Opposition parties unite for call-in of Suffolk school transport decision
- Credit: ARCHANT
Plans to cut back on free school transport in Suffolk which were given the go-ahead on Tuesday have been formally challenged by opposition parties.
Councillors from the Labour and Liberal Democrat, Green and Independent Group have called in the decision citing a host of issues with how the decision was made.
The lengthy 22-page challenge said that the report “cannot evidence” how the claimed savings would be made, issues with the financial modelling of the proposal, a lack of clarity over certain issues such as the stakeholder group and a host of “deliberately misleading statements”.
It has also emerged that the Consultation Institute were only commissioned during the pre-consultation phase, and had no involvement in any of the process thereafter – including an analysis and recommendation from the data – despite suggestions they were involved.
The opposition groups said this had the sole purpose of “misleading the council”.
Jack Abbott, Labour’s education spokesman who proposed the call-in, said: “How the cabinet can ignore all the holes in this policy proposal and railroad it through is a complete mystery to me.
You may also want to watch:
“The strength of feeling across all the opposition groups is clear and this issue transcends party politics.
“This ill thought through, poorly formulated policy decision must be reversed to ensure educational attainment in Suffolk is not negatively impacted by this decision.”
- 1 Film crews shooting new Netflix film in Suffolk village
- 2 Lorry overturns after crashing into office building - warning over delays
- 3 Tankers on their way to Suffolk as the government unveils action plan
- 4 Aldi to open 100 new supermarkets with eyes on four towns in Suffolk
- 5 Town sign 6ft 5ins striker as Nsiala, Jackson and Barry all start for U23s
- 6 'Outstanding' former Ipswich teachers leave £2million to charities in will
- 7 Seven spots to visit on the Suffolk Coast this autumn
- 8 Two mega prisons for 3,500 inmates set to be built near RAF base
- 9 Five people injured in 'violent disorder' at Newmarket racecourse
- 10 Louis Theroux documentary on White House Farm murder premieres tonight
A formal call-in must be made within 48 hours of the decision, and requires the council’s monitoring officer to assess whether the decision was fair and justified. If the challenge is upheld it will go to scrutiny committee for discussion.
Andrew Stringer, leader of the Liberal Democrat, Green and Independent Group said: “It is simply staggering that the Conservative cabinet have agreed these changes on such a weak business case.
“We cannot stand by and watch as more children are likely to be injured or worse as a direct result of this move, we need a rethink.
“The report and financial modelling is inaccurate, incomplete and fundamentally flawed, I cannot see how this decision can be justified.”
Gordon Jones, education cabinet member, said: “Call-ins are part of the county council’s democratic process.
“The council’s monitoring officer will now assess the validity of the call-in against criteria set out in the council’s constitution.
“He will make his decision within the next few days.”