Renewed school transport plea for Baginton villagers

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Renewed calls to resolve school bus issues in a Warwickshire village look to have foundered because the county council needs to be consistent.

That was the message from Cllr Colin Hayfield (Con Coleshill South and Arley), the portfolio holder for education and learning after campaigners from Bagington spoke about the difficulties they face due to a change of council policy.

Five worried villagers, ranging from parish councillors to parents, attended this week’s [Tuesday] children and young people overview and scrutiny meeting to urge councillors to reinstate free school transport to Priors Field -their priority placement school in Kenilworth - rather than to other closer schools.

They referred to an honourable agreement made with the council but this was not accepted by Cllr Hayfield who refused to accept that the parents had a special case.

He said: “One reason why they think they’re unique is that 50 years ago when Bagington school was closed, they claim there was an agreement made with the county council. We can find no written trace of that at all and it is hard to think that something from 50 years ago will be in perpetuity.

“It is tough on those parents but we have to be consistent now across the county on our approach to accessing school transport.”

The campaigners explained that siblings were having to go to different schools and that this was putting added stress on the children.

They also had the support of Cllr Wallace Redford (Con Cubbington and Leek Wooton) who said: “It is quite clear to me that something went on whether it was verbal or otherwise.

“I think there is sufficient here to question whether the Bagington parents have been treated fairly by our transport policy and I think it raises the question of whether at the time we thought sufficiently enough on its effect on a rural community. I don’t think we did and I’m as much to blame because I didn’t look at it in sufficient detail.

“At the moment we have a policy that is one size fits all and it doesn’t for the rural communities.”

One of those speaking at the meeting, Lisa Conroy, handed a 1,400-name petition to Warwickshire County Council’s full council meeting last month.

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