Visit to St Teresa’s Primary School, Wokingham

 

          I visited St Teresa’s on Friday as part of my regular programme of constituency visits.

          They raised two main issues of concern. They wish to expand their school. This requires permission to increase the size of the building. They would like to do this by extending outwards into the car park in front. I welcome their wish to expand, as I understand it is a popular school with disappointed parents who cannot obtain a place there for their son or daughter. In principle I favour parental choice and that requires the expansion of popular schools.

         I explained  that this is a local matter, and they need to discuss it with Councillors and Council planning officials. I have no objection myself to their outline plan, but clearly we need to know the views of the neighbours. It is also important to have a way of  handling  staff and parent cars if the car park in front is to be reduced in size.

        The teachers also raised the issue of teachers pensions. I explained that I am urging Ministers and representatives of the employers, to sit down and negotiate a fair settlement of all the issues. Of course the teachers side should have access to the actuarial calculations and information on what various changes would do to the costs on the fund as well their impact on teachers pensions. The context of the talks is the need to implement a higher retirement age overall to reflect improvements in longevity, to move to equality between men and women, and to control the overall costs of public pensions. Within this framework there is scope to negotiate a preferred timetable and solution on the individual components of pensions, and to reflect the differing circumstances in the public sector over contribution rates and accumulated assets where they exist. I will talk again to Mr Gove about this.

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One Comment

  1. lifelogic
    Posted June 25, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    When you say to move to equality between men and women I assume you mean the at the same age. But as Woman pay less in, work less, earn less (and not for reasons of discrimination as is clearly shown by the fact that single woman earn more) and live several years longer – is that equality – in what sense?

    It used to be the case that men got 6 or 7 years of pension after 65 and woman 16 of pension years after 60. Just making it 66 will not be equal.

    It all depends on what you mean by equality – the absurd EU insurance sex equality ruling is complete madness and will drive business away from the EU and cost millions. The triumph of wishful thinking over sanity, treating the world as it actually is, and what works.

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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