Fury as school closure plan is backed – North Lanarkshire

Youngsters show their support for St Matthew’s Primary after councillors voted to wield the axe


“To you Mr Lunny and your band of no good councillors.
Promises mean everything, but after they are broken, sorry means nothing.

You will do well to remember that as we all have very good memories.”

Tracy Richardson

From the Evening Times

Protesting parents reacted with fury as council bosses recommended the closure of four schools and two nurseries.

Despite months of protests from parents determined to save their primaries the majority of councillors voted to wield the axe on schools in North Lanarkshire.

St Francis of Assisi Primary and Cedarwood Nursery in Cumbernauld, Belvidere Primary in Bellshill, St Matthew’s Primary in Wishaw and Gartsherrie Primary in Coatbridge and Newart­hill Nursery in Mother­well are all to shut.

Head of educational resources Murdo MacIver faced questions from opposition councillors during a three-hour debate on the fate of the schools.

The council voted 19 to 14 to shut St Francis, 20 to 13 to close Belvidere, 19 to 13 to shut St Matthew’s and 19 to 12 to axe Gartsherrie, with several abstentions.

Mr MacIver was hit with angry shouts from the public gallery as he read out a list of reasons for closing the four schools.

Parents packed into the gallery at Motherwell Civic Centre for yesterday’s debate. There were cries of “shame” as the votes were cast.

Security guards were forced several times to demand silence from protestors watching the debate.

Duncan Waddell, from the Belvidere Parents Council, has a son, Ruaridh, in primary five at the school.

The 43-year-old said: “We are unhappy with the handling of the consultation and disappoin­ted with the outcome.

“Despite the use of the word ‘consultation’, we strongly feel that we still lack answers to our key concerns regarding the proposal.”

Kay Rowat, a mum from Gartsherrie Primary, said: “It’s not a surprise. We knew they wouldn’t save our school. It’s just all politics. We’re very grateful to the councillors who backed us but the feeling towards the others is really bad.”


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