Rural Community Transport Networking Event31st May, Birnam Arts CentreWiFi Password – Conference 2001Twitter# - RCTNE2012
Rural Community TransportNetworking Event 11.00am Welcome and introduction 11.05am Sustainable Community Transport in Rural Scotland 12.00pm Learning from other areas 12.30pm Panel Q&A 12.45pm Networking Lunch 1.45pm Workshops – Session 1 1. Working with Volunteers - Buchan Dial-a-Community Bus 2. Setting up and running a Community Car Scheme – Badenoch & Strathspey Community Transport Company 3. Finding the right funding – Rural Direct 4. Equalities Act 2010 and understanding how it applies to you – HIEF 2.20pm Workshops – Session 2 Repeat of the above sessions 2.50pm Brief feedback of key points from sessions and closing remarks 3.00pm Close
Rural Community TransportNetworking Event Sustainable Community Transport in Rural Scotland State of the Sector report for Scotland John McDonald, CTA Scotland
Rural Community TransportNetworking Event Sustainable Community Transport in Rural Scotland Case Study 1 Bradbury Centre, Bonar Bridge
The Bradbury Centre is a purpose build centre for the over 60’s and those with special needs, we cover a large rural area, with most of our clients requiring transport to use our facilities. Bradbury Centre
Lunch at the Centre The centre opened in 1998 with transport always a problem. At the outset transport for lunch club was provided by volunteer car drivers and sporadic hire of taxis and minibuses. Social work funded transport for their assessed day care, in 1999 this was supplemented by HC Dial-a-Bus, but it was not ideal due to operator’s commitment to school contracts, meaning clients arrived late and were expected to leave early.
A successful application to the Rural Community Transport Initiative (RCTI) in October 2003 greatly improved the centre’s transport problems as it allowed a longer day and the introduction of new services. These services were registered by the contractor as bus routes allowing clients to travel using their travel cards, this reduced the cost to the Highland Council. Social Work were invited to use the RCTI funded service for a 6 months trial period, as this was successful the arrangement continued. Ronnie MacNeill - First contractor
In 2008 our contractor announced that he wished to reduce the work he carried out for the centre. Services were then taken on by another two contractors providing the services our contractor dropped meaning that we now had three contractors each doing different routes our original contractor Mr McNeil doing – Local & Edderton, with Macleods – Lairg, & Mackays Embo & Dornoch)
RCTI funding was transferred to Highland Council in April 2008, we made an application for continuation funding in November 2008 but this was turned down as the HC decided we did not meet the criteria as it predominantly served the needs of Social Work clients. Faced with the withdrawal of funding we had to look at ways in which we could continue to provide access to the centre and its services as otherwise we would have had to close.
The solution was to buy our own minibus using our own funds, this was a huge undertaking for us because we had to learn how to run our own transport services. We had to set up all the records that VOSA required, and also a monitoring system to prove to the board and funders that we cold be sustainable. We needed help initially with the running costs of the bus and the employment of a driver. We approached the HC and our local wind farm community fund, with the idea of a community bus which will service not only the centre clients but also members of the community some of whom do not leave their homes unless they pay someone to take them shopping or the dentist etc. This made us look at providing transport to and from the two larger towns in our area who have large supermarkets, dentists, opticians, pharmacy’s etc. Where members of the community can use a door to door service, enabling independence, and choice. This also opened up the centre to communities who in the past were unable to utilise our facility unless they had their own transport.
Getting the Section 19 permit was relatively easy but we were only able to carry our own members and as the clients had been used to travelling free we really needed to consider a way of allowing them to continue travelling free of charge. The Community bus permit also known as Section 22 was a lot more difficult to get, this might have been because we were one of the first to apply in the local area. Nothing was easy they lost the application three times, eventually when they processed the application we had to have a visit from VOSA, who were delighted with our system but also pointed out additional things such as a wall chart (I might add this was the only additional thing)
We were then issued with our permit but the registration process took 70 days. In May 2010 we introduced three bus services, one service running Monday and Friday is demand responsive the other two are fixed. Using ticket machine
The future is looking relatively bright, we are in the process of becoming a Health and Wellbeing Centre, providing care and support to the elderly of our area, this was in response to the Social Work budget cuts. Our bus will play a big part in this as we will be able to take clients to the bank, local shops etc. also on trips at times that suit us and the clients not the Social Work or other bus operators. As well as our own bus we use council run Dial-a-Bus services which covers Embo & Dornoch on a Tuesday, and Lairg on a Wednesday, the worry for the future would be if these services were reduced or stopped as clients in these areas would be unable to attend. We will also have to replace the bus in the near future, to enable us to do this we set our charges high enough so that we can ring fence money towards this.
Rural Community TransportNetworking Event Sustainable Community Transport in Rural Scotland Case Study 2 Lochaber Action on Disability
HISTORY Established 1993 to provide support and social inclusion for disabled people
ACTIVITIES Drop in Centre/ Office in Caol Community Café Craft Workshop Shop and High Street Stalls Gardening Projects
TRANSPORT Inherited minibus from Lochaber Handicapped Association in 1996 Upgraded bus in 1997 School contract 1997-2007 (outbid) Upgraded to Vauxhall Monavo in 2008
PERMITS Section 19 or Small vehicle permit for specific groups - £7 for 5 years – not for profit Section 22 or Community bus permit - £55 for permit, £13 to register each bus route. Not for profit. Can be used by general public Can be hired out to make a profit to help subsidised the route.
