An ARAG meeting of around 35 members who had requested to meet with us was held in the Civic on Thursday 4/7/2013.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the current situation with the MMU site and ARAG’s proposals, including the establishment of a University Technical College (UTC).
There was very strong support in the meeting for the ideas of a UTC in Alsager and an ARAG public pressure campaign focussed on getting the best for Alsager on the MMU site. This means a fully funded solution, retaining all of the Sports fields, building only within the footprint of the current buildings, retaining the best buildings ( erected with public money ) and provision of a well designed mixed use for the site
ARAG has also received a large number of messages of support from residents which mean that we have to take our campaign to a higher level. This will involve some expenditure and we will be posting on funding in the near future.
This ARAG campaign will be focussed on generating public pressure both locally and nationally. We are a non-political organisation but these decisions are being made by politicians. As we all know, pressure works, especially if it means votes.
We want to know what the community wants:
- Does the Community support a UTC in Alsager?
- Does the Community want ARAG to campaign on its behalf?
Although ARAG has substantial support through its Website and Facebook presence and we have received hundreds of encouraging messages, in this campaign, we want to take member recruitment to a new and effective, co-ordinated level.
As a registered member, you can really help to get the ball rolling by making sure that your friends and neighbours are aware of the organisation and by asking them to register on the site to receive the posts we produce. We want to communicate with as wide an audience as possible
Whatever happens on the MMU site will affect the whole community not just those who live near it. The UTC would contribute to the identity of the Town and benefit hundreds of parents and young people.
We see this as a once in a lifetime opportunity for Alsager and we want to make sure that everyone has a good appreciation of what they could be losing if we don’t act together as a community. Please talk, e-mail, facebook and do everything you can to reach the parts of Alsager that haven’t yet been reached.
As a final point of interest, the government has recently announced new Technical Qualifications and strong support for UTCs as this press release suggests.
Today the Government approved a further 15 University Technical Colleges (UTCs) to open across the country over the next two years. This brings the total number of UTCs to 34.
For the past four years, the Baker Dearing Educational Trust (BDT) has been working with the Department for Education, local employers, universities and further education colleges to develop a national network of UTCs.
Lord Kenneth Baker, Chairman of BDT, said:
“The Coalition Government continues to show its commitment to these new colleges for 14-19 year olds by expanding the national network. I am delighted that it has all party support and so many people right across the country want to open UTCs.
Companies up and down the country who need highly skilled technicians and engineers support UTCs which bind universities and industry into their establishment, governance and curriculum design. UTCs will help our economic growth. Almost 300 companies are supporting these 34 UTCs – an outstanding industrial commitment.
We will continue to develop more UTCs to be announced later this year.”
You can see more details, and reasons why it would be perverse not to develop a UTC in Alsager on the MMU campus here.