, regardless of size or ability) a requirement to spoon feed HMRC financial data that can in no way be relied upon to provide details of taxable profits on at least a quarterly basis, using software determined as adequate by HMRC themselves. Most of the legislative requirements will be encompassed in secondary legislation, meaning that Parliament doesn’t even need to discuss it.


    The burden on business such as taxi drives, subcontractors, market traders, window cleaners, corner shops, and “white van men” (to name just a few) both in terms of time and financially will be phenomenal. HMRC guestimates simply do not add up (£280 pa by their best guess, in the first year). The reality is most of these small businesses who represent the backbone of society will turn to their accountants. The accountants are not going to work for free, nor absorb the cost of of MTD, which means that these small businesses will inevitably either pay more for professional representation (probably 3x current fees), or do it themselves with little or no understanding of accounting.


    To add insult to injury, HMRC have frequently shown that they have little understanding of tax legislation, let alone accounting, and so will be unable to help (especially with the estimated 5,000 experienced staff losses following the reorganisation).


    The Treasury Select Committee, the professional bodies, 3,000 respondents to the consultation exercise and the House of Lords have all cautioned against rushing in to a system that is both untested and commonly found to be unworkable in its’ current form. Meanwhile, HMRC plough on and the only hope in the budget was, as mentioned, a 1 year stay of execution for the smallest business.


    It is probably more telling that, with a supposed pilot beginning in April 2017, the majority of those affected are completely unaware that this is coming.


    I urge you, therefore, to demand in The House, that HMRC fully justify their costings and TIIN, providing open, transparent, and able to be challenged details of how they have determined both the supposed tax gap that they aim to close, and the cost to business of MTD. Mr David Tyrie has already requested some, but full transparency is now a necessity.


    My personal view is that MTD will do little to close the tax gap, since the errors that it is meant to address are likely to balance on the edge between in favour of, and against government, and the cost of complying is likely to drive more business into the hidden economy.


    I am happy to discuss this further should you wish to.
  • commented 2017-03-11 09:30:06 +0000
    Dear Mr Mowat


    following the lords amendments ti the article 50 bill I would strongly urge you to support these amendments


    the first is just doing the right thing but the 2nd is critical to the economic well being of this country


    I have no idea no the negotiations will turn out but if the deal is such we simply leave the eu and trade on wto terms this will affects jobs for millions of people. why would you accept such an act of self harm ?


    if taking back control means anything then parliament should have the right to have a meaningful vote


    I hope you can support these amendments


    yours

    sincerely


    Tony Sudworth
  • commented 2017-03-11 08:40:45 +0000
    Dear David,


    You cannot fail to notice this news story http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-39238808 The UN state more than 20 million people face the threat of starvation and famine in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria. Unicef has warned 1.4m children could starve to death this year.


    As my local MP, I urge you to raise the plight of these people in Parliament. We need to do all we can to help come to their aid and work with the other UN countries to achieve this. We also need to foster international diplomacy, working to try and end military conflict in these countries to allow peace and stability and avoid large scale deaths from starvation.


    What can be more important in the world than coming to the aid of people much less fortunate than ourselves?


    Please give humanity a voice.


    Sean McAfee,

    Lymm resident.
  • commented 2017-03-10 23:18:11 +0000
    Dear Mr Mowatt

    In your capacity as my M.P. , I would seek your opinion on making the bridges over the Thames toll bridges.

    I can see no difference in this proposal, and the current decision to make the Runcorn/Widnes bridge a toll bridge.

    All of these bridges are paid for.

    Suspect that the Runcorn/ Widnes proposal is connected to the likelihood that hardly anybody would use the new – as yet unopened bridge – if they have to pay to cross it, and that this is the simple reason is to remove the competition that the new bridge might offer the old one.

    At some point, your opinion of George Osborne ‘s promise to give free access to Widnes & Warrington residents, and it’s subsequent withdrawal, would be of interest to myself and others. Those of us who live in Warrington and work in Widnes have a

    personal interest.

    Further, can you please advise who will expect to receive the revenues from toll charges on the existing bridge – and why ?

