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Labour boss refuses to fight for Bridgend College

Labour’s First Minister has refused to join a campaign fighting for services at a college within his own constituency.

 

Challenged over the Labour government’s cuts to the Further Education budget during First Minister’s Questions, Carwyn Jones dismissed calls for him to stand ‘shoulder to shoulder’ with campaigners in Bridgend.

The town’s college is just one of a number of FE institutions facing changes to courses following Labour’s budget cuts. During a recent protest, students and local people called for an end to the First Minister’s lifelong learning cuts.

In the Senedd this afternoon, the Welsh Conservative Leader also reaffirmed calls for Labour to ensure any additional funding for Wales – as a result of significantly boosted NHS funding in England – would be ringfenced for the Welsh health service.

Wales is the only part of the UK where health spending is falling in real terms. Welsh Conservatives are the only party committed to protecting the health budget and investing in frontline services and access to treatments.

Welsh Conservative Leader, Andrew RT Davies AM, said:

“It speaks volumes that Labour’s First Minister won’t even stick up for a college in his own constituency. He has a blind spot on FE funding and his cuts are hitting lifelong learning hard.

“Adult enrolment is down, courses are dwindling and communities in Bridgend – and right across Wales – deserve better.

“Campaigners, including George Jabbour, are right to fight for college services and it’s a matter of great shame that Labour’s First Minister has so blatantly dismissed their calls.

“Welsh Conservatives would review the FE budget and ensure a forward-funding programme that clearly informs FE institutions of the money they’ll get – ahead of time.”

Mr Davies added:

“We stand proudly as the only party committed to protecting the health budget in Wales.

 

“All extra funding heading to Wales as a result of boosted NHS investment in England would go straight to the health frontline in Wales.

“Labour’s record-breaking NHS budget cuts have starved our health service of a billion pounds since 2010/11.

“Hardworking staff – across both the education and health sectors – deserve more support and boosted funding.”