Argyll Rural Schools Network is delighted to have received support from three of the Argyll and Bute candidates for the forthcoming Scottish Parliamentary elections. As part of the VOTE ARSN campaign, all candidates were asked whether they could sign up to the following statement:
“I support the call by ARSN for the withdrawal of the consultation list of possible school closures and the opening of dialogue between Argyll and Bute Council, ARSN, SRSN, political parties and other appropriate bodies with a view to drawing up a new vision of rural education in Argyll & Bute. I believe there should be a presumption against rural school closure and that the Council should adopt such a presumption as a foundation policy for education in the area.”
Mick Rice, Mike Russell and Jamie McGrigor gave their immediate and unequivocal support. Alison Hay responded saying she could not endorse the ARSN statement. There was no response from the Liberal or Green candidates who were asked. Candidates were also asked for a brief statement of their own and these are now on the ARSN website at arsn.org.
ARSN believes that schools are an important part of the infrastructure that supports economic health and development across Argyll and Bute. School closures have a much wider impact than just in the affected community. All of us, from those small communities to shopkeepers in our towns will suffer the long reaching and long term effects. Electing a candidate who understands this is absolutely essential to the future of Argyll and Bute. Mike Russell, Jamie McGrigor and Mick Rice have demonstrated that understanding.