FENLAND: Council chiefs queue to sign petition to keep college project on track
SENIOR Fenland councillors queued to sign a petition launched jointly by Council Leader Geoff Harper and the Cambs Times to keep a new college for March on track. Our where s our bloody college? campaign was launched after the sudden axing of a �70 mill
SENIOR Fenland councillors queued to sign a petition launched jointly by Council Leader Geoff Harper and the Cambs Times to keep a new college for March on track.
Our 'where's our bloody college?' campaign was launched after the sudden axing of a �70 million Fenland super campus on the eve of building work due to start.
"We must keep our focus on ensuring this college is delivered for the people of Fenland," said Cllr Harper.
Eyes are now turned on last week's Budget which provided a �300 million windfall for the Learning and Skills Council to begin at least some of the college projects pulled when they realised they had no money to fund them.
The March campus of the College of West Anglia was one of those affected but now the go ahead could be given for up to 20 college projects to start this year.
Cambridge construction lawyer Tim Richards, of Hewitsons, believes the decision to put more than 140 college building projects on hold across England could lead to a drop in standards as colleges look for savings if projects are to continue.
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"Put simply these colleges have been let down," said Mr Richards. "Expectations were built up, based on representations the money was available, and now they have been left high and dry."
He said many colleges had spent large sums on developing projects but "either way it is certain that colleges will not be getting what they were originally expecting".
A Government inquiry into what went wrong at the Learning and Skills Council concluded the building programme lacked a long term financial strategy and blamed "inadequate management, information and monitoring."
SIGN UP TODAY: Add your signature to our petition in the section on this website. We hope soon to present the petition to 10 Downing Street.