FENLAND: Questions over £400,000 school grant

PUBLISHED: 09:40 26 January 2009 | UPDATED: 08:51 02 June 2010

FENLAND councillors have questioned whether a school being given a £400,000 grant to allow its hall to be more widely used was intent on setting expensive hire charges. Councillor Simon King, chairman of the overview and scrutiny committee, was questioni

FENLAND councillors have questioned whether a school being given a £400,000 grant to allow its hall to be more widely used was intent on setting expensive hire charges.

Councillor Simon King, chairman of the overview and scrutiny committee, was questioning cabinet members about the funding during a joint meeting last Thursday.

Cllr King said he had heard the Thomas Clarkson Community College was intent on, "setting its rates too high for the new centre and sending groups away."

He asked cabinet colleagues what efforts were being made to ensure the new hall- being built in Wisbech as part of a Building Schools for the Future Initiative- did not price itself out of the market.

"We shouldn't be putting in money if it prices out local groups," he said.

Councillor Alan Melton, for the cabinet, said the school was a semi autonomous body and as such councillors, even though they had voted to agree the £400,000, had no control over the running of the hall.

"How they use the hall is up to the school," he said. "We have no ultimate control. It's subject to market forces- if they make it too high no one will use it anyway."

Paul Medd, executive director, said the council was in discussions with the county council about a "memorandum of understanding" in respect of the £400,000 grant.

He said he personally sat as a governor of the school and could help influence what the school does with the money provided to them.

Councillor Michael Humphrey, also a governor, said the teachers, governors and staff of the school were committed to its use by the wider community.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Wisbech Standard. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Wisbech Standard