Liberal Democrats “determined” to reverse school bus cuts

Jo has welcomed a move by the Liberal Democrats to reverse the Council’s unpopular decision to cut free school bus services.

The Liberal Democrat group on East Dunbartonshire Council has put forward a motion, to be considered at the Council’s 22nd April meeting, to reverse the Council’s planned cuts to free school bus services.

Currently, primary school children get free travel if they live more than a mile away from school, and secondary school children are eligible if they live more than two miles away. However, cuts announced in the recent Council budget, effective from August this year, mean the limits will be increased to two and three miles respectively.

Commenting, Jo said:

“Since the Council announced its plans to cut free school bus services, I have been inundated with phone calls, emails and letters from constituents who are angry that the Council has targeted such a vital service to raise funds.”

“Many children would have to cross busy main roads to get to and from school, which would certainly jeopardise their safety. This would result in more parents having to do the school run by car, creating more congestion and air pollution. I hope Councillors will see sense and approve the Liberal Democrat motion to reverse this terrible decision.”

In order to reverse the decision, Councillors must first vote to suspend the Council’s Standing Orders – which prevent a change of decision within a 6 month period – requiring the support of at least 16 of East Dunbartonshire’s 24 Councillors.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Group leader Councillor Vaughan Moody said:

“Local parents are rightly concerned that they will be forced to choose between driving their children to school or sending them on an unsafe walk, which could be up to 4 miles a day for very young children. This is simply unacceptable, and my Liberal Democrat colleagues and I are determined to see the Labour-Tory administration reverse its position.”

Seconder of the Lib Dem motion, Councillor Ashay Ghai added:

“There has been a complete failure by the Labour-Tory Council administration to consult local communities on this decision and parents are right to voice their anger. Locally this has huge implications, for example, many Secondary pupils in the East Dunbartonshire area who rely on free school transport to Boclair and Bearsden Academies and to St. Ninian’s and Turnbull High Schools will now no longer be eligible under the new criteria. St. Andrews, Balmuildy and Holy Family primaries will also be greatly affected just as the Council continues its review on the future of our Primary School Estate. I strongly urge all Councillors to put aside political differences and stand with local parents by withdrawing this ill-conceived plan.”

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