Council playing Scrooge over cuts to buses


East Sussex County Council has been accused of playing Scrooge after axeing bus services just before Christmas.

Chris Smith from the Love Your Bus Campaign commented on last week’s announcement and said: “A small group of councillors overruled a decision by East Sussex Council at a full council meeting and decided to cut bus services.

“In a move which many people will think shows that democracy is vanishing, a small committee of Conservative council members has decided to cut bus services despite the full council voting against this move and despite over 3,000 responses to a consultation, most of which opposed the cuts.

“The group has also decided to ignore a petition of over 6,000 signatures.

“They are able to do this because the council has a cabinet system, where a small group of council members in the cabinet have power to take a large number of decisions, regardless of how other councillors vote.

“It is no wonder many people do not vote when they see that most of the people they elect have no power. This decision discredits local government and the members of the cabinet that took it.”

The all Conservative Cabinet who approved the cuts are: Bill Bentley, member for Hailsham and Herstmonceux, whose duties include services for vulnerable adults; Chris Dowling, member for Framfield and Horam; David Elkin, member for Eastbourne Sovereign; Keith Glazier, member for Rye and East Rother; Carl Maynard, member for Brede Valley and Marsham; Rupert Simmons, member for Heathfield and Sylvia Tidy, member for Crowborough.

Cllr John Hodges, from Hastings, who voted against the cuts, said: “Statistics don’t reflect human need. This is an immoral to cut public services.”

Chris Smith said: “The Love Your Bus campaign will continue to campaign against service cuts and also against the proposed fare rises. The rises have not yet been finalised.”