Cllr Poulter response Re: No9 Bus

Cllr Poulter response is highlighted in red.

Dear Cllr Poulter

Following the decision of Derby City Council at its meeting on 13th July, to discontinue the subsidy for the Number 9 bus, I would be grateful for information on some specific points.

Responding to Cllr Campbell’s Motion, you asserted that this service would be ‘safe until the end of the year’.

Do you refer to the end of the calendar year, 2011 – or the close of the financial year in 2012?

The County Council have committed to supporting the service until the end of the financial year.

As the subsidy from Derby City Council will cease in September 2011, what arrangements have been made to supply the financial shortfall?

 The County Council have committed to supporting the service until the end of the financial year so this would be a question for them.

Does the City Council propose to extend support for an additional period or have other organisations pledged bridging finance?

No, the City Council has withdrawn the subsidy

 Reference to ‘supermarkets’ has been made but you have furnished neither detail, conditions nor time limits to their support.

Officers are talking to a number of retail outlets about potential support for a number of services. No details are yet available.

Similarly, could you explain your assertion that part of the routes of the Number 9 and 19 services might combine at Spondon, when both buses will lose their subsidy?

Officers are talking to operators about a number of potential alterations to services and routes, no details of which are confirmed or available as yet.

You have suggested that the Spondon Neighbourhood Forum could allow up to £5,000 to subsidise the Number 9 bus, but I am informed that this service was not discussed at the June meeting of the Forum, unlike the fate of the Number 19.

Both services have been discussed at the Spondon Neighbourhood Board.. It was agreed in principle that the Board would consider the details of any proposal brought forward, and the level financial support necessary, as and when particulars are known.

 As the Spondon Neighbourhood Forum does not re-convene until November- well past the September deadline for axing the subsidy how can any agreement be made by this body to finance the bus prior to the September cut-off date?

Any decisions on funding will be taken by the Spondon Board, and as the service has been supported by the County Council to the end of the financial year there will be every opportunity necessary to consider any such future proposals.

People in Ockbrook and Borrowash have been given no detail about discussions on this topic that you may have held with officials and/or elected members of their Parish Council.

Any discussions are as yet at an early stage and details of any possible resolution are being evaluated and will be given as soon as practicable.

Communications posted on the public notice board of that body have enjoined residents not to ‘believe everything appearing in the media’ , and have asserted that although the Parish Council has  engaged in ‘negotiations’ with you about the bus, they cannot provide detail  for fear of ‘prejudicing’ proposals.

I am not able to comment on Notices posted by your Parish Council

I would also welcome information about discussions you may have held with the County Council about the future of the Number 9.

Details of potential resolutions being considered will be made available when they have been fully explored and evaluated.

Now that the City Council has withdrawn its subsidy, what guarantees and timescales have you been given for the continuation of the County’s financial support for this bus?

Our information is, as stated above that the County Council has committed to supporting the service until the end of the financial year.

 Is the County Council prepared to increase its own subsidy to preserve this essential service, or are we likely to see the curtain closing on this source of finance at the close of the financial year?

This is a question for the County Council

I am sure that you will agree with me, that local people deserve full and detailed answers to these questions! It is, of course, quite intolerable that in 2011, bodies that depend upon the public for their election – are seemingly taking it upon themselves to decide whether or not those who elect them to office are ‘fit’ to be given the fullest possible information about the fate of services that affect the way that they live their lives.

I can assure you that all parties are doing everything possible to address the issues in the best way possible. However it would be wrong to speculate or raise peoples hopes and expectations, until the feasibility of all possibilities have been explored.  I am confident that the public will be consulted on any such potential resolutions considered viable.

 I am happy to hear and consider any suggestions / ideas you may have as to how to address the issues. .






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