Blackburn parents lose out after council cuts cross-border school travel subsidy

PARENTS of children who live in villages and attend schools outside of Blackburn with Darwen will lose out on subsidised bus travel.

The move from Blackburn with Darwen Council means children living in villages such as Edgworth, Belmont and Belthorn and go to schools in the Bolton Council area will have to fund their own travel expenses.

The decision has been criticised by one councillor who said, for a child to get from Belmont to a school in the borough, would mean two bus trips as there is no direct service.

Coun Dave Harling, executive member for schools and education, said: “Due to the severe cuts in council funding, we had to change our policy on school transport for year seven students starting at high schools outside the borough in September.

“It means that if parents choose to send their child to a school outside Blackburn with Darwen, rather than their nearest one within the borough, then they will have to fund the transport to and from the school as we can no longer afford to subsidise such journeys.

“Free bus passes are still available for those children already at schools outside the borough until they leave in year 11 because it would be unfair to change it now.”

The issue was raised at last month’s meeting of North Turton Parish Council, where one parent spoke of her concerns at the removal of the subsidy and a lack of consultation with parents.

North Turton and Tockholes councillor Colin Rigby, who agreed to investigate the issue, said: “Kids in Belmont tend to go to Bolton schools.

“The nearest school within the borough is in Darwen and there is no direct bus service from Belmont to Darwen.

“I think they would have to go all the way to Astley Bridge and then get another bus.

“I think the council is being very selective here and it all seems a bit cheap.

“The council is being very niggly as it is only a small number of pupils affected.”

Comments (12)

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7:22pm Fri 5 Jul 13

happycyclist says...

A difficult one, but sounds mean-spirited for the few it will affect.
A difficult one, but sounds mean-spirited for the few it will affect. happycyclist

8:40pm Fri 5 Jul 13

Pan-cake says...

Perhaps the parents don't vote in a way acceptable to the BwD politburo.
Perhaps the parents don't vote in a way acceptable to the BwD politburo. Pan-cake

9:49pm Fri 5 Jul 13

2 for 5p says...

You choose to live out of the borough you pay for your own transport to school.
You choose to live out of the borough you pay for your own transport to school. 2 for 5p

10:22pm Fri 5 Jul 13

Muller says...

Wondering if this includes children who go to special school out of the borough? It doesn't make it clear, these children often have to go to schools out of borough because their needs can't be met within the borough. This could have massive consequences for children with special educational needs. Can anybody in the know clarify this?
Wondering if this includes children who go to special school out of the borough? It doesn't make it clear, these children often have to go to schools out of borough because their needs can't be met within the borough. This could have massive consequences for children with special educational needs. Can anybody in the know clarify this? Muller

1:09am Sat 6 Jul 13

N4you! says...

2 for 5p wrote:
You choose to live out of the borough you pay for your own transport to school.
udumshitthesevillage
sarepartoftheborough
.
[quote][p][bold]2 for 5p[/bold] wrote: You choose to live out of the borough you pay for your own transport to school.[/p][/quote]udumshitthesevillage sarepartoftheborough . N4you!

9:15am Sat 6 Jul 13

Reality50 says...

Outrageous but to be honest it always seemed bizarre why Edgworth Belmont and the like were ever lumped into Blackburn. Both areas are much more Bolton orientated and most people there read the Bolton News,support Bolton Wanderers or shop in Bolton. A lot of people in Edgworth and even Darwen send their kids to Turton High and as taxpayers they are being treated appallingly on this. If Blackburn can't treat their taxpayers fairly in these areas then they should hand Belmont and Edgworth back to Bolton as was the case pre 1974 anyway.
Outrageous but to be honest it always seemed bizarre why Edgworth Belmont and the like were ever lumped into Blackburn. Both areas are much more Bolton orientated and most people there read the Bolton News,support Bolton Wanderers or shop in Bolton. A lot of people in Edgworth and even Darwen send their kids to Turton High and as taxpayers they are being treated appallingly on this. If Blackburn can't treat their taxpayers fairly in these areas then they should hand Belmont and Edgworth back to Bolton as was the case pre 1974 anyway. Reality50

12:49pm Sat 6 Jul 13

belmontresident says...

Just another case of the residents of North Turton getting absolutely nothing for the much higher rates of council tax they pay. And just to clarify the matter for Muller, this does not include the very few special needs children who are educated out of borough.
Just another case of the residents of North Turton getting absolutely nothing for the much higher rates of council tax they pay. And just to clarify the matter for Muller, this does not include the very few special needs children who are educated out of borough. belmontresident

1:08pm Sat 6 Jul 13

woolywords says...

Of course, in all these cuts, none of the councillors are affected.
And, I defy any councillor to prove the lie in my statement.
We are all in this together, except if you get the vote on where the axe will fall.

All animals are equal, except some animals are more equal than others.
Of course, in all these cuts, none of the councillors are affected. And, I defy any councillor to prove the lie in my statement. We are all in this together, except if you get the vote on where the axe will fall. All animals are equal, except some animals are more equal than others. woolywords

6:28pm Sat 6 Jul 13

tombhoy says...

Whilst I can see that this issue will anger Belmont residents, the pupil premium for their children is going out of the borough to Bolton, so why should BwD subsidise this?
Whilst I can see that this issue will anger Belmont residents, the pupil premium for their children is going out of the borough to Bolton, so why should BwD subsidise this? tombhoy

7:22pm Sat 6 Jul 13

pwitch says...

Time to get the MP involved and to start a petition. Despicable action by these people.
Time to get the MP involved and to start a petition. Despicable action by these people. pwitch

2:11am Mon 8 Jul 13

english rose 1 says...

belmontresident wrote:
Just another case of the residents of North Turton getting absolutely nothing for the much higher rates of council tax they pay. And just to clarify the matter for Muller, this does not include the very few special needs children who are educated out of borough.
Folk in North Turton pay exactly the same Council tax as anyone else in the Borough (apart from the bit extra for the parish council).
*
Here's a possible solution belmontresident: - why doesn't the NT Parish Council fund the shortfall ? - after all, Parish councils are exempt from the cuts as all their money is raised from the Parish. £10 on the Parish rate will raise about £10,000.
*
If NT residents get 'nothing' maybe the Council should withdraw the gritting service that NT gets ?! There is more gritting in NT than the rest of the Borough put together !
[quote][p][bold]belmontresident[/bold] wrote: Just another case of the residents of North Turton getting absolutely nothing for the much higher rates of council tax they pay. And just to clarify the matter for Muller, this does not include the very few special needs children who are educated out of borough.[/p][/quote]Folk in North Turton pay exactly the same Council tax as anyone else in the Borough (apart from the bit extra for the parish council). * Here's a possible solution belmontresident: - why doesn't the NT Parish Council fund the shortfall ? - after all, Parish councils are exempt from the cuts as all their money is raised from the Parish. £10 on the Parish rate will raise about £10,000. * If NT residents get 'nothing' maybe the Council should withdraw the gritting service that NT gets ?! There is more gritting in NT than the rest of the Borough put together ! english rose 1

9:39pm Mon 8 Jul 13

englishmuslim says...

If parents choose to live far away from a school then it is their own responsibility to pay for the travel costs of their child. Why should their travel costs be subsidised by the council? Move closer to the schools or within a reasonable distance if you're so bothered of the cost of travel.
If parents choose to live far away from a school then it is their own responsibility to pay for the travel costs of their child. Why should their travel costs be subsidised by the council? Move closer to the schools or within a reasonable distance if you're so bothered of the cost of travel. englishmuslim

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