Labour’s Education Spokesperson, Cllr Jack Abbott, has demanded that the Tory administration gives all Suffolk County Councillors a chance to have their say on the final home-to-school transport proposals.
Cllr Abbott will propose a motion to council, seconded by the Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrat, Green and Independent Group, Cllr Andrew Stringer, calling for an extraordinary Council meeting to debate and vote on the final home-to-school transport proposal before it comes before Cabinet in June.
The Home-to-School transport consultation has now drawn to a close and the near four thousand responses are being reviewed before Colin Noble’s administration decides whether they will press ahead with their initial proposal of moving to a ‘nearest school’ criteria, a policy which could see the displacement of thousands of children from their existing school.
Critics of this policy, including teaching staff, families, and councillors from all parties, argue that the proposed changes would have a devastating impact on the education for children in Suffolk.
If passed, this motion would give councillors who represent areas most affected the chance to have their say and seeks to improve the democratic process by helping to inform Cabinet before they make this crucial decision.
In proposing the motion Cllr Abbott said; “I’m delighted to have received cross party backing for this non-partisan proposal.
“This is one of the most significant changes to Suffolk’s education system for many years, with thousands of families likely to be affected.
“Therefore, it is only right that we have a full, frank and open debate about the final proposal, giving every democratically elected Councillor from across our County the chance to give a voice to their constituents.”
The text of the motion reads:
‘This council resolves to hold an extraordinary County Council meeting ahead of the Cabinet meeting at which the changes to the Suffolk County Council Home-to-School transport policy will be decided.
The possible changes to the Home-to-School policy are likely to impact on the way that education in Suffolk is delivered. Any decision taken on the outcomes of the current consultation will impact on parents, teachers, headteachers, the whole school estate and pupils.
This extra County Council meeting will discuss the preferred Home-to-School transport option proposed by the administration and hold a non-binding vote on the proposals to inform Cabinet of its views.
This council notes that all papers for this meeting would need to be released in accordance with the Constitution.’