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Page last updated at 16:17 GMT, Wednesday, 10 February 2010
Call for Countess Gytha Primary School to be rebuilt
Countess Gytha was badly flooded in December 2008
Countess Gytha was badly flooded in December 2008

Efforts are being made to bring funding forward to rebuild a primary school in Somerset that was badly flooded.

Countess Gytha Primary School in Queen Camel was deluged with three feet of water in December 2008.

There has since been confusion as to whether the school's improvements have been approved.

Lib Dem MP David Heath said the rebuild plans were included in the county council's investment programme however this has been disputed by the council.

Final solution

Mr Heath said he now fears this money may not be safeguarded, because of "noises coming from the [Tory-controlled] county council about big cuts in programmes" which would jeopardise the rebuild.

"It's a decision they're going to have to take and what their priorities are. The previous [Liberal Democrat controlled] county council was committed and I hope the newly elected county council are equally committed because it has to be done."

Mr Heath added that it was "absolute nonsense" to keep rebuilding refurbishing classrooms.

But a spokesperson for Somerset County Council said: "Although there is an agreement by the county council that there is a need for a new school it is in competition with other priorities."

The spokesperson added that the earliest replacement could be funded would be 2011/12 and that no promises have been made as it is dependent on government funding and member decision.

"The previous ruling county council party knew and approved this course of action. There has been no change in policy with the new ruling party."

Minister meeting

Mr Heath along with the school's head teacher Janet Mills and David Taylor, the director of children's services at the county council met with the Schools Minister Vernon Coaker to discuss this issue on Tuesday.

Although no promises were made, the Ms Mills was hopeful.

"The meeting was very productive. It was a very good meeting, we all sat down and looked at photographs at the school at the time of the flood; we looked at the aftermath and the clean-up operation; we talked about the site, where it is now and the prospective site for the new school.

"He listened to us, he was very receptive... clearly at this stage he can't say 'yes, the government's going to give us extra money' but he's seriously looking at it."




SEE ALSO
Freeze on council tax announced
27 Jan 10 |  Somerset
Failing school starts new regime
15 Jan 10 |  Somerset
County town gets academy school
01 Jun 08 |  Somerset
In depth: Planned authority cuts
17 Feb 10 |  People & Places


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