School consultation to begin

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THE EDUCATION convener of Angus Council says Arbroath youngsters deserve the best on offer as a new consultation period into the £10.6 million Arbroath Schools Project was approved.

At an education committee meeting on Thursday, it was decided that the local authority should immediately begin the consultation with the Arbroath public on how schools in the town could be upgraded.

It had been recommended they only consult parents on options which included a combination of refurbishment and improvement, maintenance, repairs and replacement as well as a combination of new builds.

However, an amendment by Councillor Ewan Smith saw the options for consultation widened to include all available options such as repairs to all schools in the area.

And education convener and Arbroath member Councillor Sheena Welsh is hopeful this new consultation can start as soon as possible.

She explained: “There was a clear decision, by 11 votes to five, to proceed immediately to consultation on a wide range of options – from repairs to all schools, to major refurbishment of several schools, to various different combinations of new school possibilities.

“All we want to do is to get on with the job of improving the school estate in Arbroath, based on the outcomes of the consultation process.”

A bid to close Muirfield and Timmergreens Primaries and merge them in a new £8 million school off the Westway was dropped by the council’s new SNP administration in May after concerns were raised about road safety in the new location, as well as a flawed original consultation process.

And Councillor Welsh added: “Arbroath’s young people deserve the best we can offer them, and we look forward to hearing the opinions of their parents and the people of Arbroath in general on the various options for improvement.”