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  • TAXPAYERS ARE SET TO FOOT THE BILL YET AGAIN AS THE COST OF BURNHAMS YOUTH BUS PASSES SPIRALS BY £1M

    New website development, marketing and promotion as well as administration costs, had not been considered as part of the original budget for the scheme. As a result just 3 months on from the announcement, the GM Metro Mayor is back again cap in hand and asking for a further £1m from tax payers for the two year pilot scheme.

    Burnham says that the additional money is required to deliver and operate the 'Opportunity Pass' scheme, which has now taken on the new name of 'Our Pass', the reason being is that other promised funding sources have 'failed to materialise'.

    Originally Burnham had said the cost of the bill would come from both the bus companies themselves as well as from colleges and sponsors but this money has simply not been acquired. The colleges are currently reluctant to sign off on releasing their part of the funding, estimated to be at £1m, as they are unsure that the funding can be used for that purpose.

    The Mayor also hopes to be able to dip into a pot which is usually for subsidisation of bus routes after it was left with a hefty £1.6m after an under-spend. 

    Leaders will meet on Friday to hear how the cost of setting up the scheme, operating it and promoting it will require the additional £1m funding.

    £400,000 of which will be used for initial set up and a further £300,000 per year over 2 years in order to to develop, operate and administer.

    Leaders have agreed that the shortfall can be made up from additional council tax increases and they warn that an additional £15 could be added to band B & D council tax bills next year unless suitable alternative funding can be found for the next phase which is slated to come in at a whopping cost of £16m.


    KARL

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