MSP calls for schools money to be reimbursed

Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant, has called on the First Minister to reimburse Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (CnES) for the lost savings and legal fees expended in pursuing the Judicial Review on the Western Isles schools closures.

Scottish Ministers called in the decision made by CnES to close Carloway and Shelibost primaries and S1 and S2 provision at Shawbost. Last week the Court of Session ruled against the Scottish Government’s decision to intervene.

Speaking after First Minister’s Questions today, Rhoda Grant said “It was an ill informed judgement to question the Comhairle on their decision. Local decisions are best made at local level”.

Mrs Grant continued: “The First Minister said they were considering the decision of the review and how to respond to it. He said they would take appropriate action but failed to say if the money, which could be in excess of £1.5m, will be reimbursed to Comhairle. This Scottish Government seems hell bent on penalising the people of the Western Isles; the First Minister must reimburse these costs to the Comhairle and allow the money to be invested in the community as it was originally intended.”