Town hall increases subsidy to lifeline

THE town hall has agreed to increase its annual funding to a vital evening lifeline for Littleham, Withycombe and Brixington residents.

THE town hall has agreed to increase its annual funding to a vital evening lifeline for Littleham, Withycombe and Brixington residents.

Last week, members of the last finance meeting of the current town council backed a nine per cent increase in their subsidy towards an evening and Sunday bus service.

The 99E service runs from Littleham’s Rodney Close, Moorfield Road, Withycombe, St John’s Road, Dinan Way, Pines Road and Capel Lane.

But to keep the loss-making service running, it is heavily subsidised and Devon County Council had asked the town hall to increase its funding by 9.2 per cent from �8,436 to �9,215.


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The request came from county transport chiefs, who had retendered the service and found that the cost had gone up from last year.

Deputy Mayor Sandy Sutton said: “I know it’s an essential service.

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“But we have no documentation. We just have this request so we have to take it on trust.

“We are giving them public money, after all.”

Cllr Pauline Stott said: “We need to know if they are making money or not. And if so, how much money are they making?

“If they come back next time, we should ask for figures.”

Cllr David Chapman said: “Why is this specific to the 99 service? I know staff and fuel costs have gone up, but why is this the only service where they have asked for an increase?”

Town clerk John Wokersien said that it was the only service that was so heavily subsidised.

Cllr Mark Williamson added: “We should make sure if they come back again we have more robust information for the members.

“This is a bit sloppy.”

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