Liverpool MP promises graduate jobs and cheaper buses
Is she our saviour?
The city’s Labour MP is striving to reduce tuition fees and create more graduate jobs in the hope of securing more student votes.
In the run up to the General Election, Louise Ellman said Liverpool has “the problem of students coming and loving it here, but then having to go away because that’s where the jobs are”.
The Hull University graduate is desperate to change the damning statistic of a fifth of students being unemployed six months after graduation by creating jobs in the city.
She said: “Students here are a vital part of the city.
“It’s important they are made to feel welcome and supported, and that jobs are here so graduates can stay here.”
Quizzed on the sensitive subject of tuition fees, Louise said she suspects a “reduction of fees rather than scrapping”, and a scheme “more to do with graduate tax and less to do with fees”.
Taking a swipe at the not-so-popular Nick Clegg, she said: “We don’t want to be like the Lib Dems last time and make a very specific promise only to break it.”
The rising cost of public transport is a common complaint, with the Arriva bus pass increasing in price year on year.
Ellman, who is Chair of the Transport Select Committee, believes there should be “some kind of national scheme in place” that will reduce the amount of money students must pay to travel around the city.
She added: “Like there is for older people, there is now a national concessionary scheme because travel is an major issue and for students and younger people.
“Generally the cost of travel can stop people getting out.
“I think perhaps that is something that could be built on, and see if that can be extended and I’d be willing to talk to them about.”
In the last year or so, popular student areas such as Smithdown have become hotspots for criminal activity and students have begun to question the safety of their own homes.
Ellman stresses “the police must be more vigilant,” and local councils are looking into better police action in such areas.
The MP was also surprised by the results of the The Tab’s election poll putting Labour third with 21 per cent – behind Conservatives with 30 per cent and the Greens with 31 per cent – accusing the Greens of “superficial policy”.
She said: “The popularity on those figures of the Green party is because some of their ideas might sounds appealing, but on examining them, they collapse completely.”
She explains that upon an investigation into the Green party £8 living wage pledge, “it was found the poorest people would actually lose money, so they immediately dropped the policy.
“They’ve had a policy about forcing vegetarianism on people, and when they tried to do that, the workers threatened to go on strike.”