Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Proposed Modernisation of Marr College

Proposed Modernisation of Marr College

Further to my post on 16.11.2012 I did some digging and found an information sheet from South Ayrshire Council that confirms that they are indeed in negotiations to buy the Marr College school buildings and grounds from Marr Trust.

Reward for incompetence

Thus South Ayrshire Council are indeed going to to be entirely entrusted with maintaining the Marr College buildings and grounds in future when they have proved themselves time and time again completely incompetent even when they had Marr Trust to oversee them.

Please see the document below which can also be found on the school website at...

Proposed Modernisation of Marr College

Information Sheet

In July of this year the Council submitted a bid to the Scottish Government’s Schools for the Future Programme to modernise Marr College and I am pleased to inform you that this bid was successful.  Key to the success of the bid was the way in which the Council engaged and involved staff, the parents, pupils and the wider community in the development of the future strategy for secondary education in Troon. As such the project is considered in a state of readiness to be taken forward.

It is envisaged that the project will deliver state of the art learning and teaching facilities which will revolve around the modernisation of the original Marr College building and the provision of new learning and teaching accommodation within the grounds of Marr school site.  Accommodation will be available for the community to use and the creation of a museum area to display the many artefacts that have been gifted to the school over the years including those from C.K. Marr.
The external areas will be developed to create exciting and pleasant areas that encourage social interaction and the delivery of outdoor learning. Important features of the project will be the provision of enhanced sports facilities including an all-weather pitch which will be located in the grounds of the current Marr Playing Fields.  

The project will be delivered in partnership with the private sector through South West Hub which has recently been established by the Scottish Futures Trust, overseeing the Schools for the Future programme.

Following the announcement of the funding by the Scottish Government, the Council are now entering into formal discussions with the Marr Trust regarding the acquisition of the Marr College site and the potential for relocating the Marr Resource Centre into the new facility.

Written notification has still to be issued by the Scottish Government on the level of funding that will be allocated it is understood that two thirds of the overall project will be provided with the Council providing the remainder.  The final figures will be established once the brief for the project has been agreed and designs produced.  This process, including preparing the project for delivery through the SW Hub, is expected to take approximately 18 months followed by a further 18 months to build the new accommodation and modernise the original school.  The timescale may need to be lengthened as the original school is listed, but the aim is to complete the project by the end of 2015 or early in 2016 if possible. 

Undertaking the project while the school remains operational will be a challenge but the Council has significant experience in delivering projects in this way while and minimising the disruption to learning and teaching and ensuring the safety of staff, pupils and visitors at all times.

I know that you will be excited by this news and will be given opportunities to contribute to the delivery of the project as the moves forward through the different stages.

Every effort will be made to keep all stakeholders informed about the project but regular updates will be posted on the Council’s web site at under ‘schools – planning for improvement’. 

Harry Garland
Executive Director for Children and Community

Monday, 19 November 2012

Whispering Woods

The Whispering Woods is a collection of original stories about Scotland's native trees that weave together threads of mythology and lore, herbal medicine, uses of timber and wood, woodland ecology and imagination to produce unique tales that are appealing to adults and children alike. These stories will both entertain and inform. Whilst entering into the imaginary world of the story, the reader or listener will also start to become more familiar with the features of our native trees and their associated flora and fauna, leading to a deeper understanding of how species, including ourselves, depend on one another and the environment for survival.
These beautifully illustrated stories evolved through a fortuitous, accidental meeting between the author and a teacher searching for original stories to read to children in the forest ~ stories that would both capture their imagination and enhance their understanding of, and respect for, the woodland environment.
They will bring pleasure to all who love the natural world.

Written by Alan Crawford my cousin.

Just wanted to give him some advertising - the book sounds delightful.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Marr College Update

Having fought to have Marr College maintained for many years it is finally confirmed that South Ayrshire Council and the Scottish Government have allocated funding for this project. As to whether it will ultimately take place remains to be seen and exact details are yet to be confirmed.

Maintenance and refurbishment to take place

Due to the poor stewardship of South Ayrshire Council it is now a refurbishment of the original building and if the original plans are to be believed a demolition and replacement of the 1970s/80s extension. A new wing will be added at each end of the original building.

Poor stewardship by South Ayrshire Council

Amazingly, although this is subject to confirmation (and complete astonishment!), the Marr Trust is proposing to sell the school building to South Ayrshire Council although maintain ownership of the playing fields.  

Reward for lack of maintenance and inadequate stewardship

If this is true South Ayrshire Council would appear to be being rewarded by Marr Trust for not maintaining the school, when under the terms of the original lease/ rent agreement the organisation was to return the school to Marr Trust in ‘pristine condition’. I would like to know if this is indeed true, and if so what are the reasons behind it as it seems a ridiculous proposal.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Royal Mail: Stop the closure of Glasgow's Cubie Street sorting office

I just signed the petition "Royal Mail: Stop the closure of Glasgow's Cubie Street sorting office" on

It's important.

I am ill with fibromyalgia, and on a good day can walk to Cubie Street to collect a parcel which the Post Office have tried to deliver while I am out. However if this plan goes ahead I don't know what I will do. I have no transport, and I note that a bus route is 20 minutes walk from the proposed new sorting office at Cambuslang. I also know that you can get parcels delivered to your local post office but this involves another charge of £1.50. On my limited income this is not an option, so the only way is to instruct anyone intending to send me a parcel, is not to do so. It is time that the Post Office started actually thinking about its customers.

Will you sign the petition it too? Here's the link: