Murdo Fraser responds to closure of college learning centres




Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser feels the Scottish Government has to take some responsibility for the decision to close three college learning centres in Perth and Kinross.


Mr Fraser today (Thursday) raised the matter with Nicola Sturgeon at First Minister’s Questions at the Scottish Parliament, when he asked her if a funding cut of 3.2% in real terms to UHI was instrumental in Perth College announcing they would be closing the learning centres in Blairgowrie, Crieff and Kinross from June.


The politician, who represents the Mid Scotland and Fife region, said he was disappointed with the First Minister’s answer to his question but has vowed to do all he can to try to make Perth College UHI change its mind on the controversial decision.


Commenting, Mr Fraser said: “I asked the First Minister if she shared my concerns that this move by Perth College UHI to close these three learning centres will result in serious damage to rural education opportunities in Perth and Kinross, and also asked her what role the real term funding cut of 3.2% in the Scottish Government’s budget played in this decision.


“While the First Minister said she shared my concerns on the matter she didn’t answer the question on the funding cut to UHI. I believe this cut in funding was instrumental in the college coming to this short-sighted decision.”


“These college learning centres are important assets in our towns and I am very concerned that it is proposed to close them. Residents living in rural areas need access to education and don’t always have the means to travel to an urban centre like Perth.”


He continued: “My Scottish Conservative colleague, Liz Smith MSP, and I have arranged to have a meeting with the management of Perth College UHI on April 26, and we will be doing all we can to try to persuade the college to rethink their decision.”