Activist would contest review

AN EDUCATION campaigner has said he would welcome the return of the judicial review into the Arbroath Schools Project.

Last week the Herald reported claims by Councillor David Fairweather that a local person was to resurrect the review which appealed the Scottish Government’s decision to scrap plans for a new £8 million school at Hospitalfield House.

And now Sandy Longmuir has said he would also take up his side of the case.

He told the Herald:”I would very much welcome such a judicial review going ahead.

“In the recent case which was abandoned by Angus Council we had been accepted by the Lord Ordinary of the Court of Session as public interest participants.

“If Mr Fairweather is willing to finance his side of the case I would have absolutely no qualms about approaching the Lord Ordinary to be re-accepted as a public interest litigant.

“I think it very important that the actions of Angus Council in this case be brought out in a Court of Law and then fairly reported to the public of Angus.”

On Monday the first of new consultation meetings for the Arbroath Schools Project was held at Carmyllie Primary School with another last night (Thursday) at Muirfield Primary.

And responding to Councillor Fairweather’s comments from last week, Councillor Ewan Smith said: “By continuing to hark back to a failed and flawed project Councillor Fairweather is losing his focus and energy for the core issue - improving facilities for nearly 2,000 Arbroath primary kids.

“I’ve begun visiting each of the 10 schools involved in this project. By Monday both I and education convener Sheena Welsh will have visited nine of the 10 schools with other councillors joining us where possible.

“Sheena and I have been shocked and amazed to discover that the previous education convener and vice-convener did not bother to go to these schools - including ones they voted to close down - during the last consultation.

“I was against a judicial review of the schools issue for three reasons - cost, uncertainty and a distinct lack of public support for the proposal.

“The action was so costly that it could have reached six figures. Would Councillor Fairweather or any of his former Angus Alliance members have been prepared to fund that at over £6,000 each?

“Councillor Fairweather is now suggesting a former Muirfield pupil is willing to go for judicial review.

“This person must be both very passionate about the school proposal and incredibly wealthy.”