Pupils stage bus fare protest at Newport council HQ

PROTEST: Pupils outside the Civic Centre in Newport today

PROTEST: Pupils outside the Civic Centre in Newport today

First published in News
Last updated

WELSH-language students gathered in Newport this morning to protest outside Newport Civic Centre against a rise in bus fees.

Earlier this month the Argus reported how the students, who want to go to sixth form at Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw in Pontypool, were calling for a meeting with Newport council after they received a letter on July 2 informing them home-to-school charges would rise from £80 last year to £347 this year.

The price includes a £150 travel grant, and is the start of Newport council plans to cut travel subsidies further over the next three years, with students eventually paying £600 a year by 2017.

The first instalment of the fee is due to be paid to the council in a week's time.

Speaking during the protest, Cara Hood, 16, who lives in Victoria in Newport, said: "It's not the case that we disagree with having to pay for transport, but parents cannot cope with the increase.

"The council isn't providing Welsh-medium high school education and only plan to open a Welsh school when Gwynllyw is full. Almost a third of Gwynllyw's pupils come from Newport and after 11 years of education do we not deserve or are we not allowed to have our education in the medium of Welsh?"

Jordan Hyde, 18, who is still in sixth form at Gwynllyw, said: "I believe the council is making savings in the wrong place. I don't see this as being fair or making Newport a working city. English schools are affected as well but a lot of my friends can walk to school. We can't do that."

The students were backed by Elin Maher from Welsh-medium education campaign group RhAG, who described the lack of consultation with pupils and their families as "totally unacceptable" and called for a review into how the local economy benefits from easy access to education.

After the protest four of the pupils were invited into the Civic Centre to meet Newport's cabinet member for education Debbie Wilcox, along with an officer from education services, to discuss their concerns.

Speaking after the meeting Hannah Howells, 16, said: "They're going to look into it but don't know if they can do something about it.

"They said it was incompetent that the new fees were written in small print on the back of the letter and said it wouldn't happen again, but that doesn't help us.

"They were very understanding and I'm happy with how it went, although they said they decided on the £347 in June last year but we only received the letter on July 2 this year. I was absolutely furious about that."

Councillor Wilcox said after the meeting that the council could "no longer continue to subsidise the school transport service by £91,000 a year, and even with these changes post-16 students will still be subsidised by around £42,000 a year. “That said, the council’s officers have been tasked with a thorough review of the implementation of the price rise, and to look for ways in which we may able to mitigate the impact of the rise such as a hardship fund. “I have made a commitment to respond as quickly as possible to today’s attendees, and of course to all Newport pupils who are affected by this rise.”

Comments (9)

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6:08pm Thu 24 Jul 14

tap says...

If you choose to go to a particular then expect to pay for the cost of transport. I pay for my son to travel to be educated and do not expect any sort of subsidy. If you cannot or will not pay then choose somewhere more local. Nobody needs to be educated in welsh in Newport you make the choice now pay the bill!
If you choose to go to a particular then expect to pay for the cost of transport. I pay for my son to travel to be educated and do not expect any sort of subsidy. If you cannot or will not pay then choose somewhere more local. Nobody needs to be educated in welsh in Newport you make the choice now pay the bill! tap
  • Score: 3

6:20pm Thu 24 Jul 14

Milkmanofhumankindness says...

been there and had this debate, good luck Cymru Am Byth


http://www.southwale
sargus.co.uk/news/11
346572.Pupils__anger
_at_bus_price_hike/?
ref=mc?ref=twtrec
been there and had this debate, good luck Cymru Am Byth http://www.southwale sargus.co.uk/news/11 346572.Pupils__anger _at_bus_price_hike/? ref=mc?ref=twtrec Milkmanofhumankindness
  • Score: 0

7:44pm Thu 24 Jul 14

thatguy2014 says...

