Following on from my recent intervention in an important debate relating to Community Transport funding in Parliament on Wednesday 16th December, I welcome the news that funding for this important and valuable community service will no longer be withdrawn by Derbyshire County Council.
As I have written about previously, it had been proposed that Derbyshire County Council would withdraw this vital funding altogether. As many of you will know, the Community Transport Scheme exists to help people be independent as well as get to medical appointments with their general practitioner or hospital. During this debate, I took this opportunity to highlight our local community transport service, CT4TC’s hard work to support our community and I called upon Derbyshire County Council to reconsider their short-sighted funding proposals. Locally, CT4TC provides schemes for care home outings, group outings, lunch clubs, regular day trips and a school service, as well as a dial-a-bus scheme and a community car scheme, providing an invaluable service to a number of people in our local community.
I am therefore glad that Derbyshire County Council have reconsidered their approach and will now be consulting on providing reduced funding for community transport until September 2017. From October 2017 onwards Derbyshire County Council have proposed that they will replace both service bus routes and community transport services with a Demand Responsive Service as an alternative to conventional fixed route scheduled services. Whilst the funding for the Community Transport Scheme will be reduced by 50%, this outcome is much better than the total withdrawal of funding which was originally proposed and I am pleased that these important services will continue to receive funding which will allow these vital services to continue.
I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the fantastic work CT4TC do to provide these services which many people rely on, and I am pleased that Derbyshire County Council have reconsidered.
You can read more about the decision on the County Council’s website.