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MiniPlus Article
August 20 2018
By Tim Deakin

Tim is Editor of routeone and has worked in both the coach and bus and haulage industries.


Three Cambs CTOs found to have abused permits

Report found that FACT was among CTOs to abuse grant monies awarded

An independent report into 55 lines of inquiry concerning three linked Cambridgeshire community transport organisations (CTOs) has revealed a raft of failings - and up to £300,000 in improperly-claimed grants owed to councils.

The previously confidential document, commissioned by Cambridgeshire County Council, follows formal complaints from the Cambridgeshire Bus, Coach and Taxi Association (CBCTA).

The CBCTA argues that Fenland Association for Community Transport (FACT), Huntingdonshire Association for Community Transport (HACT) and Ely and Soham Association for Community Transport are operating “in clear breach” of the section 19 and 22 regime, and in particular its requirement that vehicles may not be used to make a profit.

The report states that FACT needs 11 vehicles to operate its genuine community transport services. HACT requires five for the same purpose. It is alleged that false statements were made to various local authorities to obtain grants to permit fleet expansion to undertake commercial contracts.

In five years, grants from the taxpayer of almost £1.3m were used to expand the fleet to 46 vehicles. 25 of those were used by FACT on commercial contracts. In three years, HACT spent £442,501 to grow its fleet to three times larger than its community transport duties warranted.

In their 2016-ending financial years, FACT and HACT earned over £1m from commercial contracts. All three CTOs have since applied for O-Licences.

Read the full Cambridgeshire County Council report at bit.ly/2LA5XV6



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