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21 March 2019

Council leader criticises schools maintenance cuts

Today at the meeting of Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet, members considered a report explaining the serious challenge facing the county to ensure that school buildings stay fit for purpose in the face of ongoing reductions in government funding for school maintenance.

The full report can be found here.

Responding to the report Leader of Cumbria County Council, Stewart Young, said:

“Schools maintenance in this county is a slowly unfolding crisis because of funding cuts by the government. Over the last five years almost 30% of our schools maintenance  funding has gone, reduced from £6.7m to £4.7m a year. We are now having to borrow money, over £16m since 2014/15, just to ensure that our schools are safe, wind and water tight. This is unsustainable.

"Looking to the future we are going to reach a point, because of the age of many of our school buildings and the effect of government cuts, that schools may have to close because they are uninhabitable. That is a damning indictment of government policy and gives lie to their claim to be investing in schools. Children in this county deserve much better than this and I will be raising the issue when I meet with Cumbria’s MPs later this month.”

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Today at the meeting of Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet, members considered a report explaining the serious challenge facing the county to ensure that school buildings stay fit for purpose in the face of ongoing reductions in government funding for school maintenance.