8 March 2023
Harriett Urges Minister to Call Halt to College Legal Battle

West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin has called on a Government Minister to intervene to end controversial legal proceedings between a further education conglomerate and Malvern Hills District Council.

Harriett has met with Education Minister Robert Halfon on several occasions in the last month to update him on the deadlock on the negotiations to buy the Malvern Hills College site from Warwickshire College Group.

This leaves the risk that two public sector organisations will end up in court over a covenant to protect teaching at the historic site on Albert Road North.

Warwickshire College Group closed down the site in 2021 despite a willing bidder coming forward to take the building off their hands.

The rescue package is now backed by both Malvern Hills District Council and Worcestershire County Council and Harriett has met with senior Government Ministers to urge them to help bring about a fair resolution – and avoiding costly legal expenses.

Harriett said:

“A court date has been fixed but it must surely be time for Warwickshire College Group to come back to the table and do a deal.

“I think most people will agree that it cannot be in the best interests of either party, or the taxpayer, for this to end up in court and with a fair bid on the table, I hope that the Group’s management will finally do the right thing.

“I am saddened that Warwickshire College Group have rejected my offer of mediation and that the chief executive and a succession of chairs refused to meet to discuss a sensible solution.

“I am grateful for the continued support of Government Ministers and hope that they will be able to insist on a compromise that benefits both parties and the Malvern community.

“We all hope that a sensible deal can be done that allows Malvern Hills College to return to full operation under new owners and the team can start to market courses to local people.”