Cllr Oliver Gerrish, Labour’s Cabinet member for Education, today spoke out against the Thurrock Adult Community College savings that the Conservative Opposition group forced through at the Council’s March budget meeting.
Cllr Gerrish said: “Thurrock’s Tories had claimed that £50,000 could be saved by relocating the adult college to the temporary Thurrock Learning Campus facility.
“However, they failed to realise that the Learning Campus simply does not have the space to accommodate the adult college. They promised zero-based budgeting in their plans, but have once again been shown to be delivering zero-brains budgeting of the variety that led to the £4 million overspend while they were in control.
“Once again, the Labour administration find ourselves in the position of having to clean up the mess left by the Conservatives.”
He continued, “I visited the adult college for their learner celebration event this year and was inspired by the stories of the learners who had overcome difficulties, achieved highly or had been a positive influence on other learners, not to mention the staff who do an absolutely fantastic job. Those who doubt the real power of education should visit the adult college for themselves and see the good it is doing for the community. It’s a real shame that these dedicated staff and learners have had to cope with months of uncertainty because of the Opposition’s savings proposals.”
A report to Cabinet in July set out the status of the various savings proposals, and highlighted that an analysis of the adult college proposals found that they were impossible to achieve due to insufficient space at the Thurrock Learning Campus.