Examination of Witnesses (Questions 496-499)
MS CLAIRE TYLER, MS LOUISE DOMINIAN AND MR RAVI GURUMURTHY
TUESDAY 21 MAY 2002
496. Good afternoon. I wonder if you would be kind enough to identify yourselves for the record.
(Ms Tyler) I am Claire Tyler. I am Head of the Social Exclusion Unit.
(Mr Gurumurthy) Ravi Gurumurthy, Project Leader on the Transport Team.
(Ms Dominian) Louise Dominian. I was acting Head of the Unit before Claire arrived.
497. I wonder now if I can ask you if you want to say anything very briefly to open your evidence?
(Ms Tyler) If I could just say a few very brief words, please. I would just like to explain very briefly to the Committee why we have been looking at bus policy and what the role of the Social Exclusion Unit is in this area. As you probably know, the Unit was set up by the Prime Minister in December 1997 and our remit is to help improve Government action to combat social exclusion by tackling problems that cut across different departments. A number of the Unit's past reports have identified transport as a key barrier to helping people access work opportunities, learning and education opportunities, health care facilities, food shops and other essential services. The cost of poor transport impacts on a range of Government departments. A number of departments are involved in filling transport gaps through things like patient, pupil and social services' transport. That is why in spring 2001 the Prime Minister asked us to investigate the links between transport and social exclusion. Over the past nine months we have been doing work to look at the extent of the problem, the extent to which transport impacts on social exclusion, and we have been working very closely with officials in DTLR.
498. Oh, have you.
(Ms Tyler) We have indeed.
499. That does surprise me.
(Ms Tyler) Building on the previous work that they have been doing on transport and social exclusion in the 10 Year Plan and our work has been overseen by the Ministerial Steering Group chaired by the Minister for Transport who has just given evidence.