VICTIM by victim, the extent of the cuts Derbyshire County Council is reluctantly imposing on services it has always been in support of is coming to light.
This week, we take a look at Ashbourne Community Transport, an organisation absolutely relied upon by users.
We live in a rural landscape and, while we are lucky to be surrounded by swathes of natural beauty, the topography and isolation of some of our villages becomes problematic for people who are suffering with poor mobility.
For decades, to help these people get from A to B, perhaps for a shopping trip, a social visit or maybe a vital medical appointment, Ashbourne Community Transport has been there. But now it is under threat and, with that threat, comes uncertainty for its users who could face a future stuck indoors with no way of getting out and about.
As the council tightens its belt further in the face of crippling Government funding cuts, Ashbourne Community Transport is staring down the barrel of what could be a complete cease of its funding in the next couple of years.
Next year will be tricky as about 40 per cent of its money looks set to disappear.
What the organisation does next is absolutely crucial and, instead of burying their heads in the sand, Richard Mountford and his team intend to roll up their sleeves and take on the challenge.
Using the assets the service already has – its fine fleet of buses – Ashbourne Community Transport is looking to launch a new service for the town, to run alongside the current bus routes. It's a handy thing for us all – a cheap way of exploring picturesque areas we often take for granted.
While, for most of us, we get cheap transport for a night out in the Peak District, our support of this service should ensure the charity can continue to lay on trips for elderly and vulnerable people.
It could be, in every sense of the words, a win-win situation. So make the most of it while you still can.