School bus campaign ‘leak’ stokes ire among parents

School bus campaign
School bus campaign

An action group that aims to prevent Oxfordshire County Council reducing the home-to-school bus service claims it has been belittled by one of the council’s senior members.

Supporters of the Oxon Schools Bus Action Group (OSBAG) have reacted furiously to a leaked letter from Cllr Melinda Tilley – cabinet member for children, education and families – suggesting the campaign is being run for ‘personal and perhaps political’ reasons.

“OSBAG may have hundreds of ‘Facebook friends’ but the three or four tee-shirt wearing ‘usual suspects’ who turned up at each of the ten public meetings suggests that there is rather less behind the façade than has been suggested by generous media coverage,” she wrote.

Sue Moon of OSBAG said: “This affects thousands of families who have gone to the trouble of engaging in the (consultation) process precisely because they are so fearful of the potential outcome. To see their opinions dismissed so flippantly by a senior local politician calls into question the legitimacy of the council’s approach to public consultations. It clearly highlights just how out of touch such an important cabinet member still is with the strength of feeling across the county.”

The county council consultation on restricting transport to the nearest school closed on Tuesday. Parents say there will be a huge congestion increase as children are taken to school in cars and savings will be much smaller than officers claim.