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SALFORD COUNCIL HITS OLD AND ILL WITH NEW CHARGES FOR TRANSPORT
 

Star date: 16th November 2011

A Salford Star Exclusive

SALFORD COUNCIL MILKS OLD AND ILL FOR £123,000

Salford Council is to introduce a charge of £3.50 a day for those who use its buses to attend day care centres – despite the service users stating that they couldn't afford the charges.

The Council estimates that around 350 people use its transport around twice a week, meaning that some of Salford's poorest people will have to find an extra £350 a year or more. 

Full story here…


While Salford Council continues to throw money at prestige projects like MediaCityUK, Chapel Street and the Salford City Stadium, those in the city who really need support are getting financially hammered.

The Council recently introduced a Blue Badge charge of £10 for disabled drivers, and now those who rely on its Passenger Transport Unit to attend day centres will be hit with a £3.50 a day charge - despite the users themselves telling Salford Council during consultations that they won't be able to afford it.

A Salford Council Adult Services Report recommending the new charge states that 350 people use the Transport Unit, and estimates that the scheme will be worth £123,000 in new income. That works out at over £350 a year per person using the buses, or £29 per month or over £7 a week.

The record of the Council decision to introduce the charge, published yesterday, states that the option of "Not charging as people felt they could not afford the charge" was rejected. The document adds: "It is felt that some people may not use the transport because of affordability".

The Humphrey Booth centre in Broughton has already closed down and been moved to Ordsall, meaning longer journeys for many. This latest financial burden could well leave people who rely on Salford's day care centres for both physical and emotional support even more isolated.

The Council decision states that "hardship reviews could be agreed in special circumstances".

The new charges come into force on 23rd November.

The Salford Star asked Salford Council…

* Is it fair to increase the financial burden on old and ill people?
* Is this going to stop people using the service and thus become more   
  isolated?

"The new charging system for transport services involves people using their personal budgets to pay for the services they want" replied Councillor John Warmisham, Lead Member for Adult Services "That way, people who use the transport system will pay for it but those who don't can spend their personal budgets on the services they do use.

"Before introducing the new charges we did consult with our service users, offering them a range of options" he added "A fixed rate charging scheme was the preferred option as it was clear and easy to use."


* Since last Friday the Salford Star has been trying to obtain documents from Salford Council on which the decision to introduce the transport charges were made, including the consultation results to which Councillor Warmisham refers.

The documents are supposed to be `available for public inspection' but nothing has been forthcoming, apart from the non-answer to Salford Star's questions by Councillor Warmisham.  

At the last count, five Salford Council officers (including Sue Lightup, the Council's Director of Community, Health and Social Care) plus the Leader of Salford Council (John Merry) and the Lead Member for Adult Services (John Warmisham) were involved in e-mails flying about as we asked `What on earth is the problem in letting us see reports which are supposed to be available for public inspection?'

The latest communiqué from the Council was from Sue Lightup, the Director of Community, Health and Social Care, sent at 10:41pm on Monday night, apologising for the delay… "We are in the process of getting the documents for you…We should have this concluded by tomorrow"

Hmmm. It's now Wednesday and still nothing. But how long does it take to e-mail over a few reports? The Salford Star can only conclude that Salford Council has got something to hidemaybe the bit of the consultation where people were saying they couldn't afford the new charges. Perhaps?

UPDATE 21st NOVEMBER - Click here

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 


 

mary ferrer wrote
at 09:30:50 on 17 November 2011
lilomene,I was a bloody councillor and got in a lot of hot water because I kept causing trouble asking questions never gave up and will carry on doing so.I am so glad we have places like this site and people like Steve ferreting around finding out what this lot are up to. But its down to the people of Salford and they would vote a bloody donkey in if it had a Labour sticker. so what do we do. Next May the people will put their cross in the box and that lot will carry on taking the p-ss out of us all
 
Em3 wrote
at 09:30:44 on 17 November 2011
PLUS Lilolme, how do you know what else we are doing? The Salford Star is the only really democratic newspaper we have - so we use it to express our views. That does not mean we don't also visit our councillors, write to our MPs, go out on demos and try VERY HARD to get our voice heard. To be a councillor in Salford means you need certain 'qualities which some of us have not got/and cannot grow!!
 
Eddie wrote
at 19:04:35 on 16 November 2011
LILOLME . Another council apologist . The only way to change things is through a true democratic process , which we do Not have . This is why Salford clouncil can arrogantly make disgraceful decisions like this,and get away with it unchallenged .We need to get rid of this inept and wasteful clouncil . You should shut up until you have something sensible to say .
 
Liloleme wrote
at 14:44:59 on 16 November 2011
Why does eveyone sit at their PC's moaning away at what the council are doing? Why don't THEY get up and do something about it - run for councillor themselves - this is the only way to change things. You will never change anything sat whinging & whining in front of a screen - take action if you don't like it - if you're not prepared to, then shut up.
 
mary ferrer wrote
at 11:13:06 on 16 November 2011
First may i ask ALL users of Salford Star to contact their ward councillors and get them to get hold of this report and for the councillors to forward it on to them. If this is a public document. these people have NO right to refuse to hand it over. This lot have again hit the most vunerable members of our city,to save £123.000.Not so long ago they bought back the lease on a car park THEY owned for £250.000??? They are spending money on god knows what (£500 list each month)tells a very interesting story. They are getting loans, giving loans spending like there is no tomorrow and WE can't do a bloody thing. This can't be right. We all know the country and further afield are in a financial mess, so this lot can't keep saying this is down to the goverment. We should have better reserves,but we haven't. We should have waited to build the stadium,but we didn't, we could have waited for the tree lined bullavard(???) chapel St,but we didn't. How much do we give to places like the Lowry each year???We need to make this council be accountable to the people of this city. WE can't let them carry on doing this. This is nothing new its been happening for years and years and we have let them get away with it.
 
EM3 wrote
at 11:12:04 on 16 November 2011
Another solution would be for the mayor and the the boss of salford uni to offer up their posh limos and chauffeurs as a 'ring and ride' service. THEY could afford to use the buses!
 
jeffrey smith wrote
at 11:11:59 on 16 November 2011
having lived in salford all my life 1962 i was born Northing suprises me These councillers sit up all night wondering how to pinch your last pound I drive a taxi the traffics horrendous We say no to the congestion charge so these evil people make chapel st into one lane out of spite I live in monton and take stuff to the charity shop But now i cant park in monton Yes theyve seen a way to make a few bob by making us pay to park
 
jeffrey smith wrote
at 11:11:27 on 16 November 2011
this council needs disbanding The motorists say no to the congestion charge To spite the motorist they make chaple st Into one lane for the soul purpose revenge They can do it Make us pay to park in monton Watch montons shops pubs lose trade I deive a taxi I lived in salford all my life and seen the little shops close They put double yellow lines outside most shops so they get no passing trade
 
Fadge wrote
at 10:20:42 on 16 November 2011
A new low , even for this inept council of fools . WHY DO WE LET THEM RUN THIS DEAD CITY LIKE A BANANA REPUBLIC ? Making the old and ill suffer is DISGUSTING , yet so typical of this lot . Yet , like maggots feasting on the rotting corpse of the taxpayer , the Swinetown Cretins and obscene-salaried Deadzecutives are still doing mighty fine . Loathesome Parasites , all of them .
 
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