Nearly 900 million kroner windfall to benefit schools and parents

Unexpected windfall will help ten schools throughout the city and eliminate forced daycare closures

March 26th, 2012 2:18 pm| by admin
facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

There is nothing quite like the feeling of sticking your hand into the pocket of an old jacket or pair of trousers and finding a crumpled 100 kroner note you had forgotten was there.

Imagine then what city officials must be feeling now that they have found nearly 900 million unused kroner.

The council used 872 million kroner less than it budgeted for in 2011. After some early political posturing and disagreement about how to handle the money, the council has voted to use 330 million kroner of the windfall to renovate ten schools around Copenhagen.

The agreement received the support of politicians from nearly every major party.

The planned renovation of the schools includes not just cosmetic improvements, but what Copenhagen mayor Frank Jensen called “attic-to-basement” reconstruction, including better heating and cooling systems.

“We have already renovated six schools and now we have the funds to renovate ten more,” Jensen said in a statement. “My goal is that all 58 of our public schools are totally renovated in the next few years.”

Copenhagen’s deputy mayor for children and youth, Anne Vang (Socialdemokraterne) agreed with Jensen’s plan to completely renovate a few schools, rather than scatter smaller amounts of money to every school in the municipality.

“It makes sense to use the 330 million kroner on fewer schools and get them finished,” said Vang (S) to Politiken newspaper. “It will cost less in the long run and children won’t spend their entire school career on a building site.”

Socialdemokraterne (S) were early supporters of using the money on schools.

“Our priority has always been school renovations,” said spokesperson Jesper Christiansen (S). “We have a backlog of schools that need help and we must see to it that students in Copenhagen attend the most modern schools possible.”

Along with the planned school improvements, funds have also been earmarked to abolish the forced two-week shutdown of daycares in the city.

"It was very important for us to eliminate the closure weeks so that parents themselves can decide when they will take holiday," Rasmus Jarlov, a Konservative representative on the council, told Politiken newspaper.

Other funds will be used to renovate nursing homes and other municipal institutions, as well as to make improvements, including better cycling lanes, to Nørrebrogade. The money could also even result in cheaper beer at outdoor cafés and restaurants.

Additionally, 60 million kroner will go towards creating new parking spaces throughout the city.

Although Jarlov had earlier been on record as saying that he thought the windfall should be returned directly to taxpayers, he told Politiken that the parking spaces were a good idea.

“People with cars also live in Copenhagen. We need more parking spaces,” he said.

Jensen said he was pleased with the council’s decision.

“I am very pleased that a broad majority in City Hall took responsibility for creating better schools, improving conditions for the elderly and creating jobs.”

Factfile | School renovations

Vanløse School

Højdevangens School

Vibenhus School

Sundbyøster School

Sortedamskole

Tove Ditlevsens School

Øster Farimagsgades School

Frederikssundsvejens School

Kirkebjerg School 

Rådmandsgades School

First Siemens invested in the Humber, and now DONG (photo: iStock)
Trading Kingdoms: Continued investment bodes well for UK wind energy sector
Danish energy giant DONG will invest £6bn (60 billion kroner) in the UK of...
This cosy café is perfect for those that want their coffee first
Always first for chocolaty mixes at the cutting edge of coffee
As I entered this little cafe on Gammel Kongevej, there was only one rule: ...
Sometimes drones present danger to public security, for instance, when they get too close to airports (photo: iStock)
Falcon centre on Samsø to train birds of prey to destroy hostile drones
A falcon centre on the Danish island of Samsø is considering training bir...
Pegida was founded in the eastern German city of Dresden in 2014 as a protest against Muslim migrants in Germany (photo: Kalispera Dell)
Five men arrrested in anti-Islam demonstration
Five men were arrested at an anti-Islam demonstration that took place on Ax...
The donations will be divided among 12 Danish non-profit organisations, including CARE Denmark, Mellemfolkeligt Samvirke, Red Barnet, Danish Red Cross and UNICEF Denmark (photo: iStock)
Danes donate almost 100 million kroner to charity campaign
Danes have donated 97 million kroner to a national fundraising campaign org...
People are encouraged to report their observations and any possible findings of a meteorite to ildkugle.dk or stjerneskud.info (photo: H. Raab)
Meteorite hits Denmark
On Saturday night, hundreds of Danes witnessed a spectacular phenomenon as ...