To consider the report of the Director of Corporate Services and Director of Children's Services prior to the decision of the Executive Lead Member for Children's Services.
The Director of Children’s Services and his representatives attended before the Committee in order to present the capital programme for Children’s Services for 2018/19 – 2020/21 (see report and presentation, Item 7 in the Minute Book).
The Capital Programme for Children’s Services continued to be an exciting investment for Hampshire, as this was the most significant schools construction activity for over 30 years, and the largest nationally. To date, an additional 8,088 school places had been built, and it was proposed that provision be made for a further 9,632 primary and secondary places. Overall, the pupil number trends showed that the pressure on primary school places was starting to plateau in some areas of the county. However, an increase was now starting to be seen in secondary schools as children progressed through the education system.
The pupil forecasting model includes new housing figures provided by the planning authorities in Hampshire, so proposed new schools to serve housing developments were dependent on housing schemes going ahead. Any slippage in new housing developments would also be reflected in the programme.
The County Council had received approval from the Department for Education for a new 125 place free school in Basingstoke, which will accommodate children with special communication needs and those on the autistic spectrum. This was one of only 20 Special Education Needs and Disability (SEND) schools approved in a recent free school initiative . In addition to this, national funding of £215m has been made available for SEND for which Hampshire is expected to receive £3.7m.
There would be a pressure on the Capital Programme over a five year period, owing to additional need, inflation challenges and concerns regarding construction. The County Council did not have any live schemes being delivered in partnership with Carillion, and the Department would be looking at any historic schemes to see if there will be an impact on the County Council.
The County Council is contributing to the government review of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), and would specifically be lobbying on the restrictions around pooling schemes to pay for major infrastructure projects.
On the 2018/19 to 2020/21 Capital Programme, in response to questions, Members heard:
It was agreed that any Member could contact the officers to review the planning numbers considered in the report for their District areas.
Although a recorded vote was not requested on the recommendation, those Members who abstained from voting for the recommendation noted that they had done so as Item 8 had not yet been considered, which may have a related capital programme impact.
That the Children and Young People Select Committee support the recommendation being proposed to the Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services in section 1, page 1 of the report.