Greens tell council not to ‘jump gun’ over Castlebrae

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THERE have been further calls to shelve plans to close Castlebrae Community High School, with the city’s Green councillors insisting it “would be irresponsible to close and bulldoze [the school] while the future of Portobello hangs in the air”.

Education chiefs are set to approve plans today to consult formally on closing the Craigmillar school by the end of academic year, a move which has already been challenged by Labour politicians Sheila Gilmore MP and Kezia Dugdale MSP.

Now, city councillors from the Scottish Greens have tabled amendments calling on the closure plans 
to be halted. Councillor Melanie Mains said once the “trigger” has been pulled it “becomes very difficult to turn back the tide”.

She said: “It seems that the council has jumped the gun. Since Portobello is one of the main alternatives to Castlebrae, it would be irresponsible to close and bulldoze Castlebrae while the future of Portobello hangs in the air

“And closing Castlebrae leaves a serious question over longstanding and ambitious plans to regenerate Craigmillar. The council says that it wants to build a new school for Craigmillar in the future but not when and nor has it earmarked funds. Without a high school it will be so much harder to attract families into the area. We need greater certainty.

“But most important of all are the young people. Would they fare better elsewhere or will they just be scattered to the four winds and get lost in much larger schools? Although Castlebrae is a struggling school I think the community and young people need more from the council than just throwing in the towel.”