Committee throws out proposal to remove transport allowance for those who do not take part in “travel training”

County Hall, Norwich. Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

County Hall, Norwich. Picture by SIMON FINLAY. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

Proposals calling for people in social care to undergo 'travel training' or have their transport allowances removed have been thrown out by a committee.

The move was suggested as a way for Norfolk County Council's adult social care to help make £3.8m in transport savings from now until 2018.

It would have seen those eligible for travel funding assessed for their suitability to undergo training to use public transport.

But a report to the adult social care committee stated if they did not participate in the training, the department would not fund their transport in the future.

The recommendation was thrown out by committee members at County Hall yesterday, with officers asked to explore a different approach.

Emma Corlett, Town Close Labour councillor, said: 'I would be concerned about the impact on people with cognitive impairments or mental health needs that are very complex.

'Where they might be seen to be unwilling to use a bus, but actually there are very genuine health reasons as to why they can't.'

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Officer Janice Dane explained that the training aimed to give people the confidence to use public transport.

She added it would be for individuals with complex learning difficulties or those who lack confidence to use it.

The report stated the department spends around £7m each year providing transport for people eligible for social care funding.

At the end of last year its spend on transport was £2.3m over its £4.5m budget.

Eric Seward, Liberal Democrat councillor for North Walsham East, said: 'I look at the level of savings being asked for, which is £3.8m, and in terms of what is being proposed to achieve those savings, you are not going to get that.'

The committee voted for officers to consider a wider review of arrangements for adult social care transport, looking at best practice elsewhere.

Are you concerned about a service being scrapped? Call Luke Powell on 01603 772684.