Highland Council has cancelled a private meeting to discuss school provision – and possible closures – in Easter Ross after fears large crowds would descend uninvited.
The “closed meeting” was set to involve “key stakeholders” in the future provision of education in Alness and Invergordon.
One proposal is to close academy schools in both towns and replace them with a single educational facility in a project estimated to cost £60million.
The council has however become aware through social networking sites that large numbers of people were being encouraged to attend the venue for the meeting, the Perrins Centre in Alness.
Tuesday’s meeting was to involve school and community representatives from both Alness and Invergordon and local councillors.
However, the Council has given an assurance that it will hold a public meeting in both communities before the turn of the year when the issues will be fully aired.
Councillor Alasdair Christie, Chair of the Council’s Adult and Children’s Services Committee, said: “I have been made aware of some social media activity that is urging the wider public to attend the scheduled meeting tonight involving local Head Teachers, Parent Council Chairs, Community Council Chairs and Ward Members for Cromarty Firth.
“The suggestion is that tonight’s meeting was a public meeting, and, given that some local people have been lead to believe it is their only opportunity to express an opinion, there is the potential of a large number of uninvited people turning up. To avoid any potential risks, we have decided to cancel the meeting.
“I can assure the two communities that we will organise a public meeting in both communities before Christmas to ensure people have their say on this important issue. I must also stress that this review is a long term proposal - looking ahead at least five years - and there is plenty of time for interested people to make their views known.”