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Pupils should be taken to educational premises on school buses, states councillor

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: March 10, 2014

By Leslie Jackson

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A CALL for young children to be transported to their educational premises on school buses and not service vehicles has been thrown out by councillors.

At a meeting of Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, Councillor Linda Malyon put forward a motion asking for the district council to write to the county council asking it to keep the school buses that take young children to middle schools, and not to force them to use services buses.

Speaking in support of the motion Mrs Malyon said: "Some children are being forced to stand on service buses. They should be sitting down with a seat belt on. We have middle schools which need proper transport to the premises. We do not want them on services buses.

"In Cheddleton some children have to go on services buses. These buses have a timetable, so why is the county council doing this?

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"We need to send a message to the county informing them we do not want this to happen."

Councillor Gill Heath, who is also a county councillor for Leek Rural and a support member on the county's ruling cabinet, said the current contracts ended in July and that letters had been sent out to parents.

She said: "There may be some tweaks, but no changes in the Staffordshire Moorlands from villages where there are no service buses.

"There are children across the county on service buses, and also trains, which has worked well.

"School buses have dual contracts where residents can go on them if they wish.

"If people have children they are the parents responsibility as well as the state. Ninety-five per cent of children in the county make there own way to school."

Leek councillor Pam Wood said: "There are concerns over children. Getting nine and 10 -year-olds on a service bus is not on."

Cheddleton district and Churnet Valley county councillor, Mike Worthington, said: "Service buses are excellent, but unique in many rural areas.

"We need to make sure are children are safe when they are travelling to school."

On a named vote the ruling Conservative run council out voted opposition parties in defeating the motion.

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