Proposals to reduce eligibility for free school transport in Suffolk will adversely affect students 5-18 -and their families. The changes have the potential to bring hardship -especially in rural areas: loss of choice; a postcode lottery for places and courses; potentially the splitting of siblings between schools. It will also put a lot more cars on the roads round our schools -with preductable effects on speed, safety, airquality, and quality of life.
The move is driven by Suffolk County Council’s pressing need to make savings (read ‘cuts’) of up to £300,000. (However the administration cannot point to any evidence that they can achieve any savings at all. Their rationale? These are the prejudices on which I base my facts! ). The need is pressing because the administration have plumed themselves on capping council tax for 7 years. You get what you vote for – in this case, services pared to the bone.
My recent questions as to the impact on these proposed cuts – which will unfairly affect rural students attending state schools- have met with the same answer: “Parents need to respond to the consultation.”
Parents? The impact of these proposals will be far-ranging and the consequences and unintended consequences will impact on whole communities. Not only parents, but schools, parishes, towns,
I have been raising awareness of this for some months. I have spoken in Cabinet and full council on the matter; I’ve blogged, reblogged, written to the EADT, written to FarlingayeHS to ask it to get the message out, and reported to your town councillors asking them to do the same.
Now a direct plea from me: please, if you are parent, guardian, student, school, teacher, resident, elected representative – respond to this consultation NOW – and then pass the information on. Ask your councillors if they have responded -and if not, why not? Otherwise you will have missed your chance to contribute to what happens. The link is here: https://www.suffolkonboard.com/home-to-school-transport/school-travel-consultation/