THERE were emotional scenes outside East Dunbartonshire Council’s headquarters in Kirkintilloch last night (Wednesday, March 27) when over 100 angry parents turned up with their children to protest about proposed primary school closures and mergers.
Despite parents concerns councillors voted to push forward with the Labour/Tory/LibDem administration’s plans to go to the next stage of the consultation which now becomes statutory.
Children chanted “Save Our School” and waved placards alongside their mums and dads outside while the meeting took place and others wore specially made t-shirts with the words “Don’t Wreck It Rhondda” in the council chambers.
The plans would result in the end of Catholic education in Milngavie - with the closure of St Joseph’s Primary School and pupils being moved to a new joint school in Bearsden (over two miles away) at the St Andrew’s Primary site.
Baldernock Primary School’s future would also be under threat as it could be merged with Torrance Primary School - but this decision has been deferred until after the Scottish Government has published its findings from the commission for the delivery of rural education.
Rona Hamilton, whose children attend Baldernock Primary School in Balmore, said: “I’m disgusted with this decision.
“The councillors are not representing their communities wishes and we will continue to fight this proposal.
“We are determined - we won’t let them rip the heart out of our community.”
The council will now go back to informal consultation to explore the alternative of merging Colquhoun Primary School and Westerton - both Bearsden - on the current Westerton Primary site instead of the Colquhoun site. While the situation for schools not included in the consultation such as Milngavie, Clober, Bearsden and Castlehill will be monitored.
It is possible, however, for parents to ask Scottish ministers to step in and ask for a review of the plans if there is enough opposition in the local community.
Scottish ministers have called in North Lanarkshire Council’s proposal to close Abronhill High School in Cumbernauld (where Gregory’s Girl was filmed) for further investigation, under the Schools (Consultation) Scotland Act 2010.