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Parents' plea to keep school bus services

Parents protest against proposals to cut free school bus services Credit: ITV Meridian

Parents campaigning against cuts to free school transport provided by Oxfordshire County Council say that in many cases there are no safe alternatives. They claim there are no public bus services that could be used instead and say walking routes are dangerous, with frequent high speed traffic.

Parents protest against plans to cut school bus service

Oxfordshire County Council has launched a new consultation on proposals to reduce the amount it spends on home-to-school transport - following a decision in July to look again at the plans.

Currently, some children receive free transport despite attending schools which are not the nearest available to them. In some cases, children receive free transport to school even though an alternative school exists within walking distance.

This level of provision is more generous than the national statutory level and is not considered sustainable given the on-going pressure on public finances and the need for the council to identify potential savings across all service areas.

– Oxfordshire County Council statement

But some parents disagree. They've been protesting today and some say removing the free service will mean their children have to walk across open fields or on routes without pavements, as there is no public bus service that can be used as an alternative.

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Public meeting on how Oxford can save £60 million

The public meeting held last night in Whitney Credit: ITV Meridian

Hundreds of people went to a public meeting in Witney last night to discuss how Oxfordshire County Council should save £60 million pounds over the next four years.

There are fears many children's centres will close after the council admitted it can't afford to keep running them all.

Oxfordshire County Council to cut services

Oxfordshire County Council will have to cut services in the area as the Government is giving them less money.

The council has already cut £127 million over the past four years.

Councillors now say an additional £90 million will have to be found in the next round of spending cuts.

Councillor Ian Hudspeth, Leader of Oxfordshire County Council spoke to us and said spending cuts are a 'very difficult process.'

Education Secretary's response to child grooming scandal in Oxfordshire

The Education Secretary Michael Gove has said that senior officials at Oxfordshire County Council should 'examine their consciences' in the wake of the Oxford child grooming scandal.

However, the county's chief executive says that she has already done that - and she is not going to resign. Our correspondent Phil Hornby reports.

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Council tax rise and cuts to services in Oxfordshire

Council tax looks set to rise 1.99% in Oxfordshire as the council aims to save £77m between now and 2017.

The biggest savings will be £28m in Adult Social Care. Charges for day centres will triple in the next two years from £4.18 a day to £15 for five hours for pensioners.

Other proposals include an £800,000 cut from the children's centres budget but the council insist none of Oxfordshire's 44 centres will close. The council will also introduce 24-hour charges at park & rides.