tap wrote:
If you choose to go to a particular then expect to pay for the cost of transport. I pay for my son to travel to be educated and do not expect any sort of subsidy. If you cannot or will not pay then choose somewhere more local. Nobody needs to be educated in welsh in Newport you make the choice now pay the bill!
So you're saying, a welsh country doesn't have the right to learn education through its native language? Gwynllyw is the only local welsh high school nearest to Newport and so the kids who would have spent 6-7 years in a Welsh primary school would have to waste their language and attend an English high school? It's ridiculous. They moan about the lack of Welsh Speakers and this happens!
[quote][p][bold]tap[/bold] wrote: If you choose to go to a particular then expect to pay for the cost of transport. I pay for my son to travel to be educated and do not expect any sort of subsidy. If you cannot or will not pay then choose somewhere more local. Nobody needs to be educated in welsh in Newport you make the choice now pay the bill![/p][/quote]So you're saying, a welsh country doesn't have the right to learn education through its native language? Gwynllyw is the only local welsh high school nearest to Newport and so the kids who would have spent 6-7 years in a Welsh primary school would have to waste their language and attend an English high school? It's ridiculous. They moan about the lack of Welsh Speakers and this happens! thatguy2014
  • Score: 3

8:11pm Thu 24 Jul 14

Sometimes says...

thatguy2014 wrote:
tap wrote:
If you choose to go to a particular then expect to pay for the cost of transport. I pay for my son to travel to be educated and do not expect any sort of subsidy. If you cannot or will not pay then choose somewhere more local. Nobody needs to be educated in welsh in Newport you make the choice now pay the bill!
So you're saying, a welsh country doesn't have the right to learn education through its native language? Gwynllyw is the only local welsh high school nearest to Newport and so the kids who would have spent 6-7 years in a Welsh primary school would have to waste their language and attend an English high school? It's ridiculous. They moan about the lack of Welsh Speakers and this happens!
What is the native language in this part of Wales? It certainly isn't what goes for what they call Welsh today. For the past thousand years it's been English, for four hundred years when the romans were here it wasn't Welsh either. Just like the Welsh town names they come out with recently, they make it up as they go along.

The national language is English, get over it, stop wasting money on this dead language and start spending it on Physics, Maths, Engineering, or put it towards a better health service.

Were there more than 11 people in the demonstration? or is this another example of the tail wagging the dog?
[quote][p][bold]thatguy2014[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]tap[/bold] wrote: If you choose to go to a particular then expect to pay for the cost of transport. I pay for my son to travel to be educated and do not expect any sort of subsidy. If you cannot or will not pay then choose somewhere more local. Nobody needs to be educated in welsh in Newport you make the choice now pay the bill![/p][/quote]So you're saying, a welsh country doesn't have the right to learn education through its native language? Gwynllyw is the only local welsh high school nearest to Newport and so the kids who would have spent 6-7 years in a Welsh primary school would have to waste their language and attend an English high school? It's ridiculous. They moan about the lack of Welsh Speakers and this happens![/p][/quote]What is the native language in this part of Wales? It certainly isn't what goes for what they call Welsh today. For the past thousand years it's been English, for four hundred years when the romans were here it wasn't Welsh either. Just like the Welsh town names they come out with recently, they make it up as they go along. The national language is English, get over it, stop wasting money on this dead language and start spending it on Physics, Maths, Engineering, or put it towards a better health service. Were there more than 11 people in the demonstration? or is this another example of the tail wagging the dog? Sometimes
  • Score: 3

7:01am Fri 25 Jul 14

Ca swain says...

I for one think these children should be commended for their actions. They are fighting to stay in full time education in their school. May I also point out that the school in question is their catchment school. Newport has needed a welsh high school for many many years and in not providing such the council has actually saved money by not building one for all of these years.
Too often nowadays youngsters get bad press on behaviour and lack of motivation to work, these children are proving that this isn't always the case. Instead of focusing on who should be covering the cost of a child's right to an education or indeed whether welsh is a "dead language, maybe you should look at the facts. More and more children are taught in the medium of welsh, there is a reason for this! Parents and indeed employers are seeing it as beneficial to both society and the work place.
None of these children are asking for free transport, they are just asking not only for a more affordable amount but also a little bit more notice when fees are going to be increased by such a percentage! After all the fee has risen from £70 to over £300.
I for one am extremely proud of these children for understanding that education is so important for their future and I'm supporting them 100%.
I for one think these children should be commended for their actions. They are fighting to stay in full time education in their school. May I also point out that the school in question is their catchment school. Newport has needed a welsh high school for many many years and in not providing such the council has actually saved money by not building one for all of these years. Too often nowadays youngsters get bad press on behaviour and lack of motivation to work, these children are proving that this isn't always the case. Instead of focusing on who should be covering the cost of a child's right to an education or indeed whether welsh is a "dead language, maybe you should look at the facts. More and more children are taught in the medium of welsh, there is a reason for this! Parents and indeed employers are seeing it as beneficial to both society and the work place. None of these children are asking for free transport, they are just asking not only for a more affordable amount but also a little bit more notice when fees are going to be increased by such a percentage! After all the fee has risen from £70 to over £300. I for one am extremely proud of these children for understanding that education is so important for their future and I'm supporting them 100%. Ca swain
  • Score: -3

