School Rebuilding

5th February 2021

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP welcomes news that Katharine Lady Berkeley's School has been selected as part of the Prime Minister’s ambitious rebuilding programme

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP has welcomed news that students in the Cotswolds will benefit from learning in worldclass educational facilities as Lady Berkeley's School is among the first wave of schools to take part in the Government’s transformational School Rebuilding Programme.

As part of its commitment to level up opportunity, the Prime Minister announced an ambitious ten-year programme that transform 500 school buildings across England, so every child has access to the best learning environment.

Backed by £1 billion in government funding, these 50 schools represent the first initial wave of the programme, which will rebuild and repair primary, secondary, specialist as well as sixth form colleges around England.

These refurbishments will help create modern learning environment by delivering new classrooms and science labs to sports hall and dining halls, with the majority of these projects expected to be completed within three to five years. Project planning is already advanced on a number of these schools following site visits which took place last year, and construction will begin from autumn.

This programme will also create vital jobs and apprenticeships in the construction industry, with suppliers offering training opportunities as part of their work on the rebuilds. Through its continued commitment to achieve its net zero target, the Government is also ensuring these schools will be built greener, supporting green jobs as it builds.

Commenting, Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown said:

“I pay tribute to Tim Rand, the Headteacher of Katharine Lady Berkeley’s School and all his colleagues for their hard work in successfully obtaining this grant. I am sure that this will help transform the building of a school that already has a reputation for excellence. This project will provide students with the very best facilities, helping them achieve their highest goals and aspirations whether that be in their academics, in the arts, or in sporting activities. I look forward to visiting and seeing these new improvements as they progress”.

Commenting, Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson said:

“Today we are launching the first phase of our ambitious new schools programme, with 50 rebuilds and 21 new free schools.

“The rebuilding projects are just the start of our major ten-year programme, transforming hundreds of schools and improving the education of tens of thousands of children. Alongside this, over 15,500 children will now benefit from 21 new free schools across the country as we look to build back better after the pandemic.

“I am determined to get all children back into education as soon as possible, and will make sure we do not let the pandemic stand in the way of giving every young person the opportunity to succeed, progress and fulfil their potential”.

PUBLIC MEETING

THE COTSWOLDS
FLOOD RESILIENCE

An opportunity for residents of Bledington, South Cerney, Cerney Wick, Siddington, Cirencester, Fairford, Lechlade and Moreton-in-Marsh to hear and ask questions of the continued flood resilience work taking place and to speak with officials from the County and District Councils, Parish Council, Thames Water and the Environment Agency about ongoing issues.  

PUBLIC MEETING

 Friday 5 March 2021
1030-1245

VIA ZOOM ONLY

Please email Bettertonj@parliament.uk if you wish to participate in the call and also include any questions or concerns you would like to have discussed.  I will then forward the Zoom invitation.

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Planning White Papers

I have submitted my responses to the two planning consultations: “Changes to the current planning system’ and “Planning for the future’.

These planning changes are one of the most significant events to affect the Cotswolds since WWII. I think that both papers contain positive proposals, in our case commitments to protect the AONB. The proposal to abolition Section 106 and the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) should speed up the planning process and it is important that the money is retained locally so that the infrastructure can be built at the same time as the development. 

Too often we see a development being built long before the supporting infrastructure, which I know can cause significant issues for existing residents. The proposals to simplify and speed up local plan-making and retaining neighbourhood plans where possible are welcome, in that design codes can be specified so it should be possible to protect our unique Cotswolds vernacular.   

I spoke in the planning backbench business debate on the 8 October and called for a change to the algorithm the Government uses in its planning White Paper which fails to take account of local variations and concentrates all new house building in the south-east and central south of England. 

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