“WE remain the only party unanimously committed to reducing student debt. We are completely sincere in delivering that”
That’s the promise Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg made to further education students during a visit to Solihull College last week.
Answering questions from Public Services Diploma students, many of whom want to work in fire, police and military services, the MP spoke to the 16-18-year-olds just days after his party put on hold pledges to scrap tuition fees. They now propose to phase them out over six years.
Mr Clegg with Solihull’s Lib Dem MP Lorely Burt and local Lib Dem councillors Tim Hodgson and Ian Hedley, toured a new extension, which when completed in 2011 will provide students with a new visual arts, media and performing arts block complete with large theatre as well as new class rooms and modern workshops.
He then dropped in on post 19 students studying graphic design and travel and tourism.
College Principal Brenda Sheils was delighted to welcome the Liberal Democrat Leader.
She said: “It’s a real pleasure to have anybody of his standing into the college.
“The students are very excited and feel it’s such an honour to be able to share this.”
Mr Clegg responded to a number of questions posed by students including party views on immigration, MP’s expenses and huge bonuses awarded to bankers.
He also said: “The big test is the General Election.
“One in four people voted in the last election for the Lib Dems. That’s a big platform for us.”
The MP also accused the NHS Foundation Trust of a ‘degree of doublespeak’ following its decision to press ahead with downgrading maternity services at Solihull Hospital before any formal consultation.