9:19am Fri 25 Jul 14

mal92 says...

Sometimes wrote:
thatguy2014 wrote:
tap wrote:
If you choose to go to a particular then expect to pay for the cost of transport. I pay for my son to travel to be educated and do not expect any sort of subsidy. If you cannot or will not pay then choose somewhere more local. Nobody needs to be educated in welsh in Newport you make the choice now pay the bill!
So you're saying, a welsh country doesn't have the right to learn education through its native language? Gwynllyw is the only local welsh high school nearest to Newport and so the kids who would have spent 6-7 years in a Welsh primary school would have to waste their language and attend an English high school? It's ridiculous. They moan about the lack of Welsh Speakers and this happens!
What is the native language in this part of Wales? It certainly isn't what goes for what they call Welsh today. For the past thousand years it's been English, for four hundred years when the romans were here it wasn't Welsh either. Just like the Welsh town names they come out with recently, they make it up as they go along.

The national language is English, get over it, stop wasting money on this dead language and start spending it on Physics, Maths, Engineering, or put it towards a better health service.

Were there more than 11 people in the demonstration? or is this another example of the tail wagging the dog?
Maybe you should read some more local history!! The quote below is from "Gwent local history - Owain Glyn Dŵr and Gwent : a reappraisal of his campaigns in, the level of support he obtained from and the effects of his rebellion upon the region historically known as Gwent"

Welsh was a living language until the nineteenth century.' Welsh spilled over into Herefordshire and Shropshire, too, and was spoken in Herefordshire even before the Act of Union transferred various additional Welsh-speaking communities to that county. One local historian, Canon Bannister, in his book Place Names of Herefordshire noted that the last native Welsh speaker died at Cam Galed in Clodock as late as 1880. And the local historian of Gwent, Sir Joseph Bradney, claimed that up until the middle of the nineteenth century in
Llangatwg Feibion Afel, on the borders of Herefordshire, four miles from
Monmouth, old people were to a great extent monoglot Welsh speakers. As late as the early nineteenth century Monmouthshire, taken overall, was still predominantly Welsh of speech, especially in the upland areas of Blaenau Gwent;
[quote][p][bold]Sometimes[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]thatguy2014[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]tap[/bold] wrote: If you choose to go to a particular then expect to pay for the cost of transport. I pay for my son to travel to be educated and do not expect any sort of subsidy. If you cannot or will not pay then choose somewhere more local. Nobody needs to be educated in welsh in Newport you make the choice now pay the bill![/p][/quote]So you're saying, a welsh country doesn't have the right to learn education through its native language? Gwynllyw is the only local welsh high school nearest to Newport and so the kids who would have spent 6-7 years in a Welsh primary school would have to waste their language and attend an English high school? It's ridiculous. They moan about the lack of Welsh Speakers and this happens![/p][/quote]What is the native language in this part of Wales? It certainly isn't what goes for what they call Welsh today. For the past thousand years it's been English, for four hundred years when the romans were here it wasn't Welsh either. Just like the Welsh town names they come out with recently, they make it up as they go along. The national language is English, get over it, stop wasting money on this dead language and start spending it on Physics, Maths, Engineering, or put it towards a better health service. Were there more than 11 people in the demonstration? or is this another example of the tail wagging the dog?[/p][/quote]Maybe you should read some more local history!! The quote below is from "Gwent local history - Owain Glyn Dŵr and Gwent : a reappraisal of his campaigns in, the level of support he obtained from and the effects of his rebellion upon the region historically known as Gwent" Welsh was a living language until the nineteenth century.' Welsh spilled over into Herefordshire and Shropshire, too, and was spoken in Herefordshire even before the Act of Union transferred various additional Welsh-speaking communities to that county. One local historian, Canon Bannister, in his book Place Names of Herefordshire [1910] noted that the last native Welsh speaker died at Cam Galed in Clodock as late as 1880. And the local historian of Gwent, Sir Joseph Bradney, claimed that up until the middle of the nineteenth century in Llangatwg Feibion Afel, on the borders of Herefordshire, four miles from Monmouth, old people were to a great extent monoglot Welsh speakers. As late as the early nineteenth century Monmouthshire, taken overall, was still predominantly Welsh of speech, especially in the upland areas of Blaenau Gwent; mal92
  • Score: -2

