HCC Tories reject school funding proposal

Barnstaple Lib Dem County Councillor Brian Greenslade said “I am very disappointed for our schools who already get funded at £290 per pupil less than average from government. The Conservative majority at County Hall made this worse by then cutting a further £33 per pupil from school budgets this year.

North Devon Schools lost £409,000 this year because of this local decision.

Having stuffed an additional £15 million into reserves at the end of 2016/17 it is perfectly possible for the County Council to use £2m of this to give the schools back the £33m that was cut from their budgets for 2017/18. That was what my motion put to Council on July 20th sought to do.

However the Tory majority, including all North Devon Conservative County Councillors, voted to refer my motion to the September Cabinet which means no decision will be taken until the October Council which means seven months of this year will have gone by before a decision is taken. Despite the copious tears shed by Conservative candidates at the recent County & General elections about school funding the Conservative County Councillors passed up an early opportunity to help our struggling schools. It is important that schools get this money back in this year because the additional funding for schools just announced by the government, whatever this means for Devon schools, will not kick in until 2018/19.

I am grateful to Lib Dem, Labour and Independent Members for their support for my motion but the Conservative used their large majority to kick it into touch.”.

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