MP delivers ultimatum over desperately needed Helston College rebuild

Falmouth Packet: MP delivers ultimatum over desperately needed Helston College rebuild MP delivers ultimatum over desperately needed Helston College rebuild

Helston Community College should be given “the chance it deserves” according to the area's MP, who has given the council an ultimatum.

MP for West Cornwall Andrew George said Cornwall Council had until July 21 to submit an application for government money, under the Priority Schools Building Programme, to put towards a rebuild of the college, in particular C-Block.

The 60-year-old curtain walled, flat-roofed building is described as having “inherent deficiencies”, notably a leaking roof, and the “high risk of asbestos fibre release.

Mr George, college governor Alan Horne and headteacher Dr Pat McGovern met Schools Minister David Laws last week, to make a case for government support for the rebuild funding programme at Helston Community College.

Mr George, a former student of the school, claimed that at a similar meeting last year it was acknowledged that C-Block was “the highest priority in Cornwall.”

He said this week: “The situation at Helston Community College is unacceptable. Students and teachers deserve much better. The current policy of using the maintenance budget to paper over the cracks of an inadequate building is a false economy. It throws good money after bad.”

Helston Community College does not have the authority to submit an application itself and needs Cornwall Council to submit a bid on its behalf.

“The college must compete with any of the newly formed academies, which have in the main already had one bite of the national funding cherry when they were first formed,” added Mr George, who described the meeting with the education minister as “extremely constructive.”

“There was a recognition that the now serious structural problems with Helston Community College's buildings stood a good chance of being seen as a national priority for funding if this bid was submitted,” he said.

Mr George now plans to meet with Cornwall Council chiefs to make sure a strong bid is submitted within the deadline.

“The outstanding reputation of my former school deserves the required level of financial support to enhance its reputation even further,” he said.

Porthleven and Helston West Cornwall Councillor Andrew Wallis, who is also lead member for children and young people, confirmed this week: “Cornwall Council, on behalf of Helston College will be making a robust case to the government for adequate funding for the rebuilding of Helston C-Block.

“I made the promise to the college that I would do all within my powers to obtain this important funding from the government.”

Comments (4)

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11:44am Wed 9 Jul 14

Helston fly on the wall says...

Andrew George could donate his expenses towards the rebuild.
Andrew George could donate his expenses towards the rebuild. Helston fly on the wall
  • Score: 6

12:16pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Gill Z Martin says...

Does MP Andrew George really believe that Cornwall Council would not apply for any bid for possible government funding for Helston Community College?
It would seem to me he appears to be using reverse psychology, promoting himself in support of the school, and highlighting Cornwall Council, when in fact I believe he should be pressing the plight of the school within the government, himself.
It is unacceptable that the only possible way government funding could be forthcoming, is by a lottery of bids. Adequate funding for emergency schools maintenance should be provided by the government as standard. It is terribly wrong that the government invested money in new academy schools at the expense of existing schools.
Does MP Andrew George really believe that Cornwall Council would not apply for any bid for possible government funding for Helston Community College? It would seem to me he appears to be using reverse psychology, promoting himself in support of the school, and highlighting Cornwall Council, when in fact I believe he should be pressing the plight of the school within the government, himself. It is unacceptable that the only possible way government funding could be forthcoming, is by a lottery of bids. Adequate funding for emergency schools maintenance should be provided by the government as standard. It is terribly wrong that the government invested money in new academy schools at the expense of existing schools. Gill Z Martin
  • Score: 9

1:55pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Levener says...

If Andrew George was any good as an MP he would help CC put together an application, not get himself some publicity by trying to blame CC by saying he's giving them an ultimatum.
If Andrew George was any good as an MP he would help CC put together an application, not get himself some publicity by trying to blame CC by saying he's giving them an ultimatum. Levener
  • Score: 5

9:20am Thu 10 Jul 14

Helston Observer says...

Not forgetting, of course, there's a general election next year! It royally hacks me off that everything these days is about competition - "(the college) must compete with newly formed academies."
This should not be a competition - the school is falling down, rebuild it now, stop making these institutions "compete" against each other - it's wrong and a waste of everyone's time.
Not forgetting, of course, there's a general election next year! It royally hacks me off that everything these days is about competition - "(the college) must compete with newly formed academies." This should not be a competition - the school is falling down, rebuild it now, stop making these institutions "compete" against each other - it's wrong and a waste of everyone's time. Helston Observer
  • Score: 2
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