Wednesday 20-01-2016 - 12:12
From the September constituency lobby through to his selection for the maintenance grants committee, Petroc Students’ Union made ongoing contact with their MP Peter Heaton-Jones.
As part of the first stages of the #CutTheCosts campaign in September and October, PSU joined students’ unions across the UK in collecting signatures and comments from students ahead of an MP meeting about maintenance grants and student debt.
After over a hundred postcards were delivered to his office, Heaton-Jones was invited to a wider meeting at the students’ union.
Although he kept to the government line, PSU ensured he acknowledged their concerns and said: “The meeting served as a useful part of our multi-pronged strategy and put students’ opinions across face to face.”
The following months saw them collect further signatures on their giant #CutTheCosts postcard, which was sent to Jo Johnson’s office.
In January they received news that Heaton-Jones had been selected as one of only 18 MPs to discuss the proposals in a Delegated Legislation Committee and immediately made contact with him.
Heaton-Jones subsequently raised in committee their concerns about the proposals’ effect on disadvantaged students.
Students’ unions targeting MPs and committee members alongside nationwide student pressure on the government forced yesterday’s debate and narrow vote, bringing the issue to wide public attention.
PSU said: “Collective action is what has enabled the achievements so far and PSU will continue to support the campaign.”
The maintenance grants legislation will now move to the House of Lords and we will continue campaigning to #CutTheCosts for students.