Challenge Michael

14th March 1997 at 00:00
Taletta Jamieson is one parent who is delighted with a Scottish Office expenditure decision. The announcement of a Pounds 2 million replacement for Andover primary in Brechin under the Government's "challenge fund" brings to an end a seven-year battle by Mrs Jamieson and other members of the school's action group.

The rebuilding, approved by the former Tayside Region in 1990, was delayed by land purchase problems. It then became a casualty of borrowing restrictions imposed during the transition to the new councils. The project was the major educational capital priority for SNP-run Angus Council.

A total of 52 bids were submitted from 30 councils, and seven of the 19 winners benefit education. The other six are: * A Pounds 2.4 million primary at Laurencekirk in Aberdeenshire, part of a Pounds 6.4 million award under the initiative to ease the withdrawal of the US Navy from RAF Edzell.

* A Pounds 500,000 extension to Our Lady of the Missions primary in East Renfrewshire.

* A Pounds 1 million children's services project in Moray.

* An Pounds 878,000 training and enterprise centre in Girvan, in an extension of Ayr College.

* A Pounds 2.7 million information technology project in West Lothian to link schools, libraries and community centres.

* A Pounds 3.2 million area school in Lewis to replace four primaries.

Capital allocations for the 19 projects, worth almost Pounds 60 million, are mainly spread over three years.

This is the first year of the challenge fund under which Michael Forsyth, the Scottish Secretary, has pledged to release a total of Pounds 100 million. Councils say the Secretary of State's patronage allows him to interfere in their spending priorities.

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