School campaigners to meet on day Council decide £15m refurbishment

Campaigners seeking to retain a secondary school in Moray under threat of closure have called a public meeting – on the same day that Councillors are expected to discuss a £15million refurbishment plan for four primary schools.

Earlier this week it was revealed that Moray Council may press ahead with refurbishment works on four schools – despite the outcome of their own Sustainable Education Review (SER) remaining undecided.

The decision was taken on the back of an additional £10million in funding from the Scottish Government – however, that has to be applied for before the end of this month and matched with 50% funding from the Council’s own resources.

Councillors will discuss proposals for St Gerardines Primary in Lossiemouth, Applegrove in Forres, Millbank in Buckie and Seafield in Elgin at a meeting on Wednesday, August 27.

Labour councillor for Fochabers/Lhanbryde and a member of the Council’s cross-party group looking at the future of schools in the region, Sean Morton, has said he will refuse to take part in any debate over schools refurbishment until after the results of the SER are decided.

Councillor Morton has been faced with pressure to back a campaign to halt the possible closure of Milne’s High School in his own Fochabers ward – but has insisted throughout that any decisions taken must be for the benefit of all education in Moray.

Speaking on behalf of the ‘Save Milne’s High School’ campaign group, Douglas Potter told insideMoray: “While investment in the school estate in Moray is to be welcomed, the timing of this proposal to councillors seems bizarre when the Council official line on the SER is that no decisions on the future school structure in Moray have been made.

“We would concur with Councillor Morton that a moratorium on all but essential maintenance work on the school estate should be put in place until the results of the SER have been presented to Council and the public for scrutiny.”

Now the group say that they will hold a public meeting just hours after councillor’s debate the proposals for spending the additional Scottish Government funding.

Mr Potter said: “There will be a meeting on Wednesday, August 27 at 7.30pm in the Lhanbryde Village Hall.

“This will provide an update on our community response to the Moray Council proposals for closure of Milne’s High School and to discuss future plans.

“All interested members of the public from the Milne’s High School catchment area are invited to attend.”

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