Cambridge dons look set to follow their Oxford counterparts in holding a vote of no confidence in the Higher Education Minister David Willetts.The motion has been signed by nearly 150 academics in response to the cuts to university budgets and the resultant trebling of fees. After receiving the motion, the university’s council is likely to formally endorse it within the next week, before informing the government by the end of the month.The move has been met warmly by students. Rahul Mansigani, President of Cambridge’s Student Union told Cherwell, “Academics and students across the country are deeply concerned by the haphazard way this government has approached complex issues around higher education.“Oxford and Cambridge’s motions of no confidence are symbolic of the increasing frustration with policies that are confused and damaging – we can have no confidence in policies that recklessly pursue ill-conceived plans at the cost of the future of our universities.”Ben Sharples, first year at Queens’ College, said, “It’s clear that the major selling point of Willetts’ proposals – a market in higher education provision – hasn’t occurred and it’s lucky that some people still care enough to try and do something about it.”Poet and fellow of Caius College Jeremy Halvard Prynne is one of the academics who signed the motion. He said, “It seems to me now a critical moment to raise a voice, along with Oxford, against this constantly sliding and destructive tendency degrading a coherent policy for higher education.”The news comes ahead of Oxford’s own vote of no confidence, which is due to be debated at the University Congregation next week.
Finsbury Foods has announced a steady growth in group revenue in its latest trading update. However, it said like-for-like growth in its Cake division continued to be “flat”.The manufacturer of cake, bread and morning goods has seen an 8% rise in group revenue for the financial year to 30 June 2009, which it said was down, in part, to the acquisitions it had made over the course of the previous financial year.Finsbury said the ‘full year’ effect of its acquisitions in the previous financial year accounted for 5% of the growth, with around 1% coming from it being a 53-week trading period, rather than 52.Its Bread & Free From division has seen like-for-like growth of 14%, and sales in its largest division, Cake, rose 2% “in absolute terms” versus last year.The firm put its low growth in Cake down to “the rebalancing of customer ranges” to offer more value options and increased promotional support for its brands. Chief executive Martin Lightbody said he was pleased to be able to report growth in a recessionary environment and during what he said could only be described as a “difficult trading period” for the group.“We remain committed to investing in our people, our facilities and our customers. As a group we continue to focus on innovation and product quality to maintain our position as the UK’s leading supplier of premium cakes,” he added.Finsbury’s subsidiary Nicholas & Harris recently acquired speciality bread business Goswell Enterprises, which manufacturers the Vogel and Cranks brands. read more