Tory blasts council in schools revamp cash axe decision

PUBLISHED: 10:24 08 July 2010 | UPDATED: 18:05 25 August 2010

A Conservative has claimed the council s incompetence in delivering the school building programme could have resulted in more than four schools being told their revamps are now axed.

A Conservative has claimed the council's incompetence in delivering the school building programme could have resulted in more than four schools being told their revamps are now axed.

Improvements to four Greenwich schools - Blackheath Bluecoat, Old Dover Road, Blackheath, Eltham Green Community, Middle Park Avenue, Eltham Kidbrooke Community school, Corelli Road, Kidbrooke, and Shooter's Hill Post 16, Red Lion Lane, Woolwich- have all been scrapped.

The Education secretary Michael Gove announced this week that the Building Schools for the Future programme, which would rebuild and refurbish 715 schools around the country, would be axed.

The five schools which were part of Phase One of the programme have been confirmed as being unaffected by the announcement. These are Crown Woods in Riefield Road, Eltham; Eltham Hill in Eltham Hill, Eltham; Joan Roan in Maze Hill, Blackheath; Plumstead Manor in Old Mill Road, Plumstead and Thomas Tallis in Kidbrooke Park Road, Blackheath.

Conservative Eltham councillor Spencer Drury told the Times that the cuts could have hit the borough harder. He said: "I am pleased that those which have started to be built are still going ahead. The ones

that I was concerned about were the phase one schools as the council missed the deadline for delivering these which was September 2009.

This was due to complete incompetence. The urgent case ones are now getting done and I am pleased these are now going ahead. I thought we could lose these. Three more of them could have also got cut so I am positive that they have remained. When the leader of the council Chris Roberts first bid for the schools in Phase One, he was surprised to get five."

Some 180 schools in England have been rebuilt or revamped since the scheme was introduced by Labour in 2004. New schools at Crown Woods and Thomas Tallis are currently under construction. Children's councillor

Jackie Smith, said: "We are very disappointed a number of our schools will now be left without the necessary funding needed to enhance their facilities."

Bexley was not part of Building Schools for the Future programme.

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