Tuition fee protest planned for MP’s surgery postponed

A protest against the rise in tuition fees planned for Friday, December 3rd has been called off following the cancellation of Lincoln MP Karl McCartney’s appearance at the City Hall for his advice surgery.

Instead, the demonstration entitled “Mourning the tragic death of education” will take place on Wednesday, December 8th — the day before MPs vote on proposals to allow universities to charge students up to £6000, or in some situations as much as £9000, per year for their courses.

The rescheduled funeral themed protest will see demonstrators leave the University of Lincoln’s SOAP Centre at 1pm on Wednesday before marching to the city centre.


The last demonstration against tuition fees in Lincoln took place on November 24th. Photo: Luke Morton

Chris Charnley, president of Lincoln Students’ Union, announced the change in an email to all students saying that “Karl McCartney has pulled out of his constituency advice surgery at the last minute, in an attempt to avoid his constituents expressing their concern at his support for tripling tuition fees, slashing public funding and abolishing Education Maintenance Allowance.”

However Karl McCartney disputes the claim that he is trying to “avoid his constituents” by saying that the advice surgeries are still happening — just not at City Hall due to the poor weather. City Hall has been closed to the public since Wednesday, December 1st and Lincoln City Council says it will remain closed “until further notice”.

McCartney said: “All my advice surgery appointments booked in for tomorrow will be conducted remotely via telephone or using the internet and Skype, or alternatively I will be walking to the constituents’ home for a face to face meeting.”

McCartney has recently said he supports the coalition government’s proposals. He said: “Going to university is an aspiration that is, and should be, available to all. But funding needs to be sustainable and realistic considering the current state of the nation’s finances.

“The taxpayer is not an everlasting piggy bank available just for students’ or Higher Education funding.”

Describing the rise in fees as a “compromise”, McCartney said: “I know the policy put forward by the coalition government is unpopular with some students in the city and I can understand why,” but claimed there was “little alternative”.

One Response to Tuition fee protest planned for MP’s surgery postponed

  1. Graham Smith says:

    On a day when the building’s owners closed the premises owing to bad weather, the President of Lincoln Students’ Union is being disingenuous in suggesting that Karl McCartney MP is trying to “avoid his constituents”.

    However I consider Mr McCartney is wrong to claim there is “little alternative” to the rise in fees; our country can surely afford to pay for clever students to study sensible subjects?