SHOPPING SERVICE Thursday – Roy Bridge/Spean Bridge to Fort William Friday – Fort William Town service
CAOL LUNCH CLUB Threat to close it down. Discussion throughout 2011. Eventually saved by LAD who now not only make the meals but provide the transport
Monday – Friday Dial a Bus Booking required Details given in registration Set fares £3 or £4
Concessionary Fares Require ticket machine Back Office 67p in £ Cap on scheme
Bus Service Operator’ Grant All registered bus services S19 permit services 14.4p per kilometre Low carbon Vehicles receive 28.8p per kilometre DRT reimbursement !
Rural Community TransportNetworking Event Learning from other areas Norman Rides Rural Social Enterprise Manager for CTA
The Rural Social Enterprise Programme Norman Rides Rural Social Enterprise Programme Manager:- CTA www.ctauk.org
Preparation: CTA & The Plunkett Foundation confer and agree that there is a need for a programme to support a cohort of rural community transport organisations in adopting social enterprise methodology and techniques; A multi-dimensional programme is proposed to support the development of eight community transport operators in rural areas drawing on the strengths of a range of programme partners A Partnership is created of: CTA community transport knowledge; The Plunkett Foundation rural social enterprise knowledge; Commission for Rural Communities rural issues knowledge & advocacy; Department for Transport transport knowledge; Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, social enterprise funding experience, and The Social Investment Business social investment experience and loans. www.ctauk.org
Objectives: To support the development of eight RCTs to become social enterprises by securing sustainable income streams from public contracts; To demonstrate to the wider rural community transport network that the social enterprise model is viable and achievable; and To demonstrate to service commissioners that the rural community transport network is a viable long-term delivery model for a wide range of social, health, education and transport services. www.ctauk.org
Recruitment: Thirty-four rural community transport operators applied for the programme based on application form; Nineteen invited to second-stage based on business plan; Eight organisations selected for inclusion: ADAPT North-East Hexham, Northumberland; Bakewell & Eyam Great Longstone, Derbyshire; Coastal Accessible Transport Services Leiston, Suffolk; Cotswold cvsCirencester, Gloucestershire; Nene & Ouse CT Thrapston, Northants; North-East Equality & Diversity Alnwick, Northumberland; North Wealden CTP Hartfield, East Sussex; Third Sector Services Cheltenham, Gloucestershire www.ctauk.org
Resources: Each to receive: £34,000 in grant (from Esmée Fairbairn Foundation) £55,000 in loan (from Social Investment Business) Total £85,000 to employ a Business Development Manager for three years @ £25,000 p.a. plus oncosts Training and support from CTA centrally Additional Training bought-in on an individual basis Personal Mentor for CEO (organised informally) www.ctauk.org
The best laid plans o’ mice and men… Change of Government in May 2010: Commission for Rural Communities reviewed and abolished Social Investment Business reviewed and reprieved Severe cuts to Local Government budgets Rural Transport Subsidies a “soft option” for cuts Social Investment Business Policy Changes Loans no longer tied to employing BDMs Used for vehicles and premises BDMs on much less attractive terms than proposed Individual Loan agreements with each participant organisation Much shorter loan repayment periods Very much shorter drawdown periods www.ctauk.org
Other Issues: Culture Shock: Trustee apprehension over more “business-like approach” Staff and volunteer turnover Local Authority timidity Hiding behind “procurement legislation” Reluctant to reward service quality Use of “e-auctions” rather than constructive methods Fear of legal challenge from other providers Competition Taxi drivers Private bus operators www.ctauk.org
Key Achievements: £1.5 million in new business (from base of £2.582 i.e. 60% increase) Biggest single contract £371,520 (£74,304 p.a. for 5 years) A strong group of organisations has been created likely to last beyond the programme period Peer-to-peer visits have begun Participant Organisations have begun supporting local CTs and transferring knowledge and expertise acquired www.ctauk.org
Lessons Learned: The application process itself can be a development tool; Application form; Business Plan Tools and Development; Acceptance on to programme is itself a form of success; There is a big market out there: Even reduced investment in BDMs has resulted in significant new contracts at the limit of capacity to deliver Where procurement is open and pro-active, imaginative solutions can be found Support needs to be holistic Need to strengthen organisations across the board (HR, Finance, Operations, Governance) as well as injecting BDM capacity www.ctauk.org
Rural Social Enterprise Programme 020-7250-8362 email@example.com www.ctauk.org
Rural Community TransportNetworking Event Networking Lunch
Rural Community TransportNetworking Event Workshops – Session 1 Working with VolunteersBuchan Dial-a-Community Bus Setting up and running a Community Car SchemeBadenoch & Strathspey Community Transport Company Finding the right fundingRural Direct Equalities Act 2010 and understanding how it applies to youHIEF
Rural Community TransportNetworking Event Workshops – Session 2 Working with VolunteersBuchan Dial-a-Community Bus Setting up and running a Community Car SchemeBadenoch & Strathspey Community Transport Company Finding the right fundingRural Direct Equalities Act 2010 and understanding how it applies to youHIEF
Rural Community TransportNetworking Event Feedback and close