Our children can't wait

13th July 2007 at 01:00
I write regarding your article on school funding "Mortgaged to hilt", (TES Cymru, June 22).

At the funding conference in June at the University of Glamorgan, I spoke on how Carmarthenshire was proposing to bring our schools up to standard.

This will see some 19 new primary schools and one new secondary school being built over the next eight years, as well as significant further development in a programme costing pound;150 million.

Current available and predicted resources from the Assembly government and councils' traditional sources will fall far short of what is required about pound;75m. The council therefore proposes to use the Prudential borrowing regime to fund the improvements.

This will of course put additional pressure on our revenue budget, as it is above the 1 per cent efficiency savings we are already required to make by the Assembly every year.

Clearly it would be preferable if the capital funding required for school modernisations estimated at pound;1.6 billion were available. But children in Carmarthenshire cannot afford to continue to wait in sub-standard premises for funding.

I believe we should have agreements between the Assembly government and councils over a programme of investment for our school estate, together with an agreement for funding it.

Mark James Chief executive

County Hall

Carmarthen

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