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Eastbourne & Willingdon Lib Dems

Conservatives 'praise' failed Conservative Bus Chairman

November 23, 2006 10:46 AM

Local Conservatives have rejected a Liberal Democrat bid to replace failed Conservative Bus Board Chairman Patrick Warner, choosing instead to praise him!

At at full Council meeting yesterday evening, Liberal Democrat Council Group Leader David Tutt told Councillors that "there are clearly major problems with Eastbourne Buses as demonstrated by the recent Independent Audit Commission report which stated 'it is unlikely that Eastbourne Buses Ltd will continue... without restructuring of its existing debt...'".

Councillor Tutt explained that the two Liberal Democrat members of the Board (Rob Slater and Troy Tester) had been courageous in speaking openly about their concerns following months of frustration.

During this period decisions made by the Board of Directors were not acted upon and many key issues of concern were not communicated to them. In the end they decided that they had no choice other than to resign from the Board in order to bring this issue to a head.

For the good of passengers and staff, Liberal Democrats believe that there is a need to bring a new stability to Eastbourne Buses and welcome the appointment of Roger Bowker as interim Managing Director. They remain very concerned however that the Conservatives chose to use their majority in the Council chamber to back Chairman Warner instead of taking the opportunity to give the company a fresh start.

Current issues include: new buses hitting the road with the wrong livery bringing confusion to passengers; agreements that were made with the unions to resolve strike action in the summer which have still not been met and public anger at service being cut at short notice.

Councillor Warner promised the Council on Wednesday that there would now be improvements to services, but Liberal Democrats remain sceptical and will hold him to account if he fails to deliver on this promise.