SELB no-show forces bus meeting to be rescheduled

June 8, 2010

by Brónagh Murphy

Sinn Fein’s Terry Hearty has lashed out at the SELB Transport Management after officials failed to turn up at a meeting regarding the future of Clonalig School bus service. 

This meeting was due to take place on Thursday 3rd June and was to have involved Slieve Gullion councillors, members of the Board of Governors from Clonalig School and SELB Transport Management.

Voicing his frustration, Councillor Hearty said: “This meeting was convened in order to discuss the SELB proposal to yet again target the Clonalig route for cuts.  The meeting was scheduled to begin at 4pm in the school and prior to the meeting a clear agenda was forwarded to the SELB outlining the time and location of the meeting.  “For some unknown reason the SELB transport management went to the Council offices in Newry.  They contacted Clonalig School at 4.15pm to say that they had gotten it wrong and would reconvene the meeting at a later date.”

Mr Hearty added that he would ‘not be a bit surprised’ if the school is closed for the summer by the time SELB officials ‘get their act together’ regarding the situation.

“In the absence of the SELB representative, I put a proposal that we seek an urgent meeting with the Chief Executive of the SELB and other interested parties to ensure this bus service is not lost to Clonalig Primary School,” the Councillor added.

In response to Mr Hearty’s statement, a spokesperson for the SELB’s Transport Service said that officials did not attend the meeting because of confusion over the venue.

In a statement, the Board said the error occurred “due to the SELB Transport Service officers travelling to Newry Council offices for the meeting, instead of Clonalig Primary School.  When they contacted the school and apologised, the councillors attending the meeting preferred to reschedule rather than wait for the SELB officers to travel from Newry to the school.

“An alternative date is being arranged to suit all parties involved,” the spokesperson added.