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"Building Schools For the Future" - Too Late for Wokingham?

March 31, 2005 12:00 AM

Confirmation has been received that Wokingham will not qualify for any government funding under the government's "Building Schools for the Future" scheme until at least the next decade.

Councillor Prue Bray (deputy leader of the Lib Dem Councillor Group) said, "This Government has refused to help Wokingham District Council make our schools a priority. The condition of our school buildings is getting worse and worse, with such things as heating and ventilation system failures becoming more commonplace. Schools are more and more frequently being forced to send children home while urgent repairs are done."

"The ruling Conservatives on Wokingham District Council are jeopardizing our pupils' education by neglecting the maintenance of our schools. They have adopted the ostrich position, with little or no spending on the upkeep of our school buildings. This year, they left the buildings to crumble while they waited for news of government funding. Next year's maintenance programme is the same again, with a budget only for essential health and safety repairs.

"No planned maintenance work is scheduled to be done on any of our nine secondary schools and only two or three of the district's 52 primary schools will have any work done on them to maintain standards. The Conservatives must not neglect our school buildings any longer - it is time they got their heads out of the sand and took bold and innovative steps to maintain the excellent standard of education in the District."

Councillor Beth Rowland (Lib Dem Education spokesperson and Councillor for South Lake ward) added, "This Tory policy of ignoring our schools' needs will end up costing the District Council more money. If repairs are not done systematically then the costs increase and our children's education suffers. We can't expect our school staff and children to work in such atrocious conditions."