STROUD MP Neil Carmichael has welcomed a decision by the Government to spend an extra £2.35 billion to create more school places across the country.

The Coalition has already pledged to spend £5 billion during the course of this parliament to help fund 260,000 new places.

But the extra money now means more school places will be created and Gloucestershire’s schools will receive an increased total of £26,995,447 between 2014 and 2017.

Tory MP Mr Carmichael, who sits on the influential cross-party education select committee, praised the Government for making the additional money available.

“It is great news for young people in Stroud that this Government has found billions of extra funding to ensure every child has a place at school so that they can fulfil their potential,” he said.

“This is part of our long-term plan to create an education system that gives young people who want to work hard the skills they need to get on in life and have a more secure and better future.”

In recent weeks, Mr Carmichael has faced questions about whether or not he is in favour of plans for a Steiner Free School in Stroud.

Whilst he has suggested that it might be better if the free school is set-up in Cheltenham, where there is a shortage of places, he has stopped short of voicing opposition to it being located in Stroud.

However, his predecessor, former Labour MP David Drew, has said he is firmly against the proposal because Stroud already has a sufficient number of school places.

Mr Drew has warned the project could force other schools in the Five Valleys to shut and has insisted a Steiner Free School in Stroud would be a waste of taxpayers’ money.