David Goodall appointed Island Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesman
At the recent Isle of Wight Liberal Democrats AGM David Goodall was appointed to be the Parliamentary Spokesman. David was the meeting's guest speaker and spoke about his life on the Island and commenting on the fact that the AGM date was almost 18 years to the day since his twin boys were born just up the road at St Mary's Hospital.
David grew up in Cowes, attending Denmark Road Primary, Solent Middle and Cowes High Schools, before starting work as an apprentice with Plessey Radar, whom he worked for as apprentice, undergraduate and electronics design engineer for 11 years. During this time, David met and married his wife Kerstin, before his career eventually took them off the Island to the European and UK mainland. David worked for Siemens in Munich before returning to the UK to work at Roke Manor Research in Romsey.
David also spoke about the problem of party leadership breaking the pre-election pledge over tuition fees, which he was against. That said, he also believes in giving recognition where it is due and the fact that the new loan repayments system is much better for the students than the old one, with:-
- Nothing to pay upfront and all students' loans written off after 30 years, if not paid back
- Repayments that are not linked to the size of the loan but the level of the student's income post graduation.
- Under the new system, graduates pay back 9% of their income above £21,000, which means that graduates will pay less upon starting than under the old system.
David said he has given particular attention to this area of public policy as his sons are planning to start at university in the autumn of 2015. He went on to say that the last 5 years of coalition government have been about far more than just tuition fees, of particular note were:-
- The raising of the personal tax allowance to £10,500, a Lib Dem policy straight from the 2010 manifesto's front cover into millions of people's pockets. This is despite David Cameron saying in a 2010 debate, "I would love to take everyone out of their first £10,000 of income tax, Nick...We cannot afford it"
- The pupil premium, which is giving extra help to those that need it, David comented that, as a school governor for the past 12 years, he has really seen the need for this measure. At Bitterne Park Secondary there is a good pass rate of about 70% with 5 A-C grades including Maths & English, but there is still a very noticeable gap between the 40% of the school that qualify for the pupil premium because of free school meals, and the rest of the pupils. The pupil premium means the school receives an extra £400,000 per year. This extra funding is now closing the attainment gap between the pupil premium pupils and the non-pupil premium pupils. This policy is straight from the 2010 manifesto's front cover into the classroom.
- The third measure that David was pleased about, as an ex-apprentice himself, is the creation of more apprenticeships. He said that almost doubling the annual number of apprentices and creating 2 million apprenticeships overall since 2010, has been a great leg up for those young people who don't go to university. In particular, he mentioned two apprentice groundsmen who are employed at his local Parish Council as a positive example.
In addition, in government the Liberal Democrats have:-
- Stopped the Conservatives from cutting the top rate of income rate for those earning over £150,000 per year from 50% to the 40% level that the last Labour government had it at for all but one month of their 13 years in office
- Stopped the Conservatives from cutting all working age benefits for those people under the age of 25
- Stopped a law allowing bosses to fire staff at will.
Upon been asked if he would be the Lib Dems Island's Parliamentary Spokesman, David said he was very pleased to accept the position. David said his wish in due course was to gain the selection as the candidate for the 2015 election. He hoped that would give him the chance to return to the Island and use his experience as an engineer, councillor and school governor for the benefit of the Islanders. It would be of particular meaning to him as he started his engineering career in Cowes, his councillor role on Wootton Bridge Parish Council and of course did the majority of his schooling on the Island.
David also played for the Isle of Wight hockey club for 14 years, captaining the 2nd XI for many of those years, was a member of Cowes Rotaract Club for 8 years and was in 2nd Cowes (St Mary's) scouts group from cub to venture scouts, as well as being a keen swimmer for West Wight Swimming Club. David currently chairs the overview and scrutiny of PUSH. PUSH is a multi council organisation, which since 2013 includes the Isle of Wight Council; its aim is to coordinate sub-regional planning and councils' work with the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership. The Solent LEP has responsibilities from central Government to promote economic growth in a local area and the organisation that is part-funding improvements to the Red Funnel terminals in Southampton and East Cowes. David is standing down from his mainland council roles in May, so that he can concentrate on the Island.
David's mother Jenny Goodall, who lives in Wootton, worked as an operating theatre sister at Frank James and St Mary's Hospitals, ran 3rd Cowes (St Mary's) Guides for a number of years, plays a very active role in the Women's Institute and until 2013 took a leading role in running the Island's Best Kept Village competition.
David's father Alan Goodall,worked as a Police Officer in Hampshire Constabulary for 30 years, the last 18 on the Island, before retiring as a Police Inspector. He had the unique distinction of being captain of three golf clubs. He was Cowes captain in the 70s, Osborne in the 80s and Ryde in the 00s. David's father was also a former captain and president of the IW Golf Alliance, a former secretary of the IW Golf Union and at the time of his death in 2009 was its president.
David's brother Martin Goodall, who lives in Wootton, also worked as a Police Officer in Hampshire Constabulary for 30 years, including a number of years on the Island, before also retiring as a Police Inspector. Martin managed the Isle of Wight team in the International Island Games Association's competitions in both 2011 and 2013. He is currently chair of the Association on the Isle of Wight and is a keen tri-athlete for Wight Tri.