Unity breaks out in Moray as Labour councillor backs SNP on schools

No closures – unity likely between SNP and Labour

Labour councillors look set to join the main SNP opposition group on Moray Council in rejecting proposals to close Milne’s High School and several rural primaries.

On Monday the SNP group made it clear that the work carried out by consultancy firm Caledonian Economics had not made a convincing case for the future of education in Moray.

The final report from the consultants, which proposes that Milne’s High School be closed with pupils transferring to Elgin while several primary schools would close or amalgamate, is to be considered by councillors at a meeting on Monday.

However, the main opposition group has already said they will table a motion that largely rejects a report they say has failed to provide an educational case to justify any closures.

Now Labour’s Sean Morton, who was a member of the committee that oversaw the production of the consultant’s report, has indicated that he will join the SNP in rejecting its findings.

He said: “I have listened hard to our communities and various experts over the last year or so.

“I have made my mind up on the report published recently and have found it wanting. I will support any motion next Monday against rural school closures and I will do anything I can to save Milne’s High.

“Milne’s truly makes our community and Milne’s helped make me who I am, from Primary 1 to Sixth Year.

“I will continue to work with my party and across party lines to ensure we have 21st century schools where young people can flourish.”

The Tory councillor for Fochabers/Lhanbryde, Douglas Ross, having earlier attempted to force the issue of Milne’s High School by putting forward a motion that rejected any suggestion of its closure would suggest further support for the SNP motion on Monday.

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