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Eastbourne & Willingdon Lib Dems

Lloyd gets local NHS volunteer drivers motion to Parliament

August 21, 2008 12:00 AM

Norman Lamb and Stephen LloydThe rising cost of fuel has caused problems for volunteer NHS drivers within Eastbourne and the surrounding area. Lib Dem parliamentary campaigner, Stephen Lloyd, first publicised there was an issue in early July when he was contacted by a local resident who volunteers as a driver for the NHS.

Stephen said: "The resident informed me of the lamentable situation where volunteer drivers within Eastbourne and the surrounding area had not had their fuel allowance increased, despite the soaring cost of fuel. Salt was added to the wound when only recently, staff have had their mileage allowance increased to take into account the increased petrol and diesel costs but not the volunteer drivers. I was aware there were issues around tax allowances but if the Treasury and local NHS Trusts can get around these for their staff, why not for their hard-pressed volunteers?

"Consequently, I contacted our Shadow Secretary of State for Health, Norman Lamb MP, to ask that he push the issue within Parliament to bring pressure on the Government. I'm very pleased to be able to tell the local volunteer drivers that he has taken up their case. Not just in Eastbourne but across the whole of England. Mr Lamb has tabled Early Day Motion 2081, expressly demanding the government allow the increase to be 'tax free to reflect the rising cost of fuel' and that local NHS Trusts 'should compensate volunteer drivers for their increased fuel costs and bring increases into line with those granted to NHS staff"

Stephen added: "So far 24 MP's have signed this important Early Day Motion including the Conservative MP for Worthing West, Peter Bottomley. As yet our own MP, Nigel Waterson, has failed to do so. I will be writing to him to ask that he support my campaign. Volunteer drivers in Eastbourne and Willingdon perform a vital role on behalf of the NHS and they need the support of all the local politicians."