Lanrig Park school site: Council is ignoring us, say protesters

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Plans to replace two North Lanarkshire primary schools were discussed at a council meeting recently.

The Education and Families Committee met on Tuesday, May 21, and agreed to proceed with the construction of a new Chryston Primary School. St Kevin’s Primary School in Bargeddie will also move from its shared location next to Bargeddie Primary School,  to the site of the former Drumpark school.

The nursery class, which is currently aligned to St Kevin’s, will become Bargeddie Primary School Nursery Class.

The Chryston school will be constructed on Lanrig Park to the south of Cliffvale Road.  However, this has angered numerous residents of the area despite assurances from the council that money which would be spent on upgrading facilities at this park will instead be spent on the remaining park.

Protesters from the Save Lanrig Park group were outside Motherwell Civic Centre as the meeting took place.

A spokesperson for the group said: “On behalf of the community of Chryston and many users of Lanrig Park we are keen to express our disappointment that the Education and Families committee failed to take notice of the representations they received from constituents regarding the ineffective consultation which was carried out leaving locals completely out of the picture, and driven by the undemocratic agendas of some people who chose to represent the views of the community without consulting them.

“The lack of transparency throughout this entire process, from funds being withheld, to deals being done regarding pay to play pitches and relocation of facilities to other areas without public consultation has highlighted the huge democratic deficit in local political structures and we will continue to fight to expose the people and processes concerned, the conflicts of interest and the backroom dealings which could lead to a much loved public greenspace being removed from the heart of our village to fulfil one or two dubious local agendas when plenty of other areas provide much more suitable locations both in terms of traffic and retention of village assets.”

The extent of housebuilding in the area means that demand for school places is outstripping the capacity of the original schools, and in this year’s budget the council also pledged to replace every school building that is more than 20 years old.

The next stage involves the appointment of a contractor which will allow the planning process to begin. This takes around 15 months to complete.