22 May 2012

Local MSP for Glasgow Shettleston, John Mason, has tonight (Tuesday) commented on the fire at the derelict building of the former St Mark’s Primary School in Shettleston. Mr Mason, who on Thursday hosted a meeting about anti-social behaviour in the area – which included fire raising, has said that the Council should have moved quicker to demolish the building when it was closed in 2009.

The SNP MSP held a public meeting on Thursday night with 70 local residents from the surrounding streets, which was attended by Father Gerry Barnes, local Parish Priest and Chief Inspector Tom Cruickshank.

Commenting, John Mason, SNP Member of the Scottish Parliament for Glasgow Shettleston, said:

“In one sense this fire has now shone a very bright light on the significant anti-social behaviour around St Marks Primary.

“Since late last year, my Constituency Office has been receiving a steady stream of complaints about anti-social behaviour in this area. With over 90 recorded incidents in the last three months, the statistics speak for themselves.

“When I was a councillor, Glasgow City Council had a policy of demolishing schools as soon as possible after they’d been closed. That prevented vandalism and also the fears of what could happen to a child who broke into an empty school building and could have been seriously hurt. It is disappointing that the splitting up of the Council into bodies like City Property seems to have prevented what was previously a good policy. As a result there has today been considerable disruption and cost to the public purse because Glasgow City Council has been so slow in acting. Fortunately it seems no one has been seriously injured. I was the MP in 2009 when this School was closed – the question begs to be answered why, three years on, this building has been left to rot away and be a target for vandalism and anti-social behaviour.

“The Council and City Property have got some real explaining to do”.