Bus cuts rejected by county councillors

On Tuesday, 2nd December, a Full Council meeting of East Sussex County Council, meeting in Lewes, rejected the proposal to reduce the level of financial support that facilitates a number of bus services.

However, the final decision will be taken by the Cabinet, entirely appointed by the Council’s Conservative Leader, on Tuesday, 16th December.

The buses concerned include the 95 bus from Bexhill to the Conquest Hospital in Hastings. The off peak service would be reduced from hourly to two hourly, causing considerable difficulty for those of advancing years or those unable to afford ownership of a car or the cost of taxis to and from the Conquest Hospital.

The 96 and 97 Bexhill Town Services would also be reduced to two hourly off peak.

And there would be a 30% increase in fares on all three services.

The motion, proposed by County Councillor John Hodges (Labour, St Helens and Silverhill) was carried by 25 votes to 21 on a Council where the Conservatives are short of an overall majority. However, the 8 Cabinet members all voted against the motion, thereby appearing to support the cuts. And it is these same 8 members who will take the final decision on Tuesday, 16th December.

I’m delighted that the Full Council of East Sussex have rejected these damaging cuts.

I’ve met residents in Thalia House and Bellview Court who are opposed to these bus service reductions. I also know that residents in Homehill House have objected. We now need to ensure that the Conservative Cabinet of East Sussex listen to the thousands of petitioners, the many letters of objection as well as the majority of their own County Councillors in rejecting these damaging proposals.

Paul Courtel

Labour candidate Bexhill Central