Legal action over BSF
- Published on Tuesday, 05 October 2010 09:27
- Posted by Scott Buckler
Three councils in England have launched legal action over the government's decision to scrap the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) initiativeIn July, Education Secretary Michael Gove shelved the £55bn programme, saying it was wasteful and inefficient.
Nottingham city and Luton borough councils, along with Waltham Forest Council - all Labour run - are seeking a judicial review.
The government said action had to be taken but funding was still available.
When the BSF scheme was halted, it meant rebuilding or improvement projects at more than 700 schools were cancelled.
Nottingham City Council has lodged papers in the Leeds Administrative Court requesting permission to apply for a judicial review of Mr Gove's decision to stop funding for Top Valley and Trinity schools and Top Valley Learning Centre.
The authority claimed it was contrary to the council's legitimate expectation that the funding would be forthcoming after the outline business case for the three schemes was approved in February.
It also claimed the decision was irrational in arbitrarily using 1 January 2010 as a cut-off date for stopping funding of BSF projects and requested the court quash the decision so the schemes receive the funding expected.
David Mellen, the council's portfolio holder for children's services, said:
"The council has explored a number of options in order to secure funding to carry out the planned remodelling of Top Valley and Trinity schools which have been stopped.
"We have sought counsel's advice on whether to take legal action to resolve this dispute and our decision to push ahead with legal proceedings has not been taken lightly."
He added: "Our decision to take legal proceedings demonstrates our commitment to taking whatever actions are necessary to overturn the decision."
He also said the council would have preferred a negotiated solution but had received no response to requests to meet Mr Gove.