Council apology to Portlethen on school

THE community of Portlethen has received an apology from Aberdeenshire Council for a decision to postpone the building of a new primary school in the town.

The apology came at the end of a public meeting held in the town on Tuesday evening to discuss primary school provision for Portlethen.

More than 80 members of the public attended the meeting to hear Anne Robertson, as well as Head of Resources for Aberdeenshire Council’s education department, Wilf Weir, Chair of the learning and leisure committee Richard Stroud and Area Manager Willie Munro explain the reasons behind a decision to renege on the promised new school at Hillside.

A five-acre site in the area, owned by Stewart Milne Homes, has been reserved for primary school provision or other educational and recreational facilities, although the development company are only obliged to honour this until 2017. The Aberdeenshire Council officials explained to the meeting that, due to budget cuts, other areas which are in greater need will be given schools first.

It was also pointed out that both existing primary schools in the town, Portlethen and Fishermoss, are currently under capacity.

However this claim was objected to by members of the public including parents and teachers, who say that the existing schools will buckle under the pressure of the additional children from the new development at Hillside.

Anne Robertson said: “As leader of Aberdeenshire Council I offer an apology for not being in a position to tell you that there will be a new school next year, particularly those of you that were promised this. We are sorry that we have not been able to keep that promise.

“We will continue to monitor the situation very closely. All of your concerns have been noted. We have to make sure that education provision is appropriate, and you can come back at me personally if that doesn’t happen. My apologies for any promises that have been made that you feel have not been honoured.”