Friday, 28 April 2017

Local Education Policy

One of the key concerns throughout the years and brought to forefront in the referendum was the education of children and their ability to compete on a world stage and having the skill-sets to be able live, work and thrive in Britain. It is shameful that government still has not listened to parents and business who have complained for years over the quality of education.

It is somehow ironic that MP's send their children to independent schools as they value their children's education where costs are a minimum £5000 per term (£15000 per year) for primary education and £7500 per term (£22500) for secondary education. For those not so privileged whose children go to state education in Hampshire the local authority average grant per year in 2015/2016 to schools was £4,329.00 per pupil for Primary education and £5,483.00 for secondary education almost 2/3s less that a private education.

From the CBI education and skills survey 2016 "The quality of our education system in the UK is the single biggest long-term factor in determining the success of our economy and society. Our international competitors are constantly pushing up levels of attainment in their schools. First the UK must close the gap with other leading nations and then maintain a position as one of the global leaders in school systems. As the political and economic landscape of the UK alters, it is more important than ever that the UK education system supports us all to compete effectively

But even now they are cutting this small sum for our local schools. How do we expect our children to ever compete in this world let alone live and thrive in Britain if the government will not invest in our future? Not only do I believe the cuts should be reversed but the budget increased by 50% to attract talented Teachers to Hampshire schools and raise education standards for all. More high standard teachers need to be trained and brought through the system making teaching a profession rather than a vocation.In Finland where education is recognised as best in the world teachers are educated to Masters degree and only the proficient teachers are accepted into the education profession. Grammar schools are not the answer in our area, most mainstream schools already stream children by academic ability but we need to do more on technical ability and most of all give children a holistic experience in school where skills are combined in the areas of academic,spiritually and vocationally forming part of a community and showing self confidence and strong self-esteem. This is essential to be given as a whole to a child as life is all encompassing and children need to be well rounded and able stand up on their own 2 feet in this world.

Below is a list of cuts to local schools from a website developed by the National Union of Teachers and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, to call on the Government to take immediate action to protect our children’s education. I have grouped by ward:

Simon Austridge

West Heath
Manor infant school down £284 per pupil loss of 2 teachers
Cove Junior school down £108 per pupil loss of 1 teacher
Cove infant school down £424 per pupil loss of 2 teachers
St Bernadette's Catholic school  down £287 per pupil loss of 3 teachers

Cove and Southwood

Southwood Infant school loss of £372 per pupil  loss of 2 teachers
Tower Hill Primary School loss of £369 per pupul loss of 3 teachers

St Johns
Cove secondary school down £297 per pupil loss of 8 teachers
Parsonage Farm Nursery school down £429 per pupil loss of 2 teachers

Cherrywood ward
Farnborough 6th Form down £362 per pupil loss of 35 teachers

Grange infant school down £632 per pupil loss of 3 teachers
Grange Community Junior school will  down £607 pupil loss of 4 teachers
Cherrywood primary school down £589 loss of 3 teachers

Fernhill Ward
Fernhill Primary school down £378 per pupil loss of 7 teachers
Pinewood Infant school down £1193 per pupil loss of 3 teachers
Guillemont Junior school down £84 per pupil loss of 1 teacher

South Farnborough Junior School down £130 per pupil loss of 1 teacher

St Marks 
South Farnborough Infants school down £202 per pupil loss of 2 teachers
St Marks church of England aided primary school down £445 per pupil loss of 1 teacher
The Wavell school down £366 per pupil loss of 10 teachers
Marlborough Infant school down £854 per pupil loss of 3 teachers

Wellington Primary School  down £461 per pupil loss of 5 teachers

Manor Park
St Josephs Catholic Primary school down £219 per pupil loss of 3 teachers
St Michaels Church of England infant school down £335 per pupil loss of 3 teachers
St Michaels Church of England junior school down £300 per pupil loss of 3 teachers

Aldershot Park 
Park Primary school down £598 per pupil loss of 4 teachers
The Connaught school down £639 per pupil loss of 10 teachers * will be merged into Alderwood school

North Town
Newport Junior school down £325 per pupil loss of 3 teachers * will be merged into Alderwood schoolBelle Vue infants down £244 per pupil loss of 2 teachers * will be merged into Alderwood school

Talavera Junior School down £464 per pupil loss of 4 teachers

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Farnborough North Campaign

Farnborough North canvassing is going well. We are up against very strong opposition from our rivals, so every vote counts. On Tuesday 25th we will be painting the area purple by putting up our banners and boards. 
We are noticing a new group of voters joining UKIP supporters, young people with children or with elderly relatives are interested in the work that UKIP has done trying to protect children's Sure Start services and also trying to save Elderly Care Social services. Cuts to these services are starting to seriously affect people and the Conservatives have no answer on the door step.
In Farnborough North UKIP were within 100 votes of winning the division in 2013. We will continue canvassing right up until the 4th May to ensure that those missing 100 are found to ensure success.

My thanks to The Ship Inn Farnborough for putting up a banner for me in Farnborough North. Make sure you reward them by popping in next time you want a pint (or two). This is now our official UKIP pub, enjoy.

