Hertfordshire County Council spend almost £500k securing former Little Furze School in South Oxhey

Almost half a million pounds has been spent securing an empty school in South Oxhey, which was closed nine years ago.

Little Furze School in Gosforth Lane was shut in 2004, after it was placed in "special measures" by Ofsted and became financially unviable.

Since then Hertfordshire County Council has spent £459,878 on securing the site.

County Liberal Democrat leader, Stephen Giles-Medhurst, said: "I am gobsmacked to have found out that half a million pounds has been wasted on security at the former Little Furze School.

"This is an appalling waste of residents’ money. The buildings should either have been used for the local community or demolished and the site reused".

As well as the cost for securing the site, councillor Giles-Medhurst said there would be further running costs for things like electricity.

Phil Redshaw, from Gosforth Lane, said the flashing lights outside the school still come on morning and afternoon.

The county council has spent a further £178,024 on security costs on empty offices it owns in South Oxhey, Anson House in Northwick Road, South Oxhey, since 2005.

Last month the Watford Observer reported how the council had spent £1.5 million pounds securing empty sites since April 1, 2010, including those awaiting demolition and sale.

A total of £480,000 has been spent on the Bill Everett Centre, in Leggatts Way Watford, since its closure four years ago.

Councillor Giles-Medhurst added: "This is nothing but a disgrace, especially when Three Rivers District Council is working so hard to secure investment and regeneration of South Oxhey.

"Mothballing sites is not good business sense. Clearly the county council has wasted money that could have been spent in the community by allowing this to go on for far too long.

"There is now ever increasing demand for school places since they closed the school."

Comments (8)

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10:00am Thu 5 Dec 13

Cuetip says...

Time to call in the Crime Commissioner if it's about wasting money.
Time to call in the Crime Commissioner if it's about wasting money. Cuetip

10:32am Thu 5 Dec 13

Phil Cox (UKIP) says...

Have I read this right? Giles the LibDem is lecturing the council on sound business sense. He may even have a point.

So far so good, so shall we all vote LibDem now? Will that improve things? I think not.

Those are two phrases I would not expect to see in the same sentence, "LibDem" and "Sound business sense".

Consider this.

This from a LibDem whose party can't build enough windmills fast enough.

Tell me Giles, where is the sound business sense in building windmills, that have to have huge public subsidies, only work when it's windy and have to be backed up by fossil fuel power stations running at the same time in case the wind drops?

Where is the business sense in closing down fossil fuel power stations and putting everyone's bills up, plus of course risking power cuts in the future, disadvantaging British businesses with sky high power bills and sending ordinary people into fuel poverty?

Perhaps you should spend some of your time fixing your own party's problems, because until you do I doubt many voters will think yours is a viable alternative.

The Tory council wastes thousands. The LibDems wastes millions.
Have I read this right? Giles the LibDem is lecturing the council on sound business sense. He may even have a point. So far so good, so shall we all vote LibDem now? Will that improve things? I think not. Those are two phrases I would not expect to see in the same sentence, "LibDem" and "Sound business sense". Consider this. This from a LibDem whose party can't build enough windmills fast enough. Tell me Giles, where is the sound business sense in building windmills, that have to have huge public subsidies, only work when it's windy and have to be backed up by fossil fuel power stations running at the same time in case the wind drops? Where is the business sense in closing down fossil fuel power stations and putting everyone's bills up, plus of course risking power cuts in the future, disadvantaging British businesses with sky high power bills and sending ordinary people into fuel poverty? Perhaps you should spend some of your time fixing your own party's problems, because until you do I doubt many voters will think yours is a viable alternative. The Tory council wastes thousands. The LibDems wastes millions. Phil Cox (UKIP)

12:37pm Thu 5 Dec 13

garston tony says...

Imagine the uproar if these buildings had been disposed of and then a few years down the line there is a need for building in that area. The council cant win,it keeps hold of assets its wasting money, it gets rid of assets its wasting money, its gotten rid of an asset and at some point in the future it would have come in handy it is wasting money.

Thats politics, as is the BS that our resident UKIP promoter comes out with most of the time.
Imagine the uproar if these buildings had been disposed of and then a few years down the line there is a need for building in that area. The council cant win,it keeps hold of assets its wasting money, it gets rid of assets its wasting money, its gotten rid of an asset and at some point in the future it would have come in handy it is wasting money. Thats politics, as is the BS that our resident UKIP promoter comes out with most of the time. garston tony

1:36pm Thu 5 Dec 13

Cuetip says...

garston tony wrote:
Imagine the uproar if these buildings had been disposed of and then a few years down the line there is a need for building in that area. The council cant win,it keeps hold of assets its wasting money, it gets rid of assets its wasting money, its gotten rid of an asset and at some point in the future it would have come in handy it is wasting money.

Thats politics, as is the BS that our resident UKIP promoter comes out with most of the time.
Never the less voters ought to know which model is HCC following?

