Suffolk County Council group pressing for better school transport policy

27 November 2017

Teamwork by recently-formed Liberal Democrat, Green and Independent group on County Council 

Cllr David Wood, LDGI Group Leader, attended a workshop organised by Suffolk County Council and expressed concern over the content:
“I am not convinced that Suffolk County Council are really considering any innovative solutions to this problem, or listening to the numerous concerns of parents and schools. A consultation will only be effective if the Council are willing to truly listen to those who will be affected.”

SCC Green GroupGreen Party Cllr Andrew Stringer  (right in picture) added:
“I am very concerned that the Council are treating the overspend of the school transport budget in isolation. This is a hugely complex problem, and we need to make sure that the potential impact on both educational attainment and increased congestion are considered as part of the consultation.
There has been a distinct lack of discussion over SEND transport, which is where the majority of the overspend in the Home to School Transport budget. To create a better policy, which works for the residents of Suffolk, the Council needs to forensically examine all aspects of the current policy and work hard to come up with creative cost-saving measures that will not harm any children or families in the county.”

Many parents and teachers are still worried about the proposed changes, and the effect that a change in policy could have. Cllr Penny Otton stated:
“I have spoken with parents and teachers at Thurston, who are likely to be amongst the worst affected by a change in the Council’s school transport policy. It is clear that many of the families, particularly those with 2 children, will not be able to afford the cost of school transport, and as a result we will see a huge increase in congestion. I am not convinced that Suffolk County Council will make the savings they are predicting. Essex County Council, who brought in similar changes, have struggled to meet their savings targets, and I see no evidence that Suffolk will do any better.”

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