Place scrutiny panel gets started on new inquiry

The Place scrutiny board got started on a new inquiry last week when the Public Transport Inquiry Panel met for the first time.  The Place scrutiny board had already agreed the inquiry brief at a public meeting in late July where the scrutiny board tasked a group of councillors with conducting the inquiry.

The first task of the Public Transport Inquiry Panel was to discuss and agree the scope of the inquiry.  This meant that the Panel determined the key question that it wants the inquiry to address – how can public transport help to improve levels of social inclusion in Swansea.  The Panel also discussed and agreed why this was inquiry was chosen; how the inquiry will look at equalities issues; what evidence will be gathered to help the Panel answer the inquiry question and how the Panel will engage with the public.

The inquiry will begin next month and run until March 2013.

The draft version of the inquiry scope will go to councillors in the next few days for them to comment before the Overview & Scrutiny Unit will publish the final agreed scope to the blog.

If you would like any further information on the inquiry or would like to know how you can get involved in the inquiry please leave a comment


  1. Cyndy A Westbrook says

    Would the Scrutiny Board please consider the following carefully for the next meeting in October.

    Many people who dont drive in areas of Fforestfach that suffer from Public Transport Poverty feel totally excluded
    from life as it should be. This affects older people greatly. Their
    communities have broken up due to lack of transport as others have had
    to move nearer the city to access shops for daily provisions and health
    providers. They are isolated with a sometimes unreliable and very sparse
    bus service.

    Children also suffer in the area. There is nothing for them and the
    visiting Play Buses are fully booked when we try to book them. Councilor
    Theaker is aware of the situation here for children and is helping within another area for them.

    Complaints to the Council on the lateness of buses and drivers having to
    take short cuts into the city, thereby missing out stops on original
    route are zapped and disputed by First Transport using the Green Mapping
    System against what we are saying. We do not even know if our
    complaints have been believed.

    People are now having to use taxis for appointments as the few buses can
    never fit in with medical appointments or it is not worth taking the
    chance of buses being late. We appreciated that the particular schedule
    is difficult for the drivers to keep up with and have mentioned this
    many times over the last 5 years. However nothing is changed to make the
    schedule better for the drivers and the passengers. Our drivers are
    obviously very miserable. In fact, we apparently had a happy driver the
    other day and this got to be a source of phone calls and talk on corners
    as it was such a strange and unusual occurance.

    When the head count comes in January we feel sure there
    will be the usual yearly attempt at taking the bus out of service
    again. We feel First Transport are causing the problems NOT the
    passengers having to choose more reliable (but deeply costly) methods to
    just get into town. The reasons will be not enough people are using the

     We resent that First are really dictating our needs and dictating
    to the Council what they regard as necessary services. There have been
    many attempts to get on transport boards but we are never chosen.

    We have resigned ourselves and restricted our social and shopping habits
    over the past 6 six years. We have reluctantly had to accept that we
    cannot go out after 5pm. We have accepted the stresses of making
    appointments for our health needs around a few buses per day. We would
    love to participate in some of the delights this new Council has
    arranged within the City. We would love to spend our money in the
    Swansea shops.

    On phoning your Transport section this Autumn to see if the 53 bus
    contract is being renewed for the year 2013 we are told that they cannot tell us anything at this ‘stage’ as the step is only a discretionary decision. This ‘stage’ is only 2 plus months away.

    Before the renewal of the last contract we had to take on the most utterly stressful and aggressive campaign at Assembly level to keep the very few 53 buses running. It was most distressing and left a few people very washed out.

    Please accept that the residents of these areas are excluded in what
    should be an equal society that should have access not only to the bear necessities of life but also some social life which we feel has been taken away from us for the last 10 years.

    Please keep the 53 bus and similar services to suburban areas running.

  2. Cyndy A Westbrook says

    I would very much like to get involved with the issues of transport with particular interest on suburban areas to and from the City.

    Suburban residents in Swansea suffer badly from severe transport poverty. This has caused communities to break up forcing people who dont or can no longer drive to move to better serviced areas.

    Smashed communities lead to isolation, depression and ill health….. especially within the older generation.

    Children/parents also suffer during the long summer holidays especially where there are no nearby play areas.

    In the long term shops and businesses in the city are effected as we are now all getting moulded to be happy with not going out and conducting all our shopping on line.

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