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County 'short-changed' says MP

PUBLISHED: 09:22 19 June 2003 | UPDATED: 14:00 03 March 2010

A SUFFOLK MP has told the House of Commons the county has been short-changed by the government.

West Suffolk Conservative MP Richard Spring was leading a debate in Parliament which had been sparked by a shortfall in the county's funding for education.

A SUFFOLK MP has told the House of Commons the county has been short-changed by the government.

West Suffolk Conservative MP Richard Spring was leading a debate in Parliament which had been sparked by a shortfall in the county's funding for education.

Mr Spring accused the Government of "miscalculating" the real costs faced by schools and attacked Suffolk County Council for "failing to stand up and fight".

He said the classroom crisis, on top of huge council tax rises and "poor" investment in health, meant Suffolk was suffering.

Mr Spring told MPs it was an "appallingly familiar theme" and added "I have to say, I am sick to death of Suffolk being short changed.

"I am left in total exasperation that Suffolk continues to be discriminated against in this way."

The Tory MP said the problems will see jobs axed and staff hours reduced with schools forced to dig into their reserves to balance the books.

"My constituents will feel aggrieved when they compare Suffolk's situation to the substantially greater increases in parts of the north of England," he said.

"Of course there is a limit to the size of the national cake – all I ask for is fair treatment. This is simply not happening."

He added repeating Tony Blair's well documented pledge of "Education, Education, Education" mantra, would now be "a cruel joke" to teachers, parents and governors in Suffolk.

"They now face extremely hard and unpalatable choices. Unless these arrangements are quickly changed for next year, the consequences will be truly catastrophic," the MP said.

Mr Spring reserved his strongest criticism for Suffolk County Council for not fighting for a better deal for the county.

"I am dismayed that County Hall continues to let the people of Suffolk down by failing to fight for adequate resources for our county," he said.

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