“Council Chaos” Over Emergency New Schools Meeting

From Spencer Drury, PPC for Greenwich & Woolwich

CONSERVATIVES today accused Labour of being in “chaos” after rushing through another decision concerning the troubled Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme during an emergency Cabinet Committee meeting
 
The ‘last minute’ meeting did not have a proper agenda but Labour councillors rubber stamped a report which had been published less than an hour before. 
 
This report outlined how the private firms involved feared the council’s decision making process for BSF (as outlined in a report back in April) was insufficient. The firms demanded further clarification of the situation (see 2.2 of Monday’s report)
 
Conservatives are also concerned that the report attempted to hide the true cost of the scheme by making this information ‘confidential’. But in the April report to cabinet, it was made clear that Labour’s serious delay in the BSF scheme had cost Greenwich taxpayers more than £27 Million. This included around £6 million to be paid to the contractors because of the delay. This £6 million was ‘in lieu of profits they would have made from the PFI deal over 25years’ (item 12.5 Cabinet Report 14th April)
 
Leader of the Opposition Cllr Spencer Drury said
 
“This report may be the latest example of Labour’s incompetence.   This is a complicated mess which Labour are all to willing to use to hide the fact that the people of Greenwich have had to wait longer for their new schools than anyone else in the country. Meanwhile the cabinet’s mismanagement has left private firms so concerned that they insist on further clarification.
 
“I am disappointed but not surprised that Labour is trying to hide the true costs of this project. You won’t see Labour’s propaganda paper, Greenwich Time, boasting how millions of pounds are being wasted paying firms even if they do absolutely nothing.
 
“Labour clearly seems out of its depth. Its incompetence means Greenwich children are being taught in decaying schools while their parents are taxed more heavily for the privilege. It is simply a disgrace.”