TobinBlogs

Sept 09 – Town Takeovers kick off

Posted by Tobin Webb on September 25, 2009

students are taking over...one meeting at a time

students are taking over...one meeting at a time

That strange month of September is upon us again…summer is fading and the nerves of a new term ahead are kicking in…and what a busy term its going to be for NUS. Funding our Future Campaign is chock-a-block, first the finges as TUC, Lib Dem, Labour and Conservative part conferences, then the freshers fairs up and down the country before October sees its first town takeovers in Liverpool and Bristol.

I attended the national training event for officers and local campaign organisers, and will be playing a big role in organising the Bristol Town Takeover – so watch this space for more info on that. The TT plan is to take the debate about higher education funding out to the public – if the politicians in westminster are refusing to engage, we need to put the pressure on in their constituencies and make HE funding an issue in the spotlight again.

In Bristol we have a number of marginal seats up for election including Bristol West, where the Lib Dem spokesman for Higher Education,  Stephen Williams took the seat at the last election after students rebelled against the incument MP for abstaining on the vote for top-up fees in 2004. Since we’ve seen Lib Dem policy wavering on HE funding, just this week at their party conference, I feel Bristol’s TT will be an interesting one to watch as we have the opportunity to have some real influence on a major political party. But it’s not just the Lib Dems – with the general election coming up, hopefully this action from NUS will make the candidates from all parties in seats like Bristol West put student issues on their agenda and, if we are successful, make commitments and promises on HE funding and take the student vote seriously.

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