letter to herald on newton rigg
I am delighted to see that all the main parties in Penrith and the Border, the Herald, and a very impressive range of non-political groups are now joined in our campaign to save Newton Rigg. This is far too important for party politics. There has never been more need for land-based education and the loss of Newton Rigg would be devastating to Penrith and Cumbria. But we must work even more closely together if we are to ensure that Newton Rigg’s farms are not sold and that 14-19 year old education is protected. We need more information on the current financial mess and we need to help define how to fund and manage Newton Rigg in the future. (Lord Baker is coming in March, for example, to see whether Newton Rigg might fit into the new Conservative proposal of University Technical colleges). Meanwhile, we must hold the University to its promise not to take any hasty decisions. I will be bringing together a more detailed statement to submit to the Vice-Chancellor over the next three weeks and would welcome input from anyone. This is a fight that we can win but only if we all work together.