Day 81 – Councillors’ Financial Responsibilities

The BSF money of £340M to transform secondary provision is central to the debate over whether Bedford Borough should change to two-tier.

Some councillors believe that this money is only available for a two-tier outcome. They are being told that we will lose the money if we remain three-tier. They are being told they will be responsible for turning down this huge amount of money.

SMS would like to point out that BSF money is most certainly available for three-tier solutions, as Iain Wright as confirmed in Parliament very recently under pressure from Nadine Dorries and Alistair Burt.

The money is likely to be under review after the next General Election (less than a year away) and does not cover primary years education (a big hole in our finances).

It is also subject to our “readiness to deliver”. What can be more “ready to deliver” than a system already in place? We can transform our current buildings using targeted projects to help the areas most in need. When the money dries up, we will be able to cut individual projects, not be left in the middle of educational and financial chaos.

This proposed change is already underfunded, especially for the primary years switch – council tax will need to rise or services cut.

For what? A pot of gold at the end of the rainbow that cannot even promise improved results…

Financially, remaining three-tier is the most prudent and sensible way for councillors to show their leadership here – otherwise they will remembered as the councillors that destroyed Bedford’s education system and caused a major local financial crisis.

This is why we want to talk and present to all our councillors – to ensure that they have heard both sides of the debate.

TAKE ACTION NOW with a new addition – contact BBC 3CR to express your support for us – email neil.barbour@bbc.co.uk, text 07760 173737, or call 08459 455555

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2 Responses to Day 81 – Councillors’ Financial Responsibilities

  1. JamesD says:

    What about revenue education costs if the Mayor forces through 2-Tier? Some Bedfordshire lower schools already get more money per pupil each year than some upper schools.
    And when the capital money runs out?
    Solution: use those sites that have the capacity for large Primary Schools, say 800 pupils ish – the ex Middle School sites and those already with collocated Lower and Middles and close all of the other Lower School sites.
    If you value your friendly neighbourhood lower school be very worried about 2-Tier and the “promises” from the Bedford Borough apparatchiks.

  2. KDev says:

    The debate over the reorganisation of Schools in Bedford Borough has opened my eyes to the dangers of a “Mayoral” local government system. That is one where one man and a few cronies can override an almost 2/3 majority of the democratically elected council! We have less than 2 years to go to the next local elections, the first at which any Mayoral candidate will stand for Bedford Borough as a Unitary Authority.
    Should not the people of Bedford Borough be consulted as to whether they wish to retain the “Mayoral” system for Bedford Borough in its new status as a Unitary Authority? Is there any mechanism by which a formal and binding referendum on continuing with an elected mayor can be put to the people?

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