Bid to halt closure is defeated

Councillor Peter Grant, pictured with campaigners protesting against the closure of Tanshall, claimed the Council's decision was no longer valid.
Councillor Peter Grant, pictured with campaigners protesting against the closure of Tanshall, claimed the Council's decision was no longer valid.

Glenrothes councillor Peter Grant and his SNP colleague Brian Goodall have failed in an attempt to halt the closure of Tanshall Primary School.

They claimed the original decision to close Tanshall – and other primary schools in Fife – was flawed.

Some of the justification for the closures is no longer valid

Councillor Peter Grant

Last week, the Council’s executive committee approved £6m worth of improvements to schools receiving pupils from the ones which are due to close.

But Cllr Goodall insisted linking this investment to the school closures was wrong as this money had already been identified for improvement works before the Council took the decision to close the schools.

He told the committee: “It’s an undeniable fact that the investmenbt we are all welcoming today is nothing to do with the closure of schools.

“All the way through the process we were told that if these schools closed then the receiving schools would get this money spent on them.

“It’s now crystal clear that wasn’t the case. Indeed, some of this has already happened.”

Cllr Grant said if the improvements had not been delayed for “false and fictious” reasons, this work could have been done already.

“There has been an artificial link created between this investment and the closure of schools for political purposes,” he said.

“Some of the justification for the closures is no longer valid.”

However, one of the Council’s religious representatives, George Haggarty said it had been clear from the start of the process that “one was not dependent on the other”.

And independent councillor Bryan Poole, the Council’s education spokesman, dismissed the SNP’s attempts to stop the closures as “political gibberish”.

He said if the closures had not been agreed £2.6m of the £6m would have had to towards upgrading one school in Dunfermline, leaving just £3.4m for the others.

The amendment by councillors Goodall and Grant to stop the closure programme was defeated following a vote.

Improvements will be carried out as part of the programme at three primaries in Glenrothes – Southwood, Caskieberran and Warout.