East Sussex’s Conservative-only cabinet made the controversial move in December 2014 amidst an angry backlash from residents of the town, claiming that changes would help would safeguard 90 services, whilst also saving the taxpayer of £1.88 million.
Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Hastings, Sarah Owen, led the ‘Don’t Stop our Bus’ campaign last month and criticised the plans, warning that the town’s elderly population were likely to be hit the hardest.
“The county council do not seem to appreciate how this will, affect vulnerable and elderly residents. If you cannot get around town and visit people, your support network will invariably diminish. Isolation is inevitable. It’s short-sighted to cut off a support line to so many people.”
Despite collecting over 7,000 signatures, the campaign was ultimately futile and with the changes looming, many members of the public are anxious about just how much of an impact they will have.
One resident said, “One of the main sources of income for this town comes from tourism, and I’m worried that with cuts soon to be put into effect, it’ll be difficult to attract more people to visit the town. The council are talking about the need to generate money and are effectivey cutting off their most lucrative source of income. It makes no sense.”
The plans will come into effect in April.