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Somerset students meet their MP over maintenance grants

Thursday 14-01-2016 - 16:58

A group of students from Somerset College of Arts and Technology travelled to Westminster to meet with their MP Rebecca Pow MP this morning.

The Conservative MP for Taunton was part of a Committee which today narrowly voted to press ahead with the scrapping of university maintenance grants. The campaign to save grants will now move to the House of Lords.

Ashley Whitefield, Conor Philp and Alex Michie told her about the effect that removing student support would have on their community.

They presented evidence and testimonies from their classes, drawing attention to friends from social groups particularly vulnerable to missing out as a result of the proposals.

They also explained the total lack of consultation carried out by the government prior to putting forward the regulations and the undemocratic nature of avoiding a full parliamentary debate.

The MP went on to raise their concerns and challenge government minister Jo Johnson in the Committee.

They said: “The outcome is disappointing and it’s shameful that such a big issue affecting so many people isn’t automatically debated.

“She seemed to be empathetic to the points we made and raised them in the Committee but we were really disappointed she voted with the government.

“We’ll be asking her to justify her vote and will continue to campaign locally for her to make sure there is a full debate and a vote in parliament.”

NUS is calling for a full parliamentary debate on maintenance grants. Contribute to this action here.

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