LABOUR activists have called for more consultation on plans to cut subsidised home to school and college transport.
The opposition at Cheshire West and Chester Council have made the plea for more time to involve hard to reach groups and low-income families.
With the consultation due to end on Sunday, July 3, Labour group leader councillor Cllr Derek Bateman has put a request to the council’s chief executive, Steve Robinson, that the controversial proposal should be referred to the council’s children and young people’s scrutiny committee.
He believes a decision should be deferred to a meeting of the council’s Tory-controlled executive in September rather than being decided in the middle of July.
The council is proposing to stop providing assistance with transport costs to students over the age of 16 and to pupils who travel to faith schools from September next year.
“We believe the executive will be able to make a much more informed decision if it considers the results of a longer public consultation alongside the report from the scrutiny committee,” said Cllr Bateman.
“The Labour Group feels that many young people and their families will lose out under these proposals and we feel a much more detailed discussion in the scrutiny committee is the right way forward.
“We want to make sure the council is reaching as many people as possible particularly those who don’t usually take part in surveys”.
“This may affect them very seriously,” he added.
Council leader Cllr Mike Jones (Con, Tattenhall) believes the subsidy, which the council is not obliged to offer, is unfair.
The cost approaches £900,000 a year and, like all councils, Cheshire West and Chester is facing public spending cuts.