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Boroughs plan schools tie-up

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Hammersmith & Fulham LBC and Westminster City Council have unveiled plans to merge their education services departments; a move the councils claim will save 20% inside three years.

The councils said the move, which is part of both councils’ wider efficiency programmes, will also help improve standards, tackle failing schools and accelerate the delivery of free schools.

Hammersmith leader Stephen Greenhalgh (Con) said: “This is a blueprint for delivering more for less. That means cutting unnecessary costs wherever we can, such as merging the education department with our neighbours Westminster.”

Hammersmith also said it would sell off around a dozen council buildings that were either underused or provide poor value for money. The estimated £20m proceeds would be used to pay off debt, cut interest repayments and free up more than £2m in cash for frontline services every year, the council said.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Westminster City Council and Hammersmith & Fulham LBC say their plans to merge education departments will save money and improve the support they can give to schools.

    Is this the same Westminster City Council that has failed to provide enough reception class places in north Westminster and has left parents and schools wondering how the extra places can be found in the next three months?

    Who has got the worse deal here?

    Is it Westminster parents who can expect even fewer resources going into planning school places when the education department is merged with Hammersmith & Fulham?

    Or will parents in Hammersmith & Fulham now look forward to the nonexistent school planning skills of Westminster City Council being transferred to schools in their borough?

    A deal between any two councils or more is only as strong as its weakest link.

    Paul Dimoldenberg, leader, Labour Group, Westminster City Council

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