A list of ‘school-friendly’ candidates has been published by the Argyll Rural Schools Network (ARSN).
In the Lomond North ward they are Independents Susie Will and George Freeman, Labour’s Fiona Howard and the SNP’s Ken Smith.
They have all said they support this statement drawn up by ARSN, a group which formed to fight Argyll and Bute’s plans to close 26 primary schools in 2010:
“I support the call by ARSN for the opening of dialogue between Argyll and Bute Council, ARSN, councillors and other appropriate bodies with a view to drawing up a new vision of rural education in Argyll and 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.”
Seven candidates will fight for the Lomond North ward; only three candidates for the two Helneburgh multi-member wards are on the full list, which is on the ARSN website.
The school closure plans caused protests across the entire council area and were eventually shelved after intervention by the Scottish Government, but it is widely feared that a new school closure programme will be drawn up after this week’s elections.