THE SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT are insisting that they are “working hard to resolve” issues over the long delayed replacement Elgin High School.
Work on a replacement for the ageing school was supposed to start back in April – but the project has been constantly held up by issues over European funding regulations.
Campaigners have been angered, however, when they learned that other schools in Scotland which had also been held back by the same regulations had seen building work begin after the restrictions were lifted.
Now Moray Councillors and officials say they will raise the issue all the way to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon if that is what it takes to get things moving.
One of the loudest voices pushing for progress to the school has been local Labour councillor John Divers, who said at a meeting of the children and young people’s services committee this week: “In the last two months Forfar and Shetland have been given permission to build their schools but we are no further forward.
“The people of Elgin need answers and I have suggested we raise this matter with Nicola Sturgeon.”
Also unhappy is the committee chair, independent councillor Anne Skene, who added: “I would like to think that the Scottish Government considers the needs of all pupils throughout Scotland equally – but I’m beginning to suspect that might not be the case.”
The committee was told that work in Shetland had progressed because extreme wind conditions face on the islands would hamper construction during the winter months, while in Forfar progress was cleared because contractors had already started work earlier.
Insisting that Elgin had not been forgotten, a Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “The Scottish Government remains committed to assisting Moray Council with improving its school estate through the Schools for the Future programme.
“We are working hard to resolve the delays in work and the Scottish Futures Trust is in close contact with project partners to keep them updated of the progress being made.”