Basildon underperforms in further education. This is not a matter of opinion, rather a matter of fact, sadly written in the statistics for educational outcomes. So, some of our 16-19 year-olds are not getting the futures that they deserve, and that is a tragedy. There was a solution though, a £90m brand-new college in Basildon Town Centre, run by a consortium of existing educational establishments that would bring a first-class education to thousands of our young people. The money was coming from the national Learning and Skills Council, and the hugely successful New Campus Basildon pilot had already been established in the Icon building.
Now, the troubles with the LSC are now old news in that they promised vastly more capital to projects up and down the country than they actually had. So, it has all come to a halt and we have to recognise that this Biblical level of incompetence has put paid to our most ambitious plans for the education of our young people. They have been comprehensively betrayed by a combination of a stumbling quango and an indifferent Labour government, who both seem to have missed the point that these young adults are our future. We have to provide for them, because one day they will be running the world, and we need them to run it well. We aren't giving up though. Our local education providers, and the local LSC to be fair, are doing their best and Basildon Council will also do what it can. We clearly need an alternative plan for our young people's education, and we are going to have one.