Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Cutting tax or providing new school facilities for central and eastern Brighton?

They say a picture paints a thousand words. Well this one certainly does: perhaps this is one of the saddest sights in Brighton and Hove right now.

In a city with a shortage of community school places - a perfectly good school, sitting empty, waiting to be broken up to make money for the site's owner.

Earlier this year, I wrote to the council's Children's Services scrutiny
(of which I used to be a member) asking what scope the council had to take over the financially-failed (but educationally good) school - and run it for the community.

I was told there were no such powers - and that the Council hadn't even explored the idea of buying the school - or stepping in to save it.

But now it seems the school is up for grabs again - and it comes down to a simple financial question: will the council spend some money on improving the provision of community schools here in Kemp Town, or will keeping council tax bills down prevail. So what about it?

Perhaps there's even a deal to be done: the school's letting agent, Cluttons, also acts for the council!

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