Here’s a letter I had from the County about this consultation. ~ Debby
Dear Oxfordshire District Councillor,
RE: Subsidised buses and Dial-a-Ride – public consultation
I am writing to tell you about a public consultation being held over the next 12 weeks about a possible change to the subsidised bus and Dial-A-Ride services in Oxfordshire.
The council would like to get your views so that we can fully understand all opinions and potential impacts of any proposed change. Further details about our proposals and an opportunity to respond can be found at: www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/stconsultation
As an District Councillors, we would also be grateful if you took the time to pass this information on to any of your constituents who you think may be effected or in any way interested in feeding back into our consultation process.
Why is the council making savings?
On-going cuts in central government funding mean Oxfordshire County Council has to make savings. The council is currently in the process of making approximately £290 million of savings. Those savings began in 2010 and run until 2018. On top of those savings, the council currently believes it may need to save a further £60 million.
Supported transport savings
As part of the council’s budget setting process in February 2015, councillors reduced the overall supported transport budget by a fifth (£6.3 million). As far as possible, we are trying to make these savings in supported transport by running services more efficiently. We have identified that we can achieve nearly £3.7 million in savings by bringing together all the supported transport services we operate and fund. However, this is not enough. The council needs to find a minimum of £2.6 million in additional savings and this means looking at supported transport services which the council is not required to provide by law. This will inevitably impact some people in the county.
Have your say on our proposals
Please visit www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/stconsultation and let us know what you think of our proposal for the Dial a Ride service, and our proposals in relation to subsidised bus services including:
Subsidised buses – Withdrawing bus subsidies altogether
Subsidised buses – Reducing funding to subsidised bus services – and adopting the principle of prioritising, where possible, services most likely to be used by the elderly and disabled
Dial-a-Ride – Ending direct funding of the Dial-a-Ride service – encouraging community transport groups across the county to deliver a replacement service.
You can read a copy of the consultation document online at www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/stconsultation or pick up a copy at an Oxfordshire County Council library.
We are also organising five ‘Subsidised Bus and Dial-a-Ride public consultation’ events at venues across Oxfordshire to explain our proposals and to get feedback. Meetings are open to everyone and are being held on:
- Mon 6 July in Banbury Town Hall, Banbury – 10.30am-12.00pm
- Mon 6 July in Didcot Civic Hall, Didcot – 16.00pm-17.30pm
- Tues 7 July in Witney Methodist Church, Witney – 10.30am-12.00pm
- Weds 8 July in Abingdon Guildhall, Abingdon – 16.00pm-17.30pm
- Weds 8 July in OCC County Hall, Oxford – 19.00pm-20.30pm
Oxfordshire County Council have asked that the Oxfordshire Rural Community Council (ORCC), a not for profit, community development organisation are the independent facilitator during the consultation. If you need support in commenting on the county council’s proposals or are interested in attending one of our events, please get in touch with the Oxfordshire Rural Community Council on 01865 883488 or email email@example.com.
Thank you for taking the time to read this message and please don’t hesitate to contact my team at Supported.Transport@Oxfordshire.gov.uk if you have any further queries.
Cllr David Nimmo Smith