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Cumbernauld's MSP slams merged college's name

Written by Scott Campbell.
 
 
 
 
 
Published at 23:07 GMT on Thursday, May 23rd, 2013.

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JAMIE Hepburn, SNP MSP for Cumbernauld and Kilsyth has said that the new name for the soon-to-be merged Cumbernauld and Motherwell Colleges.

It was announced yesterday, by Motherwell College that the newly merged college will be New College Lanarkshire; coming into effect as of November, although the newly merged institution will operate from August, supporting over 20,000 across North Lanarkshire. 

Following consultation with the merger committees of both colleges, and stakeholders a decision was reached to call the new body New College Lanarkshire, with cabinet secretary for Learning and Lifelong Learning, Mike Russell approving the title on Wednesday, May 22nd. 

The merger previously caused a storm after Coatbridge College dropped out, claiming it was not in their interests. Now, however, the college’s new name has caused a fierce reaction, this time from Cumbernauld’s MSP.

Jamie Hepburn, SNP MSP for Cumbernauld and Kilsyth has side that, “no consideration given to the fact the geographically Cumbernauld is not in Lanarkshire”.

The MSP said: "During the whole merger process my main concern has always been that Cumbernauld College and its students will be side-lined.

"It appears to me that by choosing the name New College Lanarkshire there has been no consideration given to the fact the geographically Cumbernauld is not in Lanarkshire and the people of Cumbernauld have few ties to the Lanarkshire area.

"Traditionally Cumbernauld is part of Dunbartonshire and Kilsyth is part of Stirlingshire."


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When the new institution starts its operations, as New College Lanarkshire, it will encompass a Cumbernauld town centre building, Broadwood Stadium facility and East Dunbartonshire campus, as well as the Motherwell College campus on the Ravenscraig site.

Mr Hepburn continued. The MSP added that he “sincerely” hoped that the new name will be “ot indicative of changes which will further remove the ties which the people of Cumbernauld have to Cumbernauld College”.

He added: "It's not the be all and end all but the structure of local government brings concerns of relocating North Lanarkshire - but that's a separate issue.

"I sincerely hope that this is not indicative of changes which will further remove the ties which the people of Cumbernauld have to Cumbernauld College.

"At present people in Cumbernauld wishing to study any course at their local college can travel there easily and have a very wide range of subjects to choose from.

"Public transport links from Cumbernauld to Lanarkshire and particularly Motherwell are notoriously poor; Cumbernauld should not be overlooked during this merger process and deserves to have a college which the people of the area can be proud of.

"This new name is a missed opportunity for Cumbernauld College as it doesn’t have any real meaning for the area. Of course my main concern is and always will be the education of the current and future students of the college.

"Cumbernauld College regardless of its name should remain a centre in which people from the surrounding area can travel their easily and have a varied choice of subjects to study.

"They've agreed on it now so they will move forward regardless."


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