School closed after thieves steal heating system

Croft-malloch's kitchen is used to prepare meals for other schools

Croft-malloch's kitchen is used to prepare meals for other schools

12
Have your say

HUNDREDS of children have been forced to abandon their school after crooks made off with the heating system.

HUNDREDS of children have been forced to abandon their school after crooks made off with the heating system.

Teachers arrived at Croftmalloch Primary School in Whitburn, West Lothian, to find £6000 worth of copper had been taken from the boiler unit. Freezing temperatures left acting head Elizabeth Cassidy with no option but to close the 225-pupil school while repairs are carried out.

It is understood that the youngsters will now attend other schools in the area until the Easter holiday begins on Thursday.

Croftmalloch’s kitchen is also used to prepare meals for other schools across West Lothian.

Angry parents last night took to the council’s Facebook page to decry the “heartless thieves”, who struck some time between last Friday and early yesterday morning.

Mum Lauren Reid said: “My two are off to bed crying tonight, cheers scumbag thieves.”

Julie Reid added: “It’s disgusting. As a parent of Croftmalloch Primary School, I hope these thieves are happy with themselves, as we are not.”

Council officials have made arrangements for pupils to attend several other local schools.

Another mum, Vicky Wood, also hit out at the thieves for causing disruption, writing on Facebook: “Making it harder for parents who now have to have two kids at different schools for the same time, all thanks to these heartless people.”

A West Lothian Council spokesman said: “Pupils and staff from Croftmalloch Primary School in Whitburn are being decanted to allow essential repairs to take place.

“From today, five classes and their teachers from P1 to P4 will go to Polkemmet Primary School while pupils and teachers from P5 to P7 will go to Whitburn Academy.

“Children from the nursery classes will be allocated spaces at Polkemmet Primary School, Whitdale PS/Early Years Centre and St Joseph’s Primary School, Whitburn Primary School.

“All parents and carers are being advised of the arrangements by 
telephone or group call.”

In August 2011, Edinburgh City Council revealed scrap metal thefts across the city had caused £150,000 worth of damage in a matter of weeks – in June last year the estimated cost to the UK economy was put at £770 million.

A Lothian and Borders Police spokesman said: “Aside from the obvious financial implications, this theft has resulted in the school being closed and means the pupils are currently missing out on their 
lessons.

“Furthermore, Croftmalloch’s kitchen provides meals for other schools, resulting in further disruption to the local community.

“Metal theft is an issue which police take extremely seriously, and is often linked to serious and 
organised crime.”