Moray’s former council leader has urged his fellow councillors to take action as soon as possible to help solve the problem of the region’s deteriorating school estate.
George Alexander spoke out after it was revealed that the council needed to spend more money on school buildings or they would continue to decline.
The stark warning came from a property asset management appraisal report that was discussed at the full council meeting yesterday in which the head of housing and property at Moray Council Richard Anderson states that the current £1.2 million maintenance budget was “well below” industry standards.
A former school teacher, Mr Alexander urged the other councillors to take heed of the fact that the current school estate was “unsustainable.”
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He said: “We need to change the number of sites we teach in and cannot go on blindly replacing schools.
“We need to develop a strategy to decide where education is needed most and then fund them and let’s plan ahead and help young people and not just wait for a building to break down before fixing it.
“Progress depends on the views of people in the chamber and councillors must take the full global view of Moray instead of their small section.”
Mr Alexander has previously called for schools to be merged together and previous plans to axe Milnes High School were scrapped after widespread local protests.
Keith and Cullen councillor Donald Gatt agreed with Mr Alexander’s position.
He said: “This is a repeated view and we need to stop the parochialism and bite the bullet to get it right for the pupils.
The local authority is currently drawing up a school estate strategy to help the council move away from a “reactive service” to one where the money spent on buildings can be “planned more effectively.”