Socialist Worker

Anger in Glasgow at attack on education

by Jimmy Ross
Issue No. 2136

Parents lobby Glasgow council over planned cuts to education (Pic: Duncan Brown)

Parents lobby Glasgow council over planned cuts to education (Pic: Duncan Brown)


Over 200 angry parents demonstrated outside Glasgow City Chambers on Friday of last week.

They were protesting over the proposed closure of 13 primary schools and 12 nursery schools in the city which was being discussed by the council executive.

The council had previously planned to build new schools to replace old buildings, but the financial crisis has led to them deciding to close schools instead and make over £3.5 million in savings.

There was a general feeling of anger not only over the planned closures but also at the way working class communities are being treated.

Shut

Alex Shepherd from Ruchill told Socialist Worker, “There’s been no consultation. We just got the letter informing us on Tuesday.

“They have shut our swimming baths and the sports centre. There’s nothing left for communities like Ruchill, Lambhill and Maryhill.”

Mandy Main from Germiston, who is on the Parent Teacher Association at St Bride’s school, added, “We have no community centre now.

“The post office has been closed and there are no shops open after 6pm. What are the kids supposed to do?”

In an almost unbelievable move, the council also plans to give Glasgow property developers a £3.7 million bailout to protect them from the effects of the credit crunch.

The Labour council is ripping the heart out of working class communities while subsidising property sharks.

As Alex said, “I thought it was supposed to be ‘education, education, education’ not houses that none of us will be able to afford.”

The Scottish National Party (SNP) opposition on the council has voted against the plans.

But this attack on education was only made possible because of a concordat signed by the SNP government and the Scottish local authorities.

This gave more power to councils to take decisions about how they spend public money by ending the practice of ring-fencing, where money had to be used for a specific purpose, such as education.

So far unions have been slow to react – which contrasts to their stance in other councils that are not controlled by Labour.

Further meetings across the city to discuss how to fight the closures are planned for this week and a lobby of the full council meeting will take place this Thursday.


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