Archive for November, 2009
Posted by Richard | Filed under Education
So the Mayor, Executive and now the Council have made the decision to move, now, to a two-tier education system. We will embark on an expensive overhaul of our soon to be “Upper” schools and an expansion of the size of our Primary schools.
Putting on one-side the educational merits of two-tier vs three-tier – and on balance, I believe the arguments were in favour of two tier – the decision for a change is a very risky one at this time. The current government has so severely undermined the economy that there is very little faith that it has the money needed to meet its public funding promises. When the current period of artificial stimulus is over, and whichever party is in government, there will be a strain on the public finances more severe than any in living memory. Yet, despite this backdrop, the Mayor has led the decision to ask the Government for more money and foolishly taken them at their word that they have the wherewithal to pay. I have my doubts.
While others talked, I collected over 500 signatures in support of the Borough Council’s petition for Government funding to complete the bypass. Thank you to all of you who signed and joined the effort for this long overdue improvement. I believe that we need to put pressure on this Government to get them to help finish the job otherwise congestion will get even worse across town.
Jim Lawrence, Chief Financial Officer of Unilever PLC, was my guest at the inaugural meeting of Bedford Futures Business Club. Unilever is a major local employer and I toured their Colworth facility learning about Unilever’s new conference centre and their advances in ice cream technology!
Jim spoke about Unilever’s recession beating strategies and expressed support for my campaigns to strengthen Bedford as a business location.
I toured local Sure Start centres in Kempston, Cauldwell, Kingsbrook and Bedford town centre with Lynne Summerfield, Programme Manager. For families with kids under 5, Lynne and her dedicated teams provide a range of helpful advice, run self-help groups and offer childcare at their day nurseries. Local charity, Spurgeons, provides additional support for the services. I was very impressed with the commitment of staff and happy to confirm Mr Cameron’s commitment to continue support for Sure Start under the next Conservative Government.