Jeremy Corbyn promises to give Peterborough City Council £45m of funding back every year if Labour elected
Jeremy Corbyn has promised to give Peterborough City Council £45 million of funding back every year if Labour is elected.
The Leader of the Opposition hit out at funding cuts in Peterborough, which he also blamed for the city’s poor performances in the education league tables.
Mr Corbyn recently visited the city with parliamentary candidate Lisa Forbes who is fighting a by-election in the city on June 6 after sitting MP Fiona Onasanya was recalled by her constituents.
Speaking to the Peterborough Telegraph, the Labour leader, when asked why people should vote for his party, said: “Because it will help us get a Labour government that will invest in schools, invest in housing, invest in new jobs and in health and social care.
“This Conservative Government has practiced austerity and taken £45 million a year away from the people of Peterborough. We will put it back.
“We are fighting this by-election to get Lisa Forbes elected and she will be an absolutely brilliant MP. Locally based, empathy for the people of this area, a brilliant representative for this town.”
On education, where Peterborough has come second bottom for Year 6 SATs results for the past three years, Mr Corbyn said: “It’s a combination of spending cuts from central government onto local government as much as anything.
“The message I would give is central government must fund things properly, and the focus of schools should be on the support they can give to all children in the school, and the headteacher not having to stress endlessly about budget cuts, dismissing teachers and ending out of school activities.
“It’s also a combination of poverty, particularly in the central areas of Peterborough. Many of the families on low incomes are quite poor and support the children get outside of school is quite limited.”
Mr Corbyn said he wanted to introduce a national education service with all schools brought under local authority control.
Asked about Brexit, and whether high immigration had led to Peterborough voting to Leave the EU, Mr Corbyn said: “This city has been built on the work of many people that migrated here. Think of the Italian community that migrated here, think of the Asian community that’s here that has made this city the vibrant city that it is.
“The issues Peterborough faces are the issues every other town faces - a central government that doesn’t care about communities and cuts funding. That’s the issue.”