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Volume 621: debated on Tuesday 21 February 2017

The future of nursery schools

I rise to present a petition on the future of our state-run nursery schools. It is the petition of the many parents and supporters of schools such as the Fields Children’s Centre in Cambridge. Those schools do brilliant work that is now threatened by funding changes.

The petition reads:

The petition of residents of Cambridge,

Declares that nursery schools have very good outcomes with regard to closing the achievement gap as well as supporting children with complex educational or medical needs; further that the petitioners are concerned by the Government’s proposals for early years funding that would mean that local authorities would pass on 95% of early years funding from central government directly to early year providers; further that should the proposals be accepted all nursery schools in Cambridgeshire will find themselves in dire financial difficulties; and further that the proposals would lead to a loss of early years provision as well as job losses for nursery staff.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to drop their proposal that would require local authorities to pass on 95% of early years funding from central government directly to early year providers.

And the petitioners remain, etc.


Closure of bank in Odiham

Banks are more than a utility; they provide a service to communities up and down the land. Today banks are changing definitions and moving the goalposts so that they can close more branches, including in my constituency. This is being done by all banks, at a time when they are seeking to rebuild trust. The people of Odiham want to make it clear to this House—they have done so well into their four figures—that they want their local bank to remain.

The petition reads:

The Humble Petition of the people of North East Hampshire,


That Lloyds Bank have proposals to close the Odiham High Street branch on 8th March 2017; that this high street branch is particularly highly valued; especially by older residents and small business owners who often pop in to manage their finances; and that if accounts are moved to Fleet, this becomes a four hour return journey by public transport, which is clearly not in the best interests of our community

Wherefore your Petitioners pray that your Honourable House urges HM Government to take all possible steps to urge Lloyds Bank to reconsider this decision and to make sure that the banking industry considers the social implications of their actions

And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray, &c.