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(UK) Warrington: Expanding special services due to 'increase in capacity needs'

April 6, 2023, Warrington Guardian: Council still intends to develop new hub at Peace Centre

NW England

WARRINGTON Borough Council still intends to develop a new hub at the Peace Centre for youngsters with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) despite a cost increase. The council’s cabinet approved the plans for the site in June.

Another report on the issue will come before the cabinet at its meeting on Tuesday.

The purpose of the report is to ensure that the project remains ‘viable’ in the available financial envelope within the ‘capital and high needs funding’, and that there is sufficient need and demand to fill the places the new provision will establish.

In her report, Cllr Sarah Hall, cabinet member for children’s services, says a risk workshop took place on February 22 to ‘critically evaluate the robustness of the financial modelling’.

She added: “Due to the increase in capacity needs, moving forward with this proposal will avoid further increased costs as we will aim to meet future capacity requirements in Warrington rather than placing children and young people out of area (where costs are increased with travel and with the use of specialist providers)….

The cabinet is recommended to ‘continue to support the council’s intention’ to develop a new hub for the ‘reprovision’ of post 16 years and post 19 years services for young people with SEND.

Members are also recommended to approve the projected increase in project costs of £1,896,000 [$2.4M] equating to a total cost of £8,376,000 [$10.3M], excluding the acquisition of the property, as well as approve the principle of the acquisition of the property at a cost of £1,367,000 [$1.7M] subject to a conditions survey.

Furthermore, members are recommended to approve the future development of the property to provide a new education and adult social care provision for young people 16 years and above with SEND funded from prudential borrowing and make provision in the capital programme to fund the project at a total cost of £9,743,000 [$12M].

Council still intends to develop new hub at Peace Centre


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