Tag Archives: bedford

Mayor Dave Hodgson writes: How Bedford is responding to the crisis

Over the Easter bank holiday weekend, Bedford Borough Council’s Community Hub delivered its 1,000th food parcel as part of its support to vulnerable residents during the COVID-19 restrictions. The hub was set up in double quick time and other major changes have also been implemented rapidly – in our case almost 1,000 members of staff working from home.

Very early on we identified that the biggest risks were in social care, particularly adult social care. Several weeks ago we went out to recruit more staff for both Council and non-Council providers, which has been very successful, but PPE for carers remains a major concern.

Within 10 days we transferred £10m in business grants to business bank accounts. We acted quickly to support those least able to pay their council tax. Residents on the lowest income already do not pay any Council Tax due to our Council Tax Reduction Scheme. We are automatically applying the reduction in line with the government’s COVID-19 Council Tax Hardship Fund to those already receiving some support and are encouraging those whose circumstances have changed to apply for Council Tax Support and Free School Meals.

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Victory in Bedford and second place in Leicester South

In amongst all the bad results, it’s understandable that news from two of the best candidates I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the years has been mostly overlooked. But it’s worth highlighting that Dave Hodgson won re-election as Mayor in Bedford, whilst Zuffar Haq held on to second place in Leicester South.

Congratulations to them both and to their teams.

Here are the result details:

Leicester South
Jonathan Ashworth (Lab)  19,771 (57.8%, +12.2)
Zuffar Haq (LibDem) 7,693 (22.5%, -4.4)
Jane Hunt (Con) 5,169 (15.1%, -6.3)
Abhijit Pandya (UKIP) 994 (2.9%, +1.4)
Howling Laud Hope (Monster Raving Loony) 553 (1.6%, n/a)

Bedford Mayor:

Dave Hodgson (LibDem) 19,966 (37.7%, +10.9 on …

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The first Google Street View Liberal Democrat superboard of spring?

First we brought you a smudge.

But now there’s no mistaking this Liberal Democrat superboard on Google Streetview.

Well, I say spring, but this image from Bedford looks as though it was taken in autumn – during the campaign to elect Dave Hodgson as mayor?

Anyway, now that the stakes have been raised (ahem), has anyone spotted a more impressive political campaign poster on Google Street View?

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Liberal Democrats hold Kingsbrook, Bedford Borough Council

Newly elected Councillor Andy Gerard
Andy Gerard has been elected the new Councillor for Kingsbrook ward in Bedford. (Pictured above with Councillor Anita Gerard, Bedford Mayor Dave Hodgson and PPC for Bedford and Kempston, Henry Vann.)

The results in full:

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Ros Scott writes… Party President’s report to members, October ‘09

October was a month which began for me in India and ended in Cairo. I had been invited to India by the Indian High Commission along with a small delegation of Parliamentarians who are “Liberal Democrat Friends of India”. We were led by Lord John Alderdice through a week’s visit which was split between Delhi and Pune and included a number of meeting and visits to reflect India today, politically, socially and economically.

I was in Cairo for three days to attend the Congress of Liberal International, which is held every 18 months. The Lib Dem delegation is led by the Party President, but all the work is done by the Chair of the International Relations Committee, who is Robert Woodthorpe Brown. It’s a pretty humbling experience to hear from campaigners who risk their life and liberty for working to make democratic change in oppressive regimes, and certainly puts domestic politics into perspective.

In between the two, Parliament resumed after the summer recess, and I’ve been busy in the Lords with voting, select committee work and a few speeches. The expenses issue continues to rumble.

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Conservative Bedford woes

Fresh from losing the Mayor election in Bedford to Dave Hodgson comes this news of further Conservative problems, via the BBC:

The leader of the Conservative group on Bedford Borough Council has been suspended from the party for two years.

The Tory Party said the action against Nicky Attenborough was taken because of comments she made about the selection process for the Tory mayoral candidate.

She described the open meeting, where non-Conservative Party members had a vote, as a disgrace.

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What the media didn’t tell you about the Bedford Mayor election

Cross-posted from The Wardman Wire:

Good news, though you’d be hard press to spot it from the media reports. On a like-for-like basis turnout was up significantly in the Bedford Mayor election this week.

