Schools are fo­cal points for lo­cals

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SIR, – Once again Mo­ray Coun­cil has raised the is­sue of amal­ga­mat­ing some Mo­ray pri­mary schools – one of them be­ing Portessie Pri­mary, stand­ing at 88% ca­pac­ity.

Merg­ing Portessie with Mill­bank Pri­mary may on pa­per look fea­si­ble, but ex­pect­ing pupils from the age of 4 and up­wards to walk two miles in all weathers is to­tally un­ac­cept­able.

Portessie has a great com­mu­nity spirit in which the school plays a large part.

A busy playgroup is also housed within the school, tak­ing chil­dren from age 2, and this leads to smooth in­te­gra­tion into school life, as they work hand in hand to en­sure chil­dren’s ed­u­ca­tional needs are top pri­or­ity.

What would hap­pen to the school build­ing? Prob­a­bly de­vel­oped into hous­ing that there would be no in­cen­tive for fam­i­lies to buy, as there would be no lo­cal school for chil­dren to at­tend.

Mo­ray Coun­cil should look into a crys­tal ball re­gard­ing any fur­ther hous­ing de­vel­op­ment in the sur­round­ing school catch­ment area, and keep the school open.

This is just an­other “Let’s Look Af­ter El­gin” pol­icy, which has been the case since the mid-1970s, when the lo­cal coun­cils ceased to ex­ist. Sandy Tay­lor, Craigen­roan Place,

Portessie, Buckie

Brexit ref­er­en­dum was only ad­vi­sory

SIR, – I have been some­what puz­zled that, given the vast me­dia cov­er­age of Brexit, no one seems to think it worth men­tion­ing that the EU ref­er­en­dum was ac­tu­ally classed as “ad­vi­sory”.

As such, it was im­ple­mented to give the gov­ern­ment of the day some idea of the feel­ings for and against Brexit across the coun­try.

Am I miss­ing some­thing here? Why wouldn’t a gov­ern­ment, faced with the com­plex­i­ties and al­most guar­an­teed so­cial and eco­nomic dam­age likely to be in­curred, sim­ply man up and say: “OK, we know a ma­jor­ity voted to leave the EU, but now that we know what it ac­tu­ally en­tails and the dif­fi­cul­ties it pre­sents, we have de­cided not to pro­ceed with it”?

It seems this pur­suit of Brexit at any cost is driven by the same kind of toxic ide­ol­ogy the Tories have shown over aus­ter­ity, im­mi­gra­tion and wel­fare.

Af­ter Brexit, the very rich and pow­er­ful will re­main very rich and pow­er­ful and be able to con­tinue with their priv­i­leged lives, un­like those at the bot­tom of the eco­nomic pyra­mid.

For the poor­est and most vul­ner­a­ble in society, and in­deed for the vast ma­jor­ity of fam­i­lies,

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