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Hopper Campaign Goes Ahead on Two Fronts

(February 04, 2016)

The campaign to save the Connect 2 'Hopper' bus service to the Royal United Hospital in Bath goes ahead on two fronts.

The Independent county councillors battle at Trowbridge continues and a Warminster councillor works on a financial rescue plan.

In a letter to Warminster Independent town councillor Paul Macdonald the leader of Wiltshire Council Baroness Jane Scott has revealed that funding was in the budget to match fund money from the NHS.

"I wrote to her suggesting that town and parish councils could be interested in supporting the service financially and this would offer a way forward," said Paul. (pictured)paul 001a

"Baroness Scott has said that the Council recognises the valued service the Hopper Bus provides to the people of West and North Wiltshire so I am hopeful that they will continue to work positively us."

"At first look at what the leader wrote I felt no hope there then but a second look gave me real hope that it will be a challenge but there is a realistic way forward.

"I will look to the cabinet member to take up the challenge as well."

Three unitary authority councillors at county hall where the axe is set to fall on the funding are carrying on their campaign.

"Although we have been seriously let down by, the Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group, and Wiltshire Council, there are still a couple of procedures we can still employ," said Melksham Cllr. Terry Chivers.

"First we can call in and challenge the decision at the Scrutiny Committee will take evidence as to why the decision should be referred back to cabinet to reconsider.

If this move is successful then it could be debated as early as Friday Feb 12th.

"Please be there. If you can't make it please write to its Councillor Simon Killane, and express your views. Every contribution could be most useful," added Terry.

"After the scrutiny call in, we have one further chance to save the Hopper," said Trowbridge Cllr. Jeff Osborn.

"That's the full meeting of Wiltshire Council in Trowbridge on Tuesday Feb 23rd 2015. At this meeting we can move an amendment to the budget to reinstate the Hopper funding.

In Warminster Paul is hosting a meeting at the Rose and Crown in East Street next Thursday evening at 7.30pm for the operators of the service and users to talk about the future of the Hopper Bus.

"You can see that we still have everything to fight for but to really be effective we need the help of all those that depend on the Hopper bus service," said Trowbridge county councillor Helen Osborn.

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