The decision, announced on 6.8.2010, by Michael Gove, Education Secretary, to allow the capital spending projects for rebuilding three Stevenage schools to go ahead, has been warmly welcomed by the local borough and county councillor for the area involved, Liberal Democrat Robin Parker.
The rebuilding of Marriotts and Nobel and the re-siting of Lonsdale on the Marriotts site will now go ahead. Nobel is in both Robin Parker’s borough council ward and county council division and Marriotts (and the re-sited Lonsdale) are in his county division.
Since the stopping of all the BSF (Building Schools for the Future) projects in Stevenage by Michael Gove was announced about a month ago, Robin Parker has been in discussion with the schools and also written to Michael Gove pointing out that there were special reasons why these projects should go ahead. These projects were the first “reference” sites and were well advanced along the road to starting of construction, thus cancellation would be very wasteful. The buildings are currently not fit for purpose and over crowded.
Robin also initiated discussion about the issue at the full Hertfordshire County Council meeting on 20 July and spoke in a debate on the issue at the full Stevenage Borough Council meeting on 14 July.
After the news of the go ahead, Robin Parker said:
I am very pleased that the government has listened to the case in favour of the continuation of these building projects which was made by myself and the schools themselves. It means that, despite the huge debts left by the Labour government, the Coalition government has found the money vitally needed to invest in the education of the children of Stevenage. It is very important for the future of our town.