Agenda item

Public Questions


The following question were asked by Nigel Canham, Chair of Newton Abbot Community Transport Association of the Chair of the Committee



'Will the committee please recognise the potentially extremely damaging impact of removing annual financial support worth £7,610 from Newton Abbot Community Transport Association?


Our charity has operated for 30 years, serving some of the district’s most isolated and vulnerable residents.


We have been able to do so only through the extraordinary efforts of staff, volunteers and, long before my time, board members.


The pandemic almost brought the organisation to its knees and only last month we decided it was essential to invest in additional staff hours simply to maintain our current levels of service.


This will probably not be possible should we lose our grant as we need a certain level of guaranteed income before undertaking additional expenditure.

Relying on the chance of winning a share of the small grants fund does not provide a sound basis upon which to make strategic decisions.


Additionally, our plans to generate new sustainable transport services such as car sharing and e-bike hire for people with mobility issues, as part of a Newton Abbot transport hub that TDC would like to develop, will be jeopardised.


Year after year NACTA has demonstrated that the financial support offered by TDC has been more than repaid in the form of increased economic activity within Newton Abbot.


Additionally, we have worked with some of the hardest to reach individuals, providing support that would otherwise have to come from families or hard-pushed statutory authorities.


NACTA welcomes TDC’s scrutiny of its expenditure but asks that it considers the wisdom of derailing an established and proven charity for the sake of experimenting with other, perhaps fledgling groups who may not have the expertise or experience required to achieve their aims.


Please, let us continue to provide excellent value for money and to increase our demographic reach through the development of new services which are in line with TDC’s climate, regeneration and social aspirations. 


Members, please be careful in what you wish for and I implore you, don’t be the straw to break the camel’s back.

Thank you.’




The Committee recognises the work Newton Abbot Transport Association, and all voluntary and community organisations across Teignbridge undertake to support vulnerable residents and would like to take the opportunity to thank all the volunteers who give their own time and effort to support others in the District.


The proposals put before O&S for discussion today aim to widen the availability of Council funding to a greater number of voluntary and community groups, rather than a few organisations that currently benefit.  The proposals include the creation of a small grants fund which will be open for applications from any voluntary and community organisation, including those organisation who are losing funding.  This enables the Council to have an open, transparent and equitable process to award funding to the third sector and ensures as broad a cross section of residents as possible can benefit from the funding available.


The Committee acknowledges these proposed changes will have an impact on groups who have historically received Council funding, and it is important for members and the Executive to understand that impact before any final decisions are made. Hence there is a 4 week consultation period to give the opportunity for all organisation impacted to comment on the changes and for their comments to be included in any final recommendations put before Executive for agreement.


Mr Canham asked a supplementary question as follows: 


Does the committee acknowledge that it isn’t NACTA which benefits from the TDC grant but the thousands of isolated and elderly people who have used our services for the past 30 years? Further, will the committee acknowledge that increasing the number of groups able to claim a share of the small grants fund will not necessarily increase the number of residents who benefit? The current SLA has proven its effectiveness and again we would urge that any changes are considered with the utmost care and recognition of the hurt it will cause those who ultimately lose out through reduced funding. 


The Chair advised that he did not have the information at hand to answer the question and that Mr Canham would be advised of the answer following the meeting.