Councillors may ask children to walk 3 miles to school

Monday December 19th 2016

Walk to school

One of the proposals under discussion this week by Midlothian Councillors as they debate the £8m budget shortfall is to allow children to walk three miles to school.

In order to save money Midlothian Councillors are to decide whether to increase the distance High School children have walk to school, from two miles to three miles, before providing Council funded transport. This would give children a round trip of six miles on foot per day.

This is one of a number of proposals under discussion, some of the others are:-

– Cease Ring and Go Service
– Close Penicuik Recycling Centre
– Explore closure of Vogrie Golf course
– Increase school meals by 15 pence
– Increase Sport & Leisure charges by 10%
– Reduce free P1-P3 fruit to once a week
– Reintroduce charging for instrumental tuition
– Reducing opening hours during low usage periods at leisure centres
– Review grass cutting standards
– Review number of football pitches
– Review providing hanging baskets planters and flower beds
– Review Public Toilet Provision
– Review spending on road maintenance

Some of these cuts are reminiscent of those made by Margaret Thatcher in the 1971 when she became known as the ‘Milk Snatcher’ for removing free school milk.

After the U-turn last week by the Scottish SNP Government the Council tax rises for Bands D to H will now be spent in Midlothian rather than in other parts of the country as the SNP previously proposed. However, despite this the council still have to find considerable savings to their budget.

With local council elections in May of next year Councillors will be acutely aware that the budget cuts they agree may affect their chances of re-election.

The full council meeting takes place tomorrow (Tuesday 19th December). You can watch the meeting live HERE.

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