School bus blow for epileptic girl as Bradford Council dashes carers’ holiday dream

Grandparents John and Clare Pollard with their grandaughter Sophie, 18, who suffers from epilepsy

Grandparents John and Clare Pollard with their grandaughter Sophie, 18, who suffers from epilepsy

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , T&A Reporter

A Bradford couple’s hopes for a much-needed sunshine break could be dashed after school transport bosses refused to go the extra mile to help out.

John and Clare Pollard, who care for their 18-year-old grandaughter Sophie, who is epileptic and has learning disabilities, had asked Bradford Council’s Passenger Transport Service to pick her up from her aunt’s house only one mile away from their home while they were away in Benidorm later this month.

But despite getting an original ‘yes’, they were told the very next day that it would not be happening, they say.

Mr Pollard, 65, said: “They’ve done it before if we’ve been away from home and Sophie’s been staying at her aunt’s.

“In fact, they’ve done it three or four times before and it’s all gone smoothly, but they’ve said they can’t do it this time because of the cost cuts.

“It’s not as if we’re asking them to go miles out of their usual way; it’s only about one mile but they are refusing to help. It’s left us in a predicament. We’ve paid for the holiday and don’t want to lose our money.”

Sophie is a student at Hazelbeck Community School, which is based at Beckfoot School in Bingley, and gets picked up and dropped off by the bus service from her home in Old Park Road, Thorpe Edge, five times a week.

Mr Pollard said: “Without the bus service we are stuck.

“Sophie’s aunt can’t come and stay here because she lives within walking distance to her work.

“She’s being kind enough giving us a break and caring for Sophie. We can’t ask her to move out of her own home to do it – that would not be fair.”

He added: “Schools tell us not to take children out for holidays during term-time so we do as we are told and then this happens.

“The school has been sympathetic to us and has tried to get the transport service to change its mind again, but they won’t be moved. We don’t know what to do.”

A Bradford Council spokesman said: “Parents or guardians have a responsibility to get their children to school. We can provide transport to assist with this where possible.

“We would normally only provide transport to and from the child’s home. We don’t usually make arrangements for another address unless it is down the same street or just around the corner.

“This is the same for everyone and, as with all Council departments, we have to keep the cost of this service under control.”

Comments (12)

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7:52am Tue 15 Apr 14

OLDLAD says...

Why can't the parents look after her?
Why can't the parents look after her? OLDLAD
  • Score: -11

8:26am Tue 15 Apr 14

Mr Blondе says...

OLDLAD wrote:
Why can't the parents look after her?
Maybe she doesn't have any.
[quote][p][bold]OLDLAD[/bold] wrote: Why can't the parents look after her?[/p][/quote]Maybe she doesn't have any. Mr Blondе
  • Score: 5

9:34am Tue 15 Apr 14

Ratters Rat says...

Firstly why this couple look after their grandaughter is nothing to do with this story.
What I do know is they save Bradford Council a fortune if their Grandaughter needed to be in residental care it would cost far more.
These people need a break and have made family arrangements to keep the young lady in a stable enviroment.
Bradford Council are saving a vast amount of money with what this couple provide can they not give a little back to them.
bradford Council hang your head in shame.
Firstly why this couple look after their grandaughter is nothing to do with this story. What I do know is they save Bradford Council a fortune if their Grandaughter needed to be in residental care it would cost far more. These people need a break and have made family arrangements to keep the young lady in a stable enviroment. Bradford Council are saving a vast amount of money with what this couple provide can they not give a little back to them. bradford Council hang your head in shame. Ratters Rat
  • Score: 23

10:20am Tue 15 Apr 14

The Hoffster says...

The reason the Council refused this (voluntary) act is because if they accepted, it would set a precedent for others to do the same.

Sorry but City Hall was right on this one.
The reason the Council refused this (voluntary) act is because if they accepted, it would set a precedent for others to do the same. Sorry but City Hall was right on this one. The Hoffster
  • Score: -15

12:40pm Tue 15 Apr 14

Not so simple says...

This is so sad.

This should not be happening in today's age.

Just pay the council the extra fuel money for the extra mile.

The council is designed to serve us people: if it cannot do as it is told I suggest closing the council down under the grounds of not being fit for purpose.

It must be noted the council makes a fortune from us citizens be it from parking fines to council taxes.

It must be noted that a fortune is spent on council lunches paid by us guys every year.

How many councillors and staff use the free or subsidised parking paid for by the tax payer? A fair few. Most people in employment pay their own parking and travel expenses to and from work. Most people also pay for their own tea and sandwiches; why the fook is this council not doing as it's citizens do?

