Councillors stage protest over bus service cuts

Janet Dover

Janet Dover

First published in News

Councillors staged a walk-out at a meeting of Dorset County Council in protest at an apparent refusal to listen to a motion calling for an urgent review in relation to the cutting of bus services.

Members of the Liberal Democrat group on the council walked out for ten minutes after their attempts to put forward a motion calling for an urgent review of the prioritisation of resources in relation to the cutting of subsidies for bus services was unsuccessful.

Leader of the Lib Dem group Janet Dover proposed the motion and claimed to have the support of Lib Dem MP Annette Brooke.

She accused the council of imposing a gagging order after the council chairman John Wilson refused to allow a debate on the matter.

Council leader Spencer Flower said that not all Lib Dem councillors had walked out and backed the approach taken by the council chairman in refusing the motion.

He said: “The chairman of the council exercised his authority over the meeting and did not allow the motion as it talks about an urgent review of the prioritisation of resources in relation to the cutting of subsidies for bus services. It was not very long ago that we did all of that and did it with the good will of the bus operators and retendering isn’t until 2016.”

Cllr Flower said that the council subsidised bus routes in the county to the tune of around £2million.

He added that the council had agreed that the basis of the motion put forward by Cllr Dover would go to the authority’s environment overview committee meeting in October, where the concerns can be seen in detail.

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