    Yours Sincerely

    Paul Cunningham
  • commented 2017-03-10 19:38:00 +0000
    Thanks for closing future tec warrington and destroying my son’s future. When are we in warrington getting these grammar schools. Tell Mrs may thanks a lot our children are to fail there GCSES.
  • commented 2017-03-10 19:07:42 +0000
    ..,Dear David the reply went down well until the remark about DISCIPLINE— Unfortunately I deleted the gght tenants site it wasn’t cost effective in time, although learning HTML and SEO balanced the books the attempt of learning maybe my only chance into the job market! At nearly 60 with no work record a long criminal record from the age of 14 to the age of 32 learning these sort after skills should be encouraged? Deeper research into (ruff) 😏 sleepers stats at 4000? There is no reason a few safe shelters couldn’t be donated, Stupidly I thought it was many more! “The concern that mental health could be over looked! Years in a lifestyle (moulds)? a man/Women” I’m sure you wouldn’t be yourself haha….

    All the best no need of a reply leave it to Conscience! I could also coercion move labour/other… AJP
  • commented 2017-03-09 19:48:08 +0000
    Dear mr Mowat. Please could share how you plan to tackle and remedy the schools funding crisis in warrington especially with the area being in the bottom 10 for all of England. http://www.fundsgloriousfunds.com/
  • commented 2017-03-09 11:35:12 +0000
    Dear Mr Mowat,


    I am writing to you following yesterday’s budget. I was extremely disappointed to learn that you see self employed people as a target for more revenue, contrary to your election pledge not to raise national insurance. As a self employed person, I have to complete time-consuming tax returns, deal with overzealous, spiteful and extremely stressful tax investigations as and when the revenue see fit. I do not receive holiday, sick pay or parental leave and work hard to provide for my family.


    The chancellor yesterday talked about fairness. Perhaps you could write to him and remind him of the conservative manifesto commitment not to raise national insurance (and to provide free bridge tolls to Warrington residents) and ask him why he thinks it is fair to just abandon these pledges less than two years later.


    As well as being self-employed, I am proud to serve in the Army reserve in which I am classed as an employee. I was interested to hear yesterday that employees are entitled to sick pay and parental leave due to their higher national insurance contributions. I believe that I am not entitled to sick pay in the army reserve as they are exempt. I have also tried to claim shared parental leave through the army reserve as I was not entitled in my self-employed status. After a great deal of confusion, I was eventually told that the army had found some small print which exempted them from giving me this entitlement too. In the interest of fairness, perhaps you could ask the chancellor to examine why not all employees paying the higher rate of national insurance are entitled to the benefits which he cited yesterday as his reasoning for his punitive measures on the self employed.


    I am a natural conservative voter and could stomach these higher taxes if I could see any effort being made to tackle the spiralling national debt, rather than increasing it at a rate that makes the last labour government look prudent. The chancellor yesterday was happy to spend £5m on celebrating the suffragettes, rather than take any actual meaningful action to improve women’s lives today (many women are self-employed). He also did nothing to tackle the eye-watering amount of £12bn spent on foreign aid, much of which we know misses the intended recipients and finds its way to dubious regimes and countries with space and nuclear programmes. This is money which could be well spent reducing the tax burden of people like myself and/or improving public services.


    There may be no real opposition to the government at the moment, but alienating the wealth creators and your core vote will make this a real likelihood much sooner than it would otherwise be. This is something that you would do well to remember, particularly as you represent a marginal constituency.


    Sincerely,


    David Pickles VR
  • followed this page 2017-03-08 19:10:05 +0000
  • commented 2017-03-08 15:35:14 +0000
  • commented 2017-03-08 15:26:03 +0000
    My thoughts are with all these ladies protesting in Westminster today. Thank you WASPI.

    When I was 59 years old I found out through the Media that I would not be receiving my Pension until I was 64. (I didn’t receive a letter of notification of this from the DWP.) Then last year at the age of 62, again I found out through the Media, that they had put the date back again to 65years and 8months.

    I always worked while bringing up my two daughters and then looked after my Grandchildren while my daughter worked. I also had my Mum living with me and then my Mother-in-law. So always felt as if I had done my bit in life.

    The Government have robbed me of nearly 6 years pension and gave me no time to make any other financial arrangements.

    The Government have treated us no better than SIR Philip Green treated BHS staff.

