At a Full Council meeting this evening (Thursday 8 January), Cllr James Palmer, Leader of the authority, put forward a proposal to approve the funding following his meeting with the organisation.
The £15,000 will allow Ely Soham Dial-a-Ride to suspend its threatened closure and help those in charge to investigate options to enable the organisation to become more sustainable in the future.
The District Council has also agreed to help Ely Soham Dial-a-Ride secure funding from Cambridgeshire County Council for 2015/16 as well as assist in any negotiations with the County Council in relation to future opportunities.
Cllr James Palmer said: “Before Christmas I offered to sit down with the Ely Soham Dial-a-Ride to find a solution to their financial problems – thankfully they agreed to accept my invitation. During our meeting, it became clear to me that the organisation simply needed time to thoroughly work out a clear way forward. On behalf of the District Council, I felt it was right to offer them a grant which would give them the breathing space they needed.
“This is not an indefinite commitment – however I believe it is a sign that we believe in Ely Soham Dial-a-Ride’s ability to create a future for itself. As I said before Christmas, they give their passengers a purpose – getting them out and about, keeping them active in mind and body. This funding provides a great opportunity for them to focus their community based service to continue to meet the needs of some of our most vulnerable residents. I look forward to working with Ely Soham Dial-a-Ride in the forthcoming months as they work to find themselves a sustainable future.”
Press Release from East Cambridgeshire District Council