A Teacher's view of the exam chaos

Photo of young people protestingI could talk about the damage austerity had done to schools, and the way in which Covid-19 highlighted the wider role a school plays in the community, as we have witnessed through the campaign of Marcus Rashford.  I could write about the need to have a strong education system in order to allow people to work, or the social aspect of schools that many of our children and young adults have so desperately missed. I could focus on the botched attempts to get pupils back into school, when double the amount of classrooms and teachers would have been needed, but what I would like to focus on is the exams.

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Sandwell LibDems Chair demands action on knife crime

We have raised the problem of increasing knife crime, in Warley, with the Police.
This is the spot a knife was used to threaten players coming off the basketball court and a new bike stolen from them. Bob Smith, Chair of Sandwell LibDems, visited this well-used, family and community area that parents and local residents complain is becoming more dangerous. A week after this another lad was mugged by three men who took his bike in the same park. There is also the problem of used Nitrate Oxide capsules scattered all around, as we see all too often elsewhere in Sandwell.

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About the Executive

The Sandwell Liberal Democrats elected a new Executive Committee at its AGM in December. This was announced to members and supporters in January, and has hit the ground running, thanks to the cooperation and support of previous Executives. Their help has ensured that the new team have had a smooth handover of responsibilities. Here is a quick guide to the new Executive.

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Encourage use of Canals and Alternative Transport Routes says our Membership Secretary

The West Midlands is at the heart of the country's canal network, and local campaigner and Sandwell Lib Dem Membership Secretary, Nigel Fearn, would like to see better use made of these alternative routes. Some of the canals in Sandwell have already seen improvements made to them, thanks to the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership. This has seen some of the towpaths in Sandwell cleared to make it easier for people to use them for cycling or walking, and they offer a healthy, greener, and often more direct route into places. We encourage this trend and call for further improvements to make it safe for cyclists and walkers to use these routes. Nigel has been campaigning on this issue for several years.

Cyclists travelling along canal towpath Canal towpath in Sandwell

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Sandwell Lib Dems Concerns about the A34 Sprint Bus Plans

Liberal Democrats agree that local councils and businesses need to do all they can to combat global warming. This means investing in public transport, buses, trams and railways, and consulting local people properly so they can have their say on plans. It is important to ensure residents contribute to the discussions, as well as enable them to travel more easily while reducing their impact on the environment. Here are the main concerns we have with how what should have been a sound scheme to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, has been mismanaged through poor communication.

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NHS and Care Staff Support Campaign

Day after day, our NHS and care staff are putting their lives at risk to keep us safe and care for the critically ill, suffering from coronavirus.

Working long shifts, often isolated from their families, the sacrifices they are making for us all during this pandemic are incredible.

Yet alarmingly, many aren’t getting the support they need. The Government is failing too many NHS and care staff, especially on personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing for coronavirus.

That’s why Liberal Democrats are calling for a comprehensive support package for frontline workers - to give them the support and recognition they deserve.

Will you back our call for a new support package for NHS and care staff? Add your name now:

Add your name  ➜

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Updated Advise on Staying Safe in the Coronavirus Outbreak

The coronavirus (COVID19) is spread by respiratory droplets, and does not linger on porous surfaces, such as letters or parcels, says the post office. Here is our recommended advice for staying safe.

  • Wear a mask when out shopping, or where mixing with strangers in an enclosed space.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Do not sign for letters or parcels. (Although they should not ask you to, according to their advice above.)
  • Stay at home when you’re sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the bin.
  • Where possible, use contactless payments, or paper bank notes rather than the new polymer ones.

Be kind. Phone friends and family if they have to self-isolate, or nervous about the continuing threat of the virus.
If you can, offer to help people who have difficulty getting out with shopping and other tasks. However, be sure to follow the NHS Advice on precautions you need to take, and maintain social distancing to protect yourself and others.

Sandwell Council is also providing support for its residents. Check their Coronavirus - Emergency help from the council page for details. There may also be a local community group in your area that is already offering help, such as the Great Barr Volunteers group.

Take our Coronavirus Survey

And finally, have your job been affected by the virus?
Has it made you appreciate local al shops and businesses more?

If it has, let us know by completing our brief Coronavirus Survey.

Holocaust Memorial Day at Highfields Memorial Gardens, West Bromwich

Sandwell LibDems joined other dignitaries, and veterans, at Sandwell's Holocaust Memorial Day Commemoration, at Highfields Memorial Gardens in West Bromwich, to stand together and remember those that were killed in death camps like Therisienstadt, Bergen-Belsen, and Auschwitz, as well as our own forces who gave their lives for their country.

War Veterans at Sandwell Holocaust MemorialSandwell Mayor with wreath at Sandwell Holocaust Memorial

Sandwell Holocaust Memorial

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Government "asleep-at-the-wheel" over Midland Met fiasco says Sandwell LibDem Treasurer

With news that Sandwell's new hospital is going to now cost £300m more than budget, Sandwell LibDem's Treasurer, Bob Smith, went to have a look for himself.

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Sandwell LibDems Question Changes to Great Barr and Perry Barr Bus Services

Sandwell Liberal Democrats attended some of the Transport for West Midlands consultations in Great Barr. These were held to update residents on changes to the proposals for the Walsall to Great Barr section of their Sprint bus service. Unfortunately it did not include any further details of a proposed Park & Ride station near Junction 7 of the M6, and only included vague assertions regarding the Scott Arms junction. These proposals will cause chaos for residents and damage the environment. Contact us if you agree.

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