Eastbourne MP Takes Up Billy's Case

Friday 9th September 2016


The situation of a disabled teenager from Eastbourne, who has been denied help in getting to college, is being taken back to County Hall by the town’s MP.

Earlier this week, Eastbourne Buzz reported how Billy Forse is this week 300 miles away with his dad, as his mum, Leanna, has no way of getting her son to school.

The County Council has said now Billy is 16, they are not required to provide transport for him under their new post-16 policy, and say that Billy, who has a very rare chromosome disorder, doesn’t qualify as having ‘exceptional circumstances’.

Leanna may have to quit her job as a teacher in order to get Billy to school herself and has until the results of going to the ombudsman to sort something out, should her case again be denied.

Now, MP Caroline Ansell has stepped into the situation. She said, “Today (9 September), I have spoken to the leader of East Sussex County Council asking him to look into this case, which I have been involved in by supporting Leanna and Billie during their appeal.

“I have a great deal of sympathy for the situation this family finds itself in. I understand the need for policy, but this young person turning 16 has no real bearing on his ability to get to school due to the level of his disabilities, and I have made this clear.

“Flexibility must be applied so Billie can attend his classes and Leanna can continue her important work as a teacher.

“I know Leanna wants to take this case to the ombudsman and I have pledged her my support in her doing this.

“In addition, I have also been approached by the national charity Contact a Family, who want to raise the issue of schools transport for special needs students in Parliament to identify solutions. I will be working with them, and in my role as a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on disability, to reach that aim.”

To see Billy’s story so far, click here and here.

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