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Tories 'to protect schools budget' if party wins election

The Conservatives will protect the schools budget if the party wins the next General Election, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has indicated.

Ms Morgan said she is "absolutely fighting for the schools budget to be protected", hinting that she had already won the battle.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan speaks to Andrew Marr. Credit: BBC/The Andrew Marr Show

Asked on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show whether the schools budget will be protected, Morgan said: "We're going to have more to say on schools funding very shortly but what I can say is that I am absolutely fighting for the schools budget to be protected."

"It goes back to the point, the announcement that we're making today, which is actually about getting the basics right really early on and that's why the investment is in the schools budget."

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Derbyshire County Council to debate council tax rise.

Derbyshire County Council Credit: Derbyshire County Council

Derbyshire County Council will meet today to discuss how it can reduce its spending by a third between 2013 and 2018.

Council tax could rise by as much as 2% as the authority's funding from central Government falls.

The authority hopes to raise £5 million under the plans.

It needs to save £45 million from its budget over the next financial year and £157 million by 2018.

Other proposals include cuts to adult care and economy and transport initiatives.

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NFU stage dairy debate in Staffordshire

A debate on falling milk prices and the challenges faced by local dairy farmers will be held in Staffordshire today.

The price of milk has fallen to its lowest since 2007 Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

The event has been organised by the National Farmers Union which says the number of dairy farmers will continue to decrease unless market conditions improve.

Farmers have seen the price of milk fall to around 20p per litre - its lowest since 2007.

Four authorities launch fair funding campaign

Four authorities have come together to launch a campaign for fair government funding.

Nottingham is the ninth hardest hit authority in the country Credit: Edward Smith/EMPICS Entertainment

Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire say spending cuts in their areas are higher compared to those made in more affluent ones.

Nottingham is the ninth hardest hit authority in the country.

A petition is being organised which will then be presented to Parliament.

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