Midlothian Council held a meeting on 20th May to vote on the proposals from the Schools Plus Programme
announced in February this year.
After a short public consultation period, the council published their proposals on 14th May, which would be voted on at a full council
meeting on 20th May.
The meeting on 20th May heard presentations from 13 of the schools in the proposals and the Midlothian Rural School Action Group. All 5
rural communities requested that their schools stay open. Howgate also proposed an alternative solution to closure, a trust-fund project where
the community and council would work together to support the school.
After the presentations, the Labour Group announced the motion that the council would vote on. Full details
can be found here, but the issues affecting the rural schools were :
- Borthwick : Will be closed. Subject to securing appropriate funding, a new school will be provided at Middleton for Borthwick and Temple
catchment areas. Borthwick will stay open until the school is completed.
- Cousland : Will be closed. Pupils will remain at the school until a new school at Pathhead is completed.
- Cranston : Will be closed. Pupils will remain at the school until a new school at Pathhead is completed.
- Howgate : Will be closed. Pupils will move to Cuiken Primary for August 2004. Parents will be allowed to seek places for their children
at Cornbank St James.
- Temple : Will be closed. Subject to securing appropriate funding, a new school will be provided at Middleton for Borthwick and Temple
catchment areas. Temple will stay open until the school is completed.
- A further consultation period for Borthwick, Cousland and Temple will be carried out since these are changes to the original proposals.
Councillor Fletcher requested an amendmend to the motion, that time be given to consider Howgate's proposals, and this was seconded
by Councillor Thacker. The council voted on this and it was rejected.
The council then voted to accept the proposals made by the Labour Group, only Councillors Fletcher, Thacker (both Lib Dems) and Hoggan
(Independant) did not vote for it.
Midlothian Council issued a press release shortly after.
The 5 rural school groups are now consulting their communities to decide on the way forward. Individual meetings will be held over the
next few days, followed by a MRSAG meeting at Middleton Village Hall on 26th May.