Cambridgeshire County Councillors have agreed additional capital funding of more than £45m to increase school places across the county and develop four new clean energy schemes at their General Purposes Committee today (Nov 27th) – in line with the development of a new corporate strategy.
“The development of our new corporate strategy, which was also discussed at our meeting today, and which sets out the key outcomes, activities and behaviours that the Council will pursue over the next three year - sees us focus even more clearly on developing the future of Cambridgeshire“ said Cllr Steve Count, Leader of the Council and GCP Chair.
“In our strategy we propose a more dedicated focus on delivering a good quality of life and thriving places to live for all residents, and the best start in life for every Cambridgeshire child. The additional investments agreed today show that we are keen to put our money where our priorities lie.”
Among the main changes to borrowing reported to the General Purposes committee today are
- £14.6m of additional borrowing in 2019/20 to finance six planned school building projects. The work at the six schools includes a proposed new primary school for the Wing development in the Newmarket Road area of Cambridge, extensions to increase the capacity at St Philips Primary in Cambridge, Bassingbourn and Caldecote Primary Schools, as well as planned works at Highfield and Samuel Pepys Special Schools in Ely and St Neots. The proposed work at Highfields Special School in Ely would provide much-needed sports and staff facilities to bring the school in line with other special schools in the county. These would include a new hydrotherapy pool, sports hall and fitness suite. There would also be a new centre to provide life skills and therapy for young adults with Profound Multiple Learning Difficulties between the ages of 19 and 25 – the first for Cambridgeshire. Construction is due to start in July 2019 for completion in May 2020.
- Four new energy schemes at a total cost of £30.6M, which are expected to generate a total net income of £77.4M to return to front line services over their 25 year life. These include the development of smart energy schemes at the Trumpington and Babraham Park and Ride sites, where the sale of electricity and provision of grid services is expected to generate £7m for Trumpington and £24.5m for Babraham over the next 25 years.
The other two schemes at the closed landfill sites at Stanground and Woodston are outlined in an earlier report
Each year the Council adopts a ten year rolling capital programme as part of its Business Plan. The nature of capital planning means there will be alteration and refinement to proposals and funding during the planning period. The full paper can be seen here.
All capital schemes are funded using capital resources or borrowing, as this is the most financially sensible option for the Council due to our ability to borrow money for capital schemes and defray the costs to the Council over the life of the asset.