15 November 2010

Lambeth Labour joins with Lib Dems to argue for more funding for Lambeth's schools

On Monday 8 November 2010 a cross-party delegation from Lambeth Council went to Westminster to lobby the Coalition Government on fair funding for Lambeth’s school building programme.

The Leader of Lambeth Council, Councillor Steve Reed, along with the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services, Councillor Pete Robbins, Leader of the Opposition, Councillor Ashley Lumsden, and senior officers went to the Department for Education to meet Schools Minister, Lord Hill, to discuss  how Lambeth can meet the demand for school places in the borough.

In Lambeth, Schools have already been affected by a cut to the Building Schools for the Future programme and with further cuts to council budgets following the Comprehensive Spending Review, the Council is faced with a huge challenge to find the necessary £130million required to repair, expand and build new primary schools.

Councillor Robbins said ‘Ministers must understand the serious need for major investment in Lambeth’s schools both at primary and secondary level. We are not talking about vanity projects, we are talking about the basic need for funding to meet the unprecedented demand for primary school places, particularly in the south of the Borough, and cash to make secondary schools fit for purpose. On top of that, every time we get a new school, or new classroom in an existing school, it costs us more money to run, and not only is the government not granting us the required funds, but they seem intent on making Lambeth’s pot even smaller.’

The delegation set out Lambeth’s situation and asked Lord Hill for a commitment to fund repairs and expand the number of school places as an absolute minimum. Councillors also told the minister that the Department for Education needs to find a fairer method calculating how money is allocated to Councils to build and maintain schools. Lord Hill refused to give this commitment.