Decision should be postponed

Howard Snaith school transport buses parked outside the Duchess's High School in Alnwick.
Howard Snaith school transport buses parked outside the Duchess's High School in Alnwick.

Most recently, both sides of the issue of post-16 transport have heavily dominated Northumberland’s local press.

Since youngsters are the future of our area, everything should be done to ensure they can ‘easily’ access opportunities that better their chances of further education and training.

The Labour-led Northumberland County Council ought to revert their ill-thought-out decision on charging for youngsters (post-16s) to travel to their nearest establishment. For further education courses could be 20 miles or so away from home.

This is clear discrimination against the more sparsely populated areas of the county.

It could be the case that the nearest school does not offer courses needed for a job, or university place to which young people may aspire.

The Labour administration’s decision to re-introduce charges, in some cases has destroyed the dreams, aspirations and ambitions of many young people.

This decision has been made just before it becomes compulsory for youngsters to stay at school, in further education or training until they are 18.

Moreover, if staying in compulsory education until one is 18 is a policy set by Westminster, then it should be Westminster that contributes to paying for our youngsters to stay in education.

However, the county council should at least postpone their decision on charging until alternative arrangements have been considered.

As the schools have just broken up for the summer holidays there is not enough time for families to find an extra £600 to cover the cost of proposed charges.

Susan Bell,

Alnwick