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‘This is not choice’

By MIG: Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: June 26, 2013

Cheadle Academy will be affected by the proposals

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STAFFORDSHIRE Moorlands MP Karen Bradley has vowed to take up the issue of school transport with the education minister in London.


Mrs Bradley is also to take the matter up with officers who have the responsibility for school transport at the county council.


Mrs Bradley said: "I am going to make representation to the county council and I am also working with other MPs over the matter.

"This is a very peculiar decision and I think it has not been thought through.

"This is not choice for parents.

“I would urge all parents to contact their county councillor and to write to the authority outlining their concerns before the deadline on Friday, July 13.

"The policy might work in, say, Lichfield or Tamworth, but does not make sense in such a large outlying area like the Moorlands."

County councillor for Leek Rural, Gill Heath, who is also a support member for the ruling cabinet on Staffordshire County Council, said: "I am having a one-to-one meeting with the head of school transport on Wednesday.

“I will then be in position to comment on the issue further.

"I must stress this is only a consultation at this time.

“I am taking on board all concerns and anomalies that are being brought up by parents who must make their protest in writing to the county council.

"I am concerned that there are problems where a two and three-tier system in operation."

New Leek South county councillor Charlotte Atkins said the if the proposals went ahead it could be the death of several village schools and also damage Leek schools.

She said: "This would disrupt the educational system.

“The Government said parents should have a choice.

“This completely undermines it. This is a tax on children living in rural areas.

"It would cause more traffic at a time when virtually every school gates has chaos."

Councillor Linda Malyon said if the county council went ahead with the proposal it would mean many jobs losses in Leek and village schools.

She said: "This is very serious.

“In my Ipstones ward parents were told they had to go into the three-tier system by the county council.

"Now they are saying children will have to go to the nearest school when they leave at nine or pay £380 a year for their child to go to Leek.

"This will mean children from Ipstones would have to go to Kingsley for two years and then at 11 transfer to Cheadle.

"This would bring major issues to both Leek and Cheadle.

“Churnet View and Leek High would lose a considerable amount of pupils, while Cheadle would become overcrowded.

“Cheadle has to find room for more than 1,000 houses which have been agreed by the Moorlands council. The roads and schools will not take all these extra pupils which will also increase traffic going through what is already a congested town.

"Also people will not be able to live in villages, they will become dormant.

“We have to stop this and stand up to the county council."

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