Eastbourne MP backing mother of disabled boy denied transport

Billy Forse SUS-170221-113703001
Billy Forse SUS-170221-113703001

Caroline Ansell MP has spoken out against a recent decision by East Sussex County Council not to fund transport for a disabled boy’s journey to college.

Mother Leanna Forse appealed to the county council to overturn a decision saying it would no longer fund her 16-year-old son Billy’s taxi to college, which costs her £500 a month.

But last week she was devastated to be told it would stick with its original decision that the mother and severely disabled Billy do not have ‘exceptional circumstances’ for it to cover the costs, according to its post-16 transport policy.

Mrs Ansell said, “I’m very disappointed the transport panel has upheld this decision.

“Billy has received supported transport to school from East Sussex County Council these last seven years and the nature and severity of his disability has not changed in this time or after he turned 16.

“I understand that money must be saved and used wisely, but the panel has discretion to recognise exceptional circumstances.

“I will continue to support Billy’s mother, Leanna, in her efforts to champion her son’s cause.

“She is a single mother, sole carer and a full-time teacher and it can’t be right that she may have to give up work because of this decision.

“I have spoken to the council and to ministers to try to find a solution and I will be hosting a School Transport Inquiry evidence session on March 7 in the House of Commons to hear directly from families, transport providers and commissioners on their experiences of school transport for disabled children in the UK.

“I am doing this after being approached by the charity Contact a Family who work to improve the lives of families with disabled children by working directly with parents and carers.”