Monday 24 April 2017
School Funding in Tonbridge and Malling
The petition of residents of Tonbridge and Malling,
Declares that schools in Tonbridge and Malling will remain underfunded under both the current and proposed funding plans.
The petitioners therefore urge the House of Commons to note their objections to the funding formula for schools in Tonbridge and Malling.
And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Tom Tugendhat, Official Report, 29 March 2017; Vol. 624, c. 370.]
Observations from The Secretary of State for Education (Mr Nick Gibb):
The Government have protected the core schools budget since 2010. This year, in 2017-18, it is the largest ever on record, at almost £41 billion.
There is consensus that the current system for distributing school funding is unfair. It is based on data that is a decade or more out of date, and, as a result, similar local areas and schools receive very different levels of funding with little or no justification. The petitioners are correct that, overall, schools in Tonbridge and Malling currently attract comparatively low levels of funding.
The Government recently consulted on detailed proposals to introduce a national funding formula for schools from April 2018. A national funding formula would calculate schools’ funding allocations consistently and transparently, based on their pupils’ characteristics.
In the consultation, we published a significant amount of data to illustrate the impact of the proposals. If they wish to, petitioners can access this data to see how the budgets for schools in their area, and all schools in England, would be affected by the proposed formula. These figures are illustrative, and show the funding schools would have received if the formula had been introduced in 2016-17, in full and without transitional protections, compared to the actual funding schools received in that year.
For schools in the Kent County Council area, the published figures show an overall increase in funding of over £29.5 million, with increases for 351 individual schools. In the Tonbridge and Malling constituency, 29 schools would gain, with an overall increase of almost £1.5 million.
The national funding formula proposals include transitional protections to limit reductions to manageable levels for those schools whose funding would reduce. We have proposed to provide continued protection through the minimum funding guarantee, which limits year-on-year reductions to 1.5% per pupil. In addition, we proposed an overall floor that would limit total reductions to 3% per pupil as a result of the formula.
We received over 25,000 responses to the consultation, which we are analysing in detail. We are grateful to all those who expressed their views on school funding and the proposed formula as part of this process. We will publish the Government’s response in due course.
Walk-in Services at the Merlyn Vaz Health and Social Care Centre, Leicester
The petition of residents of Leicester East,
Declares that Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group plans to remove the existing walk-in element of the service from Merlyn Vaz Health and Social Care Centre which would have a detrimental effect on the local community and other members of the public who use the “out of hours” facility, especially on the elderly and vulnerable people who do not have easy access to transport but are able to walk to the Merlyn Vaz Health and Social Care Centre.
The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to encourage Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group to reconsider their decision to remove the existing walk-in element of the service from the Merlyn Vaz Health and Social Care Centre.
And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Keith Vaz, Official Report, 01 March 2017; Vol. 622, c. 392.]
Observations from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health (David Mowat):
The reconfiguration of health services is a matter for the NHS locally. Any changes to local services should be led by clinicians and patients, not from the top down. It is for NHS commissioners and service providers to work together with patients and the public in bringing forward proposals that will improve the quality and sustainability of healthcare services.
Although this is a local responsibility, the Government have set out strengthened criteria that it expects NHS service changes to meet. Namely, they should have support from commissioners, focus on improving patient outcomes, consider patient choice, and be based on sound clinical evidence
Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) advises that the contract for the walk-in centre at the Merlyn Vaz Health and Social Care Centre is due to expire on 30 September 2017. The CCG has recently engaged with the public on proposals to replace the service with a community healthcare hub, located at either the Merlyn Vaz Centre or on the Leicester General Hospital site.
On 7 April 2017, following review of the consultation responses received, the CCG announced that the community healthcare hub will be based at the-Merlyn Vaz Health and Social Care Centre for at least the next three years.
The CCG further advises that there are already three healthcare hubs in the city that have been in place as a pilot service since September 2015; these became permanent services from 1 April 2017.
From 1 October 2017 the new service at the Merlyn Vaz Health and Social Care Centre will offer urgent GP and nurse appointments from 8am to 8pm, 365 days a year. Both pre-bookable and walk-in appointments will be offered, although the CCG and service provider will encourage as many patients as possible to book into guaranteed slots. It is hoped this will help reduce waiting times and make maximum use of available GP and nurse time.
The contract, which is subject to procurement, will be for an initial period of three years with an option to extend for up to two further years. The existing provider of the walk-in service will continue to offer unchanged services for patients until its contract ends on 30 September 2017.
Traffic enforcement measures along the A52
The petition of residents of Broxtowe,
Declares that as a result of the lack of traffic enforcement measures along the A52 road between the roundabouts known locally as Bardill’s Island, which crosses with the B6003, and Priory Island, which is at a junction with the A6464, there is excessive speeding and as such the road is unsafe.
The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to install traffic enforcement measures along the A52 between the two roundabouts known locally as Bardill’s Island, which crosses with the B6003, and Priory Island, which is at a junction with the A6464.
And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Anna Soubry, Official Report, 28 February 2017; Vol. 622, c. 268.]
Observations from The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Mr John Hayes):
This observation supersedes the observation made on 23 March 2017
Observations by the Minister of State for Transport (John Hayes) on the Petition from the hon. Member for Broxtowe (Anna Soubry) declaring that members of the community in Broxtowe are concerned about excessive speeding on the A52 between Bardill’s Island roundabout and Priory Island roundabout. The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to install traffic enforcement measures along the A52 between the two roundabouts known locally as Bardill’s Island, which crosses with the B6003, and Priory Island, which is at a junction with the A6464.
Highways England is undertaking an assessment of collisions on a section of the A52 and will share findings with the MP in due course. Any concerns should be taken up with Highways England.
The Department for Transport (DfT) would like to thank the petitioners for taking this positive action to bring this matter to its attention and the Minister will write to Highways England to make it aware of the concerns of Parliament.
The Department for Transport (DfT) is responsible for setting legislation and for guidance to traffic authorities on how to provide various traffic management measures. Highways England was created by the infrastructure Act 2014 chapter 7 and has a statutory right to provide road management schemes for their roads, of which the A52 is part.
Speed Limits for the Strategic Road Network including the A52 were set by the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 part 7 section 84. Highways England can introduce a number of measures such as traffic calming or road reconfiguration.
The decisions on the type of measures that might be most suitable are matters for DfT and Highways England in consultation with local communities.