Friday 20 May 2011: A chain of solidarity
This afternoon, as the MSP for Argyll & Bute, I was at closure threatened North Bute Primary School to welcome Somerset Charrington from Ulva in Mull who is cycling round the 9 good primary schools in Argyll & Bute which the present Council administration wants to shut.
Ulva was on the first list of 25 schools that was proposed for closure and persisted with by the Liberal Democrats, Tories and Independents when the SNP refused to back the plan and walked out of the Council coaliition last November.
In January that list was abandoned and Ulva , like the others, was saved. So it is a great gesture of continuing solidarity that a parent from Ulva is undertaking the marathon task of pedalling round this huge area, taking a visible message of support to the schools that are on the new list issued by the Council in February and which - after a formal decision by the Council on 19th April (blip here) - are now going through the legal consultation process.
This blip shows the moment that good wishes from wee Skipness were handed over to pupils at North Bute, who are in turn giving Somerset a message for Toward, just across the water - though it would take so long to cycle round that Somerset got a lift in a fast rib later this afternoon. Then on to Luss, the last port of call.
The fight goes on to save the schools, with tremendous verve shown in each place by parents and communities, backed by the new Argyll Rural Schools Network, ARSN , 4 MSPs and the more sensible councillors !! Plus the local press.