    Please support the WASPI women today!!!
  • commented 2017-03-07 23:46:46 +0000
    Good evening David,


    As you are well aware I have been campaigning on this issue for a number of years. Below is the press release that went out today. You have been very vocal about this issue for a number of years but I am concerned that you have lost your focus/drive on this issue and have given up and just accepted that it will happen. You are my MP and as a Warrington headteacher and constituent I urge you to make your voice heard in London and fight for the funding all Warrington children (and children across the country) deserve.


    Schools ask for ‘Funds, Glorious Funds’


    Warrington school children are setting their own challenge to the Government over fairer funding with a unique take on ‘Food, Glorious Food’.


    Youngsters from 11 schools have united to put a new ‘twist’ on the classic ‘Oliver!’ theme, changing the focus from ‘food’ to ‘funds’.


    With lyrics such as ‘Funds, glorious funds, New paper and pencils!’ and ‘Rich schools have it, boys – long term protection!’ the song aims to highlight the uncertainty Warrington schools are feeling over the government’s new National Funding Formula, and the harmful impact they fear it may have on education.


    The video, produced by Sir Thomas Boteler High School, has been uploaded to You Tube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yufe4vA5fdc and a website has been set up at www.fundgloriousfunds.com, to spread the message.


    Children and staff are hoping the video will grab people’s attention – from the public, to schools, to the Government – to help raise awareness of the issue and convince politicians to think again.


    The initiative has been spearheaded by head teacher at Woolston Community Primary School, Craig Burgess, who has been campaigning for several years to achieve more funds for Warrington schools.


    He said: “This is such an important issue, so we wanted to come up with a creative way of really getting the message out there. I spoke to some of my colleagues who said schools are currently in a position where we are having to beg, just like Oliver Twist. That was the inspiration I needed to write a new version of Food Glorious Food, targeted at the Government.


    “Ten more schools quickly came on board and recorded their own performance of the song. All of the versions, featuring hundreds of school children, have been combined to make a powerful, multi-school video, which we hope expresses our fears in a way that resonates across the country.


    “Schools across Warrington hoped the National Funding Formula would be the answer to our prayers – but it has, in fact, been the opposite. We are already the tenth worst funded education authority in the country, how can we lose more? It just doesn’t make sense. I’m hopeful that, through this initiative, we can send out the message that these plans are not meeting the needs of children. Hopefully, we can play our part in securing a fairer deal for our schools.”


    Councillor Jean Carter, Warrington Borough Council’s executive board member for children’s services, added: “I applaud Woolston Primary School for starting up this initiative and for all those schools who have come on board. It’s a fantastic, imaginative way of telling the Government, in no uncertain terms, what they think about the funding plans.


    “The current formula is extremely unfair for authorities like ours and we would implore the Government – ‘please sir, we want some more’. It’s great that children are taking action themselves and uniting to help get this message to the Chancellor.”


    Notes to editors

    • In 2015 the government recognised the ‘postcode lottery’ that exists across the country and promised to introduce a fairer and less complex funding system for schools. The Department for Education announced in March 2016 a single, national funding formula intended to ensure that ‘areas with the highest need will attract the most funding’.


    • The new funding formula, set to be introduced from April 2018, will see Warrington’s schools lose almost a quarter of a million pounds a year and the borough become one of the worst-funded in the country. Sixty-three of Warrington’s 83 schools are set to lose money under the plans.


    • If the proposals go ahead, only nine of England’s 150 authorities will receive less than Warrington. Based on current pupil numbers, schools in the best-funded areas would receive an average of £6,775 per pupil, while those in Warrington would receive £4,306 – a difference of £2,469 per pupil. Even compared to the national average, Warrington schools stand to receive £439 less.


    • The schools involved in the ‘Funds, Glorious Funds’ project are:


    Appleton Thorn Community Primary

    Broomfields Junior School

    Newchurch Community Primary

    Oakwood Community Primary

    St. Ann’s Church of England Primary

    St. Barnabas Church of England Primary

    St. Matthew’s Church of England Primary

    St. Philip Westbrook Church of England Primary

    Thelwall Community Junior School

    Twiss Green Community Primary

    Woolston Community Primary
  • commented 2017-03-07 18:08:49 +0000
    Dear Mr Mowat,


    I wrote to you a couple of years ago concerning HS2 and in particular the ‘spur’ from just below Crewe to Wigan which passes through Lymm. I had though this had gone away but sadly not.

