Parents urged to speak out as Bradford Council consults over free school transport (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Parents urged to speak out as Bradford Council consults over free school transport
8:00am Tuesday 28th January 2014 in News
Parents have been urged to “make their voices heard” in a consultation that could see the number of pupils who receive free school transport slashed.
Earlier this month, Bradford Council revealed plans to reduce the number of children who qualify for assisted school transport in response to upcoming budget reductions of £89 million during the next two years.
A consultation to gain the views of parents, teachers, governors and other interested parties will run until February 13.
The Council agreed to review its policy last April after an 11-week consultation which concluded that a number of discretionary free transport services should now face the chop.
Although pupils currently receiving free transport will not lose it, many previously eligible new starters will lose out.
The first public meeting is in Victoria Hall, Keighley, on Wednesday, February 5, between 6 and 8pm.
This will be followed by meetings in City Hall, Bradford, on February 6 (6-8pm), Kings Hall, Ilkley, on February 11 (6-8pm) and Kirkgate Centre, Shipley, on February 12 (6.30-8.30pm).
Silsden councillors have already warned the cuts could lead to pupils from the town missing out on the free transport that many older pupils have enjoyed.
Coun Chris Atkinson has advised as many parents as possible to take part in the consultations.
He said: “There are no secondary schools within walking distance for most of these communities and very often no direct public transport.
“The consultation is aimed at individual needs and residents’ points are required for Bradford to be forced to give a proper understanding of our unique needs.”
Bradford Diocese have yet to make an official comment on the cuts, but Ven David Lee, Archdeacon of Bradford, said: “We would encourage local representatives and parents to attend these meetings and make their voices heard.”
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