Open letter to Coun Grant Davey, Northumberland County Council (NCC) leader.
NCC’s recent decision to scrap free transport for post 16-year-olds is wrong, both morally and, I believe, legally.
It appears to have taken no account of the difficulties and concerns facing families in rural Northumberland.
The wording of the ‘consultation’ was a farce and one glance at the results table shows that 89 per cent of respondents have been ignored, unless, that is, if NCC decides to argue that it has implemented all of the four options, in which case 100 per cent of respondents should be happy.
You have now declared that you will not have a meeting with anyone regarding the post-16 transport decision because ‘..as you can imagine this could open the floodgates’, Mr Davey, it is precisely because of this that it needs to be discussed – people care about it and their futures depend on it. For you to ignore the concerns of people in Northumberland makes you unfit to hold the office of Leader of the Council.
I would like to ask you three simple questions in order to determine how important you think education is in Northumberland.
You may think that this is a crude trap, but believe me it is only intended as such for the disingenuous.
If you feel unhappy about the phrasing of these questions then you may wish to answer ‘Yes’ to question three. Please answer only yes or no:
1 Are you aware of the possible impact the post-16 transport decision will have on families in rural Northumberland?
2 When the council budget came before you, did you vote with your conscience?
3 Do you feel that my questions are unfairly loaded in favour of a preferred outcome?
Mr Davey, we are parents. We are old enough to understand the maturity required to make a U-turn. When the extraordinary meeting is held, I expect councillors to be able to answer ‘yes’ to all of the above or face the incandescent fury of parents for years to come.
Member of Parents Against the Decision to Scrap the Post-16 School Transport
EDITOR’S UPDATE: Since this letter was submitted, an extraordinary meeting, called by the Conservatives, has been agreed by Coun Davey and scheduled for next Friday, at 9.30am, at County Hall.