Dave Bell

Monday, 24 April 2017

Candidate Trouble (but not for UKIP)

You might think that being able to decide when to call elections would be a useful advantage for a political party. In fact you might expect that a party with that advantage would have it's candidates already lined up before announcing elections. However if you thought that, it seems that you would be wrong.

Apparently according to this story on the Conservative Home website, the local Conservative party is arguing with Central Headquarters over their candidate for the Parliamentary Constituency. The local party wants Dan Hannan. Given that Dan has been one of the most eloquent exponents of Brexit this seems like a sound choice. However CCHQ have not put him on the Aldershot shortlist.

Sadly the Conservative Party is not as democratic as it used to be. Local associations now have much less say over which candidate stands where. The short timetable for this election has also been used as a reason to change the rules and centralise power further.

Meanwhile, the battle for the Farnborough South county council seat looks interesting. Longstanding Conservative councillor John Wall has been deselected and is fighting the seat as an independent. It seems that, among other things, John has expressed some politically incorrect views. Given the flimsy nature of the allegations, one has to wonder whether there are other agendas at work here.

Ken McNair

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Farnborough West Campaign

We are currently trying to canvas the whole of the Farnborough West Division to support Mark's re-election to the County Council. I joined the team in Southwood two weeks ago. It took a couple of phonecalls before we had everyone assembled in the same car park, but eventually we were ready to go. We then split into a team doing leaflets and a team of canvassers before hitting the streets.

One of the first doors that I knocked on was opened by a friendly fellow who seemed pleased to see someone from UKIP. "Did you see the Tory candidate coming round the other day all dressed up in a clown suit" he asked. This seemed rather unlikely, but then it occurred to me that the clown suit might well be metaphorical. In any event he seemed to be on our side so I put him down as a UKIP voter.

Shortly after that I had an interesting conversation with someone who described himself as a Green Internationalist who said he did not want to vote for UKIP. I put it to him that Mark was a good local councilor and he said that he was aware of what Mark does but felt conflicted about voting UKIP.

Obviously for now we are focused on getting votes. However knocking on doors also offers a chance to find out what the local issues are. One family were concerned about disability travel allowance being cut. I called Mark back to talk to them. Afterwards he said that they have a good case and he will be following up.

For the last two Saturdays, I have been out again in West Heath. One theme that kept coming up was that Mark has a strong personal vote. There are people who are adamant that they would never vote for UKIP at a national level but who are willing to vote for Mark because of the work he does. One woman said that she had only recently moved to the area but that the neighbours had told her "good things happen round here" due to Mark's efforts.

This week many people were (understandably) a little confused and thought we were campaigning for the General Election. I had to tell them that we had not yet picked a candidate for that one.

Presumably in some cases "I have not decided" must really mean "I am voting for someone else". However very few people are hostile and not many will even admit to voting for another party. Despite the mostly positive feedback, Mark is concerned that the recent boundary changes have made his task more difficult. In the areas which were not part of the division at the last election, people may not know who he is. With under two weeks to go we are not taking anything for granted.

Ken McNair

Thursday, 20 April 2017

General Election!

It seemed that a rather quiet and politics free summer would follow the County Council elections....but instead, to the surprise of everyone we are having a General Election. This blog will be following the UKIP Campaign as it develops.

Local MP Sir Gerald Howarth said today that he is standing down after over 30 years in parliament. He is well known to many in UKIP as he was one of the more committed and hard working campaigners for the Leave vote. We wish him well for the future. Who can forget his hijacking of Sir Walter Scott to join the Leave campaign:
"breathes there the man with soul so dead,
he never to himself hath said,
this is my own, my native land,
....and I want it back!"

Do not forget to register to vote. If you want to vote in the General Election then you will need to have registered by May the 22nd. Follow this link.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Fruit Bushes

UKIP Councillor Dave Bell has donated some fruit bushes to the community in West Heath. After getting agreement from RBC, he bought some red and black current bushes to benefit the community. The ground was rock hard this morning, but luckily there were a couple of nice guys from Veolia on hand to help to sort that out. 

We hope to add further patches of colour and fruit as time and finances allow. If you know of any other areas that could be improved then feel free make suggestions. Perhaps we could plant small fruit trees, raspberries or logan berries. Please let us know what you think.

Other parties talk about changing things, UKIP just gets out there and does it.

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Dave's car loaded and ready to go.

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Mark getting his hands dirty.

Job done.

Monday, 3 April 2017

May Elections

The UKIP candidates for the Hampshire County Council elections are now announced. UKIP is fielding candidates in all of the divisions.

Aldershot West: Kevin Betsworth
Aldershot East: Leo Amos
Farnborough North: Dave Bell
Farnborough South: Chris Harding
Farnborough West: Mark Staplehurst
Yateley East, Blackwater and Ancells: Mike Gascoigne

In the Rushmoor Borough Council by-election for the St Johns ward, Chris Harding will be standing for UKIP.

You can find more about the candidates here.