East Riding councillors urged to 'drop envy' over Hull's new schools and get on with repairing their own
EAST Riding councillors have been urged to "drop the envy" over Hull's new schools and come up with smart ways of tackling their £445 million school repairs backlog.
Councillors agreed it is no good waiting for a pot of money to arrive after the East Riding missed out on Building Schools for the Future cash, which funded £400 million of new schools in Hull.
Innovative ways of funding repairs, such as working smarter with developers and communities, will have to be found, they said.
East Riding Council will also have to rethink how it spends its money in order to give a greater priority to schools, councillors warned.
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Councillor Irene Charis had told the children and young people overview and scrutiny sub-committee: "We are one of the authorities that gets the least money yet we have a high performance.
"It's about time we threw the dummy out of the pram and said 'no, it's not fair'. You go to Hull and they have all those beautiful new schools.
"We need to start saying something is wrong."
But Councillor Paul Hogan said: "I think we need to drop the envy of Hull, that's done now.
"Can we see how other rural authorities with good estates and properties manage their budgets?"
But officials reminded councillors that most rural authorities are under-funded like the East Riding, which is the country's eighth worst- funded authority.
Councillor Brian Jefferies, chairman of the East Riding School Buildings Review Panel, said the council's own decision-makers need to "change their mindset" and rethink funding priorities.
He said: "People are making decisions on how we spend our capital. We have to look at if we can spend it in other ways on the schools."
Councillor Kerri Harold, chairman of the children and young people overview and scrutiny sub-committee, said it was "an absolute tragedy" £400 million had been invested in Hull while the East Riding missed out.
She told the committee: "I was shocked and appalled when I saw the state of some of the buildings students in the East Riding were having to sit in for six or seven hours a day.
"It's a massive job to renovate these school buildings but we need to start somewhere.
"We need to look for more innovative ways of funding building work."
The scrutiny committee will put recommendations to the council for ways of tackling the repairs backlog in the region's schools.