The Liberal Democrat candidates in Erdington and Sutton Coldfield have both signed the National Union of Students pledge to vote against any increase in fees in the next parliament and to pressure the government to introduce a fairer alternative. Cllr Ann Holtom and Dr Richard Brighton are among hundreds of Lib Dem candidates, including party leader Nick Clegg, Chris Huhne, Sarah Teather and nearly all sitting MPs, to support the NUS campaign.
The local candidates have welcomed Nick Clegg's recent re-affirmation to a student audience in Cambridge that the Liberal Democrats oppose tuition fees, and aim to scrap them for all first degrees.
The NUS has said it values the long-standing opposition to top-fees of Liberal Democrat politicians and activists, where individual candidates like those in Erdington and Sutton Coldfield, have taken the initiative and made a stand.
In a joint statement Cllr Holtom and Dr Brighton said: 'Under a Labour government which said it was committed to "education, education, education" student fees have nearly trebled since 2006 while overall student satisfaction has increased by just 1%. Universities have failed to explain how they are using the current income from additional fees, let alone what they would do with even higher fees.'