Another loophole in the government’s ‘Free’ schools policy has come to light, leading at least one ‘Free’ school to have to pay out £27,729 to Reading Council.
Under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 councils can charge to offset the costs of the external effects of new developments, eg road maintenance.
A new ‘Free’ school would change road usage in the area, and hence maintenance. It may require new pedestrian crossings, etc.
In Reading All Saints Junior School, a new ‘Free’ school, asked to have the costs of their contribution waived, but the council decided it would be wrong.
Lead Councillor for regeneration, Tony Page, says “I don’t think it’s deliberate” “ It’s probably cock up more than conspiracy”.
This is yet another example of the way that the government has rushed through their ‘free’ schools agenda without working out the costs or the impact.
It is shocking that the ‘Free’ school asked to have their charges waived. Not only are they not part of the local community of schools, they don’t think they are part of the community.
More at getreading.co.uk