Cuts, academies and parliamentary life

Now in the thick of Parliamentary work.

Right now, the priorities are fighting city academies, and setting out an alternative to the Cameron-Clegg cuts that will hit Brighton and Hove - and the whole country.

Brighton's in the firing line - big cuts locally - so what's the alternative?

Seriously, I'm not overstating it when I say that in Brighton and Hove we're really in the firing line with government budget cuts.

Our local economy is reliant on a diverse mix of emerging and dynamic smaller businesses - alongside the public and voluntary sectors - exactly the kinds of enterprises most at risk from the Cameron-Clegg cuts.

That's why on budget day Tuesday 22 June when George Osborne, new Chancellor of the Exchequer, announces billions of pounds of cuts I'll be joining Green Party activists all over the country in front line opposition to his proposals.

With as much as £100bn lost to the Treasury through tax avoidance, tax evasion and unpaid tax, serious tax reform needs to be urgently pursued as an alternative to swingeing public spending cuts.

You can find the report I've been writing about it: Cuts the Callous Con Trick  here.

Green councillors on the city council here in Brighton have already appealed to the Tory councillors to cooperate on how to manage the cuts at the council but they rejected the offer.

Schools under threat

Last week I spoke at a meeting to defend locally run education from the new Government's proposal to fast track more schools into the hands of wealthy backers - AKA City Academies.

The controversy centres on Portslade Community College which lies in next door Hove constituency.

But what happens there will affect the rest of the city.

Read more about what I said here:

Questions and Motions in Parliament

I've been putting a range of questions to Ministers, which you can find at the excellent Theyworkforyou site  in particular focusing on Britain's nuclear weapons, on the BP oil disaster, and on the Trafigura toxic waste scandal.

Early Day Motions highlight issues that otherwise might not reach public attention, and demonstrate the extent to which they enjoy parliamentary support.

I've proposed EDMs on a range of issues- please hit the links to get the full text

* Welcoming a criminal investigation of BP for the Louisiana oil spill

* Welcoming growth in local soccer teams in Sussex, particularly those working with people with disabilities

* Calling for honouring of pledges from Brown and Clegg to reform Parliament to make it more democratic and easier to hold the Government to account

* Appealing for help for the Refugee and Migrant Justice Charity with slow payments for legal aid

* Calling on the Government to launch a full inquiry into the allegations against Trafigura, a multi-national company accused of illegal dumping of waste in West Africa.

Also, if you haven't already, take a look at what I said on Israel's violation of the Free Gaza flotilla and loss of life.




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