Social workers will be liable for congestion charges

Social workers who work within central London and use their cars
to make home visits will have to pay congestion charges to be
introduced next February, prompting fears that councils will face a
host of “practical and financial problems”, writes
Sally Gillen

A spokesperson for Transport for London, which is part of the
Greater London Authority, confirmed that people delivering “vital”
services such as those in the fire service and the NHS would not be
expected to pay for vehicles such as fire engines and ambulances.
But social workers who needed to use a car as part of their job
would be expected to pay.

Now Unison is warning that plans by London mayor Ken Livingstone
to bring in a daily £5 charge to travel into the
capital’s centre will place financial and bureaucratic
burdens on local authorities.

Julian Cooke, research officer at Greater London Unison, said:
“We have calculated that our staff, who have 30 cars between them,
would be paying £40,000 under the scheme. An annual season
ticket is 1,200 per vehicle.”

Unison is now analysing the proposals and is preparing to
consult with social service departments, eight of which are based
in councils within the charging zone, and health professionals to
gauge their reactions to the plans.



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