Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for your protection, which I appreciate greatly.
As I was saying, a few weeks ago, my hon. Friends the Members for Leicester South and for Leicester West and I launched a city-wide petition against the Government’s proposals to abolish the education maintenance allowance. Over the next few evenings, we will each be presenting petitions from various educational institutions. This petition has been collected by those who study at Gateway college, in Hamilton, in my constituency, where the principal is Suzanne Overton-Edwards.
The petition states:
The Petition of residents of Leicester and the surrounding areas,
Declares that the Petitioners oppose the abolition of the Education Maintenance Allowance; notes that a substantial number of young people are in receipt of the Education Maintenance Allowance in Leicester; and further notes that education can provide a better future for young people.
The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government not to abolish the Education Maintenance Allowance.
And the Petitioners remain, etc.