A motion calling for the suspension of the decision to axe post-16 transport funding in Northumberland was voted down following four hours of debate.
The extraordinary meeting of Northumberland County Council had been called by the Conservatives following the cancellation of the July full-council meeting, at which campaigners against the cuts, which mean some students may have to pay £600 a year or public-transport costs, were planning to make their views known.
Parents, pupils and politicians gathered outside County Hall in Morpeth ahead of the meeting to protest the decision and a number took the opportunity to ask questions of the Labour administration during the meeting.
Council leader Grant Davey reiterated the reasons behind the policy board’s decision, which include the huge cuts the council must make, the drain of money from the county as students travel to colleges on Tyneside and the fact that funding changes and bursary-fund cash means schools and colleges can fund transport themselves.
In proposing his motion, Coun Peter Jackson said: “You can run but you can’t hide from the electorate and you can run but you can’t hide from all the parents that will be so badly affected by this policy.”
The motion was on three main points; the inadequate consultation, the implementation being a shambles and the money issue.
The motion was voted down by 34 votes to 30.