Taxi drivers get first insight into 71,000 word, 288 page report by Cambridgeshire County Council into community transport provider FACT

Mike Mason (left), Rob Skoulding and Dave Humprhey arrive at Shire Hall, Cambridge, today to be show

Mike Mason (left), Rob Skoulding and Dave Humprhey arrive at Shire Hall, Cambridge, today to be shown the outcome of a £100,000 investigation by the county council into community transport - Credit: Archant

Taxi drivers from the Fens arrived today at Shire Hall, Cambridge, to see for the first time the outcome of a Cambridgeshire County Council inquiry into community transport.

The Fenland delegation was headed by Dave Humphrey who has been instrumental in putting together the information that led to the county council authorising external investigators to look at the allegations.

Among those accompanying Mr Humphrey today were Fenland councillor Rob Skoulding and former county councillor Mike Mason.

They, along with members of the Cambridgeshire Coach and Taxi Drivers Association, will be allowed to look at some if not all of the 71,000 word, 288 page report that was authorised by chief executive Gillian Beasley.

The report – estimated to have cost up to £100,000 to produce – will also be viewed this week by community transport bosses prior to recommendations being made to the audit committee of the county council.

The committee is scheduling an all day special meeting to look at the findings and to decide the way forward.

All those seeing the documents this week will be asked to retain complete confidentiality about the findings prior to the report being made public next month.

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“We’re off to see the conclusions of our five year fight for justice,” said Mr Humphrey as he entered Shire Hall.

The report will give answers to more than 50 detailed issues put together by the association in recent years.

It covers funding applications by the Fenland Association of Community Transport (FACT), its associated providers ESACT in Ely and HACT in Huntingdonshire.

Also tackled by the investigators will be questions over membership, expansion of the FACT fleet, the balance it achieves between commercial work and community provision for the elderly, licensing, and whether Government funding procedures have been followed.

FACT has always denied any wrong doing.

Last November East Cambridgeshire District Council confirmed that the offer of a £13,500 grant to community transport provider ESACT that was frozen in January had been withdrawn. However the council has made it clear that subject to the outcome of the current investigation it could reapply.

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