Wrexham councillors take fresh look at controversial transport scheme

Reporter:

Claire Gallagher

THE decision to end free out-of-county school transport in Wrexham will be looked at again by leading councillors today.

Following an extraordinary full council meeting last week, councillors voted 24-20 to reconsider a new policy which will see youngsters only getting free transport to their nearest school.

The move has been opposed in certain areas of the county, particularly from parents in Chirk who want their children to continue getting free buses to Ysgol Dinas Bran, in Llangollen.

The final decision will be taken this afternoon by members of the council’s executive board, who have already decided to introduce the new policy at a previous meeting.

Clwyd South AM Karen Sinclair and Clywd South MP Susan Elan Jones said they were pleased that the council decided to reconsider the policy.

Ms Jones said: “The plans as they stood risked splitting some communities in my constituency in half, and could have left some schools with real capacity problems and genuine fears about their future.

“I’m not in favour of any policy that would have meant parents missing out on sending their child to a school of their choice because they could not afford it, and under these plans this was unfortunately the way we were heading.

“From the demonstration outside the council offices before the meeting on Thursday, it was clear that something was not right and that the council leadership had clearly not been listening to the views of local people and parents.

“The council have rightly given themselves more time.

“Now they need to use this opportunity to go out and really listen to what parents in this area want and decide what is best for young people and their local schools.”

Ms Sinclair added: “The problem has been that the Lib Dem-led council have at every stage ignored the strong opposition that came out of the original consultation from the local community.

“They were intent on cutting back a vital frontline transport service merely because it would save them a few pounds in the long-term, regardless of the consequences this would have on the education of local children.

“The executive board need to go back and genuinely listen to the voices of parents, teachers and communities involved and do what’s right for those young people that would be affected.”

See full story in the Leader

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