Peter Lilley persuaded County Council leaders to re-assess whether plans to remove rights to school transport from pupils living near the County border would really generate any worthwhile savings. The County is currently consulting about the Council’s 2011 Home School Transport Review which includes a proposal to remove the right to free school transport from pupils attending Hertfordshire secondary schools if a school over the county border is nearer their home.
Following a meeting in Parliament between the County Council cabinet and Hertfordshire MPs Peter Lilley said: “I recognise that it is imperative that the Council makes savings to live within its budget. But this proposal appears to affect only a small number of pupils across the County most of whom live in the Lilley/Offley area near the border of Luton or Bedfordshire. So it is hard to believe that it will yield any significant savings especially as these might be eaten up by the need to lay on expensive taxi provision for some of those affected.”
“So I am pleased that the County are trying to cost this item. Officials have tried to argue that the change is required because of the ‘Greenwich Judgement’ when a Court ruled that educational authorities cannot discriminate against pupils who choose schools across a county border. But this judgement was made decades ago and has never previously been thought to rule out the current system of allocating free school transport.”
“People in the area are naturally concerned by this proposed change as are some of the schools affected. So I hope no change will be made unless the financial case is absolutely compelling.”
For further information, contact Annabel Palmer
Tel: 020 7219 4577