Day 147 – Parvez, Apu and Tony

Word reached SMS this week of Parvez Akhtar and Apu Bagchi’s first newsletters. This is what they say about schools:

Parvez Akhtar – Conservative (and pictured on his leaflet outside Alban Middle School’s “Save Our School” sign)
“As a dad of children in local lower, middle and upper schools, I know how important it is we get this decision right. I believe our three-tier schools have served us well. The case for change hasn’t been proven and there’s now massive uncertainty that the Labour Government would give us the money needed for a reorganisation – but here’s my personal guarantee: parents’ views will have the real role in my consultation process that many feel they don’t have now.”

Apu Bagchi – Independent
“(I will) put the brakes on the borough’s expensive school reorganisation programme and invest more to improve the educational attainment of all our children.” In his manifesto, Apu adds: “If the predicted public spending squeeze really starts to bite, I don’t want to see the local taxpayer having to bail out a scheme that will create massive disruption for teachers, parents and a generation of our school children.”

Last week, Tony Hare (Independent) said in the T&C:
“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.”

It seems like these three candidates ought to have our support then, as they have called this issue correctly.

For James Valentine (Labour, who supports two-tier on the basis of two school transitions being more disruptive than one) and for Dave Hodgson (LibDem, who apparently doesn’t think this is important enough to have a view either way in public) perhaps our readership might like to reconsider their traditional party allegiances this time round.

And in an election that may be too close to call, everybody’s votes (both of them, first choice and second) will count.

So SMS are asking that you ensure you, your family and your friends vote for a candidate who openly supports stability, not educational and financial chaos. Spread the word.

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9 Responses to Day 147 – Parvez, Apu and Tony

  1. Henry says:

    I have sat back, read and listened to the agreements for and against a change to 2-tier schooling. I attended the Biddenham Consultation Meeting, I was initially shocked by the audience response but after the Council Officers’ patronising and spin I realised what anyone in Bedford who cares about their children and grandchildren may be up against. On that occasion none of these professional, experienced education officers could name one LA that had changed from 3-tier without a drop in their children’s educational attainment. I first entered a blog 2 days ago, it was about my personal decision, in spite of my background, upbringing and beliefs that I would have to vote Tory. My comment was immediately hijacked by what appears to be a 2-tier proponent arguing about the minutia of the pro 3-tier case.
    I return to this blog with the same statement – that every child matters, personally I will not risk my grandchildren’s education on the “belief” that 2-tier is better and yes I will vote Tory.

    • Martin Hamilton says:

      Still no answer to my email to Dave Hodgson regarding his views on the debate. And I understand that I am not the only one. Can anyone imagine a presidential candidate going into a vote saying that he would wait for the outcome of the consultation process initiated by his predecessor before coming to a view on the issue of defining importance to the electorate.
      Well since he won’t respond to a polite email….
      Come on Dave, it might be tactical but is that what you went into politics for? By all means, we want you to listen carefully to the people’s voice and the consultation forms part of that, but let’s hear what you think about it. As an Upper School governor you must have an opinion?

  2. stravros says:

    I have been following the debate closely. It seems to me that we must retain the three tier system. The finance will not be there and the children will suffer. So who to vote for? I have to say that I think I will vote for Apu Bagchi. He has been in local politics for a long time – is independent (both the others are aligned with the Tories) and I believe will do a good job. And no he hasn’t paid me to say this.

  3. KDev says:

    With the support of so many Lib-Dem councillors for 3-tier how did they make the dreadful error of nominating, unanimously, a Mayoral candidate who has a long history of adamantly wishing to destroy that system. Of not realising this would become the most important factor in the election of the next Mayor. That hiding behind the flawed consultation process and a report written by officers selected for their support of 2-tier would not be acceptable to the voters of Bedford Borough.
    With single transferable voting it looks like Abu Bagchi or Parvez Ahktar for Mayor.

  4. River Song says:

    Well I’ve still got a problem with who to vote for. Leaning towards Apu, but what if we all vote for three tier candidates and divide the vote and then …?

  5. william says:

    I am not sure if Parvez Akhtar is that clear on what he is saying – he is sort of saying the same as Dave Hodgson “i will see what the people have to say”.

    I would also suggest that the party line from the borough conservatives is more towards 2 tier so would Mr Akhtar have to take the whip???

    I know that Mr Headly also takes a keen intrest in this blog so maybe he has spoken to Dave and can share with us what he thinks his views are!

    Maybe someone will answer (without causing lible action against them) Hasn’t Tony Hare had one or two misdemeanor in the past and one one occasions banned from being a councillor for a while?

    Personally I say Apu all the way – the town needs an inderpendant mayor and not just for the education debate. Apu is through and through for the people of Bedford and he is getting my vote!

    On a side note has anyone managed to get tickets for Nick Clegs visit to Bedford – the lib dems seem to be ignoring my emails requesting a seat (maybe Mr Headly can answer that too)

  6. savemiddleschools says:

    On that we agree William…MH for Mayor!

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