Anne-Marie Trevelyan's comments over the County Hall move are the latest in a growing row between the ruling Labour Group and the Conservatives who believe that Labour are showing a "blatant bias" towards its heartlands in Ashington and Blyth. Anne-Marie Trevelyan expressed concern that "Northumberland County Council Labour Councillors are already behaving as if Ashington's districts are more important than the rural North, with a large proportion of the extra £12 million of school funding recently committed by the Conservative-led Government to help with rural deprivation issues being hived off to South East schools. A big chunk of this funding should be going to supporting rural schools in the north and west with school transport and better dyslexia and special needs support across the County". Peter Jackson also strongly criticised the Council's allocation of the additional £12 million schools funding from the Department of Education for 2015 describing it as "grossly unfair".
A decision on the new Funding Formula for Northumberland schools was made last Tuesday by the Labour-run County Council Policy Board.
Peter Jackson said; "this substantial extra funding for our county was partly a result of Anne-Marie Trevelyan lobbying the Government and the Conservative group making the case for additional resources for schools in rural Northumberland as our schools have been some of the poorest funded in the whole country for far too long".
"The Government has listened and given this £12 million per year boost to local schools. So it is a great shame that the County Council has not taken this opportunity to review the need for extra "sparsity" funding for our more rural schools which have been denied a reasonable allocation of funds for years."
"However, once again, areas such as Alnwick and Berwick have lost out to Blyth and Ashington." Peter Jackson said that high schools in Blyth and Ashington will receive an extra 12%, with schools in other parts of the County receiving 7%.
Peter Jackson said that the Council's Labour administration; "insistence on favouring and showing blatant bias to it's heartlands in Blyth and Ashington will further alienate voters elsewhere in the County and all those who want a fair deal for children and young people across the County."
He added; "following on the back of the Post 16 transport debacle, it is difficult to believe that the Labour Party once said that it's top three priorities were education".
Anne-Marie Trevelyan has been asked to compile a dossier by Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan MP on the direct impact of the Labour administration's policy on Post 16 transport. Pupils and parents who so would like to provide feedback should contact Anne-Marie on 07970653258 or Annefirstname.lastname@example.org