Hundreds of letters delivered to council headquarters to oppose closure of Milngavie Primary

Photograph Jamie Forbes 1.2.13.  KIRKINTILLOCH.  Milngavie Primary School campaign and kids dropping off signed letters at council headquarters to protest against school consultation.
Photograph Jamie Forbes 1.2.13. KIRKINTILLOCH. Milngavie Primary School campaign and kids dropping off signed letters at council headquarters to protest against school consultation.

CAMPAIGNERS delivered hundreds of letters to East Dunbartonshire Council’s headquarters today (Friday, February 1) from people who are opposed to the council’s plans to close Milngavie Primary School.

Members of the Protect Milngavie Primary action group, who are fighting to save the historic school near the centre of town, delivered nearly 500 letters of objection.

The dedicated volunteers gathered signatures during a five and half hour event in Milngavie town centre last Saturday (January 29) to raise awareness of what’s planned for the area as part of the primary schools improvement programme.

The council has introduced a raft of controversial proposals for schools throughout the area including the closure of Milngavie Primary School by merging it with Clober Primary in a new building on the Clober site - over a mile away from the town centre. St Joseph’s Primary School in Milngavie would also shut with pupils being moved to a new school on the St Andrew’s Primary School site in Bearsden.

Nearly 500 letters - one every four seconds - were signed on the day and protestors were joined by Scottish star of stage and screen Dorothy Paul, who has one grandchild at Milngavie Primary School.
Campaign volunteers also delivered letters to 7,000 homes in Milngavie with words of support from influential political figures - Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson and SNP MSP Gil Paterson - who have come together on the issue despite different political backgrounds.

Spokesperson for the campaign and mum of two at Milngavie Primary, Leonie Bell, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the breadth and depth of support.

“And the campaign is still getting into its stride, it’s barely three weeks after it was born and we already have more events and publications to follow in February.

“Each person spoke to us about what a unique place they feel we have in Milngavie town centre, a special place where the children learn, develop, run and play - the town centre is their school campus.

“Not one wanted to remove the children - or all the parents, teachers, grandparents, carers - from the heart of our community.

“No one – shopper or trader – wanted to imagine losing the life the school community brings to the town centre.

“Everyone agreed that moving the school from the town centre will silence our lively precinct, the core of Milngavie, our home.”

Ms Bell added: “We want to work in partnership with the council to consider other more appropriate solutions.

“We need more time, more options and for there to be a transparent and open process that truly welcomes a broad public debate.

“The impact of removing both schools, the book-ends of our town, will affect Milngavie in environmental, social, cultural and economic terms, as well as the well-being of our children.

“Primary schools should be small and local, and at the heart of our community.”

For more information go to www.protectmilngavie.com or their facebook page ProtectMilngaviePrimarySchool

The closing date for responses for the informal consultation is Monday, February 4.

SPECIAL DELIVERY . . . Leonie Bell, Patricia Coneghan, Jane Couper and Gordon Dempster with Simone Imrie (2) and Sam Couper (1) at the council’s headquarters to deliver the hundreds of letters of opposition. (Ref: M30159a)

YOU’VE GOT MAIL . . . two-year-old Simone Imrie and one-year-old Sam Couper help to deliver nearly 500 letters of objection to the council’s headquarters in Kirkintilloch about the proposed closure of Milngavie Primary School. (Ref: M30159b)