Row Over School Merger Costs
Tories and Labour at odds over finances
The Conservative opposition on Ealing Council are accusing the Labour administration of thinking that 'money grows on trees.'
They're unhappy with the cost of the proposed merger of
Christ Church and St Saviours Church of England schools - which will increase the school by another 30 places.
At the recent Ealing Council Cabinet the Labour Councillors agreed a budget of £6,000,000 but Surveyors, Sawyer & Fisher, estimated it to be closer to £6,656,000.
Councillor David Millican, the Conservative opposition spokesman on Education pointed out this shortfall but was told ''it will all be all right".
"Typical Labour" said Councillor David Millican.
"The newly merged Christ Church & St Saviours School will be a great school and provide badly needed places, yet Labour still live in a fairy tale world where they can just conjure up £656,000 out of a hat. They agree a project, without putting the full budget in place. When will they learn?"
Labour say the initial figure of £6m was an approximate, and the feasibility study now shows costs around £6.6m; higher than average for primary expansions due to the split site and restricted nature of the site. They say there is sufficient funding in the capital programme for the expansion.
Leader Julian Bell adds: "We are painfully aware of how little money is available to local authorities thanks to the Tory-led government's reckless budget cuts. However we have repeatedly stated that there is no greater priority for the Labour administration than the education of our children. We will ensure that there are school places for all children in the borough."
18 January 2011