Five public events are to be held across Oxfordshire. These have been set up so that you get an opportunity to hear the proposals first hand and feed back into the consultation’s findings.
On-going cuts in central government funding mean Oxfordshire County Council has to make savings. The council is currently in the process of making approximately £290 million of savings. Those savings began in 2010 and run until 2018. On top of those savings, the council currently believes it may need to save a further £60 million. As part of the council's budget setting process in February 2015, councillors reduced the overall supported transport budget by a fifth (£6.3 million). As far as possible, we are trying to make the savings in supported transport by running services more efficiently. We have identified that we can achieve nearly £3.7 million in savings by bringing together all the supported transport services we operate and fund. However, this is not enough. The council needs to find a minimum of £2.6 million in additional savings and this means looking at supported transport services which the council is not required to provide by law. This will inevitably impact some people in the county.
Please visit www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/stconsultation and let the County Council know what you think of their proposal for the Dial a Ride service, and in relation to subsidised bus services including withdrawing bus subsidies altogether, reducing funding to subsidised bus services or adopting the principle of prioritising, where possible, services most likely to be used by the elderly and disabled. Ending direct funding of the Dial-a-Ride service is under consideration, which could be achieved by encouraging community transport groups across the county to deliver a replacement service.
You can read a copy of the consultation document online at www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/stconsultation or pick up a copy at an Oxfordshire County Council library.
The County Council is organising five ‘Subsidised Bus and Dial-a-Ride public consultation’ events at venues across Oxfordshire to explain the proposals and to get feedback. Meetings are open to everyone and are being held on: § Mon 6 July in Banbury Town Hall, Banbury - 10.30am-12.00pm§ Mon 6 July in Didcot Civic Hall, Didcot - 16.00pm-17.30pm§ Tues 7 July in Witney Methodist Church, Witney - 10.30am-12.00pm§ Weds 8 July in Abingdon Guildhall, Abingdon - 16.00pm-17.30pm§ Weds 8 July in OCC County Hall, Oxford - 19.00pm-20.30pm
Oxfordshire County Council have asked that the Oxfordshire Rural Community Council (ORCC), a not for profit, community development organisation are the independent facilitator during the consultation. If you need support in commenting on the county council’s proposals or are interested in attending one of our events, please get in touch with the Oxfordshire Rural Community Council on 01865 883488 or email email@example.com.
Thank you for taking the time to read this message and please don’t hesitate to contact my team at Supported.Transport@Oxfordshire.gov.uk if you have any further queries.