Call for Tory leader to persuade councillors

St Joseph's Primary
St Joseph's Primary

MSP Gil Paterson has called on Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson to persuade Tory councillors not to close St Joseph’s Primary.

He wrote to Ms Davidson in a last-ditch attempt to save Milngavie’s only Catholic school.

East Dunbartonshire Council, which is ruled by a Labour, Conservative and LibDem coalition of councillors, wants to build a new merged denominational school in Bearsden, which would combine St Joseph’s with St Andrew’s Primary.

But St Joseph’s parents want to save it by running it themselves.

In his letter to Ms Davidson, Mr Paterson said: “I was pleased to hear you criticise the closure of St Joseph’s Primary School in Milngavie last week in Parliament.

“Given your support of the retention of the school, would you advise your Conservative councillors, Anne Jarvis and Billy Hendry, to reverse their decision to close St Joseph’s?

“This is what the overwhelming majority of the parents, the Catholic Church and wider community want and to reverse this decision would be a victory for democracy and common sense.”

A Scottish Conservative spokesman said: “This is astonishing hypocrisy from Gil Paterson.

“It was the SNP Government which called in the decision to close St Joseph’s and then confirmed that decision.

“And it is this SNP Government which is currently preventing the parents at St Joseph’s from taking their school out of local authority control so it can be run as a community school.

“If the SNP changes the law so parents at St Joseph’s can run it as a trust, then it can stay open. It’s as simple as that. We back the parents. The question for Gil Paterson is whether he does too.”