PAR­ENTS DE­SERVE AN­SWERS

School fi­asco raised at Scot­tish Par­lia­ment

Dumfries & Galloway Standard - - FRONT PAGE - Stephen Tem­lett

The North West Com­mu­nity Cam­pus cri­sis was raised in the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment on Wed­nes­day.

And MSP Fin­lay Car­son re­it­er­ated his call for a pub­lic in­quiry into the £28 mil­lion su­per­school fi­asco.

Af­ter the Holy­rood de­bate, he said: “Ev­ery­one as­so­ci­ated with the cam­pus is right­fully con­cerned. It is an ab­so­lutely un­ac­cept­able sit­u­a­tion and the coun­cil must be fully open with their find­ings.

“That’s why I chal­lenged the SNP Gov­ern­ment to back my calls for a pub­lic in­quiry. Par­ents and staff must get the an­swers they de­serve.

“This sit­u­a­tion is not go­ing to go away un­til the safety of ev­ery­one at the cam­pus can be com­pletely guar­an­teed and un­for­tu­nately we have no idea when that will be.

“The num­ber of incidents in re­cent

weeks have alarmed ev­ery­one, so I hope the SNP gov­ern­ment will con­tinue to mon­i­tor closely how the coun­cil and the con­trac­tors are en­sur­ing the school is en­tirely safe for use.”

The school was closed in­def­i­nitely on Fri­day for safety checks af­ter a four-year-old nurs­ery pupil was in­jured when a white board fell from

a wall and hit him on the head. The young­ster was taken to Dum­fries In­fir­mary for treat­ment and later re­leased.

His mum, Elaine Hastie, 26, said her son was “very lucky” not to have suf­fered more than he did.

The in­ci­dent prompted an an­gry re­ac­tion from par­ents worried for the safety of their chil­dren.

And on Tues­day the coun­cil an­nounced that it would move cam­pus pupils to other schools while the safety checks are car­ried out. A mem­ber of staff has also been hurt at the school. The author­ity stated that the new school would re­main closed un­til “ev­ery bolt, screw and fit­ting has been checked, dou­ble checked and is cer­ti­fied safe.”

Se­nior coun­cil of­fi­cials met with the build­ing’s con­trac­tors Gra­ham Con­struc­tion for cri­sis talks

A coun­cil spokesper­son said: “Both par­ties ex­pressed dis­ap­point­ment at the im­pact this is hav­ing on chil­dren and young peo­ple. A joint com­mit­ment was made to ad­dress all is­sues, work­ing along­side staff rep­re­sen­ta­tives, in an open and trans­par­ent way.

“In­de­pen­dent checks are con­tin­u­ing this week, in ev­ery part of the build­ing, and an agreed pro­gramme is ex­pected next week to ad­dress all iden­ti­fied works, en­sur­ing that the cam­pus can fully open.”

At Holy­rood, south of Scot­land MSP Colin Smyth raised con­cerns that the con­trac­tors and de­vel­op­ers Hub South West were not be­ing prop­erly held to ac­count.

Mr Smyth said: “Once again we have a sit­u­a­tion where a pri­vate con­trac­tor has re­ceived mil­lions of pounds of tax­pay­ers money but has com­pletely failed to de­liver a build­ing fit for pur­pose.”

Alarmed MSP Fin­lay Car­son

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