    Following several conversations, with various people involved with HS2, at a recent PR event in Culcheth my concerns were only deepened. The ‘Engagement’ representative stated the reason for this section of railway, which appears to have no use, was to increase capacity – this however, is determined by the main line further down. He couldn’t tell me what the increase in capacity was moving from, stating that it would increase to 11 trains per hour, how long the capacity would be viable for and why such an increase was needed. Everyone I have spoken to has never had a problem getting a seat and if the number of empty first class coaches was reduced and replaced with standard coaches it would be a start. I do feel that, as with first class fares, ticket prices will determine use and once again no-one could tell me what they would be, but not cheap I should imagine if this is the ‘fastest’ route, as with the M6 toll.

    The ‘HS2’ representative informed me that the same stretch of railway wasn’t to increase capacity at all, and actually quoted a different capacity per hour, but purely to help increase travel time from Glasgow to London which, with this stretch of line, would be 2 hours and 50 minutes. He couldn’t however, tell me what it was currently or why people, if they wanted to make this journey quickly, wouldn’t fly. Also, how many people actually wanted to make this journey. No-one could tell me how much this section or ‘spur’ would cost. I was told that a cost analysis, had been done looking at upgrading the existing line, although no-one had any figures, and that it would be ‘inconvenient’ for commuters to do as well as ‘costly’. I imagine that demolishing large areas of countryside, having environmental impact analysis teams working for over two years to ‘re-locate’ essential wildlife, tunnelling under a motorway, building embankments, bridges over the ship canal and buying and raising to the ground people’s homes wouldn’t be the cheaper alternative.

    I can’t say that I have ever fully supported any of HS2, although can see potential benefits for some stretches where environmental and human cost is minimal and the high speed benefits can be shown. I am at a total loss to see any benefit for the stretch around Lymm to Wigan, and came away with the feeling that the people involved can’t really either, but are trying to convince residents otherwise, as that’s what they have to do and I’m sure are being paid well to do so. This stretch seems to be in the plan because it would cause less hassle than upgrading the current rail line. As far as I am aware money would also be drawn away from maintaining the existing line which would be crazy.

    Please help me to understand how I can help prevent, at least this stretch of HS2 from happening and instead upgrade the existing line as needed. I have read some of your previous comments in which you have said that you have estimated the cost of this stretch alone to be in the region of £1bn – at a time when the NHS is crying out for money, the social care system is on its knees and charity workers collecting for breast cancer research came knocking on my door trying to raise £300m over 10 years, it seems criminal to waste £1bn of taxpayers money with this. How can it be stopped ?

    I welcome your thoughts, comments and any advice you can offer.
  • commented 2017-03-06 14:36:19 +0000
    Dear Mr Mowat,

    You are no doubt aware of the depth of concern about the school funding proposals for Warrington: almost 4000 of your Warrington South constituents have signed the government petition on the topic to date, which is fast approaching 20,000 signatures overall. Whilst you have made some sympathetic comments, I am concerned that within your analysis of the impact on Warrington of the school funding proposals you have missed the main point with regard to why the formula is problematic and the main areas that require reconsideration.


    There is widespread agreement with your comment that the proposals are “bizarre” because they certainly are a disaster for Warrington children. What we now need is for you to use every bit of influence that you have to ensure that the current proposal does not go forward. It is grossly unfair that the basic per pupil funding for Warrington is so far below the average and local schools will be hampered by this for many years unless you act now to ensure that the government comes up with something substantially better for our children.


    Unfortunately, your comments in the local press focussed on the wrong aspects in my opinion, and I have written a published letter on this. I fear you will present a weak argument for local children and their families in your discussions with the schools minister about the plight of Warrington’s schools unless you focus on the basic per pupil funding and geographical adjustments.


    The strongest point you could make is the broadest financial one, which I believe is above party politics. Whatever one’s political standpoint, it is impossible to justify that the inadequacy of the basic per pupil element in the new formula means that the overall funding per child puts Warrington right at the bottom of the pecking order of local authorities across England at 141st out of 150. We have been a very low funded area for many years and the NFF does nothing to redress the balance. We have sunk even further towards the bottom of the pile and children here will receive a far lower per pupil amount that their peers in comparable areas. In my letter to the Warrington Guardian I cited Milton Keynes and as a reference point the Prime Minister’s local authority in prosperous Surrey. Both are significantly better funded and there’s no getting around the fact that this is unfair and wrong.


