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3 November 2014

Moray MSPs and MP Welcome Education Decision


SNP REPRESENTATIVES UNITED AGAINST RURAL SCHOOL CLOSURES

Moray’s MSP, Richard Lochhead, and MP, Angus Robertson, have welcomed the dropping of proposals in Moray Council’s Sustainable Education Review to close rural schools across Moray, including Milne’s High School.

Moray MSP Richard Lochhead said:

“I pay tribute to the campaigners for in communities across Moray who have put forward very strong arguments for the retention of their schools. I have met with many parents and community representatives in recent weeks and months and I know that my SNP Councillor colleagues in Moray have looked at a significant amount of information from many sources including the community submissions. This decision should now bring stability to those communities whose schools were threatened.

“SNP Councillors have made clear their view that the legislative context would prevent the closure of schools, many of which are performing very well. In Government the SNP has been very clear that we would not support the closure of rural schools unless it was on clear educational grounds and we introduced legislation to that effect.

“Moray’s communities can rest a bit easier knowing that key services in their local area have been protected by the SNP and others standing up for them.”

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson, whose constituency takes in the Buckie and Cullen areas, said:

“I have met with campaigners in the coastal schools around Buckie and they made very good arguments refuting the conclusions of the Council’s consultants. I am delighted that those arguments have been heard and, with the unanimous support of SNP councillors, there will now be no rural school closures anywhere in Moray for the foreseeable future.

“I commend the work of all school campaigners across Moray and of my SNP Councillor colleagues who sought out information to back up the case to support our rural schools and who made a strong and passionate case for their retention in the Council Chamber.”

Angus Robertson MP said:

“This decision is the right result for Moray communities. Schools are a hugely emotive issue because they are at the heart of our communities and that was clearly evident from the huge reaction in Moray against school closures.

“The SNP took a stand against school closures and, as a result, several administration councillors backed them up with the convener, in effect, proposing the motion originally put forward by SNP Councillors.

“The result is protection of our rural schools in Moray and the certainty that the issue of rural school closures will not be opened up again in the near future.”
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