Council leaders have final say on new bus plans

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Council leaders will have the final say on bus cuts in the county next week, after plans were rejected by full council.

On December 2, councillors at East Sussex County Council voted against any cuts to subsidised bus services.

Now, officers have come up with a revised plan for the council’s cabinet to consider, which sees a total of 90 of the 101 subsidised bus services saved, which some reduction in frequency.

On Tuesday, the cabinet will make the final decision, and officers have recommended the revised plans for approval.

These plans include changes from the original proposals, in response to feedback from a public consultation.

If the proposed revisions are agreed, around 91 per cent of passengers will be unaffected and 95 per cent will still have a six-day-a-week service.

As part of these proposals, cabinet will also be asked to consider an increase in fares across the supported bus network of up to 30 per cent.

The cabinet will also consider the recommendation by full council, to reject the plans for any cuts.

But campaign group spokesman for Love Your Bus, Chris Smith, said, “With a full council meeting voting against cuts, in any democracy that would be the end of the matter, but East Sussex County Council operates a cabinet system.

“Final decisions are often taken not by a full council but by a small group of council members- the cabinet.

“All the cabinet members are Conservatives as they are the largest single party, even though they do not have a majority on the council.

“This is grossly undemocratic. We think the cabinet should be bound by the decision of the full council.”