Catchment plans backed by committee

The boundary between Burnhaven School and Meethill School was discussed by councillors recently.
The boundary between Burnhaven School and Meethill School was discussed by councillors recently.

Plans to rezone the catchment areas of Peterhead’s primary schools have been approved at a recent meeting of the Buchan Area Committee.

Councillors gave their support to the plans following a report by Council officers who set out a range of options for the under-pressure schools network.

The report followed a consultation of the town’s parents and staff, who were able to share their views on any proposed changes.

The first of the options - to maintain the status quo - was rejected immediately by councillors at the meeting.

Then, the remaining options which had the support of a majority of parents were agreed.

Once those were agreed, the main issues of contention centred around the boundaries between Dales Park and Clerkhill schools, and between Burnhaven and Meethill schools.

Councillor Alan Gardiner also raised concerns about the boundary between Clerkhill and Dales Park schools - saying that some parents and pupils have to undertake a 25 minute walk each way on their journey to and from school.

Members of the Area Committee agreed to the boundary change, as per the report, but also agreed that if complaints came in there would be a quick review.

The meeting also heard that the boundary between Burnhaven and Meethill schools would not be redrawn - due to parents’ concerns about children having to cross the busy South Road.

When asked by committee members if any of the options could be altered, the Council officer present at the meeting, Rachael Goldring, said if there was any change to the recommendations, they would have to go back out to consultation.

However, as the recommendations were agreed, there will be no need for a fresh consultation.

Commenting to the Council officer at the end of the meeting, councillor Pratt said: “I think you’ve done very extremely well because this is all very emotive.”

“The South Road is a busy road at the best of times but to have young children crossing the road even with a crossing patroller would have been unacceptable.”

Speaking after the meeting, councillor Stephen Smith said: “I’m aware from speaking to parents that there was a lot of concern regarding the changes being proposed to the Burnhaven boundary, principally on the grounds of road safety.

“I’m pleased that the Committee decided unanimously that there should be no changes to the current Burnhaven boundary in light of these very real concerns about traffic and road safety.”