OK, the saga of Suffolk’s cheeseparing provision for bus passes for the disabled and elderly goes on and on.
Three weeks back SCC’s scrutiny committee decided that Suffolk’s Conservative run County Council had NOT consulted fully, OR considered the impact of its decision (see here for details) when it reduced the terms of travel for Suffolk’s 140,000 passholders, 7,000 of whom are people holding disabled passes.
(And of which group I unexpectedly – about a year after this saga first started and I first got involved – became a member. Perhaps the Cabinet needs to ponder upon this. Make all your decisions about ‘them’ with care. Who knows when ‘they’ may suddenly become ‘us’. Just saying).
SCC is now getting around to the consultation. And, bearing in mind it took them a full year to look at their decision the first time, they are moving pretty speedily, if remarkably quietly. So quietly that the Lib Dems – as Councillors, as the SCC official opposition party, as the political group who asked for this to happen, and (in my own case, not only as spokesperson for Transport and representative of the elderly and disabled people of Woodbridge, but also a disabled passholder, and a 24/7 carer of another disabled passholder on my own account) – have been left out of the loop completely.
I only heard about the consultation SCC is now doing for the Concessionary bus passes when it was mentioned in passing yesterday, by a spokesman for a specific disability group!
There are three elements to the consultation.
- A sample survey of the two user groups (that is, elderly pass holders, and disabled persons ) asking them to answer a questionnaire
3% of pass holders eligible by age
10% of pass holders eligible by disability
20% of pass holders who have travel voucher;
- A survey monkey survey to the operators asking their experience of the concessionary fares scheme – eg. overcrowding issues ;
- Distribution of the questionnaire to user groups asking for comments either about the questionnaire or about the scheme itself:
Suffolk Family Carers
Suffolk Consortium of User Led Organisations and Individual Disabled People.
Everyone else wishing to comment should do so via this email address: email@example.com
So, if this concerns you, don’t delay, email today. The consultation finishes on November 9th!