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Labour voted to have no vote' on language students' plight

PUBLISHED: 11:41 24 April 2009 | UPDATED: 14:18 05 October 2010

Dear Ed, WE SPOKE at Tower Hamlets council's meeting on April 22 in favour of a motion supporting the Campaigning Alliance for Lifelong Learning. But the (ruling) Labour Group actually voted down a proposal to allocate extra time for a vote!

Dear Ed,

WE SPOKE a Tower Hamlets council meeting on April 22 in favour of a motion supporting the Campaigning Alliance for Lifelong Learning.

But the (ruling) Labour Group actually voted down a proposal to allocate extra time for a vote!

The Lib Dems and the Tories supported the proposal by Respect for an extension—but Labour voted it down.

The Campaigning Alliance for Lifelong Learning exists to defend funding for Adult education. This is as broad based as they come, involving more than 150 organisations, and has an Early day Motion before the Commons that is backed by 165 MPs at Westminster from all parties.

We find it astonishing after taking some time and effort to come and explain the detrimental effects current spending priorities were having on adult education in the East End that Labour councillors could not see fit to allow time to vote.

Perhaps they can explain to our English Speakers of Other Languages’, who have to pay £800 for English classes, seven-and-a-half hours a week, why they couldn’t see fit to stay another 15 minutes to help highlight their plight.

As Cllr Abjol Miah from Respect said, “There was no argument that they had to get away to catch a train, bus or plane—they all retired after the meeting to enjoy a cup of tea and food at the taxpayers’ expense.”

John Budis

Roberto Foth

Rehana Rahman

Tower Hamlets College

University & College Union

Arbour Square, Stepney

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