‘Urgent’ grant handed over to fledgling dial-a-ride service

John Hill chief exec of East Cambs District Council.

John Hill chief exec of East Cambs District Council. - Credit: Archant

A new dial a ride service for East Cambridgeshire which launched at the start of the month has been given a £10,000 boost by the district council.

Ely and Soham Association for Community Transport – which will be known as ESACT – took over from the now defunct Ely and Soham Dial a Ride on April 1.

Cambridgeshire County Council awarded a grant of £86,000 to the new service, for the purchase of new buses and staff, but ESCAT bosses requested an extra £10,000 grant to cover the cost of driver wages and fuel.

East Cambridgeshire District Council acceded to the request and £10,000 was handed over from the public purse to further boost the charity.

The decision to hand over the cash was taken “on the grounds of urgency” by the chief executive of the district council, John Hill.

A report into the decision noted: “The chief executive consulted the leader of the council prior to the delegated decision. The chairman of the council and the leaders of the minority groups were subsequently notified of the delegated action taken.

“The grant will be used to contribute toward the cost of insurance for vehicles, diesel and wages for the drivers.”

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For the first few months, the new ESACT service will be run from March, where its sister service, Fenland Association for Community Transport, is also based.

A small hub in East Cambridgeshire is being sought.

Anyone who wishes to join ESACT can contact 01354 661234.