Give us a voice say youngsters

Newtongrange Library: angry locals outside the library.''Naomi Knights with a petition against closure of the library.
Newtongrange Library: angry locals outside the library.''Naomi Knights with a petition against closure of the library.

MIDLOTHIAN Council’s education boss has questioned the lack of consultation with young people over the replacement Newbattle High School.SNP councillor Lisa Beattie’s concerns came after youngsters told Monday’s public consultation meeting they felt they hadn’t been asked for their opinions.

The event covered controversial council proposals to close up to eight community facilities and move services to a new community hub at the new school.

Speaking after the packed meeting at the current Newbattle High School, Councillor Beattie told the Advertiser: “The thing that concerns me that was raised tonight, is that young people haven’t been consulted. We need to go back and get more from local young people.”

A council spokesman said: “We’ve already met face-to-face with young people including pupils at the school and Midlothian Youth Platform. And teenagers have also been represented at community-wide meetings we’ve had with, for example, sports groups and other people who use our services such as our libraries.”

When people arrived at Monday’s meeting they were handed a ‘Making Choices’ booklet, giving a detailed breakdown of the potential costs of three scenarios and the potential for a fourth scenario (details opposite) for the new high school.

Emotions ran high at what was billed as the ‘Newtongrange’ meeting, the first of three public consultations, with locals putting questions to a panel of council officials led by director for education and children’s services Don Ledingham.

Read more on this in the April 18 edition of the Midlothian Advertiser.