Somerset’s Conservative County Councillors agreed yesterday to award the contract for yet another new school for Somerset students. Following on from recent announcements of a new school build in Somerton and ongoing school building projects across the county, this decision will see a 160 place special school constructed at Bower Lane in Bridgwater. The project will almost double the local school places available for students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Not only with this mean that more students can go to school in their communities rather than travelling (sometimes long distances), it will also enable other local schools to expand as places are needed. The new state-of-the-art building will offer a wide range of accessible spaces that meet the varied educational and therapeutic needs of the students it serves.
The Conservative team went on to support closer working with all the stakeholders in keeping the county’s young people safe and to support a programme of equality initiatives across the county. Keeping with the theme of working closely with all partners, the councillors agreed a revised social value policy that means that all the contracts that council awards will consider how each provider is bringing that ‘little something extra’ to the communities of Somerset. This could include apprenticeships for local people, supporting particular community projects or other innovative ideas. Social value is a key Conservative value and gives companies working with the council their opportunity to give something back to the people of Somerset.
David Fothergill, Leader of Somerset County Council and Conservative councillor for Monkton and North Curry said:
“I recognise that the last year has seen us having to make some tough decisions but am delighted to see that the council is now in a stronger financial position. This will allow us to deliver our services and projects on budget for this year and the team have done a fantastic job of setting a balanced budget and clear direction for the coming years.
I’m really excited about some of the plans and transformative approaches that we are working to deliver across the county and am grateful to my fellow Conservative County Councillors for their continued support.”