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Agenda Item No

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Scrutiny Committee [Corporate Resources]: 4th June 2013

Report of the Cabinet Member for Children's Services

Llantwit Major Comprehensive School Scheme

Purpose of the Report

1. To inform Members of the outcome of work carried out to assess the feasibility of bringing forward the Llantwit Major Comprehensive School Scheme.

Recommendation

1. Members consider the measures taken to ensure the rebuild of Llantwit Major Comprehensive School is completed in advance of the original timescale of 2019/20.

Reason for the Recommendation

1. Welsh Government 21st Century Schools grant funding and the Council's match funding has been brought forward to fund the rebuild of Llantwit Major Comprehensive School in one phase starting in 2015/16 with completion in 2017/18.

Background

2. In line with Welsh Government requirements the Vale's 21st Century Schools Strategic Outline Programme was submitted to the Welsh Government in December 2010. At the time, the Welsh Government was providing a 70% grant towards local authority school investment schemes.

3. As reported to the Cabinet Meeting of 19th October 2011 (Cabinet minute C1470 refers) in July 2011 the Minister for Education and Skills outlined in a written statement that Welsh Government contributions would be reduced to 50% and as a result local authorities across Wales were invited to review and prepare revised forward outlook programmes for school capital investments. At the Cabinet Meeting of 16th November 2011 (Cabinet Minute C1523 refers) a revised Band A programme for the Vale was approved for submission to the Welsh Government based on the lower 50% grant support.  

4. The submission of the revised Band A programme (Appendix A) was successful and in December 2011 a conditional offer was received from the Welsh Government (subject to the approval of Business Cases for each scheme and statutory approvals where applicable) for £10.48 million of Welsh Government grant support towards the total cost of £20.96 million, which will transform and enhance various schools in Llantwit Major and Barry.

Relevant Issues and Options

5. The reduction in grant funding as well as the extension of Band A of the 21st Century Schools Programme from a 3 year band commencing in 2012/13 to a 6 year band commencing in 2014/15 required a major revision to the Llantwit Learning Community scheme included in the original Strategic Outline Programme. The scheme was reduced to the rebuild of Llantwit Major Comprehensive School in two phases extended over 5 years: 2015/16 - 2019/20.

6. At the Cabinet Meeting of 15th October 2012 (Cabinet Minute C1856 refers), members were advised that a feasibility study would be carried out to establish whether it would be possible to deliver the Llantwit scheme in one phase instead of the two phased approach as well as investigating the possibility of bringing forward aspects of the scheme.

7. Following discussion with Welsh Government officials it was established that although the Band A funding envelope is fixed it would be feasible to bring grant funding forward. This required the re-profiling of the Band A Programme as well as establishing whether the Council's match funding could be brought forward in the Council's Capital Programme.

8. The re-profiled Band A Programme has now been approved by Welsh Government (subject to approval of a full business case). The Council's match funding has been brought forward within the Capital Programme 2013/14 - 2017/18 to enable the scheme to be completed two years earlier than originally planned. The scheme is scheduled to be implemented between 2015/16 and 2017/18. Design and development work will be undertaken during 2013 and 2014 in the run up to submission of the business case which is required by the Welsh Government by December 2014 at the latest.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

9. The Capital Programme 2013/14 - 2017/18 includes £12,476 Million for the Llantwit Major Comprehensive School Scheme.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

10. There are no Sustainability or Climate Change Implications.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

11. There are no Legal Implications at this stage.

Crime and Disorder Implications

12. There are no Crime and Disorder Implications.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

13. There are no implications at this stage

Corporate/Service Objectives

14. The School Investment Programme is a corporate priority and improving the learning environment is a key priority within Education 2015.

Policy Framework and Budget

15. The School Investment Programme is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

16. Elected Members are supportive of the measures taken to accelerate the School Investment Programme.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

17. Corporate Resources.

Background Papers

21st Century Schools Strategic Outline Programme - December 2010

Vale of Glamorgan Revised Band A Programme - November 2011

Vale of Glamorgan School Investment Programme April 2012

Capital Programme 2013/14 - 2017/18

Contact Officer

Paula Ham, Head of Strategic Planning and Performance

01446 709161

Officers Consulted

 

Managing Director

Learning and Skills Directorate Management Team

 

Operational Manager, Property

School Organisation and Access Manager

Responsible Officer:

Jennifer Hill, Chief Learning and Skills Office