Tamil school governor's anger over Kingston Council funding 'u-turn'

Surrey Comet: The Kingston Tamil School performing in 2009. The school receieved £9,000 from Kingston Council this year - but Surrey Tamil School got just £2,500 The Kingston Tamil School performing in 2009. The school receieved £9,000 from Kingston Council this year - but Surrey Tamil School got just £2,500

The chairman of a New Malden Tamil weekend school has accused Kingston Council of a u-turn, after its annual grant was cut thanks to a new funding policy.

The Surrey Tamil School, at Coombe Boys’ School in College Gardens, will only receive £2,500 funding this year, despite being told in May 2013 it would get £4,000 annually until 2015.

Kingston Council reviewed its £1.5m culture and language organisations funding and will now only support one organisation per language in the borough.

But the council gave £9,000 to rival Kingston Tamil School at Tolworth Girls’ School – £3,000 less than last year.

Surrey Tamil School’s chairman of governors S Tharapayan wrote to Kingston Council leader Councillor Liz Green.

Mr Tharapayan wrote: “The news of your decision to make a full u-turn on the previous written commitments came as a deep shock and we find it extremely hard to comprehend.

“Our school has become the victim of the recent unfair policies of the Liberal Democrat administration, which will no doubt have a major impact on the excellent services that we have been providing to our community for the last five years or so.”

Councillor Green said the three year funding arrangement had only been agreed 'in principle', adding the school was welcome to apply again next year.

Coun Green said: “Because Surrey Tamil School had received funding before, we did not want to drop them off the cliff edge, which is why we gave them £2,500.

“We just cannot afford to fund two Tamil schools to the detriment of other community organisations we support.

“They weren’t the only ones not to get what they would have liked.”

Councillor Howard Jones, leader of the Conservative opposition, said: “If you are going to give the money to one school and not the other because you class them as the same culture, what you are not taking into account is that they may be from different backgrounds with competing interests.

“I don’t think the judgement was right.”

Lib Dem Councillor Yogan Yoganathan said: “I abstained from the vote because it did not make good across the whole of the community language schools. There was no consistency in dealing with all the language schools.

“There was also no opportunity to look into the surpluses already at these schools – some of them may have a significant amount.”

Conservative Councillor Gaj Wallooppillai, who is of Tamil heritage, said: “This will be viewed by all residents as a step backwards in inter-community relations.”

Comments (6)

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9:24am Fri 21 Feb 14

RMcGeddon says...

'Councillor Green said the three year funding arrangement had only been agreed 'in principle'.

There's your answer, folks: when a LibDem says 'in principle' you know you're on a loser. LibDems haven't got any principles.
'Councillor Green said the three year funding arrangement had only been agreed 'in principle'. There's your answer, folks: when a LibDem says 'in principle' you know you're on a loser. LibDems haven't got any principles. RMcGeddon

12:42pm Fri 21 Feb 14

marina68 says...

"Conservative Councillor Gaj Wallooppillai said: “This will be viewed by all residents as a step backwards in inter-community relations.”

Erm...no actually, I think most Kingston residents would welcome Council Leader Liz Green's common sense view on confronting unnecessary duplication. Nobody in this article, Tory councillor included, was able to give any benefit of funding two similar schools, when one would do.
"Conservative Councillor Gaj Wallooppillai said: “This will be viewed by all residents as a step backwards in inter-community relations.” Erm...no actually, I think most Kingston residents would welcome Council Leader Liz Green's common sense view on confronting unnecessary duplication. Nobody in this article, Tory councillor included, was able to give any benefit of funding two similar schools, when one would do. marina68

1:20pm Fri 21 Feb 14

berrybabe says...

Don't know what the conservatives are on about here. The only thing that would damage race relations in our borough would be some ethnic group thinking it had a right to as many schools as it likes when they should be grateful that we're funding one. Liz Green is talking proper common sense.

why's the conservatives making a fuss about this. Usually they want to cut things like this. Has someone bunged them money or are they doing one of their posh mates a favour
Don't know what the conservatives are on about here. The only thing that would damage race relations in our borough would be some ethnic group thinking it had a right to as many schools as it likes when they should be grateful that we're funding one. Liz Green is talking proper common sense. why's the conservatives making a fuss about this. Usually they want to cut things like this. Has someone bunged them money or are they doing one of their posh mates a favour berrybabe

1:27pm Fri 21 Feb 14

R Batson says...

What I can not understand, is the agreement in principle which I guess was actually started in full, implying things were going to be honored for the three years by the Lib Dems and their new Leader Liz Green, following the arrest and conviction of their last leader for over 3000 pornographic pictures of young children. Is it like the promise to the Students at University 'There will be no university education Fees' As Nick Clegg promised pre-election. Then changed his mind when he got Ministerial power.
All this playing with words whether it is right or wrong only means to me that I don't TRUST the Lib Dems in Kingston anymore. When I don't trust someone because they have let me down I walk away by voting with my feet. We the electorate are fed-up to the teeth with this constant word playing, if you don't mean it don't say it and if you do mean it, then do it.
What I can not understand, is the agreement in principle which I guess was actually started in full, implying things were going to be honored for the three years by the Lib Dems and their new Leader Liz Green, following the arrest and conviction of their last leader for over 3000 pornographic pictures of young children. Is it like the promise to the Students at University 'There will be no university education Fees' As Nick Clegg promised pre-election. Then changed his mind when he got Ministerial power. All this playing with words whether it is right or wrong only means to me that I don't TRUST the Lib Dems in Kingston anymore. When I don't trust someone because they have let me down I walk away by voting with my feet. We the electorate are fed-up to the teeth with this constant word playing, if you don't mean it don't say it and if you do mean it, then do it. R Batson

2:38pm Fri 21 Feb 14

VKumar says...

How did Cllr Green decide which one to choose not wanting to push off the cliff. We like to know the on what ground this was choosen.
How did Cllr Green decide which one to choose not wanting to push off the cliff. We like to know the on what ground this was choosen. VKumar

5:45pm Fri 21 Feb 14

Arthur_Robinson says...

RMcGeddon wrote:
'Councillor Green said the three year funding arrangement had only been agreed 'in principle'.

There's your answer, folks: when a LibDem says 'in principle' you know you're on a loser. LibDems haven't got any principles.
I dont think the Council should be funding these schools. But i agree with Jones and Wallopillai - the issue is one of principle. If you say you will give money to a voluntary organisation you should keep to your word.
[quote][p][bold]RMcGeddon[/bold] wrote: 'Councillor Green said the three year funding arrangement had only been agreed 'in principle'. There's your answer, folks: when a LibDem says 'in principle' you know you're on a loser. LibDems haven't got any principles.[/p][/quote]I dont think the Council should be funding these schools. But i agree with Jones and Wallopillai - the issue is one of principle. If you say you will give money to a voluntary organisation you should keep to your word. Arthur_Robinson

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