More students from disadvantaged backgrounds getting university places

Record number of disadvantaged students getting university places, according to a UCAS report released today, disadvantaged young people are over 10% more likely to enter higher education than they were a year ago.

As the number of university entrants passed 500,000 for the first time this year, the gap between the most advantaged and the most disadvantaged students is at its lowest.

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Plan to help those with mental health issues return to work

Liberal Democrats in government have announced a further £12 million investment to help people with mental health conditions get back into work. 

This ties in with the Liberal Democrats' commitment to bringing treatment for mental health problems out of the shadows and in line with physical health.

The funding will be used in four pilot areas to test whether better coordination of mental health and employment services can help people to find and stay in work, whilst improving their mental health.

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Go for Community Banking!

Liberal Democrats are supporting Community Banking in order to break up the power of the big banks and to support local investment and lending in rural areas.

“Many farmers struggle to survive because of changes in pricing and unfair competition. It can be a struggle to live off the land, but many new and innovative small businesses are trying to do so. As MP for West Dorset I would really want to strengthen their hand. It’s about developing skills and making financial support available,” says prospective MP Ros Kayes. “When I obtained the funding for the Skills for Self Reliance project teaching coppicing, permaculture, renewable energy systems and other green skills across West Dorset it really made me see the value of working with landowners and young people to support them in developing their skills.”  

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New Council Offices: £9.7 million. Council Cuts: £9.4 million.

West Dorset District Council has just announced plans to cut £9.4 million from its budget by 2020. “What is both very disturbing and deeply cynical is that the Conservatives who run the Council won’t say where the axe is set to fall until after next May’s elections,” said Dorchester Councillor Andy Canning. 

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New West Dorset Council Offices costing £9.7 million

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Families buying homes in West Dorset will pay on average £4,633 less in Stamp Duty

Home buyers in West Dorset will pay £4,633 less in Stamp Duty under new Coalition reforms, research by the Liberal Democrats has shown.The new system - announced at the Autumn Statement - is based on a long-standing Liberal Democrat policy and will significantly reduce the cost of moving house. People buying homes worth less than £935,000 will now pay less Stamp Duty than they did before, while those buying the most expensive properties will pay more.

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Dibden View – a scheme of 57 affordable homes which Ros was closely involved in designing and developing

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Reforming Young People's Mental Health

Ros Kayes, our parliamentary candidate, says: "Having worked in secondary education and now in mental health, I know just how many teenagers experience anxiety and depression at an early age. It's hard for them to get the support they need. Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) needs more support and more funding - access to psychological therapies is the most important way of preventing problems from escalating into early adulthood. I'm really pleased to see the Lib Dems in Government taking this seriously and to read what Norman Lamb, Liberal Democrat Care and Support Minister, has written:

"Imagine for a minute you are a teenager, perhaps working hard for your a-level exams, struggling with relationships and all the social and academic pressures of school. And on top of this, you might be among the 1 in 10 of your peers suffering from depression, an eating disorder, or another mental health problem.

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Ros working with Zest in Sherborne  - a café run to support those recovering from mental health problems.

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