School closure would ‘rip the heart’ from Fochabers

Fochabers – school closures would damage community

The heart could be “ripped out” from the east of Moray if proposals to close Milne’s High School and relocate pupils¬†from Mosstodloch and Milne’s Primary Schools go ahead.

That is the view being expressed by the Fochabers Village Association who have written to Moray Council warning of the impact on the area – including making it less attractive to potential homeowners.

Concerns over the future of the village emerged when consultants working for the local authority revealed their plans in a ‘Sustainable Education Review’ for Moray, aimed at finding methods of brining the school estate to an acceptable standard with a bill of ¬£70million facing councillors.

Part of the recommendations included extensive changes to schooling in Fochabers – including closure of Milne’s High – and that sparked the formation of the Save Milne’s High Action Group.

Now the chairman of the village association, Gordon Christie, has described plans for schools in the area as “catastrophic”, saying in his letter to councillors: “Such a move would be catastrophic for the village and surrounding area, ripping the heart out of the east of Moray.

“This is causing substantial distress and uncertainty within the community. We have already seen the effect with fewer home buyers looking at property within the area as they think there could be the possibility of Fochabers without a secondary school.”

Adding that all three schools were an “essential part” of the social fabric of the communities they serve, Mr Christie added: “It is unthinkable that Moray councillors would allow a proposal such as this to happen.”

A spokesman for Moray Council has confirmed that a letter to Chief Executive Roddy Burns had been delivered, adding that it would be considered with other representations submitted under consultation on the sustainable education review.

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