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SCHOOLS EVACUATED AS CONTINGENCY ARRANGEMENTS QUERIED

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In the continuing burst pipe clear up, Scotland's worst affected regions - Strathclyde, Lothian and Central - yeste...
In the continuing burst pipe clear up, Scotland's worst affected regions - Strathclyde, Lothian and Central - yesterday were planning to evacuate thousands of pupils to alternative schools, reports The Scotsman (p4).

The move is necessary to meet legal obligations to provide education for at least 190 days a year.

The salvage operation, it is estimated, will cost over £10m.

The Scotsman reports (p1) that the education minister Raymond Robertson said the possibility of extra funding for councils would be looked at.

'I am willing to have a look at what they have to say, but they have to be prepared to come and answer some tough question about their contingency arrangements.'

Mr Robertson has attacked councils for not taking insurance cover out for burst pipes, although most authorities say the costs of insuring against flooding was prohibitive.

The paper reports that Grampian, Strathclyde, Lothian, Fife, Borders, Highland and Tayside all operate self- insurance scheme where money is set aside each year for emergency repairs. In years where there is little damage the authorities are able to bank the interest. They say they have been able to save millions of pounds over the years in huge insurance premiums.

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