MP slams bus sale

EASTBOURNE MP Nigel Waterson has slammed the sale of Eastbourne Buses and accused the Liberal Democrats of giving the company away for nothing.

The MP claims the LibDems had run the company into the ground so it was virtually worthless, with no option but to sell it.

He said the sale was 'selling off the family silver' and a sad end for the oldest municipal bus company in the world, founded more than 100 years ago.

Eastbourne Borough Council received 3.7 million from Stagecoach for its share in the bus company.

Mr Waterson said, "Councillors in the ruling Lib Dem group are trying to make out that the deal was a triumph but the truth is they ran the company into the ground allowing things to get to the point where the company was on the verge of collapse.

"No wonder they were taken to the cleaners by Stagecoach. The sale price of 3.7 million is actually less than the reported 4 million pension deficit.

"In effect, the council has given the company away for nothing – or less than nothing when you take into account the pensions liability.

"Now this will be a millstone around the necks of hard-pressed council taxpayers for years to come.

"And the council has received nothing at all for the company as a going concern, or for its physical assets including the long lease on the depot.

"And it appears it did not demand, or receive, any commitments from Stagecoach on routes, services or fares.

"This is just the latest in a series of expensive blunders by this council, including the Airbourne fiasco and the collapse of the town centre regeneration.

"The council seems intent on selling off the family silver like the bus company and the secret plan to flog off the Town Hall. What's next on the list?"