Deputy First Minister promises response over High School delays

Elgin High School – Tory MSP tackles delays with Scottish ministers

DEPUTY FIRST MINISTER John Swinney has promised to respond to letters from Moray Council and the Elgin High School parent council over continued funding delays for building a replacement school in Moray.

The undertaking came after an intervention by Scottish Conservative MSP Mary Scanlon, who raised the issue at the Scottish Parliament.

Mr Swinney has said he will provide “some clarity” over the issue which has plagued the project, the Scottish Futures Trust funding for the new school having been agreed only to be halted by questions over European funding methods.

Mrs Scanlon has taken a particular interest in the school since visiting it in her capacity as a Highlands and Islands list member of the Scottish Parliament. She said: “There were several questions raised with the Deputy First Minister about the Scottish Futures Trust and funding issues connected to the Office of National Statistics which is in itself a concern.

“Clearly the replacement Elgin High Project is not the only project being delayed because of this and I look forward to seeing how the Scottish Government work to resolve these issues.

“I welcome the fact that the Deputy First Minister has promised to respond to letters from Moray Council and the Parent Council at Elgin High School to provide them with some clarity.

“I am also encouraged that the Scottish Government have confirmed that they will remain close to projects such as Elgin High School to deal with issues which are currently causing delays and uncertainty over their completion.”

Mrs Scanlon said that she had hoped Mr Swinney might provide more specific information on how he will work with Moray Council on the project, rather than trying to suggest that the sustainable education review, which was supported by all Moray Councillors, had been another factor in the delay.

She added: “It is clear the main obstacle at the moment is with the Scottish Futures Trust. I am due to meet them shortly and will be raising the concerns I have received about Elgin High School directly.

“I will also continue to question the Scottish Government and ministers on the Elgin High project.

“It is vital that this much needed school is built as soon as possible and hopefully by supplementing the campaigning Moray Council and the parent council are doing, we can ensure that the project remains at the top of the political agenda for the Scottish Government in the same way it is a priority locally in Moray.”