Tony Hare announced yesterday in the Times & Citizen that he would be running for Mayor as an Independent candidate. His comments on the schools debate included:
“To change to a two-tier structure will cost a considerable amount of money, and the construction, upheaval to children at a vulnerable time, and the additional travelling for children in rural areas will all be for what?”
“To change the existing system while using the same teachers, teaching the same children and using the same curriculum, for the same duration, with no guarantees of any better results.”
Quite. Well said.
There are now 5 candidates declared openly and of those positive sounds in public for a sensible decision on schools have been made by Parvez Akhtar (Conservative) and Tony Hare (Independent). James Valentine (Labour) has not had much press at all yet so we don’t know his views. Dave Hodgson (LibDem) and Apu Bagchi (Independent) had personal profile pieces yesterday in the T&C which (to be fair) were not policy platforms, but neither has made a public commitment yet either.
Of these, Dave Hodgson has solidly refused to make his position clear. Yesterday on this blog Michael Headley confirmed that the LibDems (the largest group) will have a free vote on the issue, which of course isn’t the same thing at all – potential Mayors need to show leadership, and it beggars belief that a man who attended a briefing for his party from both sides back in April or May, has spoken to SMS as part of our councillors’ meetings during the summer, and who is a governor of John Bunyan, does not know which side of the fence he sits on yet.
This is not about what the Consultation Report will say either (as Nicky Attenborough tried to get away with on Monday evening), because the Consultation Document made it very clear which way the “Sir Humphreys” of Bedford Borough were going with this.
It is about leadership. Or rather, a distinct lack of it from a man who may well be elected Mayor on October 15th.