Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Shock (?) - Bristolians support the new waste/recycling system

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So, people in Bristol support recycling - shock? Not!!

The Bristol Citizen's Jury on waste set up to advise on Bristol's new waste management and recycling systems, especially the brown bin food waste composting arrangement, has come out clearly in support of recycling.

People critical of the system were for me always a minority, probably a pretty small, but a very vocal one. Was the issue ever that controversial or contentious? Was a Citizen's Jury needed?

See the city website, or Bristol Evening Post report, 'Verdict in - people support recycling', 18 Sept., for more.

Lifelong learning, one key to a better quality of life, hit by government funding phase out

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The Open University is currently very unhappy with the Labour government. Today I received the strongly worded email below from the university Vice Chancellor. I have to say that that the Open University's view is one I agree very strongly with - its short sighted to put barriers in the way of lifelong learning, a very valuable concept in building and maintaining a high quality of life through nurturing talents and equipping people for today's world.

I wrote to you last Monday to inform you of the unexpected decision by Government to phase out funding for students studying for qualifications equivalent to, or at a lower level than, a qualification that they already hold.

I write now to keep you updated on progress.

I have met with my fellow Vice Chancellors at the UUK meeting last week and there is much support across the board that this development is not helpful to the life-long learning agenda nor indeed to Government's own pronouncements about nurturing the talents of all its people. We are not alone in opposing this policy.

David Vincent and I also had a meeting with the Minister for Higher Education, Bill Rammell yesterday and we were left in no doubt that this decision is unlikely to be reversed....

...I remain of the opinion that this policy runs counter to the intention of the Leitch report on skills and the Prime Minister's own position on lifelong learning. We are a nation operating in a first world, high-skill, knowledge economy and we should be providing every incentive to encourage our people to align their knowledge and skills with that economy. This policy seems hardly likely to do that.

Brenda Gourley, Vice Chancellor