Gloria writes a column every week for the Ashfield Chad. Here are her thoughts from the May 11th edition:
Applying for a primary school place for your child can be a stressful time for parents because everyone wants their son or daughter to have the best education they can.
The majority of children get into their first choice school, but I have been contacted by several parents who are distraught that their child has not secured a place where they wanted them to go.
This happens as a direct result of some schools being oversubscribed, which in turn happens because the number of pupils is increasing more quickly than the number of school places on offer.
Labour has predicted that the shortfall in places could be as high as 85,000 by 2019-20, and this problem will be worse in areas where schools are forced to become academies, because local authorities will not have the power to create more spaces where they are needed.
Councils need to be given the power and resources to ensure that there are sufficient places for all of our children now, before their education suffers.
Receiving a bill for a lot more money than you thought you owed can be very distressing, especially if you usually keep on top of your finances.
This was the case for a Kirkby couple who contacted me when they were suddenly told by Ashfield Homes that their rent was in arrears.
As diligent billpayers they could not understand how this had happened and were terrified they would lose their home.
I emailed Ashfield Homes on their behalf and it appears that an error had occurred due to changes in the couple’s pension income, housing benefit and rent.
The error has now been rectified and the couple are at no risk of losing their home, having agreed a manageable repayment programme.
I am happy that I could help to clear up the misunderstanding.
I am sure I am not the only one who has been horrified at how expensive it is to use a mobile phone while on holiday abroad.
However thanks to the EU, the costs of using your mobile while in other EU countries is now significantly cheaper.
The price of calls has been reduced by 73 per cent for a typical pay monthly user, and the EU is set to abolish roaming charges completely by June 2017, saving the average holidaymaker about £61.
Being part of the EU has also brought about cheaper flights to more destinations, compensation for overbooked, cancelled or delayed flights and free healthcare for travellers. Not a bad deal for British holidaymakers, all in all.