Students quiz councillors on county school bus policy

Suffolk County Council's headquarters at Endeavour House, Ipswich
Suffolk County Council's headquarters at Endeavour House, Ipswich

Students from Thurston Community College will be taking their campaign against changes to school transport to Suffolk County Council’s headquarters tomorrow.

While they are there they will watch a debate on an opposition motion calling for an extraordinary meeting of the council to discuss the final proposals for the changes.

Suffolk County Council consulted between December and February on proposals to reduce the right to home-to-school transport to the legal minimum removing about 4,800 from free or subsidised transport.

Thurston Community College’s Student Council members have been involved from the beginning in its campaign to oppose the proposed changes to home-to-school transport, which would hit Thurston’s catchment area harder than most.

Principal Helen Wilson said: “They are passionate about their views and how the transport changes would affect them. We thought this was a perfect opportunity to show them how the democratic process works at local level and how they can be active participants.

“We hope they will see how individual county councillors listen to their electors and make decisions in their interests. The students have devised their own questions to ask the council and are looking forward to some thoughtful answers.”

The visit was arranged by Labour education spokesman Jack Abbott who has also tabled a motion at the meeting, seconded by the Liberal Democrat, Green and Independent Group deputy leader Andrew Stringer, calling for an extraordinary Council meeting to debate and vote on the final home-to-school transport proposal before it goes to Cabinet in June.

Cllr Abbott said; “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.”