Notts: Social care transport budget proposals revised in light of public feedback

Notts County Council revising its proposals on social care transport.

Wednesday, 19th February 2014, 12:33 pm
County Hall at Trent Bridge

The authority originally proposed to withdraw transport assistance for people with the mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance, which involves around 600 people.

But during the council’s budget consultation, 75 per cent of people disagreed with the proposals and only 25 per cent agreed with it.

The council is planning to continue to fund transport for more than 1,000 older and disabled people every week so they can access vital services such as day services and work projects. The remaining proposals being presented to council for approval are to withdraw transport assistance for people attending lunch, except where the attendees are eligible to receive support and transport from the council following a community care assessment; to withdraw transport assistance to take people to their short breaks service and home again, other than in exceptional circumstances; to increase the transport charge from £5 to £7 per day and to reduce the cost of transport by making changes to drivers working patterns, reducing the number of vehicles in use, using vehicles more intensively over the day, only funding the transport cost of getting people to their nearest appropriate service, and using alternative transport where it is more cost effective.

Around £500,000 a year will be saved by the council if the proposals are approved.

Coun Muriel Weisz, chairman of Notts County Council’s adult social care and health committee, said: “We currently spend over £3million a year on transporting people, which is more than most other local authorities.”

“We understand how important transport assistance is for local older and disabled people.”

“Unfortunately, we need to redirect some of this money into providing crucial social care services due to the Government budget cuts and increased demand for services.”

“We plan to prioritise this funding towards the most vulnerable and have taken on board public feedback on this proposal.”