Shopmobility saved for one year only….so far.

First published in News The Argus: Roy Pennington by

The Green administration on Brighton & Hove City Council has made many modifications to their budget proposals in response to consultation feedback. They have made changes to many areas where people had been particularly concerned about.

In one case, the original saving proposal was to cut the £29,000 public subsidy to the Churchill Square Shopmobility scheme this fiscal year and transfer responsibility to the shopping centre freeholder instead.

This scheme was set-up as part of the planning permission when Churchill Square was re-vamped several years ago. There had been occasional funding from other planning developments (a.k.a. “planning gain”) later but not in any systematic sustainable way.

The saving proposal had been in the supporting documents (enc. 13) for the City Regulation and Infrastructure section of the Place budget at the 8th December Cabinet meeting. The £29,000 cut had not made many headlines in local fora.

Now, the Green Administration will delay the cut to next year (2013/14) “to help the transition to a new funding model” e.g. to find some other funder to pick up the tab.

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Jason Kitcat stated today: "We are proposing to remove the recurring (annual) funding of £29,000 as it was always intended as a start-up fund which somehow never got scaled down once the service was running. We will be providing £29,000 one-off money for 2012/13 to ensure a smooth transition to the new Shopmobility arrangements."

Shopmobility is part of the Brighton and Hove Federation of Disabled People, now known as "Fed Centre for Independent Living" and based in Kemp Town. Shopmobility is under Churchill Square shopping centre.

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