East Ham MP’s doubts over school cash pledge
AXED plans to rebuild two secondary schools in Newham should now go ahead, according to MP Stephen Timms.
The East Ham representative spoke out following the Government’s court defeat over its scrapping of the Building Schools for the Future programme in the borough.
Education Secretary Michael Gove was ordered by a judge in the High Court to re-think his decision in relation to Newham and the five other authorities who brought the judicial review action.
He has promised to keep an open mind - but could still arrive at the same conclusion and decide to axe the cash.
Speaking in the House of Commons following the court decision, Mr Timms highlighted the cases of Little Ilford and Plashet schools, which are among 12 projects facing cancellation in Newham if the borough’s �252.1 million funding package is withdrawn.
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Mr Timms said: “The Secretary of State has assured us that he will keep an open mind in receiving representations from the six authorities, including Newham.
“I ask him to take a close look at the cases of Plashet School and Little Ilford School, whose pupils made a DVD to show him the state of their buildings.
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“Renewal now would avoid continuous costly patching up. Should it not be allowed to go forward?”
Mr Gove said he understood the challenges facing teachers and would take on board Mr Timms’ points.
Speaking after the exchange, Mr Timms said: “Michael Gove said he would look again at Newham’s case with an open mind. Plashet and Little Ilford were very close to a final sign off for their plans in July.
“I now hope the Education Secretary will approve the plans so that, in years to come, students will after all be able to learn in new and modern facilities.”
“My worry is that the Government might just go through the motions rather than genuinely reconsidering the case.”