Not the way to cut costs

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I am shocked and appalled that Sunderland City Council has deemed it necessary to cut support for disabled students’ travel to and from school to save a mere £100,000 a year.

The Cabinet member for City Services, Councillor Michael Mordey, previously stated that the council would be prioritising care for vulnerable adults and children, and making savings elsewhere; that statement now seems risible.

As a disabled person, I understand how critical little things like transportation can be to someone’s education. I fear this heartless cut will hurt the life chances of children and young adults with disabilities and special educational needs, who have the right to the same access to education as able-bodied people.

We all accept cuts need to be made to the council’s overall spending, but I ask them: how can they possibly justify this cut? Why not cut down Council allowances to match those of Newcastle, which will save nearly £250,000 per year? Or sort out parking, where the council is losing on average £388,200 every single year?

As Chairman of the Wearside Liberal Democrats, I am calling on Councillors Pat Smith and Paul Watson to respect the rights of access to education of disabled children and young adults, and look elsewhere for this £100,000 saving.

Stephen O’Brien,

Chairman of Wearside

Liberal Democrats