With the coalition government due to announce details of their spending cuts tomorrow, the Birmingham Post is reporting that Minister for Education Michael Gove is to cut funding for specialist Sports Colleges, affecting eleven schools in Birmingham, including Colmers School and Sports College in Rednal.

The apparently leaked information was revealed by the Labour opposition today. As well as losing the status that these schools worked very hard to attain, they will lose the extra £129 revenue per pupil. This could amount to a loss of around £130,000.

Earlier, I contacted councillors for Longbridge for their reaction to the news. Conservative councillor Keith Barton refrained from commenting on the speculated cuts until details are released tomorrow, but had the following reaction:

“What I can say is that the last government had a habit of making grants, tax allowances, benefits etc. etc fragmentary, a little bit here, a little bit there. This was complicated and expensive to administer and is in serious need of reform. They gave away borrowed money all over the place and this is not sustainable. We have to live within our means as a nation and this will mean hard choices about where and on what we spend money. Every organisation threatened with a loss of income will put forward a case why they should not be targeted but the present rate of borrowing and the mountain of debt the country owes has to be addressed.”

Ian Cruise, Labour councillor for Longbridge, also made a statement:

“The Government’s decision to cut funding for specialist schools is a disgrace.  This is the second cuts bombshell to hit the Longbridge Ward in the last month.  First the Coalition cuts funding for the Frankley City Learning Centre, then they axe the grant for Colmers Sports and Science College.  Again the ConDem Government ideology and dogma has an adverse effect on young people in the Longbridge Ward.  I’m sick of hearing the Tory spiel about ‘inheriting Labour’s economic mess’.  The Tories would have let the country go to the wall in 2008 when there was a global economic meltdown.  We all knew there would be cuts in spending but the Coalition are cutting too much, too soon.  I will fight these dogmatic cuts tooth and nail for the hard working, honest people of the Longbridge Ward and for the talented young people who are the future of our great City.”

So, let’s wait and see what tomorrow brings……..


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