SNP’s last ditch attempt to save school

Parents demonstrating about proposed closure of St Joseph's
Parents demonstrating about proposed closure of St Joseph's

East Dunbartonshire Council SNP group leader Councillor Ian Mackay has asked the council to reverse it’s decision to close St Joseph’s Primary.

His motion, which asks the council to reatin the school in its present location in Milngavie will be raised at a council meeting in April.

The Scottish Government has given the council unconditional consent to build a new £10 million denominational school in Bearsden to serve pupils of St Andrew’s and St Joseph’s.

The current St Joseph’s Primary School would close.

Mr Mackay’s motion takes this promise of a new school for St Andrew’s pupils into account and and he suggests that current design work on the school be re-scoped so that this can still go ahead.

Councillor Mackay is hopeful that the recent departure of the LibDem Councillors from the ruling administration, (now run by Tory and Labour Councillors) could pave the way for a re-think.

He said: “This gives us a final opportunity to objectively reconsider the merits of this merger proposal which I have always thought was a compromise decision within the parties of the administration.

“It is perfectly possible that one of these parties have a different view on the closure of St Joseph’s and have been bound by a majority corporate decision. Now is the opportunity to finally establish who is for and who is against this closure.”

Councillor Mackay has also written to the Director of Education Gordon Currie asking him to provide up to date information on two of the criteria which were used to justify the closure proposal in the first place, which the SNP group contested from the outset.

He said: “It is no secret that I have always opposed this project. As an elected member I can see no merit in opposing the wishes of the vast majority of parents affected by the closure of this school especially when the two primary reasons for the closure are not proven.”

East Dunbartonshire Chief Executive, Gerry Cornes, said: “The motion has been received and will be heard at a future meeting of the council.”