Now, more on Craighouse from Holyrood, as reported in the Edinburgh Reporter yesterday.
Here is MSP for Edinburgh Southern, Jim Eadie’s question about Napier and Craighouse and a transcript of the ensuing exchange in Scottish Parliament Question time as posted on their website: CLICK HERE. We are delighted to see that questions are being asked at Holyrood about this matter and believe there should be a great deal more transparency from Napier.
Jim Eadie (Edinburgh Southern) (SNP):
14. To ask the Scottish Government what recent discussions it has had with Edinburgh Napier University regarding the future of the Craighouse campus. (S4O-01239)
The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning (Michael Russell): I am not aware of any discussions. Universities are independent, autonomous institutions and, as such, the Scottish Government does not intervene in institutional matters such as decisions regarding their estates strategies.
Jim Eadie: I thank the cabinet secretary for that answer, but is he aware of the significant amount of local concern about the sale of the Craighouse campus by Edinburgh Napier University? It is seen as a valuable community asset. Notwithstanding Napier’s independence, does the cabinet secretary agree that the university has an obligation to achieve best value for the taxpayer, to ensure that all transactions are open and transparent, and to ensure that any assets are disposed of in a way that continues to provide benefit to the local community?
Michael Russell: Yes, I am keen that the indissoluble link between universities and the communities that they serve is recognised. The Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council requires colleges and universities to seek its prior approval for the disposal of publicly funded property when the proceeds are likely to exceed £3 million. As part of the approval process, the Scottish funding council requires colleges and universities to demonstrate that they have obtained an appropriate professional valuation from a reputable property agent. I will ask the council’s chief executive to write to the member to reassure him on this matter, and I will be happy to meet him as well.
—end of transcript—