Thurrock Labour silent as “savage cuts” may see the end of community transport

transvolA SAVAGE cut of over £100,000 may see the end of community transport for the elderly, vulnerable and needy in Thurrock.

Trans-Vol was launched in 1993 and provides transport to people are unable to access public transport.

But as Thurrock Council aims to make further savings with its reduced budget, it seems that one of the key essential services in Thurrock may fall by the wayside.

A number of service users have contacted YT in order to express their deep concerns.

Dee Smith said: “I have just found out that Thurrock Council are NOT funding Trans-Vol from March 2015. What a disgrace! How do wheelchair users and elderly remain independent if they cannot get transport to vital groups and care centres.

“Nearly 2,000 members, elderly and disabled stuck indoors all day. That is disgusting. It is just going to push other council services to the limit, forcing residents into care homes.

The chair of Transvol and Chadwell St Mary councillor, Tony Fish reacted to the news.

Cllr Fish said: “Transvol continues to work with Thurrock Council and other agencies to secure a sustainable Community Transport organisation for the future.

“I have personally written to all Transvol passengers on a regular basis to keep them updated on progress towards achieving that aim and will do so again as further progress is made”.

The matter was up for debate at last weeks meeting of the Thurrock Labour cabinet.

Council leader, John Kent gave all his portfolio holders an opportunity to discuss the savings in their portfolio and particularly asked them if there were any particular issues that they would “ask to agree to but are refusing.”

However, the portfolio holder, cllr Andy Smith made no mention of Trans-Vol.

Cllr Smith said; “We have taken out £700,000 so far from the transportation budget and are planning to save a lot more this year.

“We are planning reducing staff considerably, unfortunately. The one saving I don;t agree with is the Tilbury ferry”.

YT sent a number of questions to cllr Smith but did not receive a reply at the time of publication.

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