My KCC Election Manifesto & Video

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Kent Greens Oppose Freedom Pass Changes

The Kent Green Party has condemned KCC Plans to place a cap on the value its young person’s Freedom Pass.
In a report to be presented at Friday’s (13th December) Environment, Transport and Waste Cabinet Committee meeting (1), it is proposed to limit the 11-16 year old Freedom Pass to journeys up to the value £350. The current Freedom Pass allows unlimited journeys within Kent. 

The report also proposes the introduction of a new Freedom Pass for 16 – 20 year olds which will be limited to journeys up to the value of £250. Both passes will cost £100 to buy and when the limit is exhausted young people or their parents will have to top-up the card by purchasing extra credit.
The changes hope to save £7million as part of KCC drive to reduce it costs by £239 million over the next 4 years.

Thanet Green Party Councillor, Ian Driver, said “The plans discriminate massively against Thanet families. It is estimated that 28% of our young people live at, or close to, the poverty line. This is by far the highest rate of child poverty in Kent. To force the parents of these young people to find extra money to  top their sons and daughters Freedom Passes when they are already struggling to make ends meet is totally unfair. It will cause great hardship to those least able to afford it”.
Green Party KCC Councillor Martin Whybrow said that he will be opposing the plans. He pointed that apart from families on low income and dependent upon benefits, “young people living  in rural areas who have to make longer journey’s to school or college will also be losers. Their credit will be used up much quicker than those living in urban areas of Kent and their hard-pressed parents will be forced to find extra money to top up their passes”.

7 comments:

  1. Ian I always thought that if child at secondary school has to travel more that 3 miles then KCC have to pay for this. If this is still the case then those in Thanet living more than 3 miles from school will have to give up their freedom passes and just get KCC to pay. Maybe KCC will need to rename this pass as it is no longer a freedom pass.

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  2. Or alternatively, it might force more young people to walk and cycle. Surely that's a "Green" policy?

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    1. It would be if UK road fuel was as clean as it is elsewhere.

      Plus the lack of cycle lanes and the mentality of some of the younger car drivers leaves a lot to be desired.

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  3. Students who live more than three miles away from the school they are attending should be issued with a bus pass which allows them free travel to and from school. Any other travel needs to be paid for by their parents. In Kent, many of the most expensive properties are in rural areas. I don't see why I or any other taxpayer should have to subsidise travel for children of parents, many of whom are far wealthier than we are.

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    1. you've not been Elvington or similar villages then?

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  4. Why not provide free bus travel and sack civil servants to the value required? Meaningless paperwork and dozens of civil servants for buses we've already paid for through tax.

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  5. My 2 daughters go to their nearest Grammar school (a High school is closer). As of September 2012 they no longer get a free bus pass (they did before) because they should change and walk to the High school instead of bussing to a Grammar. So we had to get £100 Freedom passes instead. Now it's going to be over £800 each a year for bus travel.

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