East Cambridgeshire community transport services to receive £15,000 boost from District Council

The Ely and Soham Association of Community Transport (ESACT) will receive £13,500 from East Cambridg

The Ely and Soham Association of Community Transport (ESACT) will receive £13,500 from East Cambridgeshire District Council's community transport grant. - Credit: Archant

Two local community transport providers are set to receive a big boost in the form of a share of £15,000 of District Council money.

The Ely and Soham Association of Community Transport (ESACT) and Voluntary and Community Action East Cambridgeshire (VCAEC) will be given £13,500 and £1,500 respectively from the council’s Community Transport Grant.

The council has allocated £15,000 from the budget to support local community transport schemes “in recognition of the important role they play in providing much needed transport for residents, particularly those living in more rural areas,” according to infrastructure and strategy manager, Sally Bonnett.

The council’s commercial services committee will be recommended to award the schemes the funding following a selection process that awarded points (one to five) to each scheme for “the scope of the services provided.”

Four applications were received – from ESACT, VCAEC, Cambridgeshire County Council and the Voluntary Network – and ESACT and the VCAEC came out on top.

They scored highly for their improvement to accessibility to work, education and public services, geographical areas covered and how they delivered “measurable benefits” to users.

Ms Bonnett’s report concluded the funding should be divided to support ESACT’s expansion of dial-a-ride services in East Cambridgeshire, and VCAEC’s application to computerise the East Cambridgeshire Social Car Scheme to “enable an increase in activity levels.”

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ESACT, a charity which provides transport for those who have difficulty using “conventional” methods, had originally applied to receive all £15,000 of the grant, while VCAEC applied for £1,500.

The commercial services committee will meet on Tuesday January 17.