Find out what Councillor Katie Dye said in his Maiden Speech on 14 November 2018.
Annual Plans Panel – Infrastructure – schools
Lord Mayor, I would like to comment on the vital role our Plans Panels play when it comes to considering planning applications and in particular, larger applications, for example, housing developments.
One of the issues they need to take careful account of is the level of infrastructure that will be required as a result of these applications. What will the impact be on the highways network, what will the impact be in GP surgeries and dentists, will there be enough school places?
It is that final point that I would like to focus on. The provision of school places for Leeds children and young people.
We have created around 12,000 additional primary school places and yet we are still facing pressures across the city.
Unfortunately, this pressure is compounded by the restrictions placed upon us as a local authority, you are all aware that we can’t open and run new schools, we are the provider of last resort.
This means that we are restricted to looking at where we can expand existing schools – sometimes in areas where there simply isn’t room to expand. An additional problem we face is the lack of funding from Government for the provision of school places. The gap between what we are given and what it will cost to provide the number of places needed is now many millions of pounds.
We have repeatedly asked Government for proper funding but are yet to see any change. All of this on the ground experience doesn’t tally with Government claims that spend on education is the third highest in the world. But of course, those claims have been shattered by the UK Statistics Authority who have highlighted that the spend so often quoted by the DfE actually includes fees paid to private schools and university tuition fees.
A shocking example of the Government deliberately and shamelessly misleading the general public.
The LGA is reporting a secondary school place crisis within the next five years with more than half the local authorities in England unable to meet demand with an estimated shortfall of 134,000 places.
his is compounded by the fact that two thirds of secondary schools are now academies – meaning Councils have no authority to direct them to expand.
I urge everyone in this Chamber to support the LGAs call for local authorities to be able to open new maintained schools and the power to direct academies to expand to ensure Leeds children and young people are able to access the education they deserve.
You can watch Councillor Katie Dye giving this speech by clicking here.
Message from Katie Dye, David Jenkins and Paul Drinkwater, Labour Councillors for Killingbeck and Seacroft.