... might not be 'quite' as dramatic as events elsewhere, but for hundreds of parents and families across Edinburgh its a very real issue - Evening News ran a short piece from me on this topic today, which can be found here.
As I say in the article, the Lib-Dem/SNP Council has frankly made little or no progress in filling the funding vacuum of the last 12-months. And progress can indeed be made – several Councils across Scotland have developed alternative, local funding-mechanisms since mid-2007, and are now close to initiating building contracts.
... and before I hear the howls of 'what would you have done' - well, we did have an alternative model in our budget proposals. It acknowledged that the pre-2007 methods of funding were gone, and put forward a local solution for all 5-schools that would have kept progress alive until the mythical Scottish Futures Trust (or some other, viable financing-option) could be delivered by the Scottish Government.
Of course, it wasn't passed (text is below, for reference) - but just like our earlier pleas of June 2007 about schools rationalisation, I think the local Libs/Nats may well have to face up to some such 'Local Trust' solution fairly soon.
School Building Local Trusts
Council agrees to set up local School Building Trusts for the following schools in the ‘third wave’ of the school building programme:
- Portobello High School
- St Crispin’s Special School
- James Gillespies High School
- Boroughmuir High School
- St Johns Primary School
This specific £0.375million, to be part of a wider £8.75million allocated to the development of all 5 ‘third wave’ schools to ‘Stage D Design Level’ by the end of 2010/11; subject to additional funding being provided by the Scottish Government.
The required £8.75million to be funded from:
- additional receipts identified by the ‘Capital Receipts’ review
- with the immediate £0.375m being funded from the review of departmental management structures across the Council