In the first Mayor election, in October 2002, turnout was just 25% whilst this Thursday it was up to 31%. Six percentage points is a big increase, particularly from a base of only 25%.

Ah, you might be saying – but wasn’t turnout higher in the Mayor election in between those two? Yes, in the May 2007 Mayoral election in Bedford turnout was 41%. However, that election coincided …

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The LDV Saturday caption competition – Bedford mayoral sensation

There’s no prize at stake – just the opportunity to prove you’re wittier than any other LDV reader …

clegg vann hodgson 16 Oct 2009w

Here’s newly elected Lib Dem mayor of Bedford Dave Hodgson with party leader Nick Clegg following the sensational Lib Dem victory in the mayoral by-election – but what do you imagine they might be thinking / saying? Photo: Mark Fitzpatrick.

The winner of last week’s caption competition (according to a judging panel of one: me) – Tabman, with a highly commended …

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Bedford Mayoral Election … Lib Dems’ Dave Hogdson WINS!

Result just in …

First preferences:

Lib Dem 9428
Con 9105
Indy 7631
Indy 4316
Lab 3482
Green 1183

After second preferences:

Lib Dem 13352
Conservative 11543
Turnout: 30%

Many congratulations to Dave Hodgson and his team on a fantastic victory!

Update: Nick Clegg has issued his congratulations …

This is a sensational victory for Dave Hodgson and I congratulate him and the Bedford Liberal Democrats for an outstanding campaign. By electing Dave Hodgson as Mayor the people of Bedford have put their trust in the Liberal Democrats to work hard on their behalf.

“The fact that the Tories are losing in their South of England heartland is proof the General Election is not the foregone conclusion they think it is.

“Dave has lived in Bedford for thirty years and has built an outstanding record of action for local people. As Mayor he will work hard to keep Bedford’s roads safe, cut waste and make sure that the people of Bedford get the quality local services they deserve.

“People told me and Vince Cable at our visits to Bedford that they are enthusiastic about our message for real change

“This result shows how misplaced the Conservatives’ complacency about the next election really is. The Liberal Democrats have never taken a single vote for granted. With Labour lagging behind at a disastrous fifth this is yet more evidence that the real choice is now between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats.”

You can watch a video of Nick congratulating Dave here:

Posted in Local government and News | Also tagged and | 31 Comments

Bedford mayoral election … Lib Dems’ Dave Hodgson ahead on 1st preferences

Yesterday saw voting in Bedford for the new elected mayor, with the Lib Dems’ Dave Hodgson the bookies’ favourite. Counting started this morning, and we’ll be reporting the result as soon as we receive it. Alternatively, you can do what we’re doing and follow the Twitter stream

The good news so far is that Dave was ahead on first preferences, with Labour trailing badly in fifth place, and the Greens losing their deposit. However, as no candidate gained more than 50% of the votes cast, second preferences of the losing candidates are now being counted – so we …

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Backlash over Conservative Bedford Mayor selection

From Bedfordshire on Sunday:

Snubbed tory leader Nicky Attenborough has launched a scathing attack on her party claiming Monday’s open primary to elect a mayoral candidate was ‘hijacked’…

In Mrs Attenborough’s email, copied in to Tory chief David Cameron and leaked to Bedfordshire on Sunday, she says: ‘Exactly why should anyone become a member of the Conservative Party when they can walk off the streets into any selection meeting and choose the most unsuitable candidate, if they want, without knowing anything about them, or go to a meeting with the leader without having to pay £20 for the privilege…

‘What followed was

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Ladbrokes: “all the early money” goes on Lib Dems’ Dave Hodgson in Bedford mayoral election

An email drops into the Voice’s inbox from Ladbrokes to let us know their latest odds for the by-election for the directly-elected position of Mayor of Bedford. The betting firm has made the Tories favourites at 1/2, but the Lib Dems’ Dave Hodgson is a close second at odds of 2/1 – and Ladbrokes note:

your man Hodgson is attracting all the early money in Bedford!

Labour and the Independent candidates are also-rans in this election. So, guess what, folks? It’s a 2-horse race!

To find out more about Dave Hodgson’s campaign to become Lib Dem Mayor of Bedford click here. …

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