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Council refuses to reverse school transport cuts
ALL discretionary school transport in the town will be axed after Warrington Borough Council refused to reconsider its decision.
The decision to end discretionary transport was called in during a meeting at the Town Hall.
But members of the children, young people and skills overview and scrutiny committee chose not to question the move.
It means transport for up to 1,206 children will be stopped and a £353 a year bill per child for families. Clr Colin Froggatt, executive board member for children’s services, blamed funding cuts for the loss of service with the council expected to save £10m in the next year.
During the meeting he said: “The government has set upon an austerity programme that it is making cuts and they are expecting local governments to make cuts.
“The council has to look first to its statutory duties. We are looking to maintain our statutory duties as best as possible.
“We have a duty to provide transport in a certain way and we are applying that duty.
“The policy is fair and equitable for all.
“Things change. The biggest change in this council is the savage cuts made on it by the Government.”
Clr Mike Biggin (LD Grappenhall and Thelwall) instigated the call-in.
He criticised the lack of consultation and said: “The drop-in sessions were wholly inadequate.
“As notes weren’t take by officers they didn’t contribute to the decision.
“Parents were inadequately informed during the consultation process meaning that the process was deeply flawed.”
Philip Newman spoke on behalf of parents protesting the decision.
He said: “This decision affects children across the whole of the borough, not just those parents were, if we believe one councillor, born with a silver spoon in their mouths.”
But councillors ignored his pleas for a rethink, with only Clr Celia Jordan (LD Stockton Heath) and Clr Peter Walker (LD Appleton) voting in favour of parents.