FENLAND: Councillor fears more projects could be in jeopardy from funding cuts
PUBLISHED: 12:00 02 August 2009 | UPDATED: 09:11 02 June 2010
Story by: TOM JACKSON MORE regeneration projects across Fenland could be in jeopardy after the government slashed a housing growth grant in half, a senior councillor warned. The £95million Building Schools for the Future project was particularly highlight
Story by: TOM JACKSON
MORE regeneration projects across Fenland could be in jeopardy after the government slashed a housing growth grant in half, a senior councillor warned.
The £95million Building Schools for the Future project was particularly highlighted by Councillor Alan Melton, as one which could next be hit by funding cuts.
In a stark warning at last night's Fenland District Council meeting, Cllr Melton said: "Don't take it for granted."
Before government closed for the summer, the Housing Growth Fund for Cambridgeshire was cut in half. It happened just months after the College of West Anglia's March campus was scuppered by the Learning and Skills Council running out of cash.
"There's a warning in this," Cllr Melton said. "Government took that money away without any consultation whatsoever.
"The government has been spending money like there is no tomorrow and one day someone's got to pay it back. Every single person in Fenland is going to have to make a very hard decision."
Cllr Melton said funding should be in place for the two Building Schools for the Future project starting next year, at Neale-Wade Community College in March and the Thomas Clarkson Community College in Wisbech.
However, he said: "I warn you all - don't take it for granted because I am now turning into a cynic rather than an optimist.
"The government gave us reassurances the money is there for March and Wisbech, but we shouldn't believe that until the first brick has been laid.
"But the danger is that, two years down the line, there may be a change of heart. Either this government or the next, in view of the economic downturn, could say we will have to hold off the next two schemes (Cromwell Community College in Chatteris and Sir Harry Smith Community College in Whittlesey).
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