Published: 15 July, 2010
• MANY parents and local residents will have been upset by the announcement concerning the national Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme.
It is part of the price that must now be paid to cover Labour’s debts.
Labour left us with the largest deficit in our peacetime history, and £1 in every £4 they were spending was borrowed.
But we should only cut where there are savings to be made and South Camden Community School is no such place.
There are good reasons why it should be an exception to the cuts elsewhere.
SCCS was one of the first schools to enter the BSF programme and, while the national BSF programme has been a disaster of bad planning, bureaucracy, and waste, SCCS has invested heavily with time and money in overcoming those problems.
This investment cannot be clawed back if the programme is cancelled.
Having invested so much already it would be foolish not to complete the process.
The work at SCCS is very close, only six weeks away from starting on site.
Cutting the programme now would leave the school with an uncertain future as the new academic year starts in the autumn.
Redeveloping SCCS is much cheaper than building an entirely new school – about half the cost of some recent developments – but still delivering the facilities and space.
And Camden does need that capacity.
The changes in our local population mean that we need new forms of entry and the plans for SCCS would have provided for much of that in the southern part of the borough.
Parents, governors, local activists and, above all, the children at the school want it to proceed.
Little can be saved by bringing an end to the BSF scheme for South Camden Community School.
It should and must proceed.
Governor, South Camden Community School
Deputy Chairman, Holborn and St Pancras Conservative Association
(written in a personal capacity)