    It is essential that you raise the overall impact of the NFF on Warrington. In choosing to emphasise the so called ‘catch up premium’ for pupils who do not meet the expected standard at age 11, you have seized on a peripheral issue. Also, the other element you mentioned – an adjustment of the element for deprivation/high needs – would not be sufficient to address the core problem, and in any case would not be the right thing to do as additional funding must be provided to ensure that children with high or additional needs receive appropriate support. The new formula should be progressive in this respect.


    As I see it, the major stumbling block to ensuring a more equitable distribution is the government’s cap on adding or subtracting more than 3% from the settlement for any authority and the real terms cuts that are being inflicted on education. Unless further funding is afforded to the system, the cap means that the previously low funded schools remain so. It is also clear now that the schools will experience real terms cuts of at least 6.5% according to the very recent Institute for Fiscal Studies report (8% according to the National Audit Office) and this cannot be glossed over. The new formula therefore fails to grasp the nettle on area funding costs, which is a political decision that is unacceptable in your constituency. Your government needs to do two things: to put additional funding into the school funding system as a whole, and bite the bullet to come up with a more honest redistribution that ends the current postcode lottery which penalises children here. Your constituents have a rightful expectation that you will advocate on their behalf and secure a better proposal from the government in which you serve.

    Yours sincerely,

    Rebecca Knowles
  • commented 2017-03-06 10:55:25 +0000
    Good morning David, hope you are well.


    Following today’s confirmed news that Warrington has bid to be Capital of Culture in 2021, I would ask if you could expand on your comments made in the Warrington Guardian article, published online on 25th January 2017.


    http://www.warringtonguardian.co.uk/news/15041911.Warrington_2021_City_of_Culture_bid_edges_closer/


    Specifically


    “That said, if Hull can be a City of Culture, I’m sure Warrington can.”


    Can you please expand on that, as to what Warrington has that equals or betters current incumbent of Capital of Culture, Hull.


    Here at [WAM]. we look forward to you supporting all Cultural events and projects in Warrington.


    Kind regards


    Lee Harman

    Editor
  • commented 2017-03-04 13:36:11 +0000
    Hi David


    What is being done to stop this ridiculous school funding lottery system. Countless schools in Warrington are going to be seriously affected and we’d like to know how you tend to tackle this serious issue


    Thanks

    Angie & Rob Elsley
  • commented 2017-03-03 17:25:55 +0000
    Dear Mr. Mowat,

    I am very concerned about the new Bill which is to be introduced, namely to force chemists against their beliefs and will to hand out the Morning after Pill to girls and women.

    I think it is sad enough that 8.7 million babies have already been aborted due to the fact

    that we(?) value the rights of women but not the rights of unborn babies!!!

    The Bill seems to me like an encouragement to everyone to indulge in promiscuity without the

    worry of a pregnancy!

    How many more scientists, doctors, nurses, artists, writers, musicians, composers, politicians

    etc. are we going to kill before birth?

    I beg you to vote against the introduction of this Bill for the sake of Babies and the Chemists with a conscience.

    Thank you Klara Seddon
  • commented 2017-03-02 16:27:12 +0000
    School Funding in Crisis


    I am writing to you as a concerned parent to highlight the serious concerns I have about school funding. In recent years it has become apparent that current budgets are unsustainable and that many schools are having to make significant cuts and lose staff to make their budgets balance.


    In Warrington we had believed that the national funding formula would finally give our children a fairer deal and we welcomed plans for a national funding formula but the proposed formula does little to improve the inequalities across the country. Data analysed on the School Cuts website provided by the Department for Education, shows that the majority of our Warrington schools will actually lose funding under this formula. This could mean losing valuable teachers and teaching assistants, classroom resources, opportunities for educational trips etc which would then have a significant impact on the standard of education offered to our children.


    I would like to ask you, as a matter of urgency, to write to the Chancellor Philip Hammond to call on him to provide more money for our schools in the Budget in March. The national funding formula does not make school funding fairer for the children of Warrington. School budgets are being pushed beyond breaking point. I hope you can put pressure on the government to make sure schools in your constituency can continue to deliver for all pupils.


    Yours sincerely,