FENLAND: Malcolm Moss and Geoff Harper slam Government's college funding decision
PUBLISHED: 13:40 29 June 2009 | UPDATED: 09:08 02 June 2010
MALCOLM Moss MP and Fenland District Council leader Geoff Harper have slammed the Government after it emerged the 13 colleges receiving funding are in Labour-controlled areas. The Learning and Skills Council last week announced that 13 colleges would rece
MALCOLM Moss MP and Fenland District Council leader Geoff Harper have slammed the Government after it emerged the 13 colleges receiving funding are in Labour-controlled areas.
The Learning and Skills Council last week announced that 13 colleges would receive funding through the further education capital programme.
However, further analysis has revealed that all 13 colleges receiving funding are in Labour constituencies - four are in Labour marginal seats and five are in constituencies held by MPs in senior party or ministerial positions.
Mr Moss said he was "deeply disappointed" by the LSC decision, especially as March was in a good position to receive funding.
He said: "It now looks uncertain when this re-development can be realised.
"I am further alarmed as to the reason why these 13 colleges were picked funding, and not others. All the 13 colleges are in Labour constituencies, a third of them marginal seats.
"This raises serious questions about the supposedly "arms-length" distance between the Government and the LSC. It seems evident that the Government has influenced, if not outright taken, this decision.
"This smells of a failing Government trying to shore up their voter base ahead of the next general election. I am shocked at this cynical and outrageous move by Brown to try and retain control over Labour areas."
Cllr Harper said: "The decision on the College of West Anglia's March campus project once again highlights the incompetence of this Government. Yet again we have been fed with promises that have not been delivered.
"On examination of the colleges that have been approved, it would appear that the vast majority are in Labour-controlled areas. Once again the East of England is bereft of any government support for our young people.
"The result of this decision impacts dramatically on the whole economic, cultural and employment situation in Fenland. For a number of years Fenland District Council has been successful in lifting the potential and the image of the district. It has worked tirelessly along with the College of West Anglia to ensure that this project was delivered. We feel badly let down and are bitterly disappointed.
"We are promised another review in 2011/12, depending on the outcome of the next spending review. Don't hold your breath.