Furthermore, ERYC also confirmed that the meeting was between senior management of the school and directors from the council.
At that meeting, an agreement – in principle – was made that Longcroft School should benefit from the sale of the land. As a result, £1.5m was allocated towards enhancing the Government funded works at the upper school site.
The figure agreed with the school was based on revenue share. This was based on an estimated valuation of what the land was worth from the council of £3 million.
ERYC has dismissed the claims made by local Cllr Denis Healy. He said that the £1.5m cash promised to the school was agreed behind closed doors.
Cllr Healy said that the meeting was with Conservative councillors and senior council officers. He also added it was linked to the disposal of the Longcroft Lower School site as reported last August.
Cllr Healy felt that as a serving councillor in St Mary’s Ward, where the school is located, he should have been present. ERYC has also confirmed a second meeting did take place in August. However, they insist this was an informal meeting requested by elected members and was misreported.
Council Understand Why People May Have Been Confused
While they cannot speak for the councillors, ERYC felt the second meeting was called to clarify the details of the deal agreed in January.
The council say they fully understand if people were confused by what has been reported. ERYC also added that nothing unusual had happened at the meeting which was held in August.
Deals between the school and the council were signed off in September 2018 and approved by the cabinet. Following a public consultation and assuming the site is sold Longcroft School will get the additional funding.
They also stressed that elected Councillors are within their rights to request meetings with council officers. Who is invited to these meetings is at the discretion of those setting up the meeting.