Post 16 Transport
Decision is morally wrong
An open letter to Councillor Grant Davey, leader of Northumberland County Council: Dear Mr Davey, Northumberland County Council’s recent decision to scrap free transport for post 16 year olds is wrong both morally and I believe legally.
It appears to have taken no account of the difficulties and concerns facing families in a rural Northumberland. The wording of the ‘consultation’ was a farce and one glance at the results table shows that 89% of respondents have been ignored anyway, unless that is if NCC decides to argue it has implemented all four options in which case 100% of respondents should be happy.
You have now declared that you will not have a meeting with anyone regarding the Post-16 Transport decision because ‘...as you can imagine this could open the floodgates’
Mr Davey, it is precisely because of this that it needs to be discussed - people care about it and their futures depend on it. For you to ignore the concerns of people in Northumberland makes you unfit to hold the office of leader.
I would like to ask you three simple questions in order to determine how important you think education is in Northumberland. You may think that this is a crude trap but believe me it is only intended as so for the disingenuous. If you feel unhappy about the phrasing of these questions then you may wish to answer ‘Yes’ to question 3. Please answer only Yes or No:
1. Are you aware of the possible impact the Post-16 Transport decision will have on families in Rural Northumberland?
2 When the council budget came before you did you vote with your conscience?
3. Do you feel that my questions are unfairly loaded in favour of a preferred outcome?
Mr Davey, we are parents. We are old enough to understand the maturity required to make a U-Turn. When The Extraordinary Meeting is held I expect councillors to be able to answer ‘Yes’ to all of the above or face the incandescent fury of parents for years to come.
Parents Against the Decision to Scrap Post-16 School Transport.
People power still matters
I am writing to you again to impress on you the effects that charging for post sixteen transport can have on the educational opportunities of our young people and the financial impact it can have on many of us who live some distance from where our young people are educated.
Whether you be a young person wanting to enjoy the best education possible, a parent wanting the best education possible for your child or a grandparent wanting the best for the younger generation you must make your feelings felt so that those in authority realise how serious the situation is.
I felt very privileged to be involved in a group at a meeting in Alnwick who are so dedicated to the future education of our young people in Northumberland.
It was decided at that meeting that at some date to be announced there would be a demonstration culminating on County Hall to demonstrate to those few councillors who decided that our over sixteen’s were to pay for transport that they were completely wrong and would have to think again.
There are few ratepayers in Northumberland who do not have a personal interest in a young person in some way or another. Let us make it clear to the ruling body who we finance at County Hall through our rates that we want the educational wellbeing of young people in the county to be accessible to all.
People power should never be underestimated. I ask you to write to your Parish Council, your County Councillor, the Leader of the County Council, your Member of Parliament and any other influential person you know to inform them of the injustice of charging for transport for post sixteen education.
County councillor for Wooler