Post-16 home to school transport increase to be examined

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A move to increase charges for post-16 home to school transport in North Yorkshire which was approved by a council officer and a single councillor will be re-examined next week.

North Yorkshire County Council’s transport, economy and environment overview and scrutiny committee will consider the decision by a corporate director in consultation with executive member for education Councillor Patrick Mulligan to up charges from £490 to £600 for the 2019/20 academic year.

The council said the change would place the authority within the majority of rates of contribution to county councils.

However, councillors John Blackie, Stuart Parsons, Helen Grant, John McCartney, Philip Broadbank and Bryn Griffiths called in the decision, saying they believed the new charge represented an “eye-watering increase” of 22.5 per cent.

The opposition members said the charge would fall disproportionately on those families that live furthest from schools and colleges.

Cllr Blackie said the charge was based on discrimination against rural communities.

He said: “If parents pay up it will probably be from an already very tight household budget, resulting in them having to make sacrifices elsewhere in their day to day expenditure.”

The scrutiny committee will decide whether, or not, it wishes to refer the charge increase back to those who made the decision or to refer the matter to full council.

A council spokesman said: “If the committee does not refer the matter back to the decision taker, or refer it to the council, the decision will take effect on the date of the overview and scrutiny committee meeting.”