Parents "appalled" by change to school transport policy

Reporter:

Staff reporter

PARENTS have been left “appalled” after councillors voted to change school transport policy.

At a controversial executive meeting a Chirk councillor begged for members to think about the community before they imposed the policy.

During discussions at the Guildhall in Wrexham Denbighshire county councillor Rhys Hughes stormed out of the public gallery and said: “There are things being said in here that aren’t true.”

Heated discussions arose between Chirk North councillor Ian Roberts and council leader Aled Roberts about claims that Wrexham Council had not met Denbighshire Council to talk about the link with Ysgol Dinas Bran, Llangollen.

But the council leader said a meeting had taken place on July 1 between himself and the leader of Denbighshire County Council, Cllr Hugh Evans.

Cllr (Aled) Roberts said no new proposals from Denbighshire were forthcoming.

The imposed policy now means pupils in Chirk will only be offered free school transport to Ysgol Rhiwabon rather than their traditional feeder school, Dinas Bran.

But Cllr Alun Jenkins said there would not be enough places at Ysgol Rhiwabon for the Chirk pupils.

Chirk South concillor Terry Evans said: “It’s completely unfair what you’re doing to the community. It’s wrong.

“Please, please I beg you to think about the community and have proper discussions with Denbighshire.”

The decision came to the executive after an extraordinary meeting of the full council in June voted to reconsider the move.

Leader Cllr Roberts said: “This is not the way things should be between two authorities. We have been trying to sort this out for 15 years.”

Cllr Roberts added they needed to ensure equality throughout Wrexham County Borough and that Flintshire and Denbighshire already imposed such a policy.

Members voted to impose the revised policy from September 2012. It also means the council is obliged to pay for free school transport if the nearest school is in England and the parents choose an English school for their child.

Outside the meeting Chirk parent Cerys Reynolds said: “I’m appalled. I was itching to stand up and give them a layman’s version of how it will affect the children.

"Nobody spoke about the children and the effect on them. I’m a taxpayer and I’m paying those councillors’ wages in there. That is not democracy.”

Cllr Ian Roberts said: “I couldn’t believe the attitude of some of the members of the executive. When finances are tight they have taxed the parents of children who go to their historical school.”

Ysgol Dinas Bran headteacher Alison Duffy said they would not give up the fight. They don’t know how it’s going to affect children and families.

“Those who can afford it will pay for their children to travel and some won’t be able to afford it. It’s not fair.”

See full story in the Leader

Leave your comment

Share your opinions on

Characters left: 1500

Most Read