BSF Was "Absurdly Complex and Too Costly"

Angie Bray MP says cancellation does not mean end to capital investment

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Angie Bray, MP For Ealing Central and Acton, Makes her Maiden Speech
Angie Bray speaking in the House of Commons

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"I fully understand the disappointment over the announcement from the Department of Education about the schools building programme in Ealing and Acton.

"But there can be little doubt that the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme was seriously flawed.  It failed to deliver on time or on budget.  Indeed, despite its stated objective of building 200 new schools by 2008, only 35 were delivered and 13 refurbished.  

"The programme has been cancelled because it is absurdly complex and too costly.  The bureaucratic process could take up to three years before the first brick was actually laid. The President of the Royal Institute of British Architects has said “The programme was wasteful and bureaucratic” and he has “long argued that the process could be improved to cut costs, save time and produce better buildings.”

"The cancellation of BSF does not mean an end to capital investment in schools.  The Secretary of State has established a Capital Review team to consider better ways of funding school rebuilds and refurbishment to ensure that the Government and the tax payer get maximum value for money as well as delivering the school buildings to meet the needs of pupils and their teachers.

"The Review team will focus on the schools in the worst condition which need urgent investment and those areas with greatest pressure on school places.

"I have already tabled parliamentary questions to the Secretary of State asking for his reassurance that any review will prioritize those constituencies like Ealing Central and Acton where the growing population is placing increasing demand on school places."

July 15, 2010