AN interesting issue concerning local democracy, which may have a wider interest, is being played out in North Lanarkshire.
The council is proposing to amalgamate two secondary schools - namely, Our Lady's High, Motherwell, and Taylor High in New Stevenston.
A new school is to be built to accommodate the merged schools on the site previously occupied by the massive Ravenscraig steel works. Meetings were arranged to consult parents.
At these meetings - which were very well attended - the parents made it clear that they wanted nothing to do with the council's proposals. Both schools were functioning well and had recently had good reports from her Majesty's Inspectorate.
The parents do not want a new, merged and very much larger school and, emphatically, they do not want any move to the Ravenscraig site.
The local MP and MSPs have made it clear they support the parents.
It has never been stated, of course, but it is seems to me that it is the Ravenscraig site itself which is at the heart of the council's plan.
The site is vast and mostly very empty. The council wants to attract enterprises and housing into the area.It looks as though the building of a large new school could be a very public way of encouraging developers.
Why else would North Lanarkshire Council spend large sums of money - at a time of austerity - on knocking down two perfectly good schools which are functioning well and building a new one which nobody wants?
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