Pe­ti­tion over school buses

Thou­sands sign against pro­pos­als

Rutherglen Reformer - - Election Countdown - Dou­glas Dickie

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

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