Emergency Debate Stifled on Edinburgh School Closure Decision

An emergency meeting of Edinburgh Council called to overturn the proposed school closure consultation process ended abruptly today when LibDem Lord Provost George Grubb ruled a Labour/Green request to discuss the governance of the city as “incompetent”.

The meeting called by Green and Labour Councillors to formally overturn the decision taken in August to consult on the closure of 22 schools and 4 community centres lasted all of 10 minutes because no debate was allowed.

Green Party Education spokesperson Alison Johnstone said:

“We called this meeting to put a lid on the decision by the LibDem/SNP administration to consult on closing schools and community centres. We’ve succeeded in doing that but it is a great shame that we were not allowed to debate how best to move forward with this issue. 

“The administration seems to think it is acceptable to govern the city by press release, ignoring the procedures of the Council that enable competent governance.

“The hapless LibDem/SNP decision to close these schools and then reverse it has resulted in needless worry for parents and children.  It has even led to one school losing a whole class worth of pupils as parents panicked following the announcement of proposed closures.

“This sort of incompetence of leadership cannot happen again.  It’s a pity the LibDem LP did not allow debate on this.  It’s another occurrence of debate being stifled; if this issue was not grounds for and emergency debate, then what is?”