Have your say on controversial plans for new school

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SAFETY concerns have been raised over plans for a new school next to the Forth and Clyde Canal.

Proposals for a new Lairdsland Primary were presented at a public meeting last week.

The site for the new school - estimated to cost nearly £5million - is next to Southbank Marina, in Kirkintilloch.

If the plans get the go-ahead the new school could be built by 2014.

More than 50 people attended last week’s meeting.

Some concerns were raised about the safety of children with the school being close to the canal.

A mum said: “There were many questions asked about the safety of our children attending a new school next to the canal, which is understandable.

“But I’m sure the council would have looked into every inch of detail to make sure our children are kept safe within the new school grounds.

“We really need a new school. I welcome the plans and I hope all other parents will too.”

Lairdsland Primary opened in 1875 and is a typical Victorian building with facilities such as girls toilets and the dining hall housed outside the main building.

Gordon Currie, head of education at East Dunbartonshire Council, said: “The meeting featured a presentation and questions and answers session in which the main concern raised was about the safety of pupils, given that the planned location is by the canal.

“However, attendees were assured by council officers that all matters pertaining to the safety of pupils both travelling to and from school would be considered fully in the school travel plan and safe routes to school.

“This would be a focus in the planning stages, should agreement be reached on the proposed new site.”

He added: “This first phase of the consultation will continue until March 16. The second phase of the consultation process involves the Council sending a report to HMIE which it will consider and possibly make its own independent report.”

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