End of the line for Islington PlusBus?
THE leader of the opposition has slammed Islington Council’s Labour bosses for putting a council magazine ahead of a vital bus service for the elderly and disabled.
Councillor Terry Stacy, of the Liberal Democrat group, has called on the Labour leaders to scrap Islington Life magazine and put the �60,000 it costs to produce towards keeping the PlusBus.
The bus, which costs Islington Council �140,000 a year, is set to be axed in June.
The Labour council has refused an offer from the Mayor of London of �100,000 of Transport for London money to keep it going – because the cash would only be handed over if Islington pledged to maintain the same frequency of buses and to fund the service entirely through council funds from 2013.
Councillor Stacy said: “We should be pleased the Mayor of London has stepped in and we should now step up to find the missing �40,000 funding to save the PlusBus. Liberal Democrats suggested axing the council’s resident magazine to allow this to happen but Labour councillors voted against.
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“Obviously glossy council propaganda is more important to Labour councillors than the PlusBus for Islington old people.”
Councillor Catherine West, leader of Islington Council, said: “The Lib Dems fail to mention that their Government’s cuts have taken �335million out of Islington.
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“Islington Life cost nearly �300,000 under their watch, but since taking control in May we have reduced that to just �60,000.
“We are continuing to pressure Boris Johnson to release the money for PlusBus, but have made clear to him that the strings he attached to his latest offer make the future of the service untenable.”