Labour councillors Steve Reed, Florence Nosegbe and Alex Holland have slammed the recent admission by Tory Education secretary Michael Gove that he is cutting more than £200 million in Lambeth schools funding, just days before contracts were due to be agreed and building work was to begin.
Local schools in Lambeth including Landsdowne and the Fenstanton Project had been promised rebuilt or refurbished school buildings under the Building Schools for the Future project, but the Tory/Lib Dem coalition government has now dashed their hopes. Michael Gove has now cancelled Lambeth’s entire program, affecting thousands of pupils at eleven secondary schools. The cancelled investment in schools was desperately needed, both to renew or rebuild tired buildings, and also to provide much needed extra places in the borough, including a new school for Brixton. The creation of hundreds of local construction jobs will also be dashed.
Labour councillor Steve Reed said: “Teachers and pupils across Lambeth’s schools had been promised millions in funding to bring their school up to modern standards. Now the Tory/Lib Dem government have destroyed their dream of modern buildings by cancelling Building Schools for the Future in Lambeth outright, affecting the life chances of hundreds of local children in Lambeth.
“Lambeth is still desperately short of places for secondary school age children, despite Labour building three new schools from scratch in the last few years. Labour’s plans for school rebuilding would have created the extra places our borough need – but the Tories and Lib Dems will leave our children having to travel miles out of the borough to get to school.
“What’s more, Lambeth has already spent more than £6 million on preparing planning permissions and producing designs for the eleven new schools – local taxpayers will be outraged that the coalition government’s decision will see that money go to waste.”
Lambeth Labour are now leading a ‘Save Our Schools’ campaign, to shame the Tory/Lib Dem government into reversing their short-sighted decision. They are urging local parents and children to write to Education secretary Michael Gove telling him how their decision will affect their education, and urging him to restore the funding Lambeth needs. He can be contacted at:
The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP
Secretary of State for Education
Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org