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Scottish Government: "inappropriate" to comment on Cumbernauld high design tendering

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 14:16 GMT on Wednesday, 8th May, 2013.
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Called-in; Ministers are reviewing council's closure plans for Abronhill high. Picture is copyright of Scott Campbell/ Cumbernauld Media.

THE Scottish Government have said that it would be “inappropriate” to comment on a public council report, which appears to show North Lanarkshire Council tendering out the design of a new school build, at Cumbernauld high, in reference.

Yesterday, Cumbernauld Media revealed that the Save Abronhill High School campaign had sought legal advice about section 4 of the report, ‘Schools and Centres 21 Phase 2 Procurement Strategy’.

The campaign’s argument was that the area’s local authority had already fired the starting pistol for the design of a new build school at Cumbernauld high school, an act which the campaign thought to be implementing the proposals, in part – an action which could have broken the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010.

The Save Abronhill High School campaign have said that the document shows “back door planning”, with a campaign spokesman saying how the document puts the council’s “operation process firmly in the spotlight”.

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The spokesman said: “This document puts North Lanarkshire Council’s operation process firmly in the spotlight; they have found out – they are scheming, backdoor planners who even when the law says ‘no’ they think ‘yes’.”

The campaigners also revealed how legal advice was sought from the Govan Law Centre’s Education Law Unit, who appeared to somewhat support the view that North Lanarkshire Council had broken the 2010 Act, with the group’s advice indicating that they had a “good case”, but that the 2010 Act had never been properly tested, in court. 

Cumbernauld Media contacted the Scottish Government in relation to the document, and asked whether its existence could change the final decision of the Ministers on the future fate of Abronhill high, and whether the area’s authority could be considered to have broken the law.

Commenting, a Scottish Government spokesperson told Cumbernauld Media that the Ministers have “called in” the council’s proposals, adding that it would be “inappropriate” to provide further comment.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Scottish Ministers have called in North Lanarkshire Council’s proposal relating to the rationalisation of Abronhill and Cumbernauld High Schools into a single school for further investigation, under the Schools (Consultation) Scotland) Act 2010. This process is still ongoing and it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

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