Not fit for purpose; sack the lot of em and open city hall up as I would like to investigate where me hard earned money is spent and wasted on these maggots that run the show.

Strong words I use but so would you! Enough is enough
This is so sad. This should not be happening in today's age. Just pay the council the extra fuel money for the extra mile. The council is designed to serve us people: if it cannot do as it is told I suggest closing the council down under the grounds of not being fit for purpose. It must be noted the council makes a fortune from us citizens be it from parking fines to council taxes. It must be noted that a fortune is spent on council lunches paid by us guys every year. How many councillors and staff use the free or subsidised parking paid for by the tax payer? A fair few. Most people in employment pay their own parking and travel expenses to and from work. Most people also pay for their own tea and sandwiches; why the fook is this council not doing as it's citizens do? Not fit for purpose; sack the lot of em and open city hall up as I would like to investigate where me hard earned money is spent and wasted on these maggots that run the show. Strong words I use but so would you! Enough is enough Not so simple
  • Score: 8

1:06pm Tue 15 Apr 14

pcrich1 says...

Typical council jobsworths. Council officers forget the reason they are there is to actually help the public not hinder them. The numerous phone calls saying no to this will have cost more in time and effort than agreeing to do it and help out.
Please note Bradford council, put more effort into doing things for the public instead of the massive amount of effort trying to find a reason not to. Iv worked for them I know what its like
Typical council jobsworths. Council officers forget the reason they are there is to actually help the public not hinder them. The numerous phone calls saying no to this will have cost more in time and effort than agreeing to do it and help out. Please note Bradford council, put more effort into doing things for the public instead of the massive amount of effort trying to find a reason not to. Iv worked for them I know what its like pcrich1
  • Score: 7

2:23pm Tue 15 Apr 14

allinittogether says...

The Hoffster wrote:
The reason the Council refused this (voluntary) act is because if they accepted, it would set a precedent for others to do the same.

Sorry but City Hall was right on this one.
Set a precedent of doing the decent thing? Can't be having that can we?
[quote][p][bold]The Hoffster[/bold] wrote: The reason the Council refused this (voluntary) act is because if they accepted, it would set a precedent for others to do the same. Sorry but City Hall was right on this one.[/p][/quote]Set a precedent of doing the decent thing? Can't be having that can we? allinittogether
  • Score: 5

3:23pm Tue 15 Apr 14

wibseygirl says...

This is a decent elderly couple who are saving the
council a fortune by looking after their granddaughter. obviously they need a break and they deserve to get help from the council.
This is a decent elderly couple who are saving the council a fortune by looking after their granddaughter. obviously they need a break and they deserve to get help from the council. wibseygirl
  • Score: 10

5:05pm Tue 15 Apr 14

The Hoffster says...

allinittogether wrote:
The Hoffster wrote:
The reason the Council refused this (voluntary) act is because if they accepted, it would set a precedent for others to do the same.

Sorry but City Hall was right on this one.
Set a precedent of doing the decent thing? Can't be having that can we?
There's many things the Council can do but they don't have to.

If they did, then as mentioned, many would take advantage of their nobleness and kind-heartedness (and abuse the whole thing altogether).
[quote][p][bold]allinittogether[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]The Hoffster[/bold] wrote: The reason the Council refused this (voluntary) act is because if they accepted, it would set a precedent for others to do the same. Sorry but City Hall was right on this one.[/p][/quote]Set a precedent of doing the decent thing? Can't be having that can we?[/p][/quote]There's many things the Council can do but they don't have to. If they did, then as mentioned, many would take advantage of their nobleness and kind-heartedness (and abuse the whole thing altogether). The Hoffster
  • Score: 0

5:12pm Tue 15 Apr 14

stevebowtie says...

Surely for that week the girl's home is at her auntie's. The transport service takes her to and from home, i.e. her auntie's house. What is the council griping about?
Surely for that week the girl's home is at her auntie's. The transport service takes her to and from home, i.e. her auntie's house. What is the council griping about? stevebowtie
  • Score: 5

8:42pm Tue 15 Apr 14

Alhaurinrhino says...

Maybe if she were from a different "community" it wouldn't be a problem.
Maybe if she were from a different "community" it wouldn't be a problem. Alhaurinrhino
  • Score: 3

9:18pm Tue 15 Apr 14

The Hoffster says...

Alhaurinrhino wrote:
Maybe if she were from a different "community" it wouldn't be a problem.
You mean from the vile BNP/EDL one ?
[quote][p][bold]Alhaurinrhino[/bold] wrote: Maybe if she were from a different "community" it wouldn't be a problem.[/p][/quote]You mean from the vile BNP/EDL one ? The Hoffster
  • Score: -3

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