Council forces coalition split over Building Schools for the Future programme

CONTROVERSIAL plans by the Coalition Government to remove funding for the renovation of Stevenage schools has divided support in a local council.

Cllr Sharon Taylor, leader of Stevenage Borough Council, called for unanimous support in opposing the recent announcement by Education Secretary Michael Gove that Building Schools for the Future projects at five Stevenage schools have been cancelled, and a further three are subject to reviews.

While the Liberal Democrats joined Labour in condemning the Government’s move, the Conservatives voted against the motion.

“The local Conservatives really showed their contempt for Stevenage people by voting against our young people’s future.

"Their dogmatic support for the Coalition Government’s destruction of Building Schools for the Future, while the LibDems supported Labour’s motion, shows the deep rifts that exist between the two parties, “ said Cllr Taylor.

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The motion also laid down a challenge to Stevenage Conservative MP, Stephen McPartland, to “act as some other Coalition MPs have already stated they will on behalf of their constituencies, and oppose the cancellation of BSF”.

Cllr Taylor added: “If our new MP really wants to represent local people, as he has been elected to do, he will join the Council in opposing the Education Secretary’s disastrous cuts to our local schools and support our children’s future.”

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Under the Government’s plans school refurbishment projects at Barclay, Barnwell, John Henry Newman, Thomas Alleyne and Greenside have been stopped and Marriotts, Lonsdale and Nobel are subject to a review.

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