>> 10 June 2016
A Peterhead councillor has been strongly criticised for delaying progress towards a new secondary school building for Peterhead.
Independent councillor Alan Buchan, a member of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education Committee, opposed the approval of the Service Plan 2016-19 for Education and Children’s Services, along with his Conservative and Lib Dem allies. This followed just a week after the Infrastructure Service plan was also delayed by opposition councillors.
The Service Plans indicates how council departments will work together to deliver key projects, such as the new Peterhead Academy community campus.
The Service Plans will now have to go before a meeting of the Full Council on 30 June to receive approval. Failure to pass the plans may delay a new Peterhead Academy by up to 18 months.
Commenting, Peterhead South & Cruden councillor and Buchan Area Committee Chairman Stuart Pratt said:
“When the new Administration took over a year ago, the cupboard was bare as far as a new Peterhead Academy was concerned. The previous Tory-led administration had done nothing, despite Alan Buchan being part of that grouping for 3 years and claiming he was campaigning strongly for a new academy. There was absolutely nothing to show for it.
“By contrast, the new Administration has made a new Peterhead Academy a top priority. But playing petty politics with Committee decisions just delays the day when we can turn the key in the door of a new building.
“There is a lot of work to be done in the background before we get to the stage where we can even say where the best site is and there will need to be consultation with the school community as well.
“Local councillors and education officials have already visited the most recent new-builds at Ellon and Alford Academies to assess what facilities could and should be incorporated into the new Peterhead Academy. Alan Buchan clearly had better things to do that day and didn’t attend, but managed to find the time to delay things in the Education Committee.
“It’s time our Independent councillors left this obstructive Tory-led anti-Peterhead opposition and stopped playing silly political point-scoring and do what they were elected to do starting with looking after the future educational needs of local children.”