THREE letters on Safety Valve that councillors voted unanimously to be sent have now been sent, with one response received.

BCP Council leader, Cllr Vikki Slade, or the chief executive, Graham Farrant, were asked to send the letters to the chair of the Local Government Association (LGA) and to ministers.

In response to a question to cabinet from Adam Sofianos, read by Alex McKinstry, Cllr Richard Burton, portfolio holder for children and young people, confirmed the letters had been sent.

“I can confirm that these letters were sent by the leader of the council, and to date we have received a response from the chair of the LGA,” Cllr Burton said. “At this time no other replies have been received.

“The letters will be published as a part of the leader’s report in the June council meeting on Tuesday June 4, at which time we hope to have a response on all three letters.”

Councillors unanimously voted through the motion calling for these to be sent, presented by Cllr Patrick Canavan, at the February meeting of the full council.

The first letter called for the council to ask the secretary of state for levelling up, housing and communities for an urgent extension to the statutory override.

This means the council’s education deficit override would continue to be ignored for an extended period, with the deficit currently standing at around £63million.

The override is currently set to end on March 31, 2026.

The second asked for the council to write to the secretary of state for education, expressing the urgent need for additional funding or to write off the deficits for all authorities.

The final letter was for the leader or chief executive to express the urgent need for authorities to demand together that the government supports councils through the current crisis, to avoid insolvencies without punishing vulnerable families.

The motion also said to ensure the council can debate and consider any Safety Valve contract or arrangement before it is agreed.