A politician has hit out at Falkirk Council’s plans to build a new headquarters at the same time a school is dealing with huge overcrowding.
Michael Matheson MSP said he was appalled the local authority was advancing plans for a £20 million office while Kinnaird Primary School in Larbert has six modular units in the playground.
However, Craig Martin, leader of Falkirk Council, said if Mr Matheson wants someone to blame for the capacity issues, he should look to his own party.
The MSP for Falkirk West said he had been contacted by several parents frustrated over the crowded school, which only opened in 2008.
He said: “Correspondence with Falkirk Council indicates they have no plans to provide an extension as councillors have not yet approved the necessary capital finance for the project.
“It is clear to me Falkirk Council has its priorities wrong and education should be the priority here.”
But the council leader said Mr Matheson should get his facts straight before making accusations.
He said the money earmarked for the new headquarters can only be used for that project and it will save money in the long term. It will condense their offices from three to one and replace old, expensive to maintain buildings.
Mr Martin said: “If Mr Matheson wants someone to blame for the capacity issues at Kinnaird, he should look to the SNP party who were in administration when the school was given the go ahead.
“It was never going to be big enough for such a massive housing development so they created the problem there.
“I agree with Mr Matheson that Kinnaird needs an extension or even a whole new school and we are working to figure out the most affordable option and the one best for the children.
“But thanks to the Scottish Government, we have had our capital spending budget slashed. Education is a priority and we have spend the majority of our capital budget in recent years on schools and improving conditions for our young people to learn.”
Kinnaird Primary, which was built by the housing developers, is currently at 108 per cent capacity with the school roll set to increase.