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Fight goes on to protect the PRU

January 30, 2019 3:54 PM

Last week Lib Dem councillors from both Harrogate Borough Council and North Yorkshire County Council attended a presentation on NYCC's proposals for the local Pupil Referral Service. Planned cuts to the education budget mean that these services, and in particular the Grove Academy in Harrogate, are under real threat.

It was an excellent heartfelt presentation from teachers, headteachers and parents. But the 7 Lib Dem councillors present were surprised at just how few other councillors were present. Although Conservative councillors dominate both HBC and NYCC, only 3 of their members turned up to listen and ask questions.

The professionals in the room were asking for the time to be extended to so that a new regime can be set up and before a reduction in funding is implemented. It is essential that whatever is put in place does not impact on the young people who attend these units, which are highly regarded by both parents and local schools.

Demand Better

Cllr Pat Marsh said:

"I would have thought that Councillors making the decision would have made time to listen to the issues raised by those involved to make sure that their decision is made in the round.

We, as a community, should be making sure that our young people requiring the services of the Pupil Referral Service have access to it and that it is of a standard that we can all be proud of. To do that there needs to be dedicated, experienced staff and the money to enable them to do their job properly. If that is done our community would be the better for it."

Lib Dem Group Leader on NYCC, Cllr Geoff Webber said:

"The NYCC Executive met on 29thJanuary to consider the budget and did not alter the recommendation for PRU funding cuts. I will now table an amendment to the budget on 20th February which will have the effect of delaying the first funding cut by one year and subsequent cuts by 6 months."