Defending Services for Vulnerable Young People

The story of a successful parent-led campaign against cuts to school transport is told in a new pamphlet from Disability Empowerment Action Links (DEAL) and Unite Community.

The Leeds School Transport Campaign tells the story of how a group of parents (DEAL) and a community trade union (Unite Community) came together in a unique partnership to campaign successfully against cuts to school transport for over-16s with special educational needs and disabilities.

The story is a case study of what happens when services are cut for such a vulnerable group in the name of austerity and how they can be defended by campaigning.

The background to the cuts and the campaign itself are explored. The use of counter- narrative, media, legal action, lobbying, and alliance-building are all discussed as important elements of the approach taken. The costs and benefits of campaigning for the women who played such a central role are also discussed.

The reasons for the campaign’s success, the implications for local democracy, and the role of community trade unionism are considered as well. The views of the women involved are highlighted on many of the issues raised in the pamphlet.

The Leeds School Transport Campaign should be of interest to parents and campaigners involved in similar struggles, as well as politicians, policy makers, analysts, trade unionists, students and practitioners in the field of special education needs.

The pamphlet costs £2 (£3.50 by post) and you can order a copy online here.

To order by post, send a cheque for £3.50 per copy, payable to ‘Unite NE/5 Leeds Wakefield York Com Branch’ to:
DEAL Pamphlet
4, Low Moor Side
Leeds  LS12 5EA