Councillor sceptical over school plans

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An Arbroath councillor has warned the next phase of the Arbroath Schools Project could cause “complete chaos.”

Two reports went before Angus Council’s education committee yesterday (Thursday) regarding the project, one outlining the progress and timescale of the rebuilds of both Warddykes and Timmergreens.

The report states that while Warddykes will carry on as normal, it might be likely that during the rebuild process, pupils from Timmergreens will have to be taught in temporary classrooms on the Muirfield site.

But Councillor Ewan Smith is unsure whether Muirfield would be able to cope with the influx of new pupils and staff.

He explained: “I believe this could have a huge impact on children’s education. There is no real space at Muirfield. The car park and dining facilities are not suitable for the increase in numbers.

“I think it would be better to look at alternative solutions. We need to consult properly with everyone because these improvements are coming at great cost.”

In a separate report on the project, the council reveal that the second phase of the scheme will see a new school building for Hayshead at a cost of around £9 million.

But Councillor Smith believes the cash isn’t available to fund the next phase.

He said: “I’m not suggesting it is not a good idea but it seems Angus Council have become excited over a proposal when there is a shortfall in the budget.

“If we do proceed and take money to fund it from a different pot, will it mean other services other than schools will have to suffer? Why can’t we wait until we know the funding is there?”