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MP brokers meeting on rural school bus services

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Stroud MP Siobhan Baillie has brokered a meeting between the county council and the local transport minister to discuss rural school bus services after she raised the issue in parliament.

The MP is concerned parents in many communities feel they are not being treated fairly when it comes to getting their children to school.

Speaking in the House of Commons last week, Ms Baillie said: “Never mess with busy mums and dads, not least because I am one and I know that the minister is as well. 

“Parents in Arlingham, Frampton, Elmore and Longney are really struggling with rural school bus transport. This is not all about money, it is about reliability, safety and fairness. 

“Indeed, they feel that their children are discriminated against versus what children in towns and cities receive. 

“Gloucestershire County Council is doing a lot. It is stretching itself, but we are really struggling to find solutions. Will the minister meet me and Councillor Stephen Davies to see whether we can find solutions for our parents in the communities?

In reply, Guy Opperman said: “I would be delighted to do so. I welcome the fact that my honourable friend is standing up for her local community in this way. 

“Clearly, it is a question of integrating the particular services, whether they are local or school provision, but it is definitely something that we can sort.”

Speaking afterwards, Ms Baillie added: “Parents in Stroud, Nailsworth and Dursley have contacted me about school transport issues as well as our rural village families who have been convening meetings to push the matter.  

“They understand it involves private bus providers so it is not all about the county council but I am pleased the minister will meet us to see what can be done to ensure children can get their children to school reliably and fairly.”

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