North East Wales

Flintshire scooter work scheme faces closure

Mopeds
Image caption The Flintshire scheme loans out scooters to young workers in rural parts of the county.

A travel scheme that provides scooters to help young people in rural Flintshire get to work is under threat because of funding cuts.

The Flintshire Wheels 2 project, FW2, has been running since 2005 and has a fleet of 20 scooters.

Delyn AM Sandy Mewies is calling on Flintshire councillors and officials to look at ways of saving the scheme.

The council called it a difficult decision, but without funding it had to help develop an "exit strategy".

Mrs Mewies was told that despite receiving money from the assembly government's Cymorth youth fund, the scheme was set to close in March 2011.

"I have heard from young people and their parents about how this scheme, which is accepted as being 'highly successful and best practice,' helped them," she said.

"People were using the scooters provided by FW2 to reach work placements or college which were either difficult or impossible to access without this support.

'Great support'

"One young man in an apprenticeship fears he will lose the training if he loses his transport and several people had been helped to learn to drive and increase their opportunities through FW2."

The FW2 project currently receives just over £42,000 from the Cymorth fund.

But Mrs Mewies said Flintshire council's Children and Young People's Partnership (CYPP) was withdrawing its support, as another part of the FW2 funding package was set to come to an end.

"I hope that the Children's and Young Peoples Partnership will take another look," said Mrs Mewies.

"This scheme has great support from young people in the county and I do hope their voices will be heard."

A spokesman for Flintshire council said: "FW2 has two sources of funding, the first being Workwise and the other being Cymorth.

"The Workwise funding ends in March 2001, and this in itself will make the project unsustainable".

It said the CYPP had to recognise the ending of the Workwise funding and other considerations in its decision to halt Cymorth funding.

"The difficult decision for the CYPP is based on the information provided by the project team, and on the need to manage the situation which has arisen due to the ending of present funding.

"The council does not have any core funding to support the FW2 Project, and needs to help the project team to develop its exit strategy for the project between now and 31 March 2011."

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