Petition over school buses
Thousands sign against proposals
Halfway Community Council are set to hand a petition over to South Lanarkshire Council against changes to school bus provision for secondary pupils.
The document has been signed by over 4000 people so far.
A second public meeting on the issue will also be held next Monday (May 11) at Flemington Hallside Church.
Jackie Rinn of the community council has requested permission for herself and two other community councillors to hand over the petition at council HQ next Tuesday.
The move follows a consultation meeting last week at Cathkin High at which parents expressed concerns.
Around 400 people attended, but according to the community council, who had sent representatives to similar meetings across South Lanarkshire, many of their questions went unanswered.
John Edgar said: “The meeting was quite heated, they were not giving us any answers, it was just the same stuff they had said at the other consultation events.
“One of the safe routes they are proposing is through the park and another is up Howieshill Road, which the gritters can’t even get up during the winter.
“The council have not even spoken to SPT about the possibility of getting more buses put on. It was not a great meeting.”
Parents are also unhappy that the results of the consultation will not be communicated until July, when the pupils are off school.
Jackie Rinn, whose daughter is due to start at Stonelaw in August, said: “To date, 4051 people have signed the petition but that is expected to go up.
“It shows the depth of feeling. Everyone just cannot believe what is going on.
“It’s difficult enough when you are trying to get your children ready to go up to high school. I’m not happy with the route they are proposing.”
From September, secondary school children living more than two miles from their school will no longer be eligible for free transport.
The move formed part of the council’s recent savings package and was not subject to objections by members of any political party.
Jim Gilhooly, executive director, said: “I was aware people wanted more time to ask questions and agreed to give more time for people to express their views. To do this, we reduced the allocated time for the last section of the meeting to allow people to re-gather and continue with the Q&A session. The meeting did not end early, in fact it ran on longer than was scheduled.
“Like any public meeting there needs to be a structure and it was made clear that we were there to listen to the views and concerns of parents which will be fed back into the process before a final decision is made.
“Initial discussions have taken place with SPT on the council’s proposal, however, more in-depth discussions on how to encourage public service buses where required will take place once road safety assessments have been undertaken and potential pupil numbers affected are confirmed.
“We will make arrangements to receive the petition from Halfway Community Council.”
Parents at Cathkin high are unhappy about proposed changes