FG will move on school transport issue, says McHugh

The ongoing campaign by parents in Inishowen to have school transport reviewed has been successful as the ‘value for money’ report is due to be suspended.

The parents association of Scoil Treas Naofa primary school in Malin were outraged when the December Budget made certain changes that affect the eligibility of certain pupils to avail of school transport.

However after a public meeting in the area local Fine Gael TD Joe McHugh has received written confirmation from his party’s spokesperson on school transport that a Fine Gael government will re-examine a Department of Education ‘value for money’ report on school transport and suspend the report pending an examination.

Speaking to the ‘Journal’ yesterday, Deputy McHugh said the Fine Gael’s Spokesperson for School Transport Ulick Burke TD has confirmed that a Fine Gael government will re-examine the Department of Education’s value for money report on school transport.

“In a letter sent to me on 8th February 2011 Deputy Burke the transport situation would be review the report entitled ‘Value for Money Review of the School Transport Scheme’, after it was met with local resistance, following a discussion at the public meeting in Malin recently.”

The Fine Gael Deputy was then sent a letter by the Oireachtas Education Committee, at his request, on January 27th by the outgoing Minister for Education seeking a full review of the report.

“The bottom line in the report is a recommendation for fewer school buses, and the letter sent on 27th January asks if this aspect of the report contradicts the government’s long-term commitment to sustainable transport.

“The Committee’s letter also questions the report’s ‘one size fits all’ thrust, and suggests that reviews of school bus services should be considered on a case-by-case basis.”

The Donegal North East TD believes this is an important issue for the local community.

“This affects everyone, including families whose children attend Malin NS. I participated in an engaging public meeting on the issue some weeks ago in Malin, and I am pleased to follow up now with this commitment from Fine Gael.”