For a number of years, Nottingham City Council (“the
Council”) provided a travel concessionary scheme superior to
the national concessionary scheme. Disabled people who are Mobility
Card holders could travel free 24/7 on both buses and trams. The
Council has funded this local benefit with no additional support
from central government. As part of its budget savings (cuts) of
£27million, the Council has ended the superior aspects of its
scheme to save £100,000. From 3rd September 2018, Mobility
Card holders have to pay bus or tram fares if they travel before
9.30am or after 11pm.
The time restriction is having a major impact on disabled people who need to travel to work, hospital appointments, volunteering commitments, day centres and to educational venues. Many disabled people in work are on low/minimum wages. The Council’s Equality Impact Assessment completed prior to the cut says the changes will have a detrimental impact on 500 disabled people. It is likely that this figure is wrong and the cut is affecting hundreds more people.
There is serious concern regarding the Council’s consultation process and that the restrictions break three of the four council Equality Standards and commitments:
- Make sure our workforce will reflect the citizens we serve (many of those affected work for the Council).
- Create economic growth for the benefit of all communities.
- Provide inclusive and accessible services for our citizens (“we will achieve this by, for example, protecting from cuts services that support Nottingham’s most vulnerable citizens”).
- Lead the City in tackling discrimination and promoting equality (“Our work to achieve this will include tackling fuel poverty, building lifetime homes and by developing better opportunities for children and young people with additional needs”).
The City Council has over £200 million in useable reserves and could use some of those reserves to fund the £100,000 the Council states it will save.
Started by: Anne Darby (Reverse Mobility Pass Cuts)
On reaching 1 signatures the head of the relevant department will be made aware of the matter.
This ePetition ran from 16/11/2018 to 02/05/2019 and has now finished.
1132 people signed this ePetition.
Thank you for taking the time to engage with citizens on this important issue, and for submitting your petition to full council.
As you have outlined in the petition, since the introduction of the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme, Nottingham City Council has offered more than the statutory requirements for concessionary travel for the people of Nottingham. This included additional pre 9.30am and post 11pm free travel for mobility cardholders. As part of the budget process for 2018/19, the Council proposed a budgeted saving of £100,000 per year and in September 2018 free travel for mobility cardholders before 9.30am and post 11pm was withdrawn.
Since 2010 Nottingham’s core settlement has fallen by
£145 million and since 2013 Nottingham’s Revenue
Support Grant has fallen from £126 million to just £25
million in 2020/21. In that same period, this Council has made
cumulative savings of more than £267m to deal not just with
the cuts in government funding but also the effects of a changing
demography whilst maintaining core services.
It is in this context that the decision to remove the additional mobility scheme was taken. This was not a change the Council wanted to make, but it has to balance its ambitions with the resources at its disposal, and is facing very difficult decisions as it looks to balance budgets.
However, in recognition of the concerns raised by citizens, the Council is looking at this decision again and will report back on the progress of the review later this summer.
Corporate Director for Development and Growth