Council leader in bid to save dial-a-ride

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A council leader has offered to step in for talks to try and save a threatened community transport system.

Last month,the board of the Ely Soham dial-a-ride announced that because of a reduction in funding, it was likely to have to wind up the organisation at the end of March next year.

Cllr James Palmer, leader of East Cambridgeshire District Council, said he was “dismayed” to hear of the group’s predicament and has now offered to meet for talks to see how the organisation can be helped.

“While I understand the financial predicament which Ely Soham Dial-a-Ride find themselves in – I hope they will reconsider their decision to close. I am aware that officers from the district and the county council have tried to meet with Ely Soham Dial-a-Ride but given the importance of their role I would like to extend a personal invitation to sit down and find a solution.

“I cannot believe that all the options have not been explored to help. We have a vast amount of experience within our local authorities and I believe through face to face communication, by listening and talking we can find the answers to save this much valued community service.

“I hope those who run Ely Soham Dial-a-Ride will agree to meet me so together we can help those who are most vulnerable in our district. They are a great example of a community based organisation which meets the needs of some of our most vulnerable residents,” he said.

“It cannot be underestimated how important it is to help people to continue to live their lives when their car is no longer an option. It gives them a purpose - keeping them active in mind and body.”