Caerphilly County Borough Council’s Cabinet have agreed to changes to procurement plans for the new Oakdale School.
The Cabinet initially referred the plans to the Policy and Resources Scrutiny Committee after Plaid Cymru and Unison objected to proposals to outsource design, project management and consultancy to private providers.
The move could have seen the loss of up to five jobs in the council’s Building Consultancy Department but a two stage compromise has been agreed.
The cabinet agreed on June 4 to use in-house designers until the construction contract is awarded and use private contract and project management services afterwards.
Cllr Colin Mann, leader of the Plaid Cymru group welcomed the cabinet’s decision.
He said: “I’m pleased that the cabinet has recognised the concerns expressed by myself, the trade unions and the staff involved.
“The issue was thoroughly debated last week and it is right that cabinet accepted the recommendation from the scrutiny committee.
“The use of the in-house design team alongside outside consultants is a compromise which, I hope, will now preserve all in-house jobs.
“But really the idea of completely out-sourcing should never have got to the stage of a report being prepared for cabinet. It should have been stamped on much earlier.”
Cllr Rhianon Passmore, Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, said: “Undoubtedly the timescales for such an ambitious project are challenging, with the proposed new school scheduled to open at the beginning of September 2016, however we have full confidence in our workforce that they can deliver this scheme on time and within budget.”
The £18 million scheme will see a brand new 900 pupil school in Oakdale, with provision for an additional 50 special needs pupils, and will replace Oakdale and Pontllanfraith secondary schools.
Cllr Passmore added: “The public support for this project has been extremely positive, and I am pleased that by approving the procurement route for this exciting build, we can make another large step forward in this project to provide our pupils with modern learning facilities in fit for purpose buildings.”