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Council 'tried it on' in bus fare letters

THE Government has told an education authority to withdraw or correct a letter to parents implying new bus fares for sixth-formers were linked to the local learning and skills council taking over post-16 funding.

Northumberland County Council is considering its response to the Department for Education and Skills. Its letter, from education director Lindsay Davies, said the change in post-16 funding would affect home-to-school transport. Lib Dem education spokesman Phil Willis said Northumberland was "trying it on", as LSCs will not be given funding for transport. But Tony Mitchum, the council's transport services manager, said the implied link with the LSC takeover was unintentional.

Northumberland is considering pound;2 bus fares for sixth-formers who previously travelled free, to reduce their pound;8 million school transport budget.

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