Councillors and officials to seek cash for new Anderson High
An SIC delegation will set off for Edinburgh next week to see if Scottish ministers will be able to provide any financial assistance towards the building of a new Anderson High School.
Chairwoman of the children and families committee Betty Fullerton, acting head of finance Hazel Sutherland and head of children’s services Helen Budge will make their case to education minister Mike Russell at Holyrood on Wednesday.
Some in the community have expressed disbelief after it emerged that no request for government funding appeared to have been made earlier in the project’s chequered 20-year history. In recent years local authorities in Orkney and the Western Isles have received huge grants towards the cost of new schools.
SIC councillors are due to receive a progress report on plans for a new school at the lower Staney Hill at a special session of the children’s services committee on 5th December.
Mrs Fullerton admitted she had been unable to ascertain why no prior approach for assistance had been made. Economic chaos and public spending cutbacks mean the chances of Shetland being able to benefit in a similar way to its fellow island councils have drastically diminished.
“We’re going down to discuss with the minister the situation we’re in here in Shetland,” Mrs Fullerton told The Shetland Times. “For 20 years there’s been an objective to build a new AHS, and we want to discuss the importance of this for the future of our young people in education and the effect of this on the future of Shetland.”