Government platitudes over North Devon College

THE Government has confirmed that it will not bail out the Learning Skills Council over the college funding shambles in the near future, according to North Devon MP Nick Harvey. Last month, North Devon College learned that it had lost its bid for Governme

THE Government has confirmed that it will not bail out the Learning Skills Council over the college funding shambles in the near future, according to North Devon MP Nick Harvey.

Last month, North Devon College learned that it had lost its bid for Government cash to build a new �125 million campus in the centre of Barnstaple.

Today (Friday), Mr Harvey said he had been officially notified by the Minister of State that there would be "no further movement on this issue".

In stating the Government's position, Kevin Brennan, Minister of State for Further Education, Skills, Apprenticeships and consumer Affairs, told Mr Harvey: "I know that North Devon College, like many other colleges up and down the country with similar good projects, will be disappointed.


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"I can assure you that the process used by the LSC to select projects which are to proceed in the coming months was based on rigorous and fair criteria.

"Whilst we don't anticipate being able to give final approval to any further projects in the immediate future, I would like to reiterate that the Government remains committed to the further education capital investment programme."

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Mr Harvey said: "Regardless of Government apologies this whole affair has left a bad taste and there is no hiding the fact that those projects selected to go ahead are in Labour areas.

"Despite its promise of commitment, ultimately the Government is offering little other than support for private finance initiatives and borrowing, which are highly unlikely to meet total funding requirements.

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