Councillors defer decision on Cowes school repair funding

By Emily Pearce

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


LEADING Isle of Wight councillors have refused to commit millions of pounds to fund repair works at Cowes Enterprise College.

Despite a plea from council leader Cllr Ian Stephens to 'man up' and deal with the situation, several executive members were unwilling to commit such a large sum — between £3.3m and £4.1m for essential completion works and repairs — without knowing the precise figure needed.

After concerns were raised during at last night's (Tuesday) council executive meeting, members voted unanimously to defer a decision on funding the repairs until Hampshire County Council's property services team had completed its investigation and finalised costs, likely to be in six weeks.

The executive will then make a recommendation to full council.

Executive member for children's services and young people Cllr Richard Priest failed to convince his colleagues they should act sooner. He said a commitment at this stage would help the council's bid for cash from the government's Education Funding Agency (EFA).

But Cllr Steve Stubbings said members should not feel pressurised into making a decision.

"Why are we making this decision now when we don't know the detail? There is a huge cost variation here and I don't think we have enough information to make a decision," he said.

However, members did agree to use the £1.5m left in the Cowes Enterprise College budget to start work on the final phase of the project, the demolition of the old school building, and make a formal approach to the EFA to fund the remaining work.

As previously reported, the bill for bringing Cowes Enterprise College up to scratch could reach almost £9m.

The £33.6m building remains beset by numerous structural and mechanical problems, including a leaking roof, ill-fitting doors and windows, heating and ventilation systems that do not work and poor acoustics.

If the EFA bid is turned down, the council is expected to have to borrow the money needed to complete the work.

The authority has also warned of ongoing costs to maintain the building and has even admitted it may not be an appropriate learning environment for students.



Log-in or register to comment on this story. See our House Rules here.

By ticking "Remember me" you agree to a cookie being stored on your computer - no personal data is shared.

Forgotten your password?
Displaying the last 10 of 13 comments - Show All Comments

Log-in to Report

by alan naylor

9th May 2014, at 14:29:04

Quote The 33.6 MILLION pounds building is still beset with leaking roofs ill fitting doors ect ect this money would have gone a long way towards a bridge and then the student s could go to a proper school

Log-in to Report

by Peter Cole

8th May 2014, at 12:43:00

I personally vote UKIP, however I should pointout that UKIP will not fix anything. The have no intention or ability to form a government or run a council. They have one policy to get us out of europe. A good one in my view, but it would only be a start.

Log-in to Report

by Mike Crowe

8th May 2014, at 10:08:33

Mat do you think I should do the same with the lamp outside my house? One of the brand new ones, been in for about 3 months. Now dead. Reported it about a week ago .... "we have 28 days to repair it. There has been a job sheet raised" ........ in other words "Off my desk"

Perhaps I should shin up it and do it myself. Is that what you feel Mat?


Log-in to Report

by Colin Russell

8th May 2014, at 10:06:27

Mat the only fix is at the balot box, they won't need an expert for that

Log-in to Report

by Mat Thomas

8th May 2014, at 00:42:28

It appears that the only fixing will be when we do it ourselves, the experts always seem to want someone else to do the job for them.

Log-in to Report

by Alex Pick

7th May 2014, at 22:03:58

fix the school init

Log-in to Report

by Patrick Hall

7th May 2014, at 18:00:05

This story reminds me of a soap opera. Like I can't wait for the next episode. You really couldn't make it up.

Log-in to Report


7th May 2014, at 17:52:54

Can the person who agreed to building of this white elephant please come forward, please don't stand at the back hiding.
COME ON ex councillor PUGH come forward. YES it was you wanted IT
ITS about time we stopped pointing the finger of reasonability at the current council, THEY didn't have anything to do with it directly IT WAS before their time..
The RAT PUGH and HIS friends has left the sinking ship and is no where to be found / seen.
So Colin Russell and friends what is YOUR ideas on how we go forward, WE have two options either throw more money at it and get it finished OR pull it down and start again at even MORE expense. What can we do, BUT its got to be done IT CANNOT be left as it is now.
Then the council solicitor's have got to see were they can recoup the money from any of the contractors or PUGH and HIS friends who was in charge at the council at the time when the building project was agreed to.

Log-in to Report

by Colin Russell

7th May 2014, at 16:18:18

Mr Priest you seem hell bent on chucking good money at this project, just to get more money, what happens if the money does not come then what ?
Why not use the the Council own property service, instead Hampshire C C.why keep farming out, keep wasteing our money on other people to do the same job, is it money no object.
The only thing that's in house is who is responable for this mess in the first place.

Log-in to Report

by Derek Tyler

7th May 2014, at 16:16:39

Who's money our money!

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

Most Read

  1. Dual carriageway crash

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  2. New speed limit on dual carriageway

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  3. Dramatic rescue for group trapped by tide

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  4. Ancient woodlands revealed

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  5. Timetable changes as car deck collapse investigation continues

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

View our Elgin Traffic & Travel Map