Coatbridge abandons Lanarkshire college merger proposals
Written by Scott Campbell.
 
 
Published at 21:01 GMT on Tuesday 26th February, 2013.
A MERGER between three Lanarkshire colleges has been doused after one of the colleges taking part in the merger consultation pulled out yesterday.
 
Coatbridge, Cumbernauld and Motherwell College were all looking at a merger package which would see the three campuses work closely together under a ‘Lanarkshire’ banner.
 
Now, though, those dreams have been scattered after Coatbridge College pulled out of the proposals.
 
The three colleges were undertaking a merger consultation when, on Monday, Coatbridge College declared its opposition to any merger because it was being left in the dark.
 
At Coatbridge College’s first formal Merger Committee meeting at Motherwell College on Monday, 25th February 2013, the Board of Management of Coatbridge College put forward proposals to strengthen the governance arrangements of the proposed merger and in particular the demarcation of roles.
 
Following the Merger Committee’s rejection of these proposals, the Board of Management of Coatbridge College were of the unanimous view that, far from the door being open as was suggested, the College was being “specifically excluded from the mainstream merger processes according to a statement, which adds: “The Board of Management therefore regret that they really have no choice now but to withdraw from merger discussions.”
 
 
A spokesman for Coatbridge College said: “For any merger to succeed there needs to be a high level of trust and a strong desire to proceed on equal terms across all parties.  Despite continued efforts to engage positively, no progress has been made in achieving meaningful inclusion in the merger process.
 
“We wish Motherwell and Cumbernauld well in their efforts and will continue to play a full role in the Federation supporting the people of Lanarkshire.”
 
Despite Coatbridge College’s rejection of the merger, Cumbernauld and Motherwell College have confirmed that they will still proceed with a two-way merger, as 12 new college regions are established throughout Scotland.
 
Both colleges maintain their previous comments that they are fully committed to working with all colleges within the Federation of Lanarkshire Colleges and both institutions have reaffirmed that the door will remain open for Coatbridge to be welcomed back into the merger.
 
The spokesman added: “We are hopeful Coatbridge College will come back to the table and the three way merger can continue. We remain committed to the merger and believe it is in the best interests of the students, staff and local communities.”
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