Below is a press release I sent out today, showing how much money Labour is trying to claw back from local schools.

Call to stop Government “smash and grab” raid on local schools – Renwick

Whitehall orders spare cash in schools’ bank accounts to be seized

The bank balances of local schools are set to be plundered, Councillor Simon Renwick, Conservative Cabinet Member – Fylde Borough Council warned this week. Local authorities and schools across the country have expressed alarm at Government plans to raid school budgets, and snatch back 5 per cent of any surplus every year for the next three years.

This would mean over £250 million in cash will be grabbed back, an average of £10,000 per school. Yet such a ‘clawback’ will:

· penalise prudent schools across the Fylde which save money,

· punish schools saving up to fund a major capital project, such as a new building,

· be retrospective, based on the balances in March 2007 onwards, hitting schools even if they have spent the surplus since then, and

· create a perverse incentive for schools to spend their surpluses by the end of the financial year, undermining long-term planning and encouraging waste.

Across the Fylde, this will mean losses for:

Kirkham’s Pear Tree of £28,015, Lytham St. Anne’s High of £51,171, Wesham Church of England of £9,683, Newton Blue Coats £13,973, Kirkham’s Carr Hill of £17,627 and Kirkham and Wesham County Primary of £9,773

Coun Renwick said:

“Head teachers are used to money from Gordon Brown coming with strings attached, but now he is attaching an elastic band. Schools across the Fylde which have prudently put aside funds to invest in improving our children’s futures now face a smash and grab raid.

“It is unacceptable to force schools to give back money against their will. We should be giving local communities more opportunity and power over their lives, not less, and we need an end to constant state control and meddling from bureaucrats in Whitehall.”

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