Bill Wiggin MP questioned the Government this week about Herefordshire Council’s school transport cuts.
Following the announcement earlier this month of additional funding awarded to Herefordshire Council for school places Bill Wiggin MP wrote to the Education Secretary to ask if that funding could be used to pay for school transport.
Then on Thursday 9 January North Herefordshire MP Bill Wiggin took the opportunity to raise the issue a second time, on the floor of the House of Commons, during the Backbench Business debate on rural communities.
Bill Wiggin (North Herefordshire) (Con): All the aspects that the Minister has mentioned so far will really help rural communities such as my constituency. On school transport, the Government have been generous in funding new places in rural schools, but the local authority has cut the transport budget allowing people to take advantage of those new places. Is there anything he can do to allow county councils to use that money to ensure that children get to school safely?
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Dan Rogerson): Local authorities have a statutory role in the provision of school transport, but there are a number of other ways in which they can engage with the wider transport infrastructure in their areas to provide opportunities not just for school transport but for all the other vital forms of transport that we have been debating.
Bill Wiggin MP said: “I remain very concerned about this issue and I am eagerly awaiting a reply from Michael Gove MP in response to my letter.
“While I understand that Herefordshire Council has to take tough decisions, we need to ensure our schools are not disadvantaged and that parents can still make choices on which school is best for their children.”