AN attempt by Carmarthenshire Labour councillors to get preferential treatment for a small number of pupils in one part of the county was heavily defeated after members heard it would lay the council open to legal challenge from many thousands of parents across the county.
Labour members were also warned that taking £150,000 from balances to fund buses in parts of Llanelli and the upper Gwendraeth would be a high risk at a time of great uncertainty, in the face of coronavirus and climate change.
Several members questioned how Labour Councillors could justify some families being provided with free transport, but thousands attending schools in areas such as Ammanford, Carmarthen, Newcastle Emlyn and St. Clears would have to pay.
An attempt by the opposition to persuade the council to set up its own bus company ended as Labour members failed to agree amongst themselves and their leader Cllr Rob James had to ask the chair for an adjournment.
Responding to the claims Lee Waters said: “I have continuously called on the Department for Transport in London to take a common sense approach on school transport. That is the best possible outcome.
“But with Westminster unwilling to listen we need to explore other options to help school pupils.
“The power to do that largely lies with councils, as the letter I received from the Secretary of State for Wales points out.
“I will stand up for and voice concerns that have been raised with me by parents and pupils in Carmarthenshire, as I was elected to do.”