County Speaks Out As To Why Eastbourne's Billy Doesn't Qualify

Friday 17th February 2017

eastbourne buzz news - Billy Forse At County Hall

It’s emerged Eastbourne teenager, Billy Forse, was again denied funding for transport to college, because he did not meet ‘exceptional circumstances’.

On Wednesday (15 February), Leanna, Billy’s mum, was given the news after several months of fighting the initial decision.

16-year-old Billy is severely disabled and needs help to carry out even the most basic of tasks. Without funding, Leanna, who is a teacher, may have to quit her job, where she cannot afford the £500 a month to pay for a private taxi and escort.

An East Sussex County Council spokesman said, “The appeal panel has reconsidered this case and decided that unfortunately the council won’t be able to fund Billy’s travel to college.

“The local authority is not required to provide free transport once a young person enters post-16 education, with responsibility for making travel arrangements resting with parents or carers in most cases.

“The panel carefully reconsidered all the issues in this case, including the length and complexity of the journey, whether Billy’s family could reasonably be expected to provide transport and whether they have a suitable vehicle.

“We can offer travel support to parents of post-16 students with special educational needs and disabilities in exceptional circumstances only and the decision of the panel was that the circumstances didn’t warrant making an exception to our post-16 transport policy in this case.

“In fairness to other young people and their families who may feel they’d benefit from travel support but are not eligible, it’s important that the rules are applied evenly to all.”

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