DCSIMG

Favour the Brae

We just read our council leader’s letter about Castlebrae High (12 December) but disagree. We think a new Craigmillar school could be funded by the government. Councillor Burns’ perception of “shovel-ready” suggests he’s been misled.

Your readers should note that the council cannot send the plans out to tender if it does not have the funding in place.

To advertise for an £18 million project involves working to Official Journal of the European Union guidelines; these are strict. The council cannot force companies to go through the tendering process with no idea of where the money is coming from.

How do we know the price? Because the council costed it on page 55 of its report to full council of 25 October on The New Portobello High School and New St John’s RC Primary School.

Since the council has therefore already done a ball-park costing, it is in a perfect position to go to the government.

If stage one response is positive, the 2009 plans are detailed enough to go out for tendering. Outline planning consent came on 21 January, 2009.

The plans would need detailed planning permission, but there were extensive discussions between early in 2009 between planning staff, the current school and children and families, and the local community here in Craigmillar, when the plans were finally revealed to universal approval at the East Neighbourhood and the PARC sales offices.

If the council puts the brief out to tender by Christmas, it will have a price by late January. And it could have a contractor, which could start building this financial year.

So it would fall within the scope of the additional government funding. Cllr Burns just needs to make a case for it, with his SNP colleagues.

Making a case to an SNP government should not be too tricky for him, we’d have thought.

We believe a new school here could unlock land for 2,600 homes and help solve Edinburgh’s housing crisis.

Not only will 200 kids sleep happy at night, but our families will have an opportunity to go local, with a real alternative to HolyRood.

It will boost land values and draw in developers, unlocking the land that’s sat here empty for 12 years.

Persimmon will build its 400 new family homes in New Greendykes with confidence, ready for the Sick Kids staff in 2017, because the new road to the ERI opens next month.

He must allow the Greens to table their emergency motion for today (13 December) at full council. If he misses this chance, the next full council will not be until 31 January, by which time the extra £380m will have gone elsewhere.

Kev Findlay

Save the Brae

Edinburgh

 

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