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Councils win right to BSF judicial reviews

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At least four councils who fell victim to cancellation of the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme have won the right to a judicial review into the decision.

Nottingham City Council, Luton BC, Kent CC and Waltham Forest LBC will find out on Monday when the full review into education secretary Michael Gove’s cancellation of the £55bn programme will take place.

The Hon Mr Justice Langstaff stated that the claim made by the councils “raises arguable issues, which merit a full hearing”.

The fate of other authorities that have also called for judicial reviews – including Sandwell MBC – was not immediately clear.

Nottingham had argued that the government’s July decision to scrap the programme  was contrary to the authority’s “legitimate expectation” that the funding would be forthcoming, following the outline approval of its business case in February 2010.

It also argued the government had set an arbitrary cut off point of 1 January 2010 as its date for deciding which schemes would be stopped and which would be allowed to continue.

David Mellen (Lab), the city council’s portfolio holder for children’s services, said he wanted the decision to stop three BSF projects in his authority to be quashed.

“I am pleased that the judge supports our application for a JR and remain confident that we have a strong case,” he said.

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