Meeting with minister over Helston College rebuild funds 'positive and encouraging' (From Falmouth Packet)
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Meeting with minister over Helston College rebuild funds 'positive and encouraging'
12:54pm Thursday 10th October 2013 in News
Members of a delegation from Cornwall who travelled to London today to lobby for Government funding towards the costs of replacing Helston College’s “C” Block have welcomed an offer from Schools Minister David Laws to send a senior official to Cornwall to carry out a detailed assessment of the issue.
The block, which was built in the 1950’s, is in a poor state of repair, with problems with its roof and walls. The council is committed to working with Helston Community College to address the issues with “C” block and has been exploring all options to identify the £10m needed to fund the replacement of a new building.
Today’s meeting with the minister was arranged by St Ives MP Andrew George to discuss the bid put forward by the council for funding from the £50 billion fund set up by the Government to support public sector infrastructure projects.
Describing the meeting with the Minister as “positive and encouraging” Andrew Wallis, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said the offer to send a senior official from the Education Funding Agency to visit the College demonstrated that the Government recognised the problems facing the College and the Council.
“Helston Community College is one of our highest achieving schools and, like all students in Cornwall, its young people deserve to be taught in high quality buildings, “he said.
“Everyone agrees that the issues with “C” block need to be addressed as quickly as possible and I am pleased that the Minister has recognised the seriousness of the situation and has agreed to send one of his senior officials to Cornwall to inspect the problem for themselves”.
St Ives MP Andrew George said. “This was a positive meeting. The minister and his officials gave us a sympathetic hearing. I am especially pleased that he has decided to send senior officials from his Department to the College to inspect and advise.
“Helston is my old school. But that’s not the reason why I believe that its need for capital investment is higher than others. That is also the view of Cornwall Council and I expect the Government to acknowledge that a £multimillion investment is needed there.
“This is an important step on the road to sorting this out. We must keep up the pressure.”
The meeting was also attended by the Council’s Director of Children’s Services Trevor Doughty, who said “I also felt that this was a very encouraging meeting and am hopeful that it is a positive step forward towards a successful conclusion to this matter”.
Headteacher of Helston Community College Pat McGovern also welcomed the offer of the visit. “ I was delighted to have the opportunity to meet the Minister and am pleased with the support given by the local authority which has reinforced the clear message that we are working together to resolve this issue” he said.
“I am particularly pleased with the Minister’s offer to send a senior official from the Department of Education to visit Helston. This is a major step forward.
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