This report set out that the Maritime Academy free school was due to open in temporary accommodation in September 2022. The Department for Education (DfE) required confirmation that Medway Council would underwrite the cost of providing temporary accommodation in the 2023/24 academic year in the event that the permanent accommodation was not available for September 2023. The DFE would not move forward with providing temporary accommodation for 2022 without a commitment from the Council to underwrite the cost for the 2023/24 academic year.
The report set out
that the preferred option for providing the temporary accommodation
in 2023 was as follows:
Option 1 - Make partial use of the permanent building. However, it would depend upon the building being ready for partial occupation, which would not be known until much closer to the target date of September 2023, and therefore could not be relied upon as a solution at this time. Officers would continue to work closely with the DfE to press for this option if the building was not fully completed. The report advised that this was the preferred option, but that it was unlikely that the building would be sufficiently ready in time.
In the likely event that Option 1 was not achieved, the report set out that the next preferred option was as follows:
Option 2 - A second year at the Stoke Primary School site, which would require temporary capacity to be provided at the site as well as transport provided for a second year. This would keep the school together rather than having two year groups taught in two separate sites. The estimated cost of this was £1.6 million.
Paragraphs 3.5.3 to 3.5.6 of the report set out other possible options for consideration.
The report noted that the urgency provisions were set out in the Constitution (paragraph 2.2 of Part 3 (Responsibility for Cabinet functions) of Chapter 3 (Responsibility for Functions) of the Constitution).
The Chairman of the Children
and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee agreed that the
taking of these decisions was urgent and could not be reasonably
deferred until the next Cabinet meeting on 11 January 2022, in
accordance with Section 11 (Cases of special urgency) of the Local
Authorities (Executive Arrangements)(Meetings and Access to
Information)(England) Regulations 2012 and Rule 17 (Special
Urgency) of the Access to Information Rules (Part 2 of Chapter 4 in
the Constitution). This was because it was imperative that the
Council took urgent action to ensure that the DfE could continue to
provide and prepare temporary accommodation for the 2022/23
Additionally, and in line with rule 15.11 of Chapter 4, Part 5 of the Constitution, call-in could be waived where any delay likely to be caused by the call-in process would seriously prejudice the Council’s or the Public’s interests. The Chairman of the Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee agreed that the decisions proposed were reasonable in all the circumstances and to them being treated as a matter of urgency ... view the full minutes text for item 1