Request to switch schools meeting to larger venue rejected by council leader

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COUNCIL leader Rhondda Geekie has rejected pleas to hold a crunch schools meeting in a larger venue - insisting there is no “democratic basis” for a move.

The meeting to debate progressing a shortlist of controversial primary school mergers is scheduled for Wednesday, March 27, at East Dunbartonshire Council headquarters in Kirkintilloch’s Southbank Marina.

Save School campaigners and opposition councillors want the venue changed to let more residents “see democracy in action” - with St Ninian’s High School’s hall suggested as an alternative venue at a council meeting last week.

But administration councillors dismissed the calls, insisting the meeting should be held in the council chambers, which only has a small public gallery.

Campsie and Kirkintilloch North councillor David Ritchie said: “People have strong feelings about this and should have the right to come along and listen to the views of elected councillors.

“Even with overspill facilities at the council headquarters many people are likely to be turned away on the night.

“I’m disappointed that the administration councillors have dismiss this opportunity out of hand when they could have used it to demonstrate that the process is transparent.”

But council leader Rhonnda Geekie said: “The request for another venue for the council meeting to report on the primary school estate consultation had no democratic basis.

“A hall full of people who are not allowed to take part in the debate will not change what will be in the report the administration will bring forward on the night.

“The opportunity for discussion with councillors can take place on the report at the School Forum meeting where all schools are represented.”

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