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GORDON HENDERSON MP

FOR SITTINGBOURNE & SHEPPEY

KCC Leader responds to MPs’ bus subsidy concerns

8th December 2017
KCC Leader responds to MPs’ bus subsidy concerns

Gordon Henderson MP, Member of Parliament for Sittingbourne and Sheppey, joined with Dover MP, Charlie Elphicke, and several other Kent MPs, to send a letter to Paul Carter, Leader of Kent County Council (KCC), protesting at proposals to cut bus subsidies.

The letter called on KCC to shelve proposals to reduce bus subsidies by £4 million, cuts that could lead to the loss of some services and the reduction of others.

Mr Henderson said, “For some communities, the bus is the only lifeline to work, school, shops and services. I want KCC to think carefully before doing anything that would result in the loss of services.“

In response to the MPs’ letter, Mr Carter says he is taking charge personally of negotiations with bus operators to “…try to persuade them to keep a significant number of routes going. Without subsidy.”

Mr Henderson added, “I recognise KCC has seen a reduction in the grants it gets from government and is struggling to balance its books. Perversely, while taking money away from councils, the government has capped the amount that can be raised from the council tax to pay for these vital local services.

“I have written to the Prime Minister’s office asking that this be revisited and suggested that the cap on councils be scrapped. That would allow local authorities to raise the money they need, bringing real accountability to local government. If councils put up council tax bills by too much then the electorate will have the opportunity to sack councillors at the next election.”

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