OXFORDSHIRE BUDGET SPECIAL: Petition handed in over school transport cuts

Herald Series: OXFORDSHIRE BUDGET SPECIAL: Petition handed in over school transport cuts OXFORDSHIRE BUDGET SPECIAL: Petition handed in over school transport cuts

CAMPAIGNERS handed in a petition to Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet yesterday calling for it to abandon plans to scrap free school transport.

On Tuesday the council will make a decision on whether to stop funding free school transport for children unless they go to their nearest school.

But this policy has been controversial and campaigners have been fighting it.

The Oxon School Bus Action Group handed in a petition to the county council which has been signed by 4,087 people.

Sue Moon, co-ordinator of Oxon School Bus Action Group, said: “The people of Oxfordshire have spoken. Their overwhelming message to the county council is that they do not want councillors to implement these proposals in their name.

“If the council cabinet decides to ignore this message at their decision meeting on February 4, they run the risk of breaking the trust that was given to them by the people of Oxfordshire less than a year ago.”

The county council says that if it only funds taking pupils to their nearest schools, this will save up to £2m.

But a report to the cabinet next week admits there is a “clear majority” opposed to this.

If agreed the proposal would take effect for new entrants to schools from the start of term in September 2015.

 

Comments (3)

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7:21am Wed 29 Jan 14

Segdirb22 says...

There is great cause for misunderstanding here. I should point out that, of course it makes sense to send your child to its nearest school. However, what isn't mentioned is that in a lot of cases the nearest school 'according to the OCC computer programme' is NOT the cheapest school to get children to in terms of how the bus companies charge their routes. Also, for some children, to get to the nearest school the route is not passable by a coach. Just saying!
There is great cause for misunderstanding here. I should point out that, of course it makes sense to send your child to its nearest school. However, what isn't mentioned is that in a lot of cases the nearest school 'according to the OCC computer programme' is NOT the cheapest school to get children to in terms of how the bus companies charge their routes. Also, for some children, to get to the nearest school the route is not passable by a coach. Just saying! Segdirb22

10:03am Wed 29 Jan 14

FatboyGinge says...

As segdirb22 says there are several cases of school bus routes to the nearest school being longer in time and distance than their catchment school because of weight, height and length restrictions but as OCC are at great pains to point out these are a minority as are the villages that are split by distance to the nearest school requiring MORE buses. All these extra costs will be offset by making children walk across flood plains and along unlit roads as these are now deemed safe walking routes by Cllr Melinda Tilley's department.

OCC have also shown in the supporting documentation in the response to the "consultation" and by Cllr Tilleys arrogant response to parents concerns; that as far as they are concerned this is a done deal despite a "clear majority being opposed to the proposal". Their words, not mine.

Cllr Tilley would do well to remember who elected her in the first place, as would ALL the OCC cabinet.
As segdirb22 says there are several cases of school bus routes to the nearest school being longer in time and distance than their catchment school because of weight, height and length restrictions but as OCC are at great pains to point out these are a minority as are the villages that are split by distance to the nearest school requiring MORE buses. All these extra costs will be offset by making children walk across flood plains and along unlit roads as these are now deemed safe walking routes by Cllr Melinda Tilley's department. OCC have also shown in the supporting documentation in the response to the "consultation" and by Cllr Tilleys arrogant response to parents concerns; that as far as they are concerned this is a done deal despite a "clear majority being opposed to the proposal". Their words, not mine. Cllr Tilley would do well to remember who elected her in the first place, as would ALL the OCC cabinet. FatboyGinge

7:49am Tue 4 Feb 14

FatboyGinge says...

In a direct quote from Cllr Melinda Tilley. "each cabinet member is fighting their corner for what they think is important and for me that is safeguarding children and it doesn't come cheap."

Perhaps she like to explain why she is ramrodding such an unpopular and ill thought out proposal through when it does precisely the opposite. Would she like to do so here as she hasn't had the courtesy to respond to numerous e-mails on the subject.
In a direct quote from Cllr Melinda Tilley. "each cabinet member is fighting their corner for what they think is important and for me that is safeguarding children and it doesn't come cheap." Perhaps she like to explain why she is ramrodding such an unpopular and ill thought out proposal through when it does precisely the opposite. Would she like to do so here as she hasn't had the courtesy to respond to numerous e-mails on the subject. FatboyGinge

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