I put a lot of detail into my last article (Oct. 21St. 08)about the South Primary School meeting the other night. There were a couple of other items which I wanted to mention which I thought were important but, I didn’t want to overload the piece. Anyway here are two main items which I deliberately left out to give them some space.
1/ An audience member stood up and asked what plans there were for the building if it closed and the panel said none. He then proceeded to say that Cllr. Marie MCGurk Lib. / Dem. had told him that Renfrewshire Council had plans to use the building to provide another facility for children with special needs such as autism, he said he was in possession of a letter from her to this effect. The three panel members sat staring like rabbits caught in the headlights of a car, completely baffled, stunned, you see Cllr. McGurk is one of them, she sits within the coalition which is making the cuts. The three panel members resolved to get to the bottom of this apparent contradiction, how can the administration have people within it who have completely different attitudes on something this important ? this would be funny if it wasn’t so serious for these families.
2/ The panel made the point that Renfrewshire had 51 primary schools and not enough children to fill them, a sharp young woman sitting behind me then asked a question which lit the blue touch paper. She said “if there are not enough children, how many schools do we need for the children that we have?” you just never know the minute that someone in a public meeting is going to ask an innocent question which leaves the panel looking like the Marx Brothers and this was it. Put another way, which the audience immediately spotted she was saying ‘how many more closures will there be?’ a killer question which spread fear among the panel, who wants to say none ? who wants to say we will look at it and see ? Mr. Naylor to his credit stood up to be counted and said words to the effect “ I will be very surprised if, in the new budget we do not find ourselves returning to this issue of school numbers” People of Renfrewshire, I leave you to interpret what this means, I would suggest that school closures will not stop with Paisley South.
That’s why it’s important that everyone gets involved in stopping this educational vandalism by this administration. The SNP know the price of a school but not it’s value, and they don’t much care either.