Thursday, July 20, 2006

Pensioners Penalised by the Council!

The Government have given Bournemouth Council new funding to use for the extension of the concessionary travel scheme to everybody aged 60 and over provided it is used after 9.30am.

However the existing scheme introduced by Conservative Councillors allows the over 80's to travel at any time and this important concession is being removed by the Council. It's being kept for the blind and is being extended to those who are partially sighted.

This anomaly has been pointed out to Town Hall bosses as being unfair, unnecessary and mean-spirited, but they will not reverse it.

The Conservatives are acutely aware of the importance of this early morning freedom for elderly residents, many of whom rely entirely on public transport to get around Bournemouth and Poole. Conservative Cllr John Beesley attended meetings to put the case for pensioners and brought the matter to the attention of the Cabinet and Council but the Lib Dems were adamant that this valued concession would be taken away. Cllr Beesley said, 'It is very disappointing that the Lib Dem Council will not listen and change their minds. This existing concession was provided for in the Council's budget and they will give only the flimsiest excuses as to why they will not keep it, despite the budget being underspent. It only affects the over 80's and the cost is tiny - it really is mean-spirited to take early morning travel away from these elderly pensioners.'

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