Council row on transport still raging

Conservatives in the county have formally moved to suspend the decision to axe free school transport for post-16 students.

On Monday, the Conservative Group submitted to the council a motion calling for the policy board to suspend the decision to impose charges on those attending post-16 education.

Coun Peter Jackson, leader of Northumberland Conservatives, said: “It is clear that the Labour-run county council needs to reconsider its position.

“Cancelling meetings to hide away from public transparency and accountability does great harm to the credibility of the council. This is the cowards’ way out.”

A bid to force an extraordinary meeting to replace next week’s cancelled meeting of the full county council has also been submitted and it could take place on Tuesday, July 22.

A Labour group spokesman said: “The politicking around the cancelled meeting will end up costing Northumberland’s taxpayers more.

“Any additional meeting is already outstripping the £18,000 the council would have saved by cancelling the July meeting.

“It seems the only winners from this will be expensive barristers and the losers will be the poor taxpayer.

“The council faces unsubstantiated accusations by Conservative politicians that the council is acting unlawfully.”