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THURSDAY, 2nd JUNE, 2011.
Resignations at Congleton 1st
Win Ray Mears tickets Readers'ViewsPages26-29 Page 30
What’s on... What’s gone...
‘Shame on you’ if school transport price rise is made
Young boater has powe
By Katie Ollier Plans to increase the cost of school transport and eventually scrap it for post-16 students and those needing it at faith schools would be “suicide”, Cheshire East Council has been told.
The cuts would also “erode the ethos” of faith school, it has been claimed. The proposals include increasing the charge for existing and new users of subsidised denominational transport from £299 to £385
from September but to withdraw the service the following year. Denominational transport is available for pupils whose parents choose a school on religious grounds and is the nearest school of that denomination.
There are also plans to increase the charges for subsidised post-16 travel from £415 to £500 from September but to cut that service a year later, and to also charge for subsidised post-16 complex and special needs travel from September.
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Cheshire East’s Children and Families Scrutiny Committee met on Tuesday to discuss the response to a consultation process on the proposals.
The authority received 150 letters in response outlining 28 issues of concern: That the proposals are not clear, parents may have to split siblings and religious discrimination.
Councillors who do not form part of the committee – Shirley Jones of Alsager, Sam Corcoran of Sandbach and Frank Keegan representing Alderley — attended the meeting to air their concerns.
Coun Keegan said: “It is a very thin paper and I find the figures incredibly difficult to follow and there is not enough information to outline the costs saved.
“This is not a result of the coalition proposal but of the former county council. The paper is something that has not worked before and has been re-done. It’s been kept on the back burner and not reheated properly.
“It is a badly thought out and ill-conceived policy and needs a lot more information before the next meeting. There is not just a cost to a family of £4,000, which a lot of people can’t afford. They would have to think about giving up their job to take their children to school.
“This is a massive burden. It’s a disgraceful policy and if council go ahead with it, I say shame on you.”
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Pupils ‘mortified’ after Bosley Bear is stolen
Julia Schofield’s Congleton garden will look pristine this summer, thanks to the “Chronicle” and Congleton Garden Centre on Moss Road. The centre stepped in and helped the “Chronicle” supply the lawnmower, offered as a prize in a competition run for Focus DIY, which went into liquidation before the prize draw. The “Chronicle” didn’t want to let its readers down and enlisted the garden centtre’s help. Presenting Mrs Schofield with her prize is garden centre owner Charles Fitkin. (“Chronicle” photo. 2211a/11).
Bearmania organisers are disgusted after two bear models were stolen and others have been vandalised after the popular figures went on display around Congleton.
Bosley Bear, from Bosley Primary School and Rataban Bear, of Lakin Transport in Somerford, were stolen from their locations at Bosley crossroads and Holmes Chapel Road respectively.
While Rataban was found in a garden and will soon return to his rightful location, local entrepreneur Dawn Gibbins has offered a £100 reward for information leading to the return of Bosley.
Bosley pupils have been writing reward posters for the return of their bear while Desne Ward of Top Nosh sandwich shop has bought another bear for the school.
Paul Bates, managing director of Bearmania organisers Congleton Beartown, said: “The children are absolutely mortified. It is not an act of random drunkenness it was a wilful act of theft.
Bosley crossroads to see where the bear had been dug out of its fittings and tyre marks could clearly be seen where the bear had been loaded into a van.
“I went to the school and spoke to both teachers and children.”
Referring to the donation and offering of a reward, he added: “We had some good news for them to temper the bad news. Congleton, as it does time and time again, rallied around the school very quickly.
“The Bearmania team of volunteers are appalled at this disgusting act.”
The children are producing wanted posters and are appealing for the safe return of Bosley.
Angela Burton, Bosley School admin officer, said: “I am slightly gobsmacked.
“The school has worked for ages on this, he was sat at Bosley crossroads just outside Barefoot.
“Our little ones worked so hard, the whole school helped even if it was just to touch the paintbrush.
“I went out to the site at • —Turn to back page.
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