Friday, July 30, 2010


Concessionary Fares - Is there a future?

As the County Council prepares to take on the running of the National Concessionary Travel Scheme from the eleven district and borough councils in Hampshire, it is asking residents how they use their entitlement to a free bus pass.

The transfer of concessionary fares from district authorities to county authorities was announced at the very end of the last Government. The transfer will take effect from 31 March 2011.

There are 193,000 people in Hampshire with concessionary bus passes. The basic scheme allows free local bus travel for people over 60 and disabled people between 9:30am and 11pm during the week and any time at the weekend, but there are variations across Hampshire. Hampshire County Council would like to hear residents’ views on what the statutory scheme provides, and what variations are most important to them.

Funding is not likely to continue at the same level as in the past, and although the new Government has yet to confirm exactly how much county councils will be given to finance the scheme, there is an expectation that a minimum 12% reduction on previous levels of funding will be made.

Hampshire County Council is consulting with residents through residents’ forums, and is also consulting district and borough councils. Additionally, people can download a consultation form online at: http// or by calling 01962 845 077, to make sure their views are known before 31 August 2010.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Free swimming for kids this summer

Liberal Democrat run Winchester City Council has cheered up local parents with the announcement that under 16s will be able to swim for free at River Park Leisure Centre this August.

As part of the government's spending cuts the scheme allowing over 60s and under 16s to swim for free has been axed. However Lib Dem Winchester has worked with DC Leisure and the Toynbee School Sports partnership to extend the scheme for under 16s until the end of August.

Along with my fellow Oliver's Battery & Badger Farm city councillor, Lynda Banister, I welcome this news. Lynda has commented, "Many parents can't afford to pay for activities through the summer. I'm delighted the Liberal Democrats have been able to help in this way."

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