CONCERNED traders have slammed proposals to close Milngavie and St Joseph’s primary schools – saying the move would have a ‘devastating’ impact on the local community.
Chairman of Milngavie Traders’ Assocation and owner of Townhead Carpets in the town centre, Ian Lavrie, said: “All the traders I have spoken to think this would be a disaster and take a huge amount of footfall out of the town centre.
“It would have a devastating impact on all local businesses.
“Taking away the local school rips out the heart of the community.
“Schools near town centres are crucial and it’s very important to retain them.
“East Dunbartonshire Council should be looking at this not just as an educational issue - it has huge implications for the area generally.”
Opposition councillors have also spoken out about the detrimental effect the plans would have on local businesses and the anger that many local people feel.
Milngavie Councillor Jim Gibbons said: “The crux of the matter is that the schools are at the heart of the communities they serve.
“Milngavie Primary is the only school to the east side of Milngavie, and St Joseph’s is the only denominational school, which is also at the heart of the village.
“There is no educational benefit to closing these schools and the threat to the village is very real. Not only will the shops be affected, but there are serious traffic problems which cannot be mitigated.
“The convener (Eric Gotts) and vice-convener of education (Maureen Henry) appear to have forgotten they are also meant to be Milngavie councillors and will have to listen to to the electorate sooner or later.”