Group opposed to plans to merge Timmergreens and Muirfield primaries will submit petition to council

A GROUP of parents who are against plans to merge Muirfield and Timmergreens primary schools on a new site at Hospitalfield House are stepping up their campaign.

The Muirfield Action Group who voiced their concerns against the proposals at a public meeting last week have now started a petition, which they plan to hand over to the council at a meeting of all the members.

The petition is available in shops throughout Arbroath and the group are urging anybody with concerns about the new school to sign.

They aim to collect around 1,000 signatures but claim it has started so well that they hope to exceed the figure.

Ewan Smith from the Action Group said: “There is such a depth of feeling against this school that the petition isn’t a hard one to get people to sign. 

“We are asking for there to be proper, in-depth consultation on the school issue and to look into spending £8 million to improve the education of all children in Arbroath. 

“There is not a dire need for a new school in the west of Arbroath, especially given that the only way to merge Timmergreens and Muirfield is to ask several hundred children to cross the Westway on a daily basis.

“At our meeting Angus Council admitted none of the four proposed sites for a new merged school were ‘perfect.’

“Well the ‘perfect’ solution is to go back, do some homework and refurbish the current schools.”

A report on the new £8 million school will go before the education committee on Thursday and then a vote on the plans will take place on June 22 at the full council meeting.

Mr Smith has been granted permission to address both the education committee and full council meetings to express the concerns the Action Group has against the new school.

The petition will also be submitted to councillors before the June 22 vote.

Mr Smith added: “If costed properly other plans should allow some of the £8 million loan to be spent on upgrading and improving other needy schools in the town.

“Some others have leaky roofs and over-crowded classrooms.

“Some of these concerns were raised by a parent from Warddykes Primary School at our meeting on May 17.

“The money for such improvements will not be available for at least ‘four to five years’ according to Angus Council’s own finance department.

“It’s time for Angus Council to listen and realise that in the current economic climate it is financial suicide to spend £8 million on an unwanted project at the expense of other more beneficial projects.”