More evidence-if evidence is needed-about the staggering incompetence of the Learning and Skill Council. Sefton already has one high profile casualty -the halting of the KGV VIth form college project in Southport-and now we have news that the Litherland VIth form college which is due to open in a few weeks time is £500,000 short of the money they expected from the LSC. The report revealing the crisis is to be discussed at a cabinet member meeting next week and the papers can be found here under item 5. The Liverpool Daily Post also carried a report (thanks to Jack Colbert for alerting me to that)
Let us be clear; since VIth form education was effectively nationalised by this government things have developed into a mega mess. If any local authorities had made such a disastrous job of planning their capital budget all hell would break out.
It is important to remember that for generations local authorities planned and provided their own services in this area without the need to enter endless competitions and work up speculative plans to be submitted to central government. Council did this better than the state. We are all so used to grovelling to central government that we need to remind them that things were better before their heavy handed central planning took over.
In Sefton the cabinet post covering these issues is held by Labour in the all party coalition. Frankly they are so keen to boast about how much money new Labour is spending that their powers of critical analysis have be seemed to be abandoned. It is possible to conceive of a system that does not require central government control. Local authorities can do this job better. This is definitely a quango that can go. Locally elected and locally accountable people should plan these services.