George says Helston College needs Council to step up bid for Government re-build funds

Posted on: 7th July 2014

The MP for West Cornwall, Andrew George, has urged Cornwall Council Chiefs to give Helston College the chance it deserves to secure Government funding for a major re-build of some of its main buildings. Mr George has told Council Leaders that they have until July 21st to submit an application for the Government’s Priority Schools Building Programme (2) on behalf of Helston Community College.

Helston Community College requires urgent funding for the rebuild of one of the main teaching blocks (C Block); a 60 year old curtain walled, flat-roofed building with ‘inherent deficiencies’, a leaking roof, and the ‘high risk’ of asbestos fibre release.

Mr George, Helston Community College Governor, Alan Horne, and College Principal, Dr Pat McGovern, met Schools Minister, David Laws MP last week to make the case for Government support for the rebuild funding programme at Helston Community College.

At a meeting Mr George had arranged last year at which schools Portfolio Holder, Andrew Wallis, and Education Chief, Trevor Doughty, attended, it was acknowledged that Helston College’s C Block is the highest priority in Cornwall.

Mr George, a former student at the School, said, “The situation at Helston Community College is unacceptable. Students and Teachers deserve much better. The current policy of using the maintenance budget to paper over the cracks of an inadequate building is a false economy. It throws good money after bad.

“Helston Community College is not empowered to submit an application itself. We now need Cornwall Council to submit a strong bid for Priority Schools Building Programme. The College must compete with any of the newly formed Academies which have in the main already had one bite of the national funding cherry when they were first formed.

“Our meeting with the Education Minister, was extremely constructive. There was a recognition that the now serious structural problems with Helston Community College’s buildings stood a good chance of being seen as a national priority for funding if this bid was submitted.”

Mr George has reinforced Helston’s case with the Minister and has requested a meeting with Cornwall Council Chiefs to ensure that they not only meet the July 21st deadline but ensure that a strong bid is submitted on behalf of Helston Community College.

“The outstanding reputation of my former school deserves the required level of financial support to enhance its reputation even further.”