Last night Wandsworth Labour Councillors asked the majority Tory group to support this motion:
This Council recognises that funding secured under the previous government’s Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme to refurbish Elliott School was lost when the Coalition Government abolished the scheme, leaving the long-term future of the school in peril. Wandsworth Council would have been in a better position to address the physical problems at Elliott School had it not agreed the purchase of a site for the Bolingbroke free school, at a cost of £13M.
Wandsworth Council regrets that the combination of these two factors has resulted in a two year delay in progressing the refurbishment of Elliott School, as a result of which school rolls have fallen and the school is in danger of being closed on Health and Safety grounds.
Cllr Senior, as Cabinet member, has failed to bring to committee adequately broad-ranging financial background papers to allow full discussion of a financial rescue package for Elliott School. Wandsworth Council is concerned that the continuing delays in progressing the Elliott School refurbishment scheme are putting at risk the August 2014 timeframe for the completion of Elliott School’s refurbishment.
Wandsworth Council resolves immediate action on the following:
In order to recover the situation of Elliott School, Wandsworth Council calls on Guy Senior, the Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate Resources, to urgently bring forward proposals to a Special Meeting of the Finance and Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee to release funding for the refurbishment of Elliott School independently of the receipt of Section 77 authority and the conclusion of negotiations for the sale of part of the Elliott School site.
It calls on the Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate Resources to finance the short term. Cash Flow requirements of this course of action from the £15 million surplus cash balances held by Wandsworth Council on behalf of Wandsworth Schools.
Wandsworth Council resolves that in future:
- The fabric of every school run by the Borough is reviewed annually at Finance and Corporate Resources Committee (or as relevant)
- An annual level of funding is agreed for school repairs commensurate with the need identified in the above review
- Any school so reviewed and found to be below an adequate physical standard is then placed on a ‘priority need’ list
- Schools considered as ‘priority need’ will have urgent recourse to funding for necessary repairs, from the funding pool
The motion was not supported by the Conservatives.