Bedford Borough Councillor Tom Wootton has criticised the Council’s Liberal Democrat administration for plans to cut free post-16 school travel for the poorest families in Bedford Borough.
Under the proposals these students will receive a 50% reduction in the subsidised fee instead, meaning they may have to pay £182.50 per academic year. There were 84 students who were exempt from paying the subsidised fee at the beginning of the 2012/13 academic year.
Cllr Wootton, who is a Conservative representative for Wyboston Ward said;
‘The provision of free school transport is vital for these 16 – 18 year olds who are from some of the poorest families in the Borough. Many of these parents and carers are struggling with the ever escalating cost of living and they could be plunged into further financial difficulties if the Liberal Democrats get their way. Even if one student is prevented from studying their chosen course then this proposal will not have been worth pursuing at all.
‘The estimated saving from the proposal is £17,000. Savings well in excess of this amount could have been made had the Liberal Democrat and Labour Groups not opposed our suggestion to reduce expenditure on councillors’ allowances. The Conservative Group is urging the Liberal Democrats to reconsider this mean proposal.’