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Policiticans call for post-16 rethink

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Opposition politicians have implored Northumberland County Council to reverse its decision to introduce £600 post-16 transport charges.

Lib Dem campaigner Julie Pörksen has asked Schools Minister David Laws to consider whether the council is discriminating against rural students and failing in its duty to ensure students can access post-16 education.

Mrs Pörksen said: “It is outrageous that the Labour council will not listen to the people of Northumberland and choose to prioritise non-essentials in the council budget over accessible education for all post-16 students, Grant Davey is refusing to meet parents and his own constituents who are campaigning on this issue.

“You only really get one shot at school and college so for the council to sacrifice the opportunities for today’s 16-year-olds is unacceptable. I believe charging £600 discriminates against students and families living in rural and remote areas.”

Anthony Murray, Conservative councillor for Wooler, has also called on angry parents and other residents to make their feelings clear.

He said: “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.”

 

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