Lancashire

Plan for renovations of Lancashire schools under threat

Plans to renovate schools in Lancashire are likely to be scrapped and redrawn, said the county's education chief.

Lancashire schools spent months drawing up detailed proposals but the work was cancelled when the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) project was scrapped.

Susie Charles, Lancashire County Council's cabinet member for schools, said some renovations would go ahead.

However, she said they would be with new "more cost-effective" plans.

The Conservative county councillor will probably "wipe the slate clean and start all over again" with fresh re-designs.

"We have to look at what money is available. We have to work out what money is in the pot and we have to work out the best way to spend it."

Head teacher of Norden High School and Sports College in Rishton, Bob Flood, said it was frustrating the existing plans would not be used.

Mr Flood said: "The fact that these plans are sat there gathering dust is extremely disappointing."

Building work was due to start in schools in Rossendale, Hyndburn and Pendle when the BSF project was pulled by Education Secretary Michael Gove in July.

Ms Charles said she understood that the scheme could be re-introduced when the minister announced the decisionto withdraw the funding for the project.

"He did say that he wasn't going to stop BSF completely; what he was looking at was re-looking at it so that it comes out more cost effectively because I know that there were millions wasted."

A spokesman for the Department for Education said: "The coalition government has been clear that the end of BSF is not the end of school rebuilding."

They added: "That's why we have launched a comprehensive review of all capital spending so that school building can be done more efficiently and quickly."

The High Court ordered a review of his decision to scrap the scheme in six areas on Friday after it was ruled he had unlawfully failed to consult councils.

The challenges were from Waltham Forest Council, Luton Borough Council, Nottingham City Council, Sandwell Council, Kent County Council and Newham Council.

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