Day 19 – BSF Funding – Is it a Fantasy?

This blog certainly congratulates Chris Hilliard and the late Graham Last for obtaining “assurances” from the DCSF that Wave 6 BSF funding will be available for Bedford Borough to the tune of £340M. This was a fantastic achievement on their part.

However, as the Mayor stated at last Wednesday’s Public Scrutiny meeting, BSF funding is not contingent on changing to 2-tier (please see comments below from Frank Branston though). Incidentally, this meeting was very well attended by members of the public – election candidates beware, this election is most certainly about education.

But will this funding exist after the next general election, which is set for next May at the latest?

Well, considering the country is bankrupt, and David Cameron has said he plans to “replace Labour’s spendaholic government with a new government of thrift”, maybe not.

Furthermore, Bedford College has just had last week £80M of funding withdrawn from the Learning & Skills Council for its redevlopment plans. Click here for a link to Ben Raza’s story about this in the Times and Citizen.

Under the pressures of a major recession, with public finances in crisis, and common sense out of the window until after the next election for political reasons, surely we should be planning an alternative which does not rely on Government funding.

Otherwise, we will enter into a fantasy land of mythical funding and produce a large deficit for which the taxpayers of Bedford will be paying for a generation.

We all must act now – write to editorial@timesandcitizen.co.uk (the Beds on Sunday is apparently not printing letters from us – I wonder why?) – ask local election candidates the difficult question about finance – and support our campaign by signing the petition.

Act now to help Save Middle Schools!

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3 Responses to Day 19 – BSF Funding – Is it a Fantasy?

  1. Frank Branston says:

    Contrary to what you assert above, I did NOT say that the BSF money allocated to Bedford was NOT dependent on going to two tier. It was the view of one of the officers, but it is certainly not mine.

    My belief is that failure to go to two-tier will mean that we do not get the degree of funding pledged. We might get some or we might get none but certainly not the whole lot.

    • savemiddleschools says:

      Frank, very many thanks for making your view clear – sometimes it is difficult to get verbatim reports of what was or was not said – it can be like Chinese whispers. Your view is certainly important, but whether it is more important (or accurate!) than that of your officers will remain to be seen.

      Interestingly, the DCSF say that the funding is not dependent on going to 2-tier (at least they say this in public). Possibly they say different things in private…but then the public wouldn’t know about this of course…

  2. Michael Headley says:

    As chair of the scrutiny meeting, my recollection is very clear that the council officers said more than once that the BSF funding is not dependent on changing from a 3 Tier to 2 Tier system. I do not recall the mayor, who was sitting next to the officers, saying anything to contradict that at the time.

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