Posts Tagged ‘bsf’

Darren Cooper on the shame of Michael Gove

06/10/2010, 11:30:52 AM

People in my borough of Sandwell will never forget that week in July when schools secretary, Michael Gove, first announced that our schools had survived his BSF axe – and then cruelly reversed his decision.

Parents, pupils and teachers won’t soon forget his refusal to listen to reason and give our community the school building projects it so desperately needs. And we certainly won’t forget his refusal to come to Sandwell and explain his decision.

This morning, Michael Gove appeared on our local radio station, BBC WM, and offered nothing more than excuses. For five minutes he failed to offer a single genuine reason why he couldn’t take the ten minute journey from Tory conference in Birmingham to visit the schools in Sandwell whose hopes he so callously dashed this summer. The audio is here. (more…)

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Ed Balls’ change of heart

13/09/2010, 07:13:33 PM

Well that didn’t last long. Last month Ed Balls, that well-known shrinking violet, that hider of lights under bushels, wrote a piece in The Times entitled: “The traps to avoid if Labour is to win back votes”.

He wrote:

First, we risk falling into Mr. Cameron’s trap by focusing our fire too much on the Liberal Democrats. Yes, they have ditched their manifesto and sold their principles for power — and done so on the backs of the unemployed, public sector workers and the poorest in our communities.

But while we must win back voters lost to the Lib Dems, we must not let the Tories off the hook. Even if Lib Dem ministers are wheeled out by Downing Street to defend the most unpopular decisions, we must not forget this is fundamentally a Conservative Government. The reason why the fiasco over school building cuts and the rushed Academies Bill is so damaging for the Government is that a senior Tory is in the frame. So Labour must focus its fire on the Tories, not just on the Liberal cannon fodder shielding Mr Cameron.

That advice seems to have lasted a whopping 39 days. Ed “Cannon” Balls has fired off a furious broadside at Lib Dem education minister, Sarah Teather, who miraculously seems to have found an exemption for schools in her constituency from suffering the fate of other schools across the country with the scrapping of Building Schools for the Future programme. Funny that.

He said:

… it is brazen hypocrisy of Sarah Teather to expect her colleagues to face public anger about cuts to their local school building programmes, while using her position as Michael Gove’s deputy to try to protect herself in her own constituency. She seems happy to go along with the cancellation of over 700 schools in other constituencies, but only as long as hers are protected.

Ouch. Has he had a change of heart about bashing the Lib Dems since writing his Times piece? Was Michael Gove still out for the count on the deck? Or is Sarah Teather’s ‘brazen hypocrisy’ simply too good a target to miss? Even if at 4ft 10in she is a rather small target.

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Gove made me ashamed to be a Conservative says senior Tory councillor as she joins Labour

04/09/2010, 10:01:26 AM

The Deputy leader of the Conservative Group on Sandwell Council has quit the party and joined Labour saying the behaviour of gaffe prone Michael Gove made her “ashamed to be a Conservative.”

When Gove announced the cuts to the Building Schools for the Future programme early this year he said he was halving the number of projects – more than 700 schools. But according to the first list published Sandwell was safe.

However the following day discord erupted. Gove had got his facts wrong. The department was very sorry but some of the schools would not be receiving the investment. How many? All of them.

Gove then promised Council Leader Darren Cooper that he would visit Sandwell to meet with parents and apologise for the cock up. The Department for Education later cancelled Mr Gove’s visit to Sandwell citing “diary pressures.”

On resigning from the Conservative Party and joining Labour Cllr Elaine Costigan said:

It is now absolutely clear that the Labour Party is the only party that cares about places like Sandwell. This community has been treated with utter contempt by the government over the slashing of the school building programme and when Michael Gove backed out of his promise to come and apologise to the parents, pupils and staff he had so badly let down, I felt ashamed to be a Conservative.

I am delighted to join the Labour Party, now the only party fighting for the ordinary hardworking people of this community.


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In the face of the BSF decision we must stand up for our schools, says Nick McDonald

30/07/2010, 02:36:11 PM

In Nottingham, we have recently started a campaign to protest against Michael Gove’s decision to cancel Labour’s Building Schools for the Future. His decision came as no surprise, but that will be of little comfort to the schools and learning centres that have fallen on the wrong side of the line.

The cancellation of BSF affects two of our schools; Top Valley School & Engineering College in the north of Nottingham and The Trinity School in the west. These two schools are special cases. They were to receive part of the £33 million funding specifically promised as an agreed fifth wave of BSF investment in Nottingham. But there are even more schools or learning centres here have had their building projects either scrapped entirely or dramatically reduced. For teachers, parents, and children of all of these schools this is clearly a devastating blow.


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