Northampton

Northamptonshire County Council sells off old sites

Former King's Cliffe Endowed Schoo Image copyright Google
Image caption The building that housed the King's Cliffe Endowed School dates from the 1880s

Disused care homes, a former children's centre and several old school sites have been put up for sale by Northamptonshire County Council.

The financially-troubled authority is selling the 10 sites in a bid to plug a £12.7m gap in its reserves.

The Conservative-run council being run by two government-appointed commissioners following a highly-critical inspector's report.

It has been approached for comment but has yet to respond.

The council used its reserves to pay for a £21.1m overspend in its 2017-18 budget and chief finance officer Mark McLaughlin, who came into post in December, is due to set out his plans for replenishing them in the coming weeks.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Maplefields School in Kettering closed in 2012

Bob Scott, Labour group leader, said: "This is the result of having a terrible Conservative administration which has brought our council into a position where it has no money.

"I am sorry that we are having to sell off assets that the community really needs. Flooding the market place with these assets could lead to the council receiving a lower price than it should get."

Image copyright Google
Image caption Thornton House Children's Centre, pictured in 2012, closed in 2016 during budget cuts

Sites up for sale include Fletton Fields open space in Oundle, the subject of protests over a plan to build 16 homes, which was refused in 2016.

Oundle Primary School was amalgamated with the nearby middle school, while King's Cliffe Endowed School, which dates from the 1880s, moved to the King's Forest area.

Maplefields School closed in 2012 and relocated to Corby.

Thornton House Children's Centre closed two years ago following cuts to the children's centre budget and Ecton Brook House was mothballed in 2016 during a reorganisation of care services for the elderly.

Former schools

  • Oundle Primary School
  • King's Cliffe Endowed School
  • Maplefields School, Kettering
  • Lings School, Weston Favell
  • Silverstone Infants
  • Silverstone Junior

Former care homes

  • Ecton Brook House, Northampton
  • Maple House, Corby

Playing field

  • Fletton Fields, Oundle

Former children's centre

  • Thornton House, Kettering

The council owns numerous school sites, country parks, fire stations, farms, libraries and historic monuments.

A library closure plan is under a judicial review which will be heard at the High Court next month.

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