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Transport cuts spark letter to Anne Western

Labour leader Ed Milliband in Ilkeston. Derbyshire Labour group leader Anne Western.
Labour leader Ed Milliband in Ilkeston. Derbyshire Labour group leader Anne Western.

A letter has been sent to county council leader Anne Western to express “serious concern” about impending cuts to the community transport programme in the Dales.

Colin Swindell, independent councillor for Winster and South Darley, proposed a motion at Derbyshire Dales District Council’s September 24 meeting to write to Ms Western.

In the motion, which was passed by councillors, Coun Swindell said: “Community Transport is a lifeline to many residents across the Dales.

“For some, this service is the only means of getting out of the home and to essential shops, services and, more importantly, healthcare appointments...

“People who are elderly, disabled or have restricted mobility, quite often find regular public transport inaccessible or difficult to use.

He added: “The approach being taken by Derbyshire County Council to put an axe to the budget of this vital service is far too simplistic and short-sighted. Instead they should be looking at alternative ways of funding...”

A spokeswoman for Derbyshire County Council blamed budget cuts from Central Government for the possible service cut.

The spokeswoman said: “We’re protecting frontline services and vulnerable people as much as we can. Much of our savings are already earmarked for specific projects and you can only spend your savings once.

They added: “We received 963 completed questionnaires along with 26 letters and emails to our eight-week public consultation about proposed changes...

“No decisions have yet been made. All comments received during the consultation will be taken into consideration and used to draw-up a report for Cabinet members to decide how community transport is run in the future.”