Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 23°C

min temp: 17°C

ESTD 1874 Search

The pigs have arrived. See the latest

Pigs Gone Wild

news here.

Suffolk: Another U-turn from the county council

17:56 03 May 2011

Graham Newman

Graham Newman

Archant

PROPOSALS to increase fares for children attending faith schools across Suffolk are set to be reversed after the Government stepped in.

Suffolk County Council had proposed to save £700,000 a year by charging more to students who used transport to go to faith schools, post-16 transport and some special needs provision.

It has been consulting with parents across the county – but the government has now stepped in to offer education authorities like that in Suffolk extra funding.

The government is set to pay Suffolk an extra £753,000 during the current financial year and a further £935,000 next year.

There is no specific requirement to spend this on home to school transport, but Suffolk is set to take that decision at its cabinet meeting on May 24.

That will see an increase in costs for those using school transport – but a much smaller rise than had been proposed.

Now, instead of removing entirely the subsidy the council provides for transport for Roman Catholic students and increasing the cost for post 16 students to £200 per term, there will be a £20 increase in the price of bus passes to £150 per term.

There will be no changes in the eligibility criteria for passes for 2011/12 – so no student already studying, or with a place offered to start in September 2011, on a school, sixth form or college course should need give up their studies or move to another school due to the cost of transport.

This move should please parents of students at Catholic schools across the county like St Albans in Ipswich and St Louis in Bury St Edmunds.

It will also be a relief to parents with youngsters at Suffolk One sixth form centre – the cost of termly transport passes had been set to increase dramatically.

Cabinet member with responsibility for young people Graham Newman said the decision was “fantastic news.”

He said: “To be fair, it is the government that has allowed this to happen, but it really has got us out of a difficult position.

“There were families who were facing the prospect of withdrawing their children from Catholic schools because they could not afford the fares and there were no spaces in their local high schools.

“That was a real headache for us and I am delighted that the government has made this extra money available.”

But Mr Newman warned it was inevitable that prices for concessionary passes would have to rise over the next few years.

He said: “As sure as fuel prices rise, the charge for concessionary passes will go up and there is not guarantee that this government money will be available into the future.

“We do need to consider what will be happening in years ahead, but it is fantastic that there will be no disruption to young people this year.”

Labour group leader Sandy Martin felt the decision’s timing was linked to this week’s elections.

He said: “Clearly this will come as a relief to parents and students, but I have to say it is an extraordinary way to run a country – or a county.

“To announce a whole raft of cuts and then do a u-turn in the run-up to elections smacks of a cynical attempt to bribe the voters.”

Andy Beckwith

An emotional appeal has been made to find a former Essex man who has gone missing in Gibraltar.

Network Rail is replacing overhead line equipment between Shenfield and Liverpool Street.

Delays caused by extreme heat like those that affected rail services in the region could be less common in future according to Network Rail.

A police officer stands outside the Olympia mall in Munich, southern Germany, Friday, July 22, 2016 after shots were fired. (AP Photo/Sebastian Widmann)

The gunman who shot dead nine people and injured 16 others at a Munich shopping centre was an 18-year-old German-Iranian man, police believe.

The village sign in Great Wratting.

Firefighters freed a trapped motorist from his vehicle following a collision in a Suffolk village.

An aerial shot of Bramford.

More than 250 homes lost power this evening due to emergency repair work by UK Power Networks.

A motorcycle has crashed in Hintlesham.

A motorcyclist and a pillion passenger were taken to hospital after crashing in Hintlesham.

Colchester United's Weston Community Home Stadium.

Overweight men are being invited to play football at Colchester United – not to shore-up the squad, but in a new weight-loss scheme.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24