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No extra funds for transport groups

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By Abbey Morton
Lockerbie and Lochmaben

A COMMUNITY transport project lost out on extra funding after a vote by councillors.

At Wednesday’s meeting of Annandale and Eskdale Area Committee, members assessed a total of 34 applications for funding totalling over £150,000.

Among them was the Annandale Transport Initiative (ATI), which applied for £50,000 towards providing a community transport service across Annandale and Eskdale, with buses based in Moffat, Lockerbie, Annan, Gretna and Langholm.

And after being assessed by a scoring panel the application was recommended to receive £34,000 of the funding sought.

But Annandale North Councillor Stephen Thompson argued that they should receive more based on his experience of the ATI’s work in the community.

He claimed the officials’ assessment did not fully represent the picture in the community and perhaps they had not filled in the application as best they could.

Mr Thompson said: “I know from my work in my ward that the need/demand is significant.”

The Annandale North member lodged an amendment to increase the allocation by five per cent, taking it to £37,500, and was seconded by Ian Carruthers.

The option went to a vote and came to a tie, with four members expressing the group should receive £34,000 and the other four voting for an increase.

Meeting chairman Ronnie Ogilvie had the casting vote and decided that the group should get £34,000, as recommended by the scoring panel.

Councillor Gail Macgregor commented that the ATI’s application for funding was the same as last year.

And she said: “They are looking at ways that they can sustain themselves rather than rely on area committee.”


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