Changes to free school transport in Suffolk will go ahead from September

Modifications to school transportation upheld by evaluation panel

PUBLISHED: 10:13 10 July 2018

Suffolk County Council head office; Endeavour House, Ipswich.Changes to complimentary school

transportation in Suffolk will go on from September 2019 as prepared after an evaluation panel supported the decision. Councillor Gordon Jones, Suffolk County Council Suffolk County Council’s Conservative cabinet agreed on June 19 to phase in changes which means students will be eligible totally free transport to their nearest school if it is 2 miles away.Opposition parties unified to contact the decision, reviewed at Monday’s examination committee.Seven members of the committee opted

to promote the choice while 4 voted for it to be reevaluated at cabinet. One councillor abstained.Jack Abbott, Labour education representative who proposed the call-in, said:” Plainly I’m really dissatisfied that the Tories on the scrutiny committee decided to reject the evidence in front of them by falling under line and waving through a policy they know to be seriously flawed. Jack Abbott. Picture: SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL”Plainly, they have no genuine interest in understanding the substantial effect this will have on Suffolk’s families and schools. Andrew Stringer, leader of the Liberal Democrat, Green and Independent group, added: “The procedure behind this policy modification has been an outright farce. “The Conservative administration have just picked the policy they

want and are overlooking all proof that recommends it might not be wise. What took place at analysis today just proves our point.”The call-in raised a host of issues with how the decision was reached, including whether the financial modelling utilized to determine the yearly cost savings of ₤ 5.8 million was sound and whether cabinet had actually been misguided over the Assessment Institute’s participation. Green councillor Andrew Stringer.Another issue raised was that a similar series of changes in Essex had not been adequately evaluated regarding whether the cost savings anticipated had actually been achieved.But Gordon Jones, cabinet member for education at Suffolk County Council, said:”There can be no doubt this is one of the most tough choices the council has needed to take. I know some are not pleased with the suggestions for modification, but the fact is, as we have actually clarified today, the proper process has actually been followed.” It is now crucial we focus on executing the new policy, so we have a school and post-16 travel service which is cost effective and sustainable.”