Today the Liberal Democrats have announce plans to spend £10 billion more a year on schools and recruit 20,000 more teachers by the end of the next Parliament.
A Liberal Democrat government will reverse frontline school cuts since 2015 with an emergency cash injection of £4.6 billion next year.
By 2024/25, the party will spend £10.6 billion more on schools than in 2019/20. This is more than the Conservatives have offered in every year of the Parliament.
Nick Ireland said “This is an investment in our children’s future in Dorset. All our local schools should be generously funded in order to help every child make the most of their potential in the face of challenges ahead."
“Instead, schools are struggling financially because of lack of funding. Headteachers are calling out for help so that they can adequately meet the needs of their students. In Dorset, the Conservatives have cut school funding to the bone and children have paid the price, especially those with the most complex needs. We will make sure there is additional funding for pupils with special educational needs or disabilities.
“It is disgraceful that some schools feel they have no choice but to ask parents to chip in for supplies, or schools are reducing staff or activities to balance their books. Creative subjects like music have been decimated in our schools"
"Our teachers in Dorset do a fantastic job, but for too long they have been underpaid and under resourced, so are leaving the profession. Vote for me and this will stop."
The Liberal Democrats have today set out their plans to protect the NHS, by stopping Brexit and investing an extra £35 billion in the health service and social care over the next five years.
The Liberal Democrats would raise £7 billion a year in additional revenue, ring-fenced for the NHS and social care services, by adding a penny on income tax. On top of this, the party has announced a £10 billion capital fund to upgrade equipment, ambulances, hospitals and other NHS buildings to bring them into the 21st Century.
The Liberal Democrats have also set out plans to tackle the severe staffing shortages across the NHS and end the current shortfall of GPs within five years (by 2024/25). This would be done by retaining free movement including for the 65,000 EU citizens working in the NHS, reinstating nursing bursaries and establishing a national workforce strategy to match training places to future needs.
Nick Ireland said "The UK hasn't trained enough nurses to meet the demands of the NHS for a long time and this has worsened following abolition of the Nursing Bursary by the Tories."
Nick Ireland said "The Liberal Democrats are the natural party of business in South Dorset. Any form of Brexit, whether it’s hard or soft, no deal or jobs first, will be bad for jobs, business, and our public services. I believe that our best future is as members of the European Union."
"The Liberal Democrats will stop Brexit which would be good for our businesses in Dorset. A no deal Brexit is still 'on the table' for next year, even if people like Richard Drax vote for the withdrawal agreement next time. The Conservatives offer more uncertainty, which is bad for business in Dorset. Jeremy Corbyn stuck in the 1970s, with a costly and unnecessary nationalisation plan."
"Vote for me and I will stand up for business in Dorset"
The Liberal Democrats will today announce bold proposals to invest £6 billion per year to strengthen the welfare system over the next Parliament. This forms part of the party's ambitious plans to build a brighter future.
Nick Ireland said "English novelist and social reformer, Charles Dickens, would be turning in his grave regarding the abject poverty of some working people living in South Dorset today! Tory austerity has left a fifth of UK citizens in poverty, unable to afford even the most basic essentials. Weymouth and Portland has been ranked among the ten per cent most deprived in the country. The Foodbank in Swanage is used to feed children in the Purbecks. I will address this crisis"
'Climate change is already having an impact on our coastal communities and we need to act immediately to reduce its effect on our children. The Liberal Democrats have a proud record of taking action both locally and nationally and our commitment to achieving carbon net zero is evident in our plans.' Nick Ireland
Commenting on the Tories dismal record on A&E waiting times, Nick Ireland said "It is disappointing that South Dorset's local A&E in Dorchester has failed to meet the 4 hour waiting time target of 95% but given that the department is drastically undersized for the volume of patients it receives and that the hospital can't recruit enough nurses either domestically or internationally, it's not a surprise."
"DCH has plans to rebuild the Emergency Department but has no funding to do so. Agency spending is above budget and the steep drop in EU residents coming to work in Dorset due to Brexit has taken it's toll. DCH needs our help and by stopping Brexit and investing in our NHS, a Liberal Democrat government will make that happen."
General Election Question Time in Swanage Emmanuel Church - Tuesday 26th November 7.00 - 9.0pm. If you want to ask Nick Ireland or the panel a question the information is below.
A rise in youth crime has coincided with a "huge drop" in youth service funding, a police and crime commissioner (PCC) has said.
Nick Ireland responded to the news "A Liberal Democrat government will invest a ring-fenced £500m in youth services and also make them a statutory service, protecting them from future cuts."
Dorset's youth crime rates have risen for two years, as national rates fell. Statistics show 344 young people per 100,000 entered the youth justice system in Dorset for the first time in 2017/18, compared with a national average of 237.
“Supporting adult learning and working parents is key to the Liberal Democrat plan to build a brighter future. Initiatives such as this are essential to address the social mobility blight afflicting many areas of South Dorset.” Nick Ireland
The Liberal Democrats have set out their vision for a “new era of learning throughout life” with the creation of an ambitious Skills Wallet. This will give every adult £10,000 to spend on education and training throughout their lives.