Tag Archives: Grant Thoms

Council rivals unite to stop school closing

Evening Times
THREE Labour councillors have struck an alliance with SNP rivals in an attempt to overturn a decision by the city council on the closure of a special needs school in Glasgow.

The move sees three members of the ruling administration in the north of the city join forces with two Nationalists to use city council procedures to thwart the plans to integrate children at the Gadburn school into a nearby mainstream primary.

The Labour councillors, including Gerry Leonard, a major party figure in the Springburn area, and their SNP rivals are upset that the head of education, Cllr Jean McFadden, is alleged to have said only a Nationalist elected member raised an objection to the plans.

Mr Leonard and colleagues Gilbert Davidson and Catherine McMaster dispute this and have signed up to the SNP plan to have last month’s decision revisited.

They claim the education department has been too hasty in its plans to shut Gadburn and that most parents are fearful of the impact of integration with a mainstream primary on their children.

We have been talking to parents to get a workable plan
Instead, they have been championing a joint campus with Barmulloch Primary.

Under council rules, five elected members are required to sign a “call-in” notice to have the decision revisited.

It is understood this is the first time there has been a clear bipartisan strategy involving Labour members to undo an administration decision.

Councillor Grant Thoms, who instigated the call-in, said: “The education department is being too hasty at attempting to close Gadburn Special School.

“Councillors have been talking to parents to get a workable plan so the two schools could share the same building in Germiston but keep their separate identities.

“I have no doubt co-location is the way forward to give parents and pupils time to adjust to such a drastic change.

A council spokeswoman said: “A call-in allows scrutiny and enables local elected members to support their constituents.”