Liverpool - Free stationery scheme erased

13th August 2010 at 01:00

A Liverpool Council bursary aimed at keeping teenagers in education after GCSEs by offering them free stationery has been scrapped less than a year after its launch.

The scheme, which spent #163;750,000 on paper clips, pens and paper, was dropped after council leader Joe Anderson branded the project a "gimmick".

A brainchild of previous Liberal Democrat council leader Warren Bradley, the Stay on in Liverpool scheme rewarded around 12,000 16 to 19-year-olds for continuing their studies with a #163;30 voucher to be spent on learning materials.

But Labour's Cllr Anderson said the economic times meant the council could not justify renewing the programme.

According to the Liverpool Echo, Cllr Anderson said the project was not value for money, given that #163;9.4m had been slashed from the council's area-based grant.

"We cannot justify it and we will not be taking lessons from the Liberal Democrats, who have supported millions in cuts to our area-based grants this year," he said.

"It was a gimmick and the idea that students are going to decide to go to college just because they get a few new pens and rulers is nonsense. If it is a choice between saving jobs and a few rulers and rubbers then it's not a hard decision." rv.

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