Was college funding blow a surprise?

SIR - I was bemused to read that our MP has had final comment from the relevant Minister that there will be no review of the North Devon College relocation funding. As I have shared previously, the whole matter is disgusting – not only the initial encou

SIR - I was bemused to read that our MP has had final comment from the relevant Minister that there will be no review of the North Devon College relocation funding.

As I have shared previously, the whole matter is disgusting - not only the initial encouragement by the Learning and Skills' Council so that colleges like North Devon might actually believe there is hope for a move and of significant proportions but such encouragement which means that �6 million has been wasted on the initial research.

However, even when on May 18 I brought Mr Philip Hammond MP, Shadow Treasury Secretary, to North Devon to meet the college team after the initial likely decline, even at that time it had been intimated that the LSC was at that stage only likely to consider "shovel ready" projects and as we know, the limited funds available have been awarded to principally Labour-controlled areas in the North West.

The proposed college move and the phenomenal infrastructure spend would have been a fantastic injection in the arm for the North Devon economy, but we have to wonder what pressure and representation we have had in Westminster for us or alternatively, an early and detailed inquiry to ensure the College did not continue to waste even more monies in those initial explorations when it was evident there would never be the �130 million or so available. Why was it such a surprise? We do have to ask.


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If the economic conditions suggest that no possible move of the College exists, then I assure the people of North Devon that as its MP I shall work very hard to ensure that the facilities provided by the College make the most effective use of the resources available and that the priority requirements of the College are pushed to the top of the national agenda, working with my Conservative local council colleagues.

Philip J Milton

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Conservative PPC for North Devon

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