Costs are de­fended

Rutherglen Reformer - - Health Matters - Staff re­porter

South La­nark­shire Coun­cil have paid out more than £14 mil­lion in taxi fares in the last three years.

The coun­cil have de­fended the costs, say­ing the taxi jour­neys are nec­es­sary to pro­vide trans­port to the area’s most vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple.

How­ever, there are huge dif­fer­ences in the amounts paid out in dif­fer­ent parts of the coun­cil.

South La­nark­shire has the sec­ond high­est taxi bill out of all of Scot­land’s coun­cil ar­eas.

South La­nark­shire Coun­cil has spent £ 14.2m on cabs since 2012, sec­ond only to Glas­gow on £15m.Ed­in­burgh City Coun­cil have only spent £ 1.8m on taxis in the past three years.

The coun­cil hav e de­fended their high lev­els of spend­ing.

A spokesper­son said: “The costs in­curred are im­por­tant to help the most vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple the coun­cil sup­ports on a daily ba­sis.

“This in­cludes chil­dren with ad­di­tional sup­port needs, those un­der child pro­tec­tion or­ders, adults with learn­ing dif­fi­cul­ties who at­tend col­lege or day care, and older peo­ple in residential ac­com­mo­da­tion who have hos­pi­tal ap­point­ments.”

Eben Wil­son, of Tax­payer Scot­land, has hit out at the fig­ures, say­ing that coun­cils should have to pro­vide full de­tails of taxi fares paid to the pubilc.

Eben said: “Our coun­cils should be made to put a full anal­y­sis, to an agreed for­mat, of these huge amounts of money into the public do­main on their web­sites as a leg­isla­tive obli­ga­tion.We pay for these taxis. It is only fair that we should know what these mil­lions of pounds have been spent on. “

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