Sports hall blow

PUBLISHED: 10:32 08 March 2007 | UPDATED: 11:37 06 May 2010

THE plug has been pulled on £15m of council funding for more than 30 planned school improvement schemes across Hertfordshire, including £2.4m for a sports hall. The Highfield School in Letchworth GC heard it would no longer receive the cash injection for

THE plug has been pulled on £15m of council funding for more than 30 planned school improvement schemes across Hertfordshire, including £2.4m for a sports hall.

The Highfield School in Letchworth GC heard it would no longer receive the cash injection for a sports hall after the decision was made at Hertfordshire County Council's cabinet meeting last week.

Headteacher Jane Winterbone said: "We understand the council is faced with a very tight budget for the next financial year.

"Of course we're understandably gutted by the decision even though we understand the overall constraints placed upon the council.

"We had been looking forward to enhanced PE facilities since we increased the number of students at Highfield School from 800 to 1050 in 2002.

"The school and governors will continue to campaign for the facilities we consider our children both need and deserve."

Labour county councillor for Letchworth North West, Nigel Agar, said: "Given the enthusiasm expressed by the Government about the need to train up new talent in time for the Olympics in 2012, it is very disappointing to hear this news.

"It looks as if Letchworth youngsters have drawn the short straw when it comes to athletic opportunities."

John Harris, director of children, schools and families at HCC, said: "Due to a very limited increase in funding from central government and the expensive pressures of caring for the county's growing elderly population, HCC has been forced to make a number of very difficult decisions for the financial year ahead.

"Government policy means the cost of meeting essential building work required in many of Hertfordshire's schools falls increasingly on borrowing funded by Hertfordshire's council tax payers.

"This is a very unsatisfactory state of affairs and the county council is making strenuous representations to central government to restore support for capital financing.


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