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Vandals Force SLC To Pay
South Lanarkshire Council have been forced to pay out thousands of pounds in repairs to schools after they were targeted by vandals.
New statistics released show that the authority paid out £46,000 to fix primary and secondary schools across the area in the financial year from 2014 to 2015.
Despite the high figure, South Lanarkshire has not been as hard hit as some authorities, with nearby North Lanarkshire Council forced to spend £118,951 on repairs to damage caused by vandals.
The figure spent in the last financial year across Scotland on school vandalism repairs was over a million pounds.
East Kilbride MSP Linda Fabiani slammed the vandals, stating that the money should be spent in a better way.
“This vandalism is obviously completely and utterly unacceptable,” the MSP said.
“Our schools are places for our young people to learn in and it is deplorable that some see them as a target for vandalism.
“Aside from the disruption involved, the costs associated with fixing the vandalism could be spent in a better way.
“That is why it is important for South Lanarkshire Council to do all they can to ensure the school properties are kept safe. The general public can help too, and should report acts of vandalism.”
Central Scotland Conservative list MSP Margaret Mitchell felt the figures showed that more action had to be taken, including the introduction of school campus police.
She said: “The figure is clearly a high one, and the money spent on needless vandalism could be spent elsewhere.
“Something needs to be done, and school campus police would be one of the means of preventing the damage and increasing safety in our schools.”
Jim Gilhooly, executive director of education resources said: “The significant investment by the council in creating new school buildings has led to pupils and the community taking pride in looking after their schools and nurseries.
“This is evidenced by the significant drop in vandalism costs over the last few years.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank young people and members of the public for their part in helping to protect these valuable assets.
“We invite members of the community to continue to work together with us in protecting our school buildings and to report any suspicious behaviour to the police.”