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The County You Live, Work And Play

Plans To Merge Secondary Schools Shelved

Original Story


councillors said controversial school merger plans which split a community have been shelved.

Long-running proposals to merge Taylor High School in New Stevenston and Our Lady’s High School in Motherwell were knocked back at a meeting of North Lanarkshire Council’s ruling Labour group on Monday 8th September.

Bothwellpark High School, currently in a joint campus with Our Lady’s, was included in the plan.

Labour councillors stressed that the merger idea had come from civil servants within the council and not from elected members.

There was little or no support for the move within the minority SNP Group either.

Parents of youngsters at Taylor and Our Lady’s had expressed fears that the land planned for the site of the merged school at Ravenscraig could be contaminated, which the council said was absolutely not the case.

Labour’s elected representatives voted unanimously to reject the merger plans.

And their decision was rubber-stamped at a meeting of the council’s Learning and Leisure Service committee meeting on Wednesday 10th September.

Parents and interested parties from both schools took to social media as the news started to spread.

In a statement on Tuesday 9th September,  Councillor Jim McCabe , leader of North Lanarkhsjhire Council, said: “The Labour administration have listened to the people and their overwhelming response.

“Having considered the consultation reports and the advice from officers, we are not satisfied that there are any educational benefits to be gained through this proposal and we therefore won’t be continuing with it.

“We will also be referring the matter of secondary school provision in the Motherwell district to the Schools and Centres 21 Committee and instruct them to engage in a comprehensive study of the school estate.

“We would like to thank the respondents for articulating their case through visits to councillors’ surgeries and by written correspondence.

“I would also like to place on record my appreciation of the sterling work of local councillors on this issue.”

Murdostoun Labour Councillors Alan Clinch and Nicky Shevlin have expressed their delight at the decision which has been taken.

Councillor Clinch said: “The people Nicky and myself spoke with in Cleland made it clear they did not want this merger.

“I am delighted that we in the Labour group dismissed it at the first available opportunity.”

Councillor Shevlin also welcomed this week’s decision.

“Alan and myself spoke to as many people as we could and were left in no doubt as to what the correct course of action was and the Labour group were in complete agreement,” he added.

“It’s a fantastic result.”