Mapledown School – open letter to the Barnet Times Newspaper

Published below is an open letter Cllr Reuben Thompstone has written to the Barnet Times Newspaper. In it he highlights how the council has been working with the school over its funding issues, how the Labour Party supported these cuts, how the Labour Party did not take part in the consultation on this matter and how much of the funding is actually protected.

Dear Sir,

I was surprised to read your article outlining the opposition apparent from the Labour party’s local council leader and parliamentary candidates with respect to the reduction in funding for short breaks at Mapledown School. My surprise stems from the fact that the Labour Group on Council put forward an alternative budget this year which mirrored precisely these reductions in funding despite being given the opportunity to participate in the consultation in this matter last year where not a word was heard from Cllr Moore or any of her colleagues.

This funding formula was temporary and as central government has now closed this funding stream, we are pleased that we were able to retain a significant service locally with the close support of Headteacher Steve Carroll and in consultation with local parents. Some reporting appears to mislead, to clarify, the school’s budget (through the dedicated schools grant) is and remains protected. Furthermore, with over £100,000 in Mapledown School’s reserve account, it is for the school to determine how best to use their resources for those they serve.

Perhaps the Labour group might work out how they could show they are ready to lead, instead of standing on the sidelines throwing stones. Instead, they appear determined to show that opposition is where they belong nationally and locally, as they continue to be part of the problem and not the solution.

Regards,

Regards,

Reuben Thompstone
Cabinet Member for Education, Children & Families,
Councillor for Golders Green

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