As always, good analysis. Let us see what leadership the new leader of the council will show, particularly now the elected mayor sideshow has been shelved. If 3 May 2012CE yields any message, I guess it is that a sizeable section of the public have lost faith in politicians. I think some of us were already aware of this. If single issue campaigning is what it takes to have people act politically then bring them on. Gogwit supports campaigning groups and there is always space for them on Gogwit’s Blog.

Birmingham Against The Cuts

The local elections yesterday delivered the expected result, as Labour take control of the council after 8 years of ConDem coalition.
Of the candidates who replied to our pledges, Lisa Trickett won in Kings Heath & Moseley, Brett O’Reilly won in Northfield and Uzma Ahmed won in Bordesley Green. We look forward to Brett & Uzma fulfilling the pledges they signed and Lisa following through on the statement she made opposing leisure service privatisation and promising to support Connexions and young people in the city.

A list of results by ward is available from the Birmingham Post

Perhaps the most surprising result came in the Sutton Coldfield Vesey ward, where Labour won, taking a Sutton seat for the first time in over 60 years, so we are told. In that seat, the Conservative candidate won by 700 votes in 2011, this year the Conservative Candidate lost by…

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They serve us.
No further comment necessary.

Ask Parents First

APF parents have been writing to their local election candidates asking them the following questions;

As a candidate standing in the local elections on May 3rd we would like to ask if you are in favour of a full consultation with a binding parental ballot before any conversion to academy status takes place?

If elected will you be willing to meet members of our campaign to discuss these issues further?

We have received a response from Eva Phillips, Labour candidate for Brandwood, who was emailed by APF parent Mark Raychell. Their email correspondence is reproduced below;

Hi Eva,

I’m a local Labour Party member and a parent of two boys at Colmore. I’m also a member of Ask Parents First.
I’m really concerned about the break-up and privatisation of local state education. Since the election, schools have been effectively bribed into becoming academies and leaving local authority accountability. We are now…

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Academies. The academic argument has been shown not to hold water. Nobody who wishes to retain a shred of credibility deploys it these days. The arguments in favour now rely on equally dodgy and tenuous financial and administrative benefits.
So effectively we are left with a doctrinaire policy which effectively gives public property and land to spivs. The sort of spivs who register their businesses as charities in order to dodge UK taxation. It may surprise some that the Tories and Liberals are so wedded to the ideal of redistribution of wealth!
Academies. All about Leadership. Pupils too, after all that’s what schools do.
As for the rest of the outfit: teachers, teaching assistants, cooks, cleaners, techies and admin staff – open season in the hire-and-fire, free-for-all marketplace that Adam Smith would have declaimed as rigged.

Birmingham Against The Cuts

Michael Gove plans to seize around 30 Birmingham Primary schools and turn them into academies.

These schools are currently run by the Council. It means that the schools are democratically accountable to us and if the Councillors neglect our schools we can vote them out. Michael Gove wants to hand them over to unelected academy chains, many run by businessmen in the same way they run their businesses.

Despite the claims by the government and the media academies are not ‘proven to succeed’. The most recent GCSE results show that 27% have seen their results decline or remain the same.

Many academies have relied on NVQs and other exams which have been considered to be equivalent to several GCSEs to improve the position in the league tables. The government have now abolished these equivalents and academies have seen some dramatic falls. The ARK academy in Birmingham, St Albans…

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