4 November 2011
Patrick Horan is UK National Register of Access Consultants (NRAC) trained, and holds an MSc in disability management.
This week I will be talking mainly about transport, specifically Taxicard.
By now most people should have received by letter the outcome/cuts to the Taxicard decision by Southwark Council, which included a link to the relevant section in the Southwark Council website, explaining this decision and its background. For those of you who do not have access to a computer, I will give you a summary of the important points.
The annual allowance has been cut to 108, or 9 trips per month with no carryover of unused trips from 144 annually. This is still a greater number of annual trips than the standard of 104 adopted by most other London boroughs.
A few boroughs have an even stricter policy. Although Southwark Council did carry out a consultation by letter and two public meetings, I am sure the vast majority of Taxicard members did not take part for various reasons.
Let me reassure you in this economic time of cuts in which it was expected of Taxicard to have to take its fair share, this cut was very fair.
The people who will be affected most are the heavy users, i.e. regular hospital visits, but to be fair Taxicard was not put in place like Dial-a-Ride for hospital appointments, visiting yes, but the hospitals are obliged to provide you with transport for appointments, should you genuinely need it and meet their criteria. When you request transport, do not tell them that you are a member of Taxicard.
The other piece of big news this week regarding Taxicard is, London Councils who administer Taxicard on behalf of London’s 32 boroughs awarded a three year contract to City Fleet, which is the trading name for Com Cab, the current provider and saving the boroughs £1.8 million over the 3 year contract.
Simple arithmetic will tell you that this amounts to a saving of £56,250 per borough over three years, but the sad thing about it is two boroughs, Barnet and Redbridge, contribute nothing financially to the scheme yet their residents enjoy full benefits and they both will get the refund of £56,6250! They are funded by the Mayor, is this money part of the precept Southwark residents pay to the Mayor as part of our council tax?
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Until the next time may your God go with you.
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