Labour man’s switch over academies

Illingworth Road


In March I wrote - as a concerned resident - to the Courier to draw your attention to the political flip-flopping of some of our councillors.

You may remember I praised the Education Secretary Michael Gove for expanding on a policy introduced by Tony Blair. I brought particular attention to the thoroughly disappointing behaviour of the Labour councillor for Illingworth and Mixenden, Barry Collins, who when Labour was in Government, supported Academies - so much so that he became a governor of Trinity Academy in north Halifax. But the second the Coalition took power his position reversed - strange I know.

He signed a council motion - available for all to see on the Council’s website - which aims to do all that’s possible to block further Academies. What is most shocking is how Councillor Collins is trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the voters.

Slap bang in the center of a recent leaflet which came through my letterbox, it claims that Councillor Collin’s is a fountain of support for Academies. And that he fully support St Catherine’s conversion to Academy status. Would someone supporting Academies sign a motion against them? I think not.

I think Councillor Collins needs to be quarantined with a case of rampant hypocrisy.

Not to worry, I can provide Mr Collins with an antidote for his affliction. But it’s a sour and perverse pill for the people of Illingworth and Mixenden to swallow. The leaflet should have said: “I don’t support Academies because I listen to the Unions not the people, and they have told me that I don’t like Academies. Even though I know they’d really improve education standards in our area and have a proven track record of helping the most deprived children.”

Thankfully I know that people of Illingworth and Mixenden are too wise to buy into this cheap bit of political trickery.

Tom Lees