Community car scheme rules could put off volunteers
People could be put off from volunteering for community car schemes because of tougher new rules introduced to protect drivers and local authorities.Robin Goreham said he felt that the rules could be too 'robust in their impact' and could put some people off volunteering for the service which operates throughout the Breckland area.
People could be put off from volunteering for community car schemes because of tougher new rules introduced to protect drivers and local authorities.
Robin Goreham said he felt that the rules could be too 'robust in their impact' and could put some people off volunteering for the service which operates throughout the Breckland area.
Mr Goreham was speaking at a meeting of Breckland Council's Overview and Scrutiny Commission when the new rules were being discussed.
While the car scheme, which helps some of the most vulnerable people in the community, is widely regarded as successful, Breckland's head of legal services, Mike Horn, stressed that if Breckland Council has some responsibility for the scheme it had a duty to ensure that all its statutory obligations were carried out.
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Robin Goreham felt the authority undersold the scheme which was incredibly useful and helpful to so many people.
He had been disappointed by the apparent negativity of some councillors and he felt this showed they had clearly no comprehension of how important the scheme is. He felt people could be put off from volunteering because of the stringency of the additional checks.
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In a report to the council's overview and scrutiny commission, members were told there were 22 car schemes operating in Breckland and the scheme had been running for 20 years. But members were told that Breckland, along with local authorities across the country, were faced with providing greater governance in a bid to protect all parties.
In 2006/07 the Breckland car schemes totalled 12,217 journeys, carrying a total of 12,782 passengers.
Dereham town council clerk Tony Needham said the council was happy that the additional governance measures needed to be introduced but had raised concerns that there appeared to be a shift of responsibility for the scheme from Breckland Council to the town council.
One of the newest schemes to be launched is at Bawdeswell and members heard it is working really successfully.
Members agreed robust governance arrangements and legal agreements between Breckland Council and all scheme operators and volunteer drivers be put in place as a requirement to qualify for funding support. Additional funding of up to �27,041 annually was to be provided to support new and existing car schemes. Some of the costs would also include additional CRB (criminal record bureau) and medical checks.