Friday, 15 March 2013

School transport meeting with parents of west tyne schools last night

Nearly 2 hour meeting in Halton Lea Gate village hall last night and my thanks to all the parents who came along. We propose to have a further meeting on this issue and the open cast issue before too long.
The key messages to emerge last night were that:
- all the parents supported their local school Herdley Bank School, but locals felt they were being unfairly penalised by the Northumberland County Council proposed decision to take away the provision of transport to the Middle School. - this decision is not set in stone: I would urge residents - parents and locals without children - to write to the Council in Morpeth objecting to this proposal, making it clear that there is provision in the County's transport policy to support rural parents who want to send their children to Haltwhistle Middle School. The letter I showed parents at the meeting from the Council is simply wrong to say that there is no ability to support such parents. We have till around April 23rd to make the further representations and change their mind.
- This is all about fairness and choice. The proposal is neither fair nor does it give local parents a choice.
The ultimate illogicality is that parents would see their children drive past the school of their choice, which is closest, to a school at Haydon Bridge, which is further away, which they the Council will pay transport for, but they will not pay for travel to the local Haltwhistle School.
Everyone supported Herdley Bank - but if it is to become a Primary then the support must be proper and ongoing, as it was at Allendale First school, for example, after their proposed change.