CWaC rejects school transport objections

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School bus

By now most will have heard that at the CWaC Executive Meeting on March 13th the representations against the proposed changes to their Home to School Transport Policy were rejected in almost every aspect.
You may have been unsuccessful in finding the minutes of the meeting to see exactly what was said and the decisions taken. The link is here and its worth scanning over. The document covering the whole meeting is large (462 pages!) so it can take a little time to load up. The transport topic is item 9 and there are 18 appendices followed by 8 "Equality analyses" so you need to be selective in the bits you read! You could not say the Council are not being thorough.
The arguments made by several head-teachers especially those of Tarvin Primary and Tarporley High school and the representations of several MPs appears to have fallen on deaf ears. To suggest that a mitigation fund for 2 years of £25k/year to help the transition in 5 of the affected rural parishes ( Tarvin is included) eases the problem is no solution. In the first 4 years of the change the total saving from proposal 1 (under 16 transport) is estimated on p134 at £94k. A number of responders have suggested that due to the likely diversity of multiple buses from Tarvin to different schools as Christleton is already over-subscribed may well in fact increase bus costs to the point that savings are non-existent. In fact the council's own report states on p167 in Appendix 4 that the saving for Tarporley HS is likely to be zero!
The impact for Tarporley HS in the table states:-
"Most impact will be on Tarvin / Kelsall pupils where the nearest school for the majority will be Christleton. The cost of transporting to Christleton will be similar to that of Tarporley. A small number will remain eligible to Tarporley.Savings / costs will
be dependent on parental choices."
The tables are unclear as to whether this is an annual saving or the cumulative saving over 4 years.
They also state on p 166:-
"There have been a number of requests through the consultation process to carry out modelling exercises in order to provide data estimating the potential proposal impacts i.e. admissions arrangements and cost implications etc. This analysis would require judgement to be made about the choices that families are likely to take. This would largely be speculative and potentially misleading.
However, in order to ascertain an approximate estimate, a savings analysis has been undertaken which is based upon the current cohort at a point in time should they have attended their nearest school.These figures should be used as a guide only and taken with caution given the number of variables that could potentially impact on the predicted savings. An indication of how the £94,000 has been arrived at is provided below".

What next?

Having said all the above what is to be done as CWaC is unlikely to alter their decision?.
First why not go to the Tarvin Parish Council Meeting at 7.15pm this Monday and ensure they understand your views on the outcome. Remember it was not their decision and they wrote into the consultation strongly against the proposal.
There is an Agenda item later that evening where the Council will decide on their approach and next steps. Don't forget you can only speak in the 15 min session at the start of the meeting and not during the agenda item itself.
What will be the approach of the headteachers and Governing bodies of Tarvin primary and Tarporley HS ?
Whatever happens Tarvinonline will keep you fully informed.