SNP continues to build far more schools than Labour did/could

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© theconstructionindex.co.uk

In 2016, STV reported:

‘The SNP Scottish Government has built or refurbished twice as many schools as the previous administration, Holyrood researchers have found.’

During the SNP administrations from 2008 to 2015, they built 607 schools while during the Labour administrations from 1999 to 2007, only 308 were built. The data was obtained by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (Spice). I think this kind of information captures perfectly the advantages of government by a party independent of a London-based HQ.

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1363964-snp-built-more-schools-than-previous-administration/

Now, the SNP have committed to a further 116 new schools in this administration, spending £1.8 billion, despite Westminster cut-backs. Included in this will be:

  • Jedburgh Intergenerational Campus will replace Jedburgh Grammar School, Parkside and Howdenburn Primary Schools, in the Scottish Borders
  • Sighthill Community Campus will replace St Stephen’s Primary School and St Kevin’s Primary School in Glasgow
  • Underbank Primary School and Walston Primary School in South Lanarkshire will both be replaced 

Notably, at least one new school project is being delivered in every local authority area in Scotland. Remember also, the SNP-led government has had to pick up the bill to repair the schools with collapsing walls built under Labour’s PFI scheme.

https://news.gov.scot/news/funding-for-new-schools-1

Combine this with the fact that the Scottish government is building twice as many affordable homes per capita than the Westminster government and you are again reminded of what governments should be doing.

SNP government spending on affordable housing to be more than twice, per head of population, than that of Tory government

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5 thoughts on “SNP continues to build far more schools than Labour did/could

  1. Ludo Thierry August 22, 2017 / 6:12 pm

    Hi John – Hi all.

    On the beeb Scotland page report on the new schools there was actually a quote from Carol Hamilton (Scottish Borders Council exec member for Children and Young People) giving the SNP Scottish Govt praise for funding the new Jedburgh campus – “We thank the Scottish Govt for their support and look forward to delivering a facility which will prove a real asset to the Jedburgh community”. (That statement must have been included to the accompaniment of much teeth grinding in the beeb editorial suite).

    Staying on educational issues – was pleased to see some anomalies (in rates levied on different educational institutions) being addressed in the Scottish Business Rates Review (the Barclay Review). From the beeb report:

    What might be affected by the recommendations?

    Independent schools are charities and benefit from reduced or zero rates bills, whereas council (state) schools do not qualify and generally will pay rates. The report says this inequality should end by removing eligibility for charity relief from all independent schools. The recommended change to that would cost the private sector £5m per year.

    Universities are registered charities and can claim business rates relief. The Barclay Review recommends they should keep the relief for their core education and research function but they should start to pay business rates where they compete with private firms. That would affect the letting of student accommodation during holidays, in competition with hotels.

    Also reported some sensible sounding adjustments re. the various ‘arm’s length’ organisations that many Councils have established (which apparently seem to enjoy charitable status and, hence, rates relief – the cost being covered by the Scottish Govt currently):

    Local government – The biggest change recommended in the report was for so-called arm’s length organisations, set up by councils to operate services independently, with charitable status. These include leisure and sports centres, and arts venues including theatres, libraries, museums and galleries. One reason for creating such vehicles has been that charitable status means avoidance of business rates, with the Scottish government paying councils most of the relief.

    Another sensible suggestion around those wealthy sports clubs which also get rates relief currently:

    Sports clubs could be affected by the change too. Some lucrative golf clubs, with considerable assets, do not pay business rates. While keeping community sport facilities as they are, it is suggested that the bigger clubs should pay.

    Also good to see the suggestion made to try and prevent those holiday home owners who ‘pretend’ to be renting out in order to avoid paying residential council tax:

    The report aims to close loopholes. That includes short-term relief for empty buildings.

    It would also require owners of holiday homes, who claim to be renting them as businesses, to prove they are earning money from lets, rather than avoiding residential council tax.

    Pleased (and surprised) at the neutral coverage of the Barclay review on the beeb Scotland Business page. (Can’t help but wonder if an editor is on hols and some poor reporter with a remaining ounce of journalistic integrity managed to smuggle the report through – a bit like the ‘samizdat’ heroes in the old USSR?).

    SNP Scottish Govt Finance Secretary Derek McKay has indicated that the report will be studied carefully and actions follow swiftly.

    Thanks, Ludo

    Like

  2. johnrobertson834 August 22, 2017 / 8:36 pm

    Thanks esp for the interesting stuff on the Barclay Review. Had missed it myself.

    Like

  3. Contrary August 22, 2017 / 9:47 pm

    It is outrageous what labour did on those PFI schemes, they should pay back what they owe for such a botched job, call themselves socialists? I think not! At least the SNP are picking up the pieces – and fairly? Across all constituencies?

    Thank you for the news Ludo, I can assure you radio Scotland wasn’t reporting the Barclay Review with any neutrality, so I stopped listening (and sighed dramatically a bit for effect) so it’s good to know what was in it – I believe you are correct about the website having better standards than the broadcasting arms, but still. You will get the odd snippet of good news associated with the Scottish Government, but you will never see them report good news alongside the SNP government. In fact, if you ever see the BBC do a good report and compliment the SNP (associated with government or not), please let me know, that would be big news, huge, if it ever happens. More exciting even than Rev Stu getting ‘arrested’, allegedly, for, allegedly, sending tweets. Allegedly. Apparently it got on the BBC news and aw-hin. Good publicity there. (I’m being glib because I’m assuming no harm will be done, and I hope that’s the case).

    … Hmm, John, I hope you won’t go to such controversial lengths just to get your readership numbers up? It sounds like an awful lot of effort. We could start an advertising campaign instead – you know, short snippets to pique folks interest, like the ‘read the news you are not getting’ things that we see on the Internet, but more positive – some nice graphics so people save it to their device, or even print it, snappy (or not-so-snappy,,,) phrases like ‘Did You Know,,, Scotland has’ /is/could be etc ‘the best/the most/always’ etc -insert good news examples – ‘imagine what more we could achieve with independence or read about the best of Scotland at… or Scotland can determine its own future, we have the skills’. You could then tweet this little poster-like thing at people maybe? My knowledge of how things happen on Twitter is very very limited.

    ‘Talking Up Scotland Because We Deserve it’ ,,, hmm, I’m not really the one to try for ‘snappy’.

    We are all carefully ignoring the impending GERS, but here is an SNP commentary on it:

    https://www.snp.org/gers_a_snapshot_of_scotland_s_finances_not_the_full_picture

    Hopefully it will have some influence for putting the numbers into perspective.

    Like

    • johnrobertson834 August 23, 2017 / 7:50 am

      I hereby promise to remain polite regardless of ‘my numbers’. Thanks for these ideas. I’ll have my advisers look at them.

      Like

    • Contrary August 23, 2017 / 6:30 pm

      Excellent, pleased to hear it. You have to watch your numbers, and I always advise steady, sustainable growth. Pleased to hear that you actually understood my ideas! Rather poorly expressed, but I’m sure your advisors can make sense of it all 🙂

      Like

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