Newbattle row over elected members’ role in consultation

Gorebridge Library, just one of the eight community buildings under threat of closure.
Gorebridge Library, just one of the eight community buildings under threat of closure.

THE issue of councillors’ involvement in the Newbattle High consultation process set the tone for a fiery meeting in Gorebridge last week.

Around 200 people packed Gorebridge Primary School last Thursday for the second of three public meetings over the replacement Newbattle High School.

No local councillors were invited to sit on the panel – made up of council officials – although most were in attendance.

When it was asked where education convenor Councillor Lisa Beattie was as “she said she was taking a lead role”, Councillor Beattie (SNP), suddenly appeared at the back of the hall and defended herself.

She said: “I did say that and I am taking a leading role and meeting with council officials on a daily basis regarding this issue.

“But primarily this is an operational matter.”

Councillor Jim Muirhead (Lab) said: “I think it is vitally important that elected members are in attendance and listening as there isn’t any substitute for that.

“It is elected members I think that should be up on the panel at this meeting.”

Read more on this in the April 25 edition of the Midlothian Advertiser.