03:00PM, Friday 11 September 2015
Another councillor has supported the Royal Borough’s decision to award £480,000 of developer funding to Holyport College.
Cllr Marius Gilmore (Con, Pinkneys Green) is the eighth councillor of 57 to answer two questions sent by the Advertiser to all Royal Borough councillors on August 12.
The first asked if the council made the right decision to award £480,000 of S106 money to Holyport College - a free school.
The second questioned whether councillors were happy with the decision-making process.
The controversial decision was passed at full council on April 28, leaving parents of other schools across the borough angered and questioning the decision making process.
As a result, a group called Fair Funding for Borough Schools was created, which has petitioned the council to revoke the decision and continues to demand answers.
“I feel that the decision I made to support the original award was the right one,” said Cllr Gilmore.
“Had we reversed this then there was a real risk of the private funding being lost altogether, which would mean no school in our community receiving the benefit of nearly half a million pounds.
“In this instance 48 children would have been deprived of a place at a school of their choice with only a matter of weeks to make alternative arrangements, which in good conscience, and as a father myself, I could not have supported.”
Cllrs Charles Hollingsworth (Con, Pinkneys Green), Lynne Jones (Old Windsor Residents Association, Old Windsor), Jack Rankin (Con, Castle Without), David Burbage (Con, Bray), Edward Wilson (Con, Clewer South), David Evans (Con, Hurley and Walthams) and Simon Werner (Lib Dem, Pinkneys Green) have also responded.
Only Cllrs Werner, Jones and Hollingsworth have questioned the decision or the decision-making process.
Cllr Gilmore added: “Whilst the original decision predates my election, I feel that the interests of the residents of Pinkneys Green and the wider borough would not have been best served through reversing this decision.”
He did, however, welcome the council’s decision to have a full review and update of its policies in regards to developer contributions, which was announced at a full council meeting on July 28.
A total of 49 councillors are still yet to respond to the Advertiser’s questions.