Regular readers will recall this Gurn article " Springfield plans for 115 house on Liz's land - Bairns would have to be bussed to Auldearn Primary?"
In that article we quoted the following: "An interesting paragraph appears re school catchment areas. In that document the Transport Planning Team state:
"It is understood that the current primary school catchment for this site will be Auldearn Primary, which would require the provision of transport to and from the school given the location of the site in relation to the school. Subject to this remaining the case, it is recommended that any permission granted is required to agree a suitable level of financial contribution towards the provision of such school transport services supporting this site. The amount and timing of such contributions should be agreed with the Public Transport Team to ensure that the funds can be used in time to provide the necessary services from when units start to become occupied."
Now, interestingly, the Gurn has seen a copy of an e-mail (coming to us from an unreliable source with links to the Nairn River Community Council). The e-mail from the Highland Council education folkies to the Community Council talks about changes to school catchment areas and specifically mentions Lochloy:
"Dear Sir or Madam
Highland Council is in the very early stages of considering some changes to the catchment areas of the primary schools around Nairn. These are linked to the development of the Lochloy Housing Estate, and to the re-routing of the A96.
Changes to catchment areas are subject to an extensive statutory consultation process, that involves notification being provided to all parents and all staff of the affected schools, and to local community councils. A public meeting is part of the statutory consultation process. I would stress however, that at this stage we are a long way from even having a Proposal to issue for formal consultation. A statutory consultation exercise has to be approved in advance by the members of Highland Council’s People Committee, and as yet we have not approached the Committee members to seek such approval.
Prior to approaching elected members, we would like to gather the informal views of local parents and other community representatives. Depending on the views expressed, we might then seek agreement to conduct a statutory consultation exercise.
I would therefore like to meet with the Community Council to outline our thoughts in more detail, and explain the reasons behind them. I would be grateful if you could let me know where and when this would be possible. I can be contacted on 07500 120 271
When discussing this matter with other members of the CC, I would be grateful if you could make it clear that the Proposal has not yet been approved by the Highland Council’s People Committee, and that this approval is required prior to any formal consultation taking place.
I look forward to hearing from you."
So the start of the process begins, wouldn't it been a lot easier if a school had been built up in Lochloy after all as originally planned? Is there any room left for one now?
Here at the Gurn we find this part very interesting: "Prior to approaching elected members, we would like to gather the informal views of local parents and other community representatives. " Just a minute shouldn't Nairn's elected members (the four Highland Council ones) be the first people to contact because any councillor at the top of his or her game should surely know what the parents are thinking?
So readers, education folk are wishing to speak to the community council, if you are a parent with an interest in Nairnshire's cachement areas you may wish to get a seat at that meeting. Parents with bairns at Nairn schools will no doubt be aware of the places and limitations of each school. It says some changes - just how many schools will be affected?
If Highland Council have detailed plans for where they want bairns to go or to change schools perhaps - shouldn't they just come out with them now?