‘£6m won’t plug £400m school maintenance gap’ – Newry MLA

Posted by
editor@newrytimes.com
Thursday, February 27th, 2020
Politics

SDLP Assembly Member for Newry and Armagh Justin McNulty MLA has expressed his astonishment at the lack of action being taken to address the massive backlog in school maintenance by the Department of Education.

Speaking to Newry Times, McNulty explained, “During the Education Committee this week we heard evidence from the Department of Education’s Director of Finance Gary Fair on the different funding bids made by officials as part of the annual budget setting process. 

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“Whilst we were going through the various bids I queried Mr Fair on plans to make inroads into the already reported £400million backlog in school’s maintenance. 

 

 

“I was astonished to learn that the department is only seeking an additional £6million per annum over the next three years,” he continued.

“This appears ludicrous as it doesn’t take account of any additional maintenance needs and is so far short of addressing what the Department has already described as critical maintenance for health and safety issues at a cost of £90million.

“Our school estate is crying out for investment.

 

 

“It’s everything from basic paint jobs to the provision of specialist changing facilities for children with care needs. 

“£400million is required to make the school estate fit for purpose, £90million is required to make it safe and yet over three years the proposal is to spend £18million. 

McNulty added, “We need to invest in the school estate to make it fit for purpose.

“Our young people and teachers deserve no less.”

 

 

 

For more of today’s top stories in Newry and beyond, click here.  

 

 

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