'It's an appalling waste of residents' money', almost £500k spent on securing empty school (From Watford Observer)
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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."
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