Norman Baker, Minister for Local and Regional Transport formally opened Sutton Community Transport’s impressive new vehicle depot and offices at Beddington Lane.
Sutton Community Transport
Date filmed:12 October 2010
Narrator: Sutton Community Transport is a registered charity working in the London boroughs of Sutton and Croydon. Last year it won a number of home-to-school contracts from Croydon Council and obtained working capital funding from Futurebuilders. Norman Baker, Minister for Local and Regional Transport, formally opened the charity’s impressive new vehicle depot and offices at Beddington Lane. He was keen to emphasise the importance of community transport.
Norman Baker, Minister for Local and Regional Transport: Well, if we didn’t have community transport then there’d be a whole range of people in society who simply wouldn’t be able to get anywhere, so it’s a tremendously important function, and this is a very good example of what can be achieved in undertaking a huge number of journeys for different people of different varieties and needs, and this is a particularly good model because it actually requires no public funding. By undertaking contract services which are paid for, that subsidises the services which need to be undertaken for community purposes. So it’s a really good example of what can be achieved.
Mike Skinner, Chief Executive, Sutton Community Transport: In Sutton it’s about 47,000 passengers a year that we carry. It tends to be a combination of older people, many with disabilities, and younger people. We do also do a lot of work for schools, so there’s a whole age range from 5 through to 95. We do a lot of work for about 20 to 25 schools in Sutton. That tends to be outings, day trips, care homes, sheltered housing, to allow them to go out to the countryside or go to the coast in the summer. So it’s a whole range of things.
Sue Robson, Co-Founder, Sutton Community Transport: The realisation today is the vision that we had in place then and that, actually, I wrote that bid based upon. So it’s just great for me to come back here today and see the realisation of what, 15 years ago, started so small and now it’s doing all of this for so many vulnerable people in Sutton and the surrounding area. It’s just brilliant.
Norman Baker: We’re very keen to see community schemes such as this. We support the community transport sector very strongly. I’ve met them already on a national basis. They do a tremendous amount of good work and fit in exactly with the sort of localism and Big Society the government wants to encourage.