The struggle to keep Keills Primary School open continues. I've published a couple of stories on the blog which were published in the Ileach newspaper earlier. The last update was from Thursday last week. Below is the follow up which was published in the Ileach last Saturday.
Cllr Robin Currie has done a lot of useful things in his time for his (preferred?) constituency of Islay, Jura and Colonsay. We could list individual projects, but this is not the time or the place. Suffice to say that most rational folk would acknowledge that the contribution our Councillor has made in the areas of transport, affordable housing, crofting, Gaelic education, sports facilities, community centres, health centres, renewable energy and even public pathways has been considerable.
What then, was he thinking of when he voted to put the closure of the 25 primary schools out to consultation? Without going into the shabby details, from which absolutely nobody on the council emerges with credit, the administration that was presenting the closure proposals fell apart, and was replaced by a new one featuring Cllr Currie as â€˜Spokesperson for Rural and Island Affairs, Housing and Gaelicâ€™. Continue reading....
Cllr Currie, having voted down a proposal which would have kept Keills Primary School open, is now faced with the task of persuading us that he is serious about working with the schoolâ€™s Parent Council to do just that. Two days before the fateful vote, Cllr Currie put in writing: â€˜To my mind this proposal should not go out to consultationâ€™, backing up his view with a whole raft of rational reasons as to why the closure of Keills should be opposed. He then ignored his own advice.
To our mind, the proposal to close Keills is absolutely, fundamentally wrong. This proposal should not have gone out to consultation. Keills is a good school with high occupancy levels, central to a vibrant, healthy community that is geographically sufficiently isolated to justify its unquestioned existence. Efficiencies, yes, closure, no. It is imperative that a civilised, wealthy society does not condemn its infants to spending seven hours a week on buses. They should be taught to read and write in their own communities, within reasonable reach of their homes. The Parent Councilâ€™s description of the proposed closure as a â€˜Modern Clearanceâ€™ is completely accurate. Cllr Currie simply has to deliver on this. For whatever reasons, be they personal or political, he has chosen to take power in this new council administration.
Our message to Cllr Currie is simple. Keills must not close.
Today the council issued a press release titled "Opportunities For All To Have Their Say". The press release is available by clicking here (let's hope they not only listen!)