CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council’s Executive Board has given schools in the county another huge boost after committing a further £86million to building and transforming more schools and adding over £10million to the schools’ delegated budget.
Over £200million has been invested in new schools and learning environments over the last 10 years as part of the council’s 21st Century Schools programme.
Yesterday (February 24, 2020), Executive Board agreed to add a further £86million to that fund which will attract further funding support from Welsh Government to develop and transform more new primary and secondary schools.
The schools’ delegated budget has also been given significant support with Executive Board agreeing to boost this budget by £10.1million, providing them with the same spending power as they have in current year despite inflationary pressures.
In addition, Executive Board has agreed that the council should not pursue savings in areas including youth support, and to defer discussions for support for pupils with additional learning needs for at three years in anticipation of new legislation due to be brought in by Welsh Government.
Cllr Glynog Davies, Executive Board Member for Education and Children’s Services, said he was delighted that despite ongoing pressures – including increased teacher salary costs and pension contributions – schools will still have the same spending power as they do currently.
“I am very pleased indeed – the pressure is still on us but we have succeeded in finding funding for the education department,” he said. “Education is a priority – it is very, very important. The message is clear – schools will have the same spending power as they have in the current year.”
He added: “I’m pleased that we can move on with our plans to build new schools. It’s very important that we have schools that are suitable for the 21st Century. Many of our schools are old and in poor repair.
“We have had to adapt some of our plans due to objections, for example we have had to change plans for Ysgol Dewi Sant in Llanelli, but I want to be clear that the money that was put aside for Ysgol Dewi Sant is safe with us and building a new school is a priority.”
The revenue and capital budget agreed by Executive Board will now progress to Full Council for final approval on March 3, 2020.