1 The Hyams Centre Point strategy of leaving an asset unused where it became a symbol of greed in the property industry amid conspiracy theories that the gov’t was paying him a heavy secret subsidy to keep it empty for its own purposes .
2 Following on from the above, perhaps it’s all part of the ‘EU set – aside’ scheme to ‘reduce’ costs.
3 Maybe they are consciously behaving like the large supermarkets and land banking.
4 They are discussing what is an operational or a non operational asset before selling in accordance with their economic, social and environmental objectives.
5 Perhaps they get a hefty discount on the local tax
[quote][p][bold]garston tony[/bold] wrote: Imagine the uproar if these buildings had been disposed of and then a few years down the line there is a need for building in that area. The council cant win,it keeps hold of assets its wasting money, it gets rid of assets its wasting money, its gotten rid of an asset and at some point in the future it would have come in handy it is wasting money. Thats politics, as is the BS that our resident UKIP promoter comes out with most of the time.[/p][/quote]Never the less voters ought to know which model is HCC following? 1 The Hyams Centre Point strategy of leaving an asset unused where it became a symbol of greed in the property industry amid conspiracy theories that the gov’t was paying him a heavy secret subsidy to keep it empty for its own purposes . 2 Following on from the above, perhaps it’s all part of the ‘EU set – aside’ scheme to ‘reduce’ costs. 3 Maybe they are consciously behaving like the large supermarkets and land banking. 4 They are discussing what is an operational or a non operational asset before selling in accordance with their economic, social and environmental objectives. 5 Perhaps they get a hefty discount on the local tax Cuetip

2:35pm Thu 5 Dec 13

Felinefrenzi says...

This may be a bit of a way out idea, but what if.. Watford Council/ Hertfordshire CC were to open the old school... as a new Primary School? a bit radical I know. Watford is desperate for primary school places, to the extent that they want to stuff two new Free Schools, into ONE unsuitable building, in the Lanchester Building next to the college, with no parking and tiny outdoor space.
This old school has lots of outdoor space and no doubt parking too, come on hows about a little joined up thinking??
This may be a bit of a way out idea, but what if.. Watford Council/ Hertfordshire CC were to open the old school... as a new Primary School? a bit radical I know. Watford is desperate for primary school places, to the extent that they want to stuff two new Free Schools, into ONE unsuitable building, in the Lanchester Building next to the college, with no parking and tiny outdoor space. This old school has lots of outdoor space and no doubt parking too, come on hows about a little joined up thinking?? Felinefrenzi

2:46pm Thu 5 Dec 13

Cuetip says...

Felinefrenzi wrote:
This may be a bit of a way out idea, but what if.. Watford Council/ Hertfordshire CC were to open the old school... as a new Primary School? a bit radical I know. Watford is desperate for primary school places, to the extent that they want to stuff two new Free Schools, into ONE unsuitable building, in the Lanchester Building next to the college, with no parking and tiny outdoor space.
This old school has lots of outdoor space and no doubt parking too, come on hows about a little joined up thinking??
We do need more joined up thinking and less photo ops as by political leaflets.
The Lanchester building is riddled with problems eg little or no access, little play space, no drop off points, very busy road, air quality issues, zero parking etc.
[quote][p][bold]Felinefrenzi[/bold] wrote: This may be a bit of a way out idea, but what if.. Watford Council/ Hertfordshire CC were to open the old school... as a new Primary School? a bit radical I know. Watford is desperate for primary school places, to the extent that they want to stuff two new Free Schools, into ONE unsuitable building, in the Lanchester Building next to the college, with no parking and tiny outdoor space. This old school has lots of outdoor space and no doubt parking too, come on hows about a little joined up thinking??[/p][/quote]We do need more joined up thinking and less photo ops as by political leaflets. The Lanchester building is riddled with problems eg little or no access, little play space, no drop off points, very busy road, air quality issues, zero parking etc. Cuetip

1:29am Fri 6 Dec 13

pernix says...

Didn't the Bill Everett Centre used to be a school too, once upon a time? Does Watford need more schools? Or is this land going to be covered in houses ...
Didn't the Bill Everett Centre used to be a school too, once upon a time? Does Watford need more schools? Or is this land going to be covered in houses ... pernix

8:13am Fri 6 Dec 13

Phil Cox (UKIP) says...

There seems to be a vicious circle. Schools are closed, built upon and then there'sa cry to despoil green belt land for new schools. Is this some sort of sneaky way around building on green belt?

The main question has to be why schools are developed into housing in the first place, and more importantly, whether anyone connected to the council benefits in any way. Otherwise, why do it as it seems pretty stupid when the school populations are only going up and once you have lost that land where a school used to be, you can't get it back?
There seems to be a vicious circle. Schools are closed, built upon and then there'sa cry to despoil green belt land for new schools. Is this some sort of sneaky way around building on green belt? The main question has to be why schools are developed into housing in the first place, and more importantly, whether anyone connected to the council benefits in any way. Otherwise, why do it as it seems pretty stupid when the school populations are only going up and once you have lost that land where a school used to be, you can't get it back? Phil Cox (UKIP)

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