Labour Councillor Derique Montaut has met with 6 users of the Dial a Ride service to discuss the impact cuts to Dial a Ride would have on their lives. The meeting concluded with the Dial a Ride users committed to mounting a campaign against the Council’s proposed cut to the charity over August.
Swindon Council have proposed a cut to the Dial a Ride contract of £100K in 2016/17 which would only be a part-year saving and would mean cuts of up to £200K in the following year.
Councillor Derique Montaut said:
“Swindon Dial a Ride is to lose its funding from Swindon Council. This would inevitably mean either the complete closure or dramatic scaling back of the service, with Dial a Ride users being effected. I call on the Conservative Group to show compassion to Dial a Ride service users and move beyond party political lines. In Oxford the County Council cut funding from their Dial a Ride service and the result was the service’s closure. We don’t want to take the same path here in Swindon.
“At the request of Dial a Ride users, I met with them to understand how Dial a Ride helps improve their lives and understand how a cut or complete closure to the Dial a Ride service might lead to their lives declining. The Dial a Ride users told me that without Dial a Ride they would have no life and wouldn’t be able to get to work or pay their bills or see their families. One Dial a Ride user said they would probably be in a care home costing Swindon Council a lot of money were it not for Dial a Ride.
The Dial a Ride users have now said they will start to mount a campaign against the Council’s proposed cuts to the service. I think there will be a lot of public support to their campaign.
I was delighted to hear from Robert Buckland MP that he supports efforts to protect Dial a Ride and supports its continuation. Like me he has wrote to Swindon Council’s Chief Executive outlining his concerns.”