Councillor Peter Butlin (Portfolio Holder for Finance and Property) introduced this comprehensive report relating to three projects at Oak Wood Primary School, Evergreen School in Warwick, and Stratford Upon Avon School and moved the recommendations as set out in the report.
Councillor Kam Kaur seconded the recommendation and reserved the right to speak.
Councillor Chilvers proposed the addition of the following paragraph to the Motion:
3. Requests that a costed net-zero option for all three projects is developed and reported to Cabinet for decision before tenders are requested for the projects.
In moving the amendment, Councillor Chilvers noted that although a costed net-zero option had not been included for these projects, he understood that there were plans to do so for future projects. He considered it unfortunate that this was not already taking place in view of the Climate Emergency that had been declared some time ago. He did not believe providing these costings would cause significant delay to the projects.
Councillor Tracey Drew seconded the amendment and reserved the right to speak.
Councillor Barbara Brown commented on the absence of east Warwickshire, particularly the Rugby area, from the report. She also stated that it would be helpful to have an understanding of the funding support that would be in place for children in the context of the expanded schools.
Councillor Jenny Fradgeley expressed surprise that climate change considerations had not been built into the projects. She trusted that this could be done quickly and effectively.
Councillor Robert Tromans welcomed the proposed investment in schools, particularly for Oak Wood. He noted that it had been implied that the ecological impact of the developments had not been considered but it was his understanding that full net-zero would be likely to cost significantly more and he expressed concern at the delay this would cause together with the associated escalation of costs.
In support of the amendment, Councillor Tracey Drew believed that obtaining the costings would provide clear evidence of the funding reality and avoid retrofitting, leading to lower energy consumption in the schools.
Councillor Kam Kaur responded that the impact of any delay to the project while further costings were taken, would be that the associated planning applications would be delayed and 350 children would not have a school place in September 2024. She considered this would set an unacceptable precedent for Warwickshire children and their parents. Whilst she appreciated the sentiments of the amendment, she urged the Chamber to support the original motion due to the impact the amendment would have on children.
In response, Councillor Jonathan Chilvers questioned why costed net-zero options had not yet been built into the process and, in doing so, referred to a recent social media post by Councillor Butlin.
Councillor Peter Butlin responded that his personal views were not holding up the implementation of policy. He advised that the proposed costings would cause delay to the delivery of school places. Substantially different alterations, including the use of different products, would cause delay to ... view the full minutes text for item 3
To consider a request for additional funding to be allocated to existing projects.
Portfolio Holders - Councillors Peter Butlin and Kam Kaur
Councillor Kam Kaur (Portfolio Holder for Education) opened this item and set out details of the four projects for addition to the capital programme, three existing projects requiring additional funding, and approval of a statutory proposal for an alternative provision free school in Warwick District as described in the comprehensive report and totalling £15.378 million.
Councillor Peter Butlin provided clarification that the total project costs of £15.378 million were funded by Basic Needs funding (£1.547 million), High Needs Grant (£9.956 million) and developer funding (£3.875 million).
1. Approves the following proposal for prescribed alterations at Evergreen School:
(a) To increase the number of places for learners with SEND at Evergreen School by up to 40 places.
(b) Recommends to Council that £7.820 million be added to the capital programme to deliver the scheme at Evergreen School to be funded from the Department for Education High Needs grant
2. Recommends to Council that £6.026 million be added to the capital programme to deliver the schemes at Oakwood Primary School and Stratford upon Avon School to be funded from Department for Education High Need and Basic Need grants and developer contributions.
3. Approves the addition to the capital programme of £1.532 million funded from developer contributions and Department for Education grant to deliver the remaining schemes in section 3 of the report and supports development of the land edged red on the plan in Appendix 3 to the report as a new alternative provision free school.
4. Authorises, subject to Council’s agreement to the required additions to the Capital Programme, the Strategic Director for People in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Finance and Property, to invite tenders and enter into the appropriate contracts or (where the scheme is school led) to make the necessary funding arrangements for these schemes on terms and conditions considered acceptable to the Strategic Director.