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thieves HIT SCHOOL SPORTS PITCH – Page 3

honour for kayakers – Page 29

extra £100k BOOST FOR TOWN – Page 4

Heroes celebrate on night of pride and joy

council blames changes to transport rules on cost-cutting

‘Apartheid’ on school buses sparks outcry By Tegan Chapman COUNCIL bosses are facing allegations of running a faith-based apartheid system on their school buses by forcing children of different religions to travel separately. A News Post Leader investigation has revealed that new rules introduced by Northumberland County Council ban youngsters of different religious backgrounds from mixing on the school run. The move has sparked an outcry among parents as they say it is creating a religious divide between Roman Catholics and nonCatholics. Previously, children at St Benet Biscop Catholic High School in Bedlington had been able to share buses with their peers, but new regulations brought into force this term mean that separate buses are now run for pupils of different faiths. Sowmya Pulle, whose 15-year-old nonCatholic son Niran attends the Ridge Terrace school, described the decision as laughable. “I can’t believe in this century that a council can go ahead and support segregation because that is what it is,” she said. “It’s disgraceful, and I find it unbelievable that this has happened. It’s laughable. “The council just took the number of Catholic people to tender without a thought for the non-Catholics. “The whole tendering process has been discriminatory, and the council has failed to meet the requirements of the 2010 Equality Act. “For a school that teaches Christian principles, this situation smacks of prejudice and is arguably the most insulting and degrading treatment of non-Catholic children. “I am actually quite appalled at this. We have for many n Turn to Page 5

The winners of our Pride of Northumberland award for child of courage, from left, Rachel Hooley, Levi Taylor and Paige Sillet being given their prizes by Alistair Baker, communications manager for category sponsor Northumbrian Water. Full story – Page 2

Governors’ vice-chairman Wayne Daley.

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Buses waiting to pick up children from Bedlington’s St Benet Biscop Catholic High School this week.

MAKING IT EASY... TO BUY A ŠKODA OCTAVIA

On ŠKODA Octavias until 30th September 2012 For more information contact us at:

Silbury ŠKODA Northumberland Business Park West, Cramlington, Northumberland NE23 7RH 0844 209 8073

www.silbury.skoda.co.uk

*Offers available to retail customers on selected Octavia models only (excludes 4x4 and Scout), on orders before 30th September 2012. Subject to availability and at participating retailers only. Reduction equivalent to 20% VAT applied to original base price including factory fitted optional extras available on selected models (exclusions apply). VAT applies to reduced price. **Up to 3 years’ servicing or 30,000 miles (whichever comes first) is available when purchased with ŠKODA Finance. †£500 deposit contribution is available for customers who purchase their car with ŠKODA Finance. Further charges may be payable if vehicle is returned. Indemnities may be required. Subject to status. ŠKODA Finance, Freepost ŠKODA Finance. Visit skoda.co.uk.

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Official fuel consumption in mpg (litres/100km) for the ŠKODA range: Urban 19.2 (14.7) – 68.9 (4.1), Extra Urban 36.2 (7.8) – 94.2 (3.0), Combined 27.7 (10.2) – 83.1 (3.4). CO2 emissions for the ŠKODA range 237 – 89g/km.


Catholic buses 1