(Title Image: © Copyright Jaggery and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Licence BY-SA-2.0)
Update: The Committee have decided that the subsidy cut should go ahead following a vote via a show of hands (no more details other than that).
Later today, a Bridgend Council scrutiny committee will consider whether the Cabinet’s decision to cut all bus subsidies (taken on 21st May) should be formally reconsidered (pdf). The meeting will be webcast and starts at 14:30 – you can watch it here, though I’ll give a brief update once there’s a decision.
The decision to call-in (pdf) was supported by Cllr. Carolyn Webster (Con, Newcastle), Cllr. Tom Beedle (Ind, Maesteg East), Cllr. Roz Stirman (Plaid, Llangeinor) and Cllr. Ken Watts (Ind, Newton).
They list their reasons as being:
- The withdrawal of bus subsidies wasn’t formally recommended by officers and the decision was ultimately taken by the Cabinet alone.
- The potential impact on Bridgend Community Transport hasn’t been properly scrutinised, with concerns raised in the Cabinet report over their capacity to pick up the slack should bus services be withdrawn.
- The wider impact on the public warrants further detailed scrutiny of the decision.
The decision to cut the subsidies is expected to save BCBC around £148,000 a year.
Cabinet Member for Communities, Cllr. Richard Young (Lab, Pendre), told the Gazette last week that the withdrawal of subsidies doesn’t necessarily mean the withdrawal of bus services – which in some cases could still be run commercially by bus operators without a subsidy (though this is very unlikely).
BCBC’s Cabinet will have seven working days to reconsider and/or amend their decision should the Committee decide to refer it back to them.