Hopping mad

24th January 1997 at 00:00
Dalrymple is an unlikely cockpit for a modern Battle of Ayrshire. But so it has proved, as East Ayrshire wants to keep pupils from the area inside its own territory instead of hopping it to South Ayrshire.

In the eastern corner is Tom Farrell, the education chairman and - as bad luck would have it - councillor for Dalrymple on the old Strathclyde Regional Council.

In the southern corner is Elaine Murray, education convener there. Needless to say, East Ayrshire wants to get numbers up at the half-empty Doon Academy, while South Ayrshire doesn't want to lose the 16 pupils a year Dalrymple supplies to Carrick Academy in Maybole.

Murray has written to Farrell expressing her "deep unhappiness". Farrell meanwhile told his education committee last week: "It was South Ayrshire's education officers who furnished facts and figures for our document".

Will South Ayrshire now retaliate and prevent children from Craigie attending Grange Academy in Kilmarnock? Will East Ayrshire hit back and stop pupils attending Queen Margaret Academy in Ayr? And will the little South Ayrshire enclave of half a dozen kids who go to the disputed territory of Dalrymple primary survive the changes or will they be expected to trek the 12 miles to Doon?

How does that little ditty go -"Neighbours, everybody loves good neighbours"?

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