Jubilant parents win bus victory
IMPASSIONED parents are celebrating victory after council bosses were forced into a U-turn to scrap a hefty school bus bill.
Buckinghamshire County Council has announced plans to charge a £390 fee to guarantee a seat on the school bus for hundreds of children moving from primary to secondary school in September have now been thrown out.
The move comes after a public backlash over changes to the council's home- to-school transport policy. It failed to uphold an agreement, following the closure of Evreham School in 1989, promising all children in Iver and Iver Heath would be entitled to free transport to Chalfonts Community College.
Speaking after the announcement on Friday, delighted Yvette Phillips, one of the parents affected who led the campaign, said: "I went down to my daughter's school and everyone was cheering.
"Everyone was absolutely over the moon because it means a lot for the village not just the school."
Cassie Marks, whose daughter, Demi, will attend Chalfonts in September, said: "I felt a sigh of relief. Yes they have made a U-turn, but it should never have happened in the first place ."
Parents launched the campaign after receiving a letter at the beginning of May stating the village had been divided and for many families, whose nearest school has always been Chalfonts Community College, it would instead be Burnham Upper School, and they would be offered transport to Burnham in line with legal requirements.
Villagers spent weeks searching for documents proving the Evreham agreement, launched an online petition and sent a complaint to the council.
This week, a council spokeswoman said: "Following feedback received from parents in the Iver area and also in light of a previous education committee resolution relating to the old Evreham School, Buckinghamshire County Council has reviewed its home-to-school transport arrangements for this area.
"The outcome of this review means that many parents of children living in the catchment area of one of the four junior/combined schools that used to feed into Evreham School (Iver, Iver Heath, Denham and Tilehouse) will now be eligible for free home to school transport to both their nearest Buckinghamshire school (deemed as the Chalfonts Community College) as well as to their geographically nearest school (which may be outside of the county).This entitlement remains subject to the countywide three-mile eligibility rule."
This article appeared in Local Berkshire 08 Jun 12