Edward Stubbs, Labour Councillor for Splott

Councillor wants free bus passes for young carers

27 January 2017

A Councillor is campaigning for young carers to have free bus passes in Cardiff.

Edward Stubbs, Labour Councillor for Splott wants all parties to put free bus passes in their manifesto ahead of the council elections in May .

He says “I’ll be lobbying my own party to include it, others have got their own processes and it’s up to them. But this is an ideal opportunity for people to commit to this.”

Lucy Childs, 21, used to be a young career in Wales. She says “most of the time we couldn’t afford to take the bus because we’d have to buy tickets for both of us and it was extremely expensive. We relied on my mum’s benefits and they wouldn’t go very far.”

Councillor Stubbs says his plan would “recognize what young carers contribute,  and show that we value them. These carers save the tax payer a lot of money.”

He says “These families are often in poverty and they’re reliant on state benefits, so there isn’t a lot of spare cash and this is an opportunity to free young carers up to see their friends, have a social life, get out and about like other kids do.”

Carers Trust Wales also say free bus passes are needed for young carers.  The official statistics from the Welsh Government say there are 20 known young careers in Cardiff.

Carers Trust Wales say this figure is much higher in reality.

Kieron Rees, from Carers Trust Wales says, “Given that the number of households where a young carer lives with someone, who is in full time work is low, there’s often quite a lot of financial pressures on those households and it becomes a real barrier.”

Free bus passes already exist for other groups in Cardiff, including pensioners.

Councillor Stubbs says “I’m not asking for the council to bear the full cost of this, I think it’s reasonable to turn to Cardiff Bus and ask them to bear some of this burden as well.”

Cardiff Bus and Cardiff Council have not been available for comment.

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