Monday 14 February 2011

Why Didn't H&F Conservatives Fight For Our Children's Schools Investment?

At the Full Council Meeting on the 27th October last year Councillors Caroline Needham (Lab) and Elaine Chumnery (Lab) moved a resolution against “the devastating impact to Hammersmith and Fulham of the withdrawal of Building Schools for the Future (BSF) Funding” they then called on the Conservative “Administration to use its influence with Central Government” that would “enable schools to provide accommodation fit for purpose.” H&F Conservatives voted against it while shouting out heckles of “it’s bad value for money.”

Last week the High Court ruled that the way the decision was made is “unlawful.” This could mean that the six councils who took action against the Conservative led government’s cut to BSF may have won up to £1 billion in education funding for their local children. It’s a shame Hammersmith and Fulham’s Administration didn’t follow the lead given by their Conservative colleagues in Kent County Council who have evidently given the education of local children a greater priority than sucking up to their colleagues in government.

As Deputy Leader of H&F Council, in 2005/06, I was one of those that put together the deal to launch the new Hammersmith Academy - which opens this September. We also began moves to benefit from the new BSF policy as it is still the case that the Borough's other schools need significant investment. In 2006, shortly after their election victory, I was pleased to see local Conservatives back the Academy (the funding coming from sponsors and the Labour government) but by now contriving to end BSF H&F's Tories have badly undercut the good work being done in the Borough's schools facing this cut.

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