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Tue October 20 2020

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Three councils start legal action against Government over BSF

5 Oct 10 Three local authorities have launched legal action over the Government's decision to scrap the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme.

Three local authorities have launched legal action over the Government's decision to scrap the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme.

In July, Education Secretary Michael Gove ditched the £55bn scheme to rebuild all secondary schools in the country.

But Labour-run councils in Nottingham, Luton, and Waltham Forest are now going to court to try to overturn his decision.

Nottingham City Council is applying for a judicial review into the scrapping of three building projects at Top Valley and Trinity schools, and Top Valley Learning Centre.

The local authority said it had “legitimate expectation” that funding would be forthcoming after the outline business case was approved in February.

David Mellen, the council's portfolio holder for children's services, said: "The council has explored a number of options in order to secure funding to carry out the planned remodelling of Top Valley and Trinity schools which have been stopped.

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"We have sought counsel's advice on whether to take legal action to resolve this dispute and our decision to push ahead with legal proceedings has not been taken lightly.

"Our decision to take legal proceedings demonstrates our commitment to taking whatever actions are necessary to overturn the decision."

Nottingham is undertaking the legal proceedings jointly with Luton council, which also had BSF projects stopped, to minimise costs.

In addition, the London Borough of Waltham Forest has launched legal action against the Government, saying the decision to cancel its planned school building programme would have a "catastrophic effect" on pupils.

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