Issue - meetings

Expansion of Longspee Special School at the Bournemouth Learning Centre

Meeting: 08/06/2021 - Children's Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Item 10)

10 Expansion of Longspee Special School at the Bournemouth Learning Centre pdf icon PDF 226 KB

The purpose of the Report is to provide an update on Capital project.

Additional documents:


The Chair introduced the item and welcomed the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Board who had been invited to attend for this item.  The Education Consultant presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'B' to these Minutes in the Minute Book.


The Committee discussed the Report, and comments were made, including:


  • The Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Board advised of the reason why this Report was coming to Committee and expressed concern that the Cabinet report of 14 April 2021 had not been appended to the Report, which meant that adequate scrutiny into the substantial increase in project costs could not be undertaken.  He stressed that the scrutiny issue was not surrounding the school or quality of work undertaken, which he felt demonstrated impressive work and value for money, but the way the project was launched with the initial budget and the subsequent management of it, including the funding agreement between BCP and the Ambitions Trust.
  • The Portfolio Holder acknowledged the concerns regarding the governance of capital projects and apologised that the Cabinet report had not been circulated to the Committee.  She also sought to reassure the Committee of the new governance process which would monitor capital projects moving forward
  • In response to a query about the funding agreement, the Committee was advised that it had not yet been signed as there were some issues with the lease which meant it could only be signed on completion of the works
  • In response to a query regarding renewable energy considerations, the Committee was advised that a previous Report had provided details of these and could be circulated again for information (Action)
  • The Committee discussed possible ways forward and felt that it would be beneficial to receive an update report at a future date including the difference the project had made for the pupils and fuller details of the overspend.
  • Some of the Committee advised that they had had an opportunity to visit the site and were very impressed and the Corporate Director welcomed visits from other Committee Members (Action)
  • The Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Board felt it would be beneficial for the Board to have a higher level of input and monitoring of costs on Capital projects and felt that a report on the completion of the project would be beneficial to help learning. He also felt that the Board may wish to scrutinise the Cabinet report from April 2021.


The Chair summarised the discussions as follows:


  • The Committee to receive an update report in Autumn following completion of project
  • The Overview & Scrutiny Board to consider whether it wants to scrutinise the April Cabinet report at a future date.


RESOLVED that the Committee note the Report and request an update Report once the project is complete.