Council quizzed about school repair funding

editorial image

Two councillors have raised concerns about the lack of money being spent by East Dunbartonshire Council 
on school repairs.

Lenzie councillor Gillian Renwick and Bearsden 
councillor Keith Small say the cost of bringing council-owned (non PPP - Public Private Partnership) schools up to standard has risen from £5.793million in 
December 2012 to £19.03million in December 2014.

Councillor Small said: “There is a huge underspend of the council’s capital programme – £18.103m for the 2014/15 financial year.”

He questioned whether the £275,000 in the authority’s capital plan will be enough to halt the decay of schools.

He has been backed by Councillor Renwick, who 
added: “If you have got the money, spend it.”

She added: “It’s all very well having shiny new schools but you have got to look at the 
schools left.

“Lenzie Academy is a perfect example. The parents council have already asked about maintenance. Just to repaint a school costs hundreds of thousands of pounds.”

Education committee converer Councillor Eric Gotts said: “Education spending remains our single biggest budget area with our 10-year capital investment programme estimating investment of over £80m in school estate, with £5.2m to be invested in 2015/16 and more in future years”

He said it was difficult for councils to spend the capital programme within a year.

He added: “This money is not lost and the updated capital 
programme expenditure was presented in December. Like all councils we are faced with ageing buildings costly to heat and maintain.”

He said combined with under-occupancy rates, this was a challenge when budgets were shrinking.

He added: “For these reasons we are embarking on a multi-million pound Primary School Improvement Programme with one brand new £7.7m school about to open”

Councillor Gotts refuted any accusation of neglect, adding repairs were being carried out across schools in the area.