- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
LABOUR Assembly Member for Mid and West Wales, Joyce Watson, has labelled Gwynedd Council’s plan to increase the cost of a student bus ticket from £60 to £100 per term, “astronomical and unfair”.
Coleg Merion-Dwyfor’s Students’ Union has warned the price hike could lead to students dropping out of college. Campaigners from college campuses in Dolgellau, Pwllheli and Glynllifon will hold a public protest in Eldon Square in Dolgellau on Tuesday 1 March.
Mrs Watson raised the issue at the National Assembly for Wales yesterday (9 Feb). During the Draft Budget debate, she called on Plaid Cymru’s representative for the Arfon constituency, Alun Ffred Jones, to intervene:
“We’re talking about education, and we’re talking about cuts in Gwynedd. Would you speak to your Members in Gwynedd and ask them to change their minds about the proposed increase to travel to Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor, and the proposed two-thirds increase in the bus ticket from £60 to £100 a term? That’s what you do when you’re in charge,” she said.
Mr Jones, a former Leader of Gwynedd County Council, replied:
“Examples such as that are going to become more and more apparent, and they happen across Wales because of the situation that we’re facing. I don’t think it’s relevant to the debate that we are having today.”
Joyce Watson went on to say:
“We want our young people to do well and have good access to good education locally. Given that they almost all have to travel that means fair fares. This price hike could put off and preclude young people from accessing education – that is deeply unfair.
“The Welsh Labour Government’s policy on financial support for our students enables students from Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor to take up places at Universities across the UK and not have the same loan debt around their shoulders when they come out of college. Let us hope there is a good turn-out for the day of action on 1st March.”
For more information about Joyce Watson AM’s work, contact her office on 0300 200 7092 / www.joycewatson.org.uk