To receive a report by the Corporate Director for Education and Young People’s Services that sets out the allocation of capital funding to a number of school projects and seeks the Cabinet Committee support for approval by the Cabinet Member for Education and Health Reform for these Capital Programme projects.
(Mr Cowan made a declaration of interest as he is a foster parent of a child that attends one of the schools)
1. The Area Education Officer, South Kent, Mr Adams, and the Director of Education Planning and Access, Mr Abbott, introduced a report that sets out the allocation of capital funding to a number of school projects and sought the Cabinet Committees support for the proposed decisions to be taken by the Cabinet Member for Education and Health Reform for various Capital Programme projects.
2. Mr Adams, Mrs White and Mr Abbott, responded to questions by Members which included the following:
· Mrs White advised that the Highways works at Tunstall CE Primary School would commence in 23 July. This would include further works to culverts, highways lighting and a road crossing. The abnormal costs [a building term for costs outside the normal budget] entail the drainage works and foundation works for the school. Mrs White advised that the contractors were currently on site and the expected completion date was 16 March 2016 [included in the contract].
· Mr Adams advised that there were significant capital pressures within the budgets and addressing the local community’s needs that came with those expansions, such as perception on traffic and congestion, added to those pressures. The Highways Authority was a consultee in the school expansion process and had a view on what would need to happen to allow a development to be considered suitable, sustainable and deliverable. Those requirements had to be factored into the budget.
Mr Adams explained that a piece of work was being carried out, with colleagues in Growth, Environment and Transport Directorate, looking at all school estates to identify which schools could be expanded and what issues there might be in terms of physical infrastructure etc in achieving the expansions. This work would identify where highways works were required, so these could be costed in at an earlier stage, and be factored into requests for developer contributions where appropriate.
· Mr Adams agreed to look at the issue of funding for highways improvements at Green Park Community Primary School, Dover and discuss the matter with Mr Cowan.
3. RESOLVED that:-
(a) the responses to questions by Members be noted; and
(b) the Education and Young People’s Services Cabinet Committee endorsed the decision to be taken by the Cabinet Member for Education and Health Reform to approve the following capital projects, and allocate funding, from the Education and Young People’s Services Capital Budget, of the following amounts in order that the proposals may go ahead:
a. A further £2.3m for Tunstall CE Primary School, Swale.
b. A further £2.2m for Kings Hill Academy, Tonbridge & Malling.
c. £9m to the rebuild and expansion of Portal House School, Dover.
d. £1.4m to the expansion of Green Park Primary School, Dover.
e. £6m to the building of Finberry School, Ashford.
f. £2.5m to the expansion of The Judd School, Tonbridge & Malling.
(ii) To expand Portal House School by 20 places from 1 September 2015 as part of the project to rebuild the school on its current site.
(iii) The Executive Scheme of Delegation for Officers set out in Appendix 2 Part 4 of the Constitution (and the directorate schemes of sub-delegation made thereunder) provides the governance pathway for the implementation of this decision by officers. In this instance, the Director of Property and Infrastructure Support to be the nominated Authority Representative with the relevant agreements and to enter into variation as envisaged under the contracts.