Criticism over 'unacceptable' funding delays to replace run-down schools

The Scottish Government is accused of letting pupils down.

Criticism over ‘unacceptable’ Scottish Government funding delays for run-down schools in West Lothian STV News

Delays to decisions on Scottish Government funding to replace two run-down primary school buildings in Livingston have been criticised by West Lothian Council’s Conservative group leader.

Damian Doran-Timson, whose ward includes Craigshill where the two schools are, said the Scottish Government was letting local pupils and parents down.

A report to this month’s council Executive set out a number of options that council officers have considered, including refurbishing both existing schools – Riverside and Letham Primaries. 

The refurbishment had been discounted as poor value because of the significant levels of work needed, and other restraints on the existing school grounds including poor accessibility.

Instead, the council executive approved outline plans for a single new school for both Riverside and Letham pupils with a capacity to accommodate over 460 pupils and a 64-place nursery, including eligible two-year-olds which is based on future school roll projections.

In total the new school and nursery is expected to cost £24 million with West Lothian Council having agreed to provide 50% of the funding required. The council has submitted a bid to the Scottish Government’s Phase 3 Learning Estate Investment Programme (LEIP) to provide the remaining 50% of the remaining funding required.

Following the executive meeting councillor Doran-Timson told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “The two primary Schools in Craigshill, Letham Primary School and Riverside are in the worst condition of all primary schools in West Lothian.

“This decision was expected in December 2022 and yet we still don’t know if this funding is going to be made available.

“This is completely unacceptable from the SNP Scottish Government who are letting the pupils and parents of Craigshill and surrounding areas down, to hear if a positive decision is not received soon, pupils will have to be decanted to other schools is deeply worrying.

 “I call on the Scottish Government to announce now that they are going to fund the urgent improvement works that these schools need.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code