Fury over school merger

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North Lanarkshire Council has come under fire after it scrapped a school merger in Motherwell.

Last week the local authority abandoned a project to combine Taylor and Our Lady’s High School at a new campus in Ravenscraig, along with the Bothwell Park High ASN school, after 4,000 objections came in.

The news has been met with dismay in Cumbernauld after a similarly high-profile campaign, complete with mass protests on multiple occasions, failed to prevent the merger of Abronhill and Cumbernauld High Schools.

A former Save Abronhill High campaign spokesman said the move was “cynical politics” despite differences in the two cases.

“Labour were afraid of a toxic backlash in their power base with the use of the Ravenscraig site along with the intervention of the church and ministers made for a potentially disastrous PR decision.

“Unfortunately Cumbernauld will still be the whipping boy in North Lanarkshire. The ruling party are only playing politics.”

Constituency MSP Jamie Hepburn said: “This reveals a shocking double standard by Labour run North Lanarkshire Council.

“We have two proposed school closures. In both cases the public response to their plans was described by the Council as “overwhelming” and was almost exclusively opposed to the plans.

“One closure was in Cumbernauld, the other in Motherwell.

“The Council is listening to concerns in Motherwell while ignoring concerns in Cumbernauld. This is hypocrisy plain and simple.

“If this Labour administration is so concerned about the educational benefit of a school closure and want to listen to the public then why did they refuse to do so in the case of Abronhill High School?

“This news will rub salt in the wound for many in Cumbernauld. The council should hang their heads in shame.”