Search

Suffolk insists ‘we are listening’ as it launches school transport debate

PUBLISHED: 09:29 12 December 2017

Councillor Gordon Jones, Suffolk County Council

Councillor Gordon Jones, Suffolk County Council

Archant

As the public consultation into controversial plans to reform school transport goes live today, officials at Suffolk County Council insist that they are listening to the concerns of parents and teachers.

The county’s cabinet last week voted to go ahead with the consultation despite concerns from many people in rural parts of Suffolk that the changes could make it impossible for children to continue at their schools if transport is withdrawn.

It is looking to make the changes to save part of the £21m bill for school transport in the county.

The two-and-a-half-month consultation invites people to help the council shape the future of school travel policies.

But it says that, like many other councils across the country, it needs to consider making more significant changes.

It is therefore consulting on changing its school travel policies so the service can be affordable, sustainable, and capable of meeting growing demand in the future. The council says its current school travel policies go above legal requirements, which means around 2,400 children receive free/subsidised school travel that Suffolk County Council is not legally required to provide and that they wouldn’t get in many other parts of the country.

Council cabinet member for education Gordon Jones, said: “Today we’re making a very clear and genuine pledge to listen.

“This is only the beginning and I’m calling for unity. I’m saying ‘let’s use this consultation to look at all the issues, discuss them and find sensible solutions together.’

“This is a very serious and challenging issue to tackle, which we must in order to be able to afford to run the service in the future.”

Penny Otton, Liberal Democrat, spokeswoman for education said: “I commend all of the headteachers, governors and parents who have already publicly spoken out against this harmful policy – and I sincerely hope that Suffolk County Council has been listening very carefully to their concerns.”

Labour opposition spokesman Jack Abbott said: “To be honest the county council has already united everyone on this issue. The parents and teachers are all united against it!”

The consultation will run until February 28 and there will be a full programme of events and opportunities for discussion.

Public consultation events

There are six public consultation events planned for different parts of the county during January. These are:

January 16, 7pm-8.30pm: Kesgrave Conference Centre, Twelve Acre Approach, Kesgrave.

January 17, 7pm-8.30pm: Eye Community Centre, Magdalen Street, Eye.

January 18, 7-8.30pm: River Stour Trust Visitor Education Centre, Dove House, Great Cornard

January 22, 7-8.30pm: Beccles Public Hall, Smallgate, Beccles

January 23, 7-8.30pm: Lakenheath Pavilion, Eriswell Road, Lakenheath

January 26, five sessions between 2pm and 7.30pm: West Suffolk House,

Western Way, Bury St Edmunds

Further details on the options for the future of school transport in Suffolk can be found on the consultation website: www.suffolk.gov.uk/schooltravel

Other popular content

Hopes for key historic artefacts staying in Lowestoft were served another blow today as a consultation was launched.

Yesterday, 15:56

The award was an idea of Tamsyn’s just four days before she passed away aged 80 at her home on September 18, 2017, after battling cancer.

Yesterday, 11:55

A new enterprise hub which will cost around £2m was given the go-ahead at a planning meeting.

Yesterday, 09:51

The designs of more than 150 new homes to built in Halesworth were passed at a council meeting despite worries around sewerage and drainage.

Most Read

Hopes for key historic artefacts staying in Lowestoft were served another blow today as a consultation was launched.

Read more
Peter Aldous
Yesterday, 15:56

The award was an idea of Tamsyn’s just four days before she passed away aged 80 at her home on September 18, 2017, after battling cancer.

Read more
London
Yesterday, 11:55

A new enterprise hub which will cost around £2m was given the go-ahead at a planning meeting.

Read more
Waveney District Council
Yesterday, 09:51

The designs of more than 150 new homes to built in Halesworth were passed at a council meeting despite worries around sewerage and drainage.

Read more
Tony Goldson
Friday, January 21, 2011

BECCLES is set for an employment boost, with plans for a new business park on the outskirts of the town in the pipeline.

Read more

Later in Life

cover

Click here to view
the Later in Life
supplement

View

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 8°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Beccles and Bungay Journal e-edition today
E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Beccles and Bungay Journal weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy