Sup­port in clo­sure fight

Politi­cians back ‘save school’ cam­paigns

Dumfries & Galloway Standard - - FRONT PAGE - Ben Ra­m­age

Politi­cians are throw­ing their weight be­hind a bid to stop the po­ten­tial clo­sure of Ae vil­lage school.

The dead­line for res­i­dents to put their opin­ions for­ward on the prospec­tive shut-down is next Tues­day as the coun­cil’s six-week con­sul­ta­tion comes to an end.

Dum­fries and Gal­loway MP Alister Jack said he was against the clo­sure of Ae and Kirk­bean schools as they were the “heart of lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties” and urged those con­cerned to make their views known.

He said: “I have been con­tacted by a num­ber of con­cerned par­ents rightly wor­ried about the im­pact these school clo­sures would have.

“It would be the wrong de­ci­sion and by press­ing ahead with shut­ting these schools the coun­cil would be let­ting down ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties.”

“I do not be­lieve the case has prop­erly been made for shut­ting them.”

Ae par­ents and com­mu­nity coun­cils have worked to­gether to drum up sup­port and op­pose the po­ten­tial clo­sure, mak­ing their views known at meet­ings held in

the vil­lage with coun­cil of­fi­cials.

MSP Joan McAlpine also raised her con­cerns at the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment last week. She said: “It is clear that the com­mu­ni­ties are strongly be­hind their lo­cal schools and do not want them to close.”

A coun­cil spokesman said: “In­for­ma­tion and views gath­ered dur­ing the statu­tory con­sul­ta­tion pe­riod will be in­cluded in a re­port to a fu­ture meet­ing of the Chil­dren, Young Peo­ple and Life­long Learn­ing Com­mit­tee.

“If the com­mit­tee was to agree to close a school, this would need to be demon­strated as the only vi­able op­tion.”

Op­pos­ing clo­sures Dum­fries and Gal­loway MP Alister Jack and MSP Joan McAlpine

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