Agenda item

Education Capital Programme 2023/24


Councillor Kam Kaur (Portfolio Holder for Education) introduced this comprehensive report relating to projects at Wharton Nethersole CofE Primary School and St John’s Primary School in Kenilworth and moved the recommendations as set out in the report. 


Councillor Peter Butlin (Portfolio Holder for Finance and Property) seconded the recommendation and reserved the right to speak.


Councillor Tracey Drew welcomed the statement in the report that “all future school capital projects will be developed in accordance with statutory regulations which include the revised Building Regulations 2021” and sought more detail regarding the challenges set out in section 5 of the report.


Councillor Dave Humphreys welcomed the project in Wharton Nethersole, but noted that much of the housing development in the area was already complete and he asked if the possibility of receiving Section 106 monies at an earlier stage could be considered for future projects so that amenities were available at an early stage in the development not at the end.


Councillor Jonathan Chilvers welcomed additional places in Kenilworth given the amount of growth, but expressed concern that St John’s was some distance from the new growth which led him to believe that this would raise questions regarding transport at the planning stage.  Additionally, whilst these places were needed, he noted that there were two new junior schools to be built in the east of Kenilworth which seemed some time away from being in place.


Councillor Marian Humphreys welcomed the project in Wharton Nethersole.


In seconding the recommendation, Councillor Butlin commented on the three developments taking place in Wharton, including one where the Council was the developer, and how much the area needed this project.  He also considered that the project at Kenilworth demonstrated how much growth was taking place in Warwickshire, a reflection that it was a good place to both develop and live.


In response to the debate, Councillor Kaur stated that if sufficient funds and time were available, then the Council would seek to complete projects with full green sources but, in this case, providing the places was of paramount importance.  The Council would endeavour to use fossil fuel-free and zero carbon wherever possible but older buildings presented challenges in this regard. In terms of development funding and section 106 monies, she was only aware of one area where the developer had provided school amenities prior to building homes (Houlton).  She explained that the sufficiency team was a small unit consisting of just four individuals who undertook forecasting of demand for the whole of Warwickshire.  In-year changes, as a result of development, was causing some pressure but prioritisation would be given to those areas where demand was generating a need for school places.




A vote on the motion took place which was carried unanimously.




That Council:


1.         Approves the addition of £2.868m to the capital programme to deliver the scheme at Warton Nethersole CofE Primary School, to be funded by developer contributions and the Department for Education (DfE) Basic Need Grant.

2.         Approves the addition of £6.335m to the capital programme to deliver the scheme at St John’s Primary School subject to Cabinet’s approval to increase the capacity of the school and establish specialist resourced provision.


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