I write in response to the open letter to me from Save the Brae about Castelbrae High School (11 December). This capital coalition is committed to building a new school in Craigmillar when the time is right and the money is available, which is why the current round of budget consultations will take this into account.
I do not doubt the sincerity or commitment of the campaign group to the regeneration of the Craigmillar area and I certainly recognise the importance of a school in that process. The additional capital expenditure announced in the Chancellor’s autumn statement was for “shovel-ready projects”, meaning that project planning, design and funding are all at a stage where work could start immediately.
Castlebrae is not a “shovel ready” project in the sense that, regardless of whether plans have been drawn up, nothing has gone to tender and there is no contractor waiting in the wings to start building a school within this financial year.
Because of that, the school would not fall automatically within the scope of the additional UK Government funding. The consultation on the future of Castlebrae finished last Friday. We are due to look at the consultation results early next year and will decide on the school’s future then. We will also have had the opportunity by then to consult on and set next year’s budget as well as the five-year capital budget framework, which will give us a good base for planning future investment in Craigmillar.
(Cllr) Andrew Burns
City of Edinburgh Council