A mum has written a heartfelt letter ahead of a county council meeting at which it will be decided whether door to door taxis to get children with special educational needs to and from school should be stopped. 

Dorset County Council is planning to cut back on taxi use which will mean more pupils having to get to a designated pick up point.

If approved, Dorset will be the first county to make the changes which could save more than £1million a year in travel costs.

Councillors will discuss whether or not to go ahead with the move at a cabinet meeting this morning.

Mum-of-three and health campaigner Naomi Patterson, whose son George attends Mountjoy School in Beaminster, has organised a demonstration outside county hall in Dorchester before the meeting. 

Naomi said: "My son George contracted meningitis at 11 months old. He was left brain damaged, with cerebral palsy, deaf, hydrocephalus, severe scoliosis, dislocated hips, epileptic, non-verbal and having to be peg fed by a gastrostomy peg – this peg is what keeps him alive. He requires 24/7 care. Sadly, his life was turned upside down by a dreadful illness and through no fault of his own.

"Despite his problems, he’s a very happy boy who is constantly smiling and enjoys being around others, especially his teachers and class friends at Mountjoy.

"It’s a very stressful time in the mornings getting George ready for school as he has so many different medications and fully depends on his parents to get him ready. His morning involves being hoisted and wearing pads as he is incontinent. Some mornings things run smoothly other mornings things can become a little difficult.

"George may have a seizure or his gastrostomy button may come out of his tummy. I am trained to treat both situations, on many occasions George’s button has come away right before transport has arrived, when this happens we have 20 minutes to put this button back in before the hole in his tummy closes over, if this does not happen George will find himself in Southampton Hospital. When this happens just before the taxi arrives, as it has on many occasions, the PA and driver has always been understanding and will wait for me to attach it so he can then get on the transport for school. If George had to go to a pick up point on mornings like this we would constantly be missing transport and we would then find ourselves having to explain to social care as to why our son has missed so much school.

"I also have two other children who attended schools in Dorchester and I do not drive, so getting George to school in Beaminster is impossible as bus services are cut and the buses from Bridport to Beaminster do not carry wheelchairs."

Naomi says she finds the council's idea to introduce independent living to children by making them go to a nearest pick up point 'patronising.'

She said: "I’ve explained how George sadly has no independence as this was ripped away from him aged 11 months by an illness, it clearly shows this proposal has been carried out by someone with no medical knowledge whatsoever.

"Surley the best way to go about this is to vote this proposal down and work with parents, health professionals and teachers to find a better outcome in which can save money rather then causing a high level of anxiety to parents who are already struggling on a daily basis just to get their children to school. Parents like myself would love nothing more than to see our children be independent as possible and going off to school by themselves or even leading a normal life like other children, but sadly this is not to be.

"Why are they being punished for having medical conditions and disabilities?"

The demo for will take place at 9.30am today ahead of the meeting at 10am.