Questions to be raised over Elgin High delays at Holyrood

Elgin High - questions to be put to Deputy First Minister over delays.
Elgin High – questions to be put to Deputy First Minister over delays.

A HIGHLANDS MSP is to quiz the Deputy First Minister over continuing delays in work starting on the creation of a new Elgin High School.

Moray Council have been frustrated in their attempts to commence building the new school which originally was scheduled to be in place by October 2016. The £28million project was supposed to begin in March – but was delayed with the local authority being told that difficulties over European accounting legislation known as ESA10 could not be completed.

Since this was first revealed by the Scottish Government it has emerged that other school projects in Scotland facing a similar dilemma had received permission to begin building – but Moray was still waiting.

Now Mary Scanlon, a Scottish Conservative MSP for the Highlands and Islands and Tory spokesperson on Education at Holyrood, will question John Swinney next week over the continuing delays.

Mrs Scanlon said: “I have been following the concerns raised within Moray Council about the delays to this vital replacement building for Elgin High School – and having previously toured the school and spoken with pupils and staff it is clear these delays are unacceptable and must be resolved as a matter of priority.

“I was contacted along with various other politicians by Elgin High School Parent Council, who have written to the Deputy First Minister and set out a clear case why they feel these delays are impacting on the school.

“The parent council are rightly calling for action to remove the obstacles that have been placed in the way of the construction which was due to have started earlier this year.”

Mrs Scanlon said that it was “unacceptable” that a project with an agreed budget and funding in place should still be waiting to begin because of difficulties the Scottish Government had with their funding model.

She added: “This is a priority project for Moray Council and it should be for the Scottish Government too.

“I hope when I question the Deputy First Minister next week he can offer answers and provide some clear timescales to ensure everyone involved in this project can see that progress can be made after repeated delays and false starts.”