Day 154 – Meet the Mayoral Candidates

For those of you who like to hear (and see) the candidates opinions rather than accepting our (very slightly biased) interpretation…

Those nice guys at Heart Bedford FM have posted 3-4 minute interviews with all 6 Mayoral candidates including the question “Where do you stand on the School Organisation Review”…and their views are getting much clearer now.

Apu and Tony are very firmly in favour of retention with Parvez only slightly behind them.

James and Dave both support two-tier in principle, with many political noises from Dave in particular about changing his mind if the money isn’t there blah, blah, blah…SMS has been telling you this for months now Dave…you say you are a successful businessman…would you open new premises if your bank was about to foreclose on you?

Eve rather strangely dodges the question – surely, as the Green Party candidate, she would be appalled at the huge waste of ripping down existing buildings and the potential for 11 year olds to be transported large distances to huge secondary schools?

Anyway, some enterprising Sixth Formers at Wootton Upper School have arranged that you can see all the candidates and ask questions in a debate chaired by Chris Gill (editor of the BoS) next Wednesday 7th October 7:30-9:00. To register for the meeting email debate@wootton.beds.sch.uk with your name and any questions you wish to ask.

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15 Responses to Day 154 – Meet the Mayoral Candidates

  1. JamesD says:

    Appalled by Dave Hodgson’s views on HeartBedford FM. Just following the dictates of the Academy sponsors (and his pyramid Middle and Lower school Heads had better do the same). His view is so orientated towards “his school” and its golden future that he has lost the bigger picture. Lots of money and support poured into John Bunyan, whilst its feeder schools got the usual Bedford pittance. The whole Bedford Borough school system needed more resources and the support of education officers who would work for it rather than just for its destruction. He wants to be Mayor of the Borough yet he bases all of his support for 2-tier on the belief of self-interested parties and not on the national evidence available from OfSTED (for just one source). In the past it’s been “open cheque book” time for John Bunyan and the new Academy; Dave Hodgson does not even take notice of his own Leaders remarks – remember Nick Clegg’s “savage cuts in government spending” speech.
    How can he expect anyone, other than die hard Lib-Dem supporters, to think that he will be other than a total disaster as Mayor of Bedford Borough?

    • William says:

      Maybe someone can highlight Dave’s differant point of view and put this point to Nick Clegg on Tuesday night?

  2. A.Voter says:

    I agree. People who would normally be inclined to vote Lib Dem are appalled by Dave Hodgson’s position and are looking to place their vote in a safer pair of hands. Party loyalty is going to fly out of the window on the 15th October. After all, local govt elections should be about local issues not party politics. However, Mr Hodgson would seem to have set his priorities a little TOO local!
    How unfair to throw huge amounts of cash at John Bunyan, while allowing its feeder schools to struggle. A more cynical mind than mine might think their intention was to deliberately starve middle schools of their fair share, thus setting them up for trouble and consequently reducing their popularity with the public.
    Referring to comments made on the previous day’s blog, I too am angered by the time which has been wasted on this non-starter of a 2-tier plan. How shameful that no alternative bid based on retention of 3-tier seems to have been prepared.
    How shameful that a local authority would go through the motions of a public consultation process and yet presume to already know the answer and put all their eggs in one basket.
    One can only hope that heads will roll in the fullness of time.

  3. Fred Bagnall says:

    Thank you for that link – an interesting listen.

    Please everybody listen for yourselves: I think it is possible to come to more than one conclusion on the position of more than one of the candidates depending on your personal perspectives. The skill of the politician perhaps.

    • KDev says:

      I agree with Fred. I am in shock!
      Please listen to all of the candidates.
      Also:
      listen to/ read all of the evidence, not just the pro 2-tier spin;
      look at the evidence on future government spending.
      Then compare Dave Hodgson’s and James Valentine’s views on school structure with reality.
      Their way leads to education and financial doom for Bedford Borough and its children.

      • Fred Bagnall says:

        Now we have common ground, tell the truth … Have you kidnapped my researchers or were they a figment of your imagination?

    • JamesD says:

      Fred, There are probably only 3 leading candidates in the Mayoral race: Parvez Akhtar, Apu Bagchi and Dave Hodgson. Two of them seem to have taken all of the evidence and the change in financial climate into account but not Dave Hodgson. For someone claiming to only have the good of the whole Borough at heart I and others are astounded by his position.

      • William says:

        I still can’t see how you can determine that Parvez has confirmed his position. He states that he will go with what the people want – what if the consultaion shows that people want 2 tier……

      • JamesD says:

        William,
        The horrendously flawed consultation, for all its faults, never claimed to be a democratic search for the people’s opinions on school structure. Chris Hilliard clearly made that point at Consultation Meetings. I believe in democracy and if the people of Bedford Borough want to go down the cul-de-sac of 2-tier, failing education and bankruptcy – it is their choice.

      • Martin Hamilton says:

        William,
        I’ve just listened to them all and I think Parvez is clearer in his election leaflet where he has moved a bit since Day 147. He now states more in the present tense and says in quotes “I believe our three-tier system serves us well. Labour’s economic crisis means nobody can be sure the money would be there for any risky reorganisation. So let’s focus now on making our existing schools better. And here’s my personal guarantee: parents’ views will have the real role in my consultation process that many feel they don’t have now”. Now I think Fred (as the impartial blogger) and the 2-tier lobby (which is hardly bulging with parents of children in the system as far as I can tell) would have to admit that, this is fairly clear whatever your perspective. Parvez says parents’ views will have the real role in HIS consultation -i.e. not the flawed consultation we have had. Once you realise that the money is just as available to enhance the present system so that 3-tier is allowed back on to the playing field and blackmail is removed, what proper poll of parent’s views would go for a risky reorganisation without the primary funding being in place.

  4. KDev says:

    Fred,
    If your researchers had disappeared I am sure that that Beds Borough Council HR or the Bedfordshire Constabulary may have known. If not the Times & Citizen or Beds on Sunday would have surely investigated the mystery.

  5. TomT says:

    I love everyones interest in all this, would be great to see you all on wednesday!

    Yeah, I’m one of the enterprising young lads 😛

    It would be great for all your support and get our voices heard! You’ve got the email adress, just send us your name, with any possible questions and you can come!

    Thanks for posting it though :D:D

    • KDev says:

      TomT,
      Well done, this is exactly what we need in local democracy. Fair and open discussion on all of the important topics that the future Mayor will have in his power. Watched the very first “Question Time” and I am leaving my computer to view the latest.

  6. savemiddleschools says:

    Tom, it’s our pleasure. We hope the evening is a success for you all.

  7. JamesD says:

    Another day and another piece of mayoral election literature through the door. Unlike all of the rest received so far NO MENTION OF SCHOOL RESTRUCTURING so guess who it was from? Not difficult it was the Lib-Dem candidate Dave Hodgson.
    Still trying to hide behind the Consultation smoke screen, still unable to accept that the world has changed and all of the education and financial evidence says DON’T CHANGE THE SCHOOL STRUCTURE.
    A sceptical American once said “An honest politician is one who stays bought” not meant in the monetary sense but in the promises a politician has to make on the way up. Dave Hodgson has made it clear he agrees with the sponsors of the new academy so that they can rescue the failing Upper School for which he is the Chair of Governors. The self-interest is completely apparent, get the maximum I can for my school, my ward and let the rest fend for themselves.

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