At last Thursday’s Executive meeting, Cllr Beth Rowland (Liberal Democrat councillor for South Lake ward) asked Cllr Rob Stanton (Executive Member for Education Services) to confirm recent stories in the press that Wokingham Borough Council is set to invest £6 million in Bulmershe School.
Cllr Rowland said: “At no time, when answering my question, was Cllr Stanton able to specify how much would be invested in Bulmershe School, when it would be invested, or what the investment would be used for. Nor did he tell me how the Council would be able to fund any investment.
“From that, I can only assume that all the Conservative talk of investment in Bulmershe School this year during the recent election campaign was nothing but a election stunt based on wishful thinking. The Conservatives are playing politics with the futures of the children who attend the school. It is an utter disgrace.”
Cllr Jenny Lissaman (Liberal Democrat councillor for Bulmershe and Whitegates ward) said “In Cllr Stanton’s reply to Beth’s question he called talk of £6m investments as just rumours without foundation. Doesn’t he know what’s going on within his Executive role? On 30th March a senior council officer wrote to head teachers saying that he, Cllr Stanton, would be announcing an investment of up to £6m in Bulmershe School the next day.
So talk of £6m is not a rumour it is documented. So why didn’t he announce it as planned? What happened, why did he change his mind?”
Jenny added “Was he told by council officers that he can’t promise things without there being a budget or any idea where the money would come from? Was he told that the council had not prepared any firm plans so they had no idea how much money would be required? Did he suddenly realise it was wrong to announce something in an election period, without any real foundation, for electoral benefit? Whatever his reasons for changing his mind a council officer had already raised expectations by making this information available to head teachers”
Jenny concluded “Residents will never know why he changed his mind, but what I do know is that Bulmershe has needed significant work for years and I have no intention of letting the Conservatives off the hook now that they have promised substantial investment in their election campaign”