Budget cuts: How hard can it be?

County Hall, Matlock.
County Hall, Matlock.

With the Budget next week I’ve thought of two ways that Derbyshire can play it’s part in saving money.

The first is the free bus passes for the elderly

Although the taxpayers only fund a tiny fraction of the scheme’s cost - the bus companies subsidise the vast majority - nationally it still costs £1.2 billion, and a large proportion of the journeys are completely unnecessary, people often using their passes simply because they can, be it for a pointless ride around or to take the more scenic route where a direct one exists.

This could easily be solved if the passes were designated such that they could only be used on the most direct bus from the passholder’s home to their nearest town. That way essential free bus travel is maintained (simpler still would be if people just stopped abusing their passes). The second is to sell off council offices.

On Bank Road in Matlock the County offices are at the top, Derbyshire Dales District Council have their offices half way down while Matlock Town Council are at the bottom. Similarly in Chesterfield the Borough Council’s town hall is on one side of Saltergate while North East Derbyshire District Council’s enormous HQ is across the road. How hard can it be?

Chris Hughes