Since the 1st April 2010 to the 31st March 2018, Stagecoach, the local bus company which serves much of East Kent and Folkestone & Hythe District have received £131.8 million from Kent County Council according to KCC’s invoices over £250 data
We know that Stagecoach have shrunk the amount of routes they are providing, however, the payments they have received remain reasonably stable over the last three financial years, as the graph above demonstrates.
There has been a public outcry by local members of the public across our wonderful district. Both the Herald and the Express have run stories giving voice to the people and their anger and anxiety. However little has been said about Stagecoach directly.
As you can see their respective Director’s remuneration in 2016/17 totals were:
Martin Griffiths £1.3 million
Ross Patterson £811,000
If you’d like to contact either of these gentlemen to ask them why they have reduced and axed certain services across our district they can be contacted at (please be polite):
KCC state on their website:
Against a backdrop of ever decreasing funding for local councils KCC want to maintain, and where possible, improve accessibility for those without an alternative means of travel in rural areas. This will help tackle social isolation and provide the right transport solution for the right customer need, at the right price.
Cash-strapped Kent County Council (KCC) has proposed an almost £4 million cut in their budget for ‘socially necessary’ bus services, which are not commercially viable but are subsidised by the council. Aside from the general benefits of bus services, a third of UK households have no access to a car and it is people in these households, often the most vulnerable groups in our society, that are most affected by cuts to supported bus services. Older people, young people, those in education or training, people on low incomes or job seekers and disabled people all suffer disproportionately and are more likely to experience transport isolation.
So KCC wish to do more with less. By doing so Cllr Mary Lawes (Ind) has called the cuts in service “disgusting“, she went onto say to our public face that the loss of services will “affect the vulnerable” and further “isolate the elderly“. She has a very valid point, we believe. Cllr Len Laws (UKIP) (pictured) told our public face “we get less and less yet it cost us more” Cllr Jacqui Meade (Lab) of Folkestone Town Council wishes the issue of bus reduction to be championed at District and County and Cllr Ann Berry (Con) will be taking the matter forward with KCC.
Of course we’d ask you to contact Paul Carter leader of the Conservative Group at KCC’s and let him know what your thoughts and also KCC Cabinet member for transport, Cllr Mike Whiting – politely of course.
Finally we urge you to take part in the KCC questionnaire because one never knows it might just make KCC rethink this whole strategy of cutting essential services which will affect all our communities in our beautiful district.
Also you can read the recently released Campaign for Better Transport – Buses In Crisis which highlights many of the concerns raised by many individuals and communities in our district.
The Shepwayvox Team – Dissent is NOT a Crime.