10:59am Fri 25 Jul 14

altom23 says...

Da iawn disgyblion Ysgol Gwynllyw sefwch yn gadarn am gyfiawnder
Da iawn disgyblion Ysgol Gwynllyw sefwch yn gadarn am gyfiawnder altom23
  • Score: -1

11:59am Fri 25 Jul 14

grandmammamia says...

Mal92 has a point but we're in the position of how useful/widely used Welsh is now.

Leaving aside the travel issue for the moment, I'm wondering how many Welsh medium educated pupils go on to do a degree taught in Welsh, or have a career in Welsh , or get a job where Welsh is the first language. ( I don't meant working in an office, call centre or shop where an ability to speak Welsh is marked on the application form as desirable) .

I know a family where the children went to Welsh medium schools and now have very successful careers in nursing, welfare and administration. All in English. I also know someone who had a very successful career in BBC Wales but didn't speak Welsh.

In my own business we offer a Welsh speaking service for companies based in Wales and for paperwork to be produced in Welsh. In 15 years I've only known 2 businesses to take up this option.
Mal92 has a point but we're in the position of how useful/widely used Welsh is now. Leaving aside the travel issue for the moment, I'm wondering how many Welsh medium educated pupils go on to do a degree taught in Welsh, or have a career in Welsh , or get a job where Welsh is the first language. ( I don't meant working in an office, call centre or shop where an ability to speak Welsh is marked on the application form as desirable) . I know a family where the children went to Welsh medium schools and now have very successful careers in nursing, welfare and administration. All in English. I also know someone who had a very successful career in BBC Wales but didn't speak Welsh. In my own business we offer a Welsh speaking service for companies based in Wales and for paperwork to be produced in Welsh. In 15 years I've only known 2 businesses to take up this option. grandmammamia
  • Score: 1

2:03pm Sat 26 Jul 14

Bobevans says...

grandmammamia wrote:
Mal92 has a point but we're in the position of how useful/widely used Welsh is now.

Leaving aside the travel issue for the moment, I'm wondering how many Welsh medium educated pupils go on to do a degree taught in Welsh, or have a career in Welsh , or get a job where Welsh is the first language. ( I don't meant working in an office, call centre or shop where an ability to speak Welsh is marked on the application form as desirable) .

I know a family where the children went to Welsh medium schools and now have very successful careers in nursing, welfare and administration. All in English. I also know someone who had a very successful career in BBC Wales but didn't speak Welsh.

In my own business we offer a Welsh speaking service for companies based in Wales and for paperwork to be produced in Welsh. In 15 years I've only known 2 businesses to take up this option.
The council will still be subsidising their travel cost by a £150 a week
There are no bottomless pots of money to meet peoples particular whims
[quote][p][bold]grandmammamia[/bold] wrote: Mal92 has a point but we're in the position of how useful/widely used Welsh is now. Leaving aside the travel issue for the moment, I'm wondering how many Welsh medium educated pupils go on to do a degree taught in Welsh, or have a career in Welsh , or get a job where Welsh is the first language. ( I don't meant working in an office, call centre or shop where an ability to speak Welsh is marked on the application form as desirable) . I know a family where the children went to Welsh medium schools and now have very successful careers in nursing, welfare and administration. All in English. I also know someone who had a very successful career in BBC Wales but didn't speak Welsh. In my own business we offer a Welsh speaking service for companies based in Wales and for paperwork to be produced in Welsh. In 15 years I've only known 2 businesses to take up this option.[/p][/quote]The council will still be subsidising their travel cost by a £150 a week There are no bottomless pots of money to meet peoples particular whims Bobevans
  • Score: 1

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