Council Must Abandon Free School Transport Changes, Say Campaigners

Campaigners say nearly half (around 45%) of Christ the King pupils who previously received concessionary free bus travel would not do so under the proposed new rules and that the council must abandon proposal changes.

Thanks to Chris for this update in relation to the home to school transport policy. Ed

Chris Whitehouse Speaking yesterday to a meeting of the committee of the Campaign for Sixth Form and Faith School Travel, held at his home, St Winifred’s in Totland, campaign organiser, Chris Whitehouse said, “85% of the responses that the Isle of Wight Council received to its initial consultation exercise completely opposed the removal of concessionary free bus travel from faith school pupils.

“The Leader of the Council had claimed that the overwhelming majority of parents would support his divisive plans: clearly he was wrong! Will the Council not now heed the clear view of the people of the Island and abandon the plans which will in any event deliver only minimal savings?”

Christian families bear the burden of council cuts
Chris Whitehouse welcomed as “a great success of the campaign so far”, the abandonment of the Council’s plans to remove concessionary travel from all the Islands’ sixth formers but warned that “Nearly half (around 45%) of Christ the King pupils who previously received concessionary free bus travel would not do so under the proposed new rules. This puts onto Christian families a disproportionately large share of the cost savings the Council wishes to find.

“If Christ the King College suffers a significant reduction in student numbers as a result of these proposals its income would also significantly reduce. The future sustainability of Christian education on the Island hangs in the balance.”

Will be an issue at the 2013 local elections
He went on to say, “The proposal is that the change commences in September 2012. It is unclear whether that is for students already at the College, or only for new students in the future. Any change should be introduced only for new students, not those already in the College. Clearly this will be a priority issue in the run-up to the next local elections (May 2013) for many in the Island’s Christian community.

“The savings to the Council would be minimal, but the cost to Christian education substantial.

“These divisive and discriminatory proposals should be rejected entirely.”

Monday, 19th September, 2011 9:20am



Filed under: Bus, Education, Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News

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20 Comments on "Council Must Abandon Free School Transport Changes, Say Campaigners"

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West Wight
Well done to Chris and the team for winning on the travel for sixth formers. How could the Council interpret an 85% rejection of the proposals for faiths school children and support for them to continue with their plans? I may not agree with all the faith school travel campaigners have said, but the Council should not pretend it has the support of the majority when clearly… Read more »
Dinosaur Island

I agree. They have put up a great fight and whatever Cllr Pugh says, the consultation massively rejected the proposals set out in the very rigged consultation paper. 85% is a staggering result.


Majority of who? This is presumably 85% of those people who replied – not necessarily a representative sample.

mark francis
Christians are getting a freebie and now it is to be taken away from them suddenly its “discrimination”. Christian families are taking a bigger hit form the cuts because they have been living off the fat of the land. If the unwillingness of parents to pay for their children’s bus fare will “endanger Christian education” one would conclude that their committment was too feeble to sustain it… Read more »
Wight Essence
Yet again we are seeing David Pugh’s lack of judgement and ability to make local decisions. In my opinion, he should seriously question his position or be replaced as it’s quite plain he is too young, has little political experience and is way out of his depth as Council leader. In many ways, he is becoming a bit of a liability and an embarassment to the island… Read more »
Dinosaur Island

Well said. It is time for the man to go and be replaced by somebody who sees public office as a way to serve the local community, not force his own views onto others!

Wight Essence
In my view, Pugh should never have been offered the job as leader in the first place. It’s ridiculous how a former 35 year old shop assistant with a failed university background can suddenly become a leader of a council in such a short space of time. If Pugh was the best leader the local Tory party could come up with, then it does not say much… Read more »
Wight Essence

I was ten years out and should have typed 25 years old.

I remember a situation where a young lad straight out of school did an B/TEC in Business Studies and got a job in a particular organisation. In short order he went from an admin clerk to Senior Executive. No one knows how this occurred other than the Chairman, the lad and the lad’s father were Freemasons. Probably a coincidence. Another one was where a lady went from… Read more »

The deeper the hole Pugh digs for himself, the further he is going to fall. For health and safety reasons, he should consider putting the spade down.

Sailor Sam

I also agree but be warned… if the scheme continues for Christ the King College pupils, then I reckon parents of all other 6 formers will campaign for free travel also. Won’t that mean the the councvil’s transport budget will go through the roof? Oh, and you mention 85% of resonses, which was how many exactly?

Sailor Sam

Sorry, few typo’s in there!

Dinosaur Island
According to Council Officers there were 1395 responses in total of which 1195 (85.66%) rejected the proposals completely. But remember also, the survey had been rigged. It gave respondents only 3 options for response, all of which accepted the ending of concessionary transport, so many people felt they were forced to tick one of those. In short,you can pretty safely add to that figure those 118 who… Read more »

1200 people is about 1% of the Island population – hardly a large number. Its probaly comparable with the number of parents that have children at this school!


well I agreed that the scheme should be scrapped…but it appears the oddjob boys have cocked up the organisation of even a scheme I can agree with.

Mr Sandown Sally

Blundermen Pugh and Beynon strike again? When is the next council election?


At least it’s possible to have a laugh on the Island by watching the pair emulate Laurel and Hardy.

Dinosaur Island
The next full Council elections are in May 2013, just after they make all those Christians shell up for their bus fares in September 2012, great timing politically Mr Pugh!!!… and all because the Council miscalculated the fact that the shools reorganisation would lead to a significant increase in transport costs – they said it would save money at the time, remember. But there will be an… Read more »
Mr Sandown Sally

Sad news.

I wonder if the conservatives can hang on to a majority? They must be offering inducements to independents to support their questionable policies


well done it is about time parents took financial responsibility of :their: kids not the tax payer.