So, a victory for common sense prevailed yesterday when Frank Branston announced via his blog that legal advice had indicated that any restructuring of our schools system should be decided by Full Council vote – that is 36 councillors plus the mayor with the Speaker holding the casting vote should there be a tie (remember, councillors may abstain so a tie is possible).
All the best news is announced by blog nowadays apparently…we’ll post the official notification of the legal advice here when it arrives sometime today…(see email response from Phil Simpkins – Chief Exec of Bedford Borough – below)
Thanks too, to all the dedicated local councillors who made representations on our behalf, or, if they don’t agree with us or our campaign, on behalf of the voters and taxpayers in their wards.
We would urge all councillors now to engage with both sides in this vital decision, and, after the consultation period has ended on July 24th, hear representations from SMS in the form of a presentation and Q&A session. We are happy to do this in political or mixed groupings or in one large group. We want to debate with you – this is what local democracy is about…
We would also urge Chris Hilliard (Director of Children’s Services) to begin working on a Plan B for three-tier BSF funding of Bedford Borough. Should the decision be for a transformation of the three-tier system so that we have schools fit for the 21st century, then we will all have to work hard to gain that funding, and SMS is willing to provide expertise to help with that urgent task.
It is now more important than ever that if you support SMS, that you lobby councillors, and spread the news about our campaign. This is most definitely not a done deal.
Dear Mr Dadd
I have now received definite legal advice which confirms if the Executive, at its meeting on 16 September 2009, considers that the school structure should be changed it will need to make a recommendation to Full Council. Given the importance of the decision Group Leaders have agreed that a Special Full Council will be held on Thursday, 24 September 2009. For clarity, if the Executive decide that there should be no change to the school structure there will be no need for the Special Council meeting.
I trust the foregoing answers your enquiry.