Dial-a-Ride seeks new organisation to run it

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UNHAPPY: Cllrs Pauline and Gareth Wilson who believed the dial-a-ride could have continued

Ely Soham Dial-a-Ride voted at its annual meeting last week to close its service and look to two other dial-a-ride providers to see if they can take over the operation.

The Voluntary Network, based in Newmarket, and Fenland Dial-a-Ride have both expressed an interest in taking on the service.

The decision follows the axing of core funding by Cambridgeshire County Council and East Cambs District Council.

David Lindores, ESDAR manager, said: “We’re hoping for the best for our members. We lost all our council funding.

“We lost district council funding of £16,000 a year four years ago and have lost £12,500 from the county council.

Mr Endores said that the value on contract work had been dropping as well.

“What was giving us a 
reasonable income is becoming less and less valuable and 
creating a financial black 
hole.

“We’d known this had been coming and had applied for Lottery funding and to the Prince’s Trust, all without success.”

District Cllrs Pauline and Gareth Wilson have criticised the trustees’ handling of the situation and the way the annual meeting was run saying many of those attending could not hear or see what was happening. They believe the organisation could have continued.

Ruth Rogers, chairman of Ely Soham and District Community Transport Ltd, said it knew from its accounts last year that it had lost money. It had expected a substantial loss.