Kevin Bonavia, Labour’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Rochford and Southend East, is calling for Southend Council to apply for extra schools funding that has recently been made available by the Government.
Millions of pounds of spending on school buildings and repairs are being brought forward from the 2010/11 financial year to 2009/10. This is being done as a part of the Government’s ongoing effort to create jobs and help local businesses through the recession.
All schools in Southend would benefit from more than £1.2 million of funding being brought forward from the coming year - a total of £4.4 million for 2009/10. This money would go directly to headteachers so that the schools can choose how to spend the money as they see fit. This might include the building of new classrooms and science laboratories or fitting out new gyms and computer facilities.
However, Southend Council has joined other Tory controlled local authorities in deciding not to bid to bring forward additional funds for larger school building projects. In Southend alone an additional £8.4 million could have been brought forward.
Kevin said, “I am pleased that our Government has decided to invest this money in the development of our young people. During these difficult economic times it is crucial to invest in projects that will not only help in the short-term but that will deliver results well into the future. The decision to invest in school buildings achieves both of these goals.”
Kevin also expressed his disappointment in Southend Council’s decision not to seek additional funds: “Once again, the Tory controlled council in Southend has put political ideology ahead of the well-being of the members of the community. Unfortunately it will be young and local business people who will suffer as a result of this decision.”