“Read Write Count with the First Minister"

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at on 22 February 2024.

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Photo of Collette Stevenson Collette Stevenson Scottish National Party

East Kilbride has more than 20 recognised reading schools, including the gold-accredited St Andrew’s and St Bride’s high school. Initiatives such as the reading schools and the read, write, count programme are helping with attainment by building parents’ confidence and by ensuring that books and activities are supplied to children.

However, despite the Scottish Government doing that good work, the Labour-run South Lanarkshire Council is threatening to close Greenhills library and the Greenhills community hall, which are widely used by reading groups and toddler groups. In my view, that would potentially increase the poverty-related attainment gap. Does the minister share my concerns and those of the 1,700 locals who have signed a petition against the closure of those facilities that the Labour-run council’s proposals will be bad for the community? Can he reiterate the benefits of the Scottish Government’s budget for South Lanarkshire Council?