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Council could turn to Uber in bid to cut school transport costs

Council could turn to Uber in bid to cut school transport costs

Tara O'Connor

Council could turn to Uber in bid to cut school transport costs

Discussions between the Royal Borough and taxi company Uber are underway in a bid to cut a projected council overspend of £440,000.

The most significant projected increase for children’s services in the borough is in ‘home to school transport.’

This is according to Alison Alexander who was speaking at a meeting of the Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Panel at Windsor Guildhall on Tuesday.

The strategic director said there has been a £230,000 increase in projections which had resulted in a £440,000 projected overspend against the council budget.

The service is for children and young people with special educational, medical or other specific needs.

This academic year, 100 more children have qualified for the scheme compared to October last year - a rise of 10 per cent.

Alison told councillors: “We have just entered into discussions with Uber Taxis to see if we could make that work.

“They have said they can reduce the costs for us.

“We’re going to work on that as a whole council.”

Uber is a taxi service which is connected through a mobile phone.

The additional cost is currently being met from under spends elsewhere but £30,000 extra has been requested in the 2016-17 budget.

The financial update was due to go to cabinet on Thursday with the recommendation that strategic directors and lead members will ‘implement proposals that mitigate the predicted overspend’.

Uber declined to comment.

Also at the meeting, ‘interim methodology’ for Section 106 funding was presented by lead member for planning, Cllr Derek Wilson (Con, Oldfield).

It updates the way S106 developer contributions are collected and allocated and is expected to be in place for around 18 months from Tuesday.

Cllr Derek said: “The regulation is quite clear that you can’t pool more than five projects for one school.”

The revised plan also states contributions from a single development will generally be used to fund a scheme at one school only.

Previously the money could be split across a number of schools.

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