I have called for the funding of the refurbishment of Harris Academy to be speeded up. The Cabinet Secretary for Finance, John Swinney has let it be known that he intends to move spending into capital projects in his Budget which is to be announced next week. I have written to Mr Swinney and to the Chief Executive of Dundee City Council asking that they consider accelerating the work to get a refurbished Harris Academy.
I will leave the rights and wrongs of leaking budget details to others and I will also not linger too long on the fact that the Scottish Government has previously scrapped major capital spending projects but if there is a chance that a refurbished Harris Academy can be delivered sooner then I want that to happen. I know that parents, pupils and staff were disappointed when the refurbishment was put back two years. If Mr Swinney wants to spend on capital projects then I would strongly make the case that Harris Academy should be one of the projects considered. I think that the refurbishment of Harris Academy would be good for the Dundee economy and bring much needed work to the construction industry in Dundee. Importantly it would also deliver a learning and teaching environment fit for the twenty-first century for the pupils and staff at Harris Academy.