Letter stokes fears of fresh South Lakeland District Council cuts looming
Last updated at 14:44, Tuesday, 26 March 2013
VITAL voluntary organisations in the South Lakes could lose thousands of pounds as part of a council funding review.
A number of rescue teams have been informed by South Lakeland District Council that their discretionary rate relief is being reviewed and could disappear next year.
SLDC economy and enterprise portfolio holder, Councillor Ian Stewart, said the letter was sent out to anyone currently exempt from paying business rates.
He said no decision has been made yet – but refused to rule out cutting the support to organisations including Bay Search and Rescue.
The rescue team, based in Flookburgh, supports emergency services across Morecambe Bay and stands to lose around £2,000 if its rate relief is cut.
Mike Davis, training officer, said: “It is a bit of a bolt out of the blue – a real frustration.”
The team is mainly funded through donations, he said, and any loss in support from the council would have to be covered by money given to them by members of the public.
The letter sent out last week informs organisations of the review into discretionary rate relief awarded by the council and invites them to take part in a consultation starting in July.
Any changes made to the current system would take effect from April 2014.
Mr Davis said if Bay Search and Rescue were to lose its rate relief it could affect the number of people on-hand in emergencies.
He added: “To equip one of the team members for flood rescue costs about £1,000.
“It could mean having 18 people instead of 20 because we can’t afford to train and equip those extra people.”
Cllr Stewart said he was a strong supporter of the work Bay Search and Rescue does but he could offer no guarantees about the outcome of the review.
He said that, because SLDC’s funding from central government had fallen by 28 per cent, all council grants and concessions would be subject to review.
He added: “All we are doing is flagging up that just because you might have had (discretionary rate relief) in the past, it doesn’t mean it is going to go on forever.”
First published at 16:07, Monday, 18 March 2013
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
these rescue teams are vital to an area like morecambe bay where the sands are so treacherous, and also they get called to other incidents too, so any cut or extra tax burdens are detrimental to the cause.
If they had to pay to be rescued,how much would someone put on their life, you cannot put a price on life, so dont stop these excellent teams with red tape and money cuts
Make your comment
- 18 month wait for car charging points drags on
- Event to tackle the challenges facing Nuclear Industry
- Brewery launching five new beers
- Movers and shakers in Cumbrian business
- New Marks & Spencer store in Carlisle will create 55 jobs (17 comments)
- New owners after auction firm's shock collapse (6 comments)
- Cumbrian restaurant is best in country
