Works stopped at Ninfield school due to no money

Ninfield School SUS-180214-092707001
Ninfield School SUS-180214-092707001

Work to extend a village school has been stopped due to the county council running out of money.

A letter, seen by the Observer, was sent out to all parents, informing them of the authority’s decision regarding Ninfield Primary School.

One parent, who wished not to be named, said: “This has come as a huge shock to all parents. Building works have already commenced to extend the school so the existing poor outside mobile classrooms can be replaced.

“It appears now these are going and not being replaced with anything.

“Reducing the school to four classes will greatly impact on existing pupils. It will also obviously mean several redundancies at the school, including hard-working teachers and teaching assistants.”

An East Sussex County Council spokesman said: “The delays caused by continuing difficulties in agreeing a long-term lease with the parish council mean the cost of this project has increased.

“At the same time, the money the council has available is continuing to decrease as a result of cuts to the funding we receive from central government.

“This means we have to focus our increasingly limited resources on projects which allow us to meet our statutory obligations, such as increasing the number of school places.

“Given the fact this project doesn’t fall into that category, and the rising costs at a time of mounting financial pressures, we reluctantly took the decision that this project no longer represented value for money for the taxpayer.

“The negotiations with the parish council have been very difficult and exceptionally protracted, involving numerous discussions, meetings and exchanges of correspondence and documents.

“The project would have delivered benefits to Ninfield, including the new multi-use games area which would have been accessible for community use and new play facilities on the neighbouring recreation ground, as well as delivering a considerable additional annual income to the parish council.

“We share the frustration people in Ninfield will feel at the fact that these benefits will now not be delivered and that, as a result, we have no choice but to reduce the size of the school.”