Gilruth meets parents at the center of a £160m undersized school

The minister’s pledge came during a debate on education in Holyrood, after local MP Neil Bibby said he was concerned about the impact of the “catastrophic” blunder on pupils in his constituency.

Due to an “error” by the city council, the initial number of schools was estimated at around 430.

However, the actual number should have been 1,100 students.

As more houses are built around the school, the authority announced in February that it now expects 1,500 primary school children to live in the village by 2033.

CONTINUE READING: The Dargavel school blunder could cost Renfrewshire taxpayers £160million

Therefore, they now need a new building with a capacity for around 800 students.

Dargavel Primary is part of the privately funded Dargavel Village project, a multi-million pound development to build 4,000 new homes on the site of a former Royal Ordnance Factory by 2034.

As part of the agreement with the city council, BAE Systems paid for the cost of the new school.

But because they built it to specifications presented to them by the council, their obligations under the so-called Section 75 agreement are now met, leaving the agency to at least cover the cost of the new primary plant.

The cost of the new building will be between £42m and £45m, while the expansion of the local secondary school, Park Mains High School, to accommodate a further 400 pupils will cost between £27m and £30m.

That means the upfront cost will be between £69m and £75m.

To solve the problem, councilors have agreed to repay “regulatory loans” of £4million a year, with officials telling elected members repayments could take 40 years.

That could cost a staggering £160million.

They could rise again if, as expected by parents, a new secondary school becomes necessary.

CONTINUE READING: MSP demands Public Spending Inspectorate investigate £160m schools scandal

Mr Bibby told the MSPs: “I am not raising this because it is just a small local issue, but because it is a huge and scandalous waste of taxpayers’ money.”

“That’s the equivalent of £2,000 tax for every household in Renfrewshire. It’s almost on par with one of those CalMac ferries we’ve talked about in this room many times.”

“The original mistake was bad enough, but Renfrewshire Council’s response since then has also been pathetic.”

“Parents have now lost confidence in Renfrewshire Council’s chief executive and education director. And they have also urged Council President Iain Nicolson to reconsider his position.”

He said there must be “accountability for this debacle and urgent solutions to ensure no child in Renfrewshire has to pay the price for the council’s incompetence.”

In response, Ms Gilruth told Parliament: “Neil Bibby has raised an important local issue relating to school provision in Renfrewshire and Dargavel and I assure him I will meet him and the parents concerned.”

Grace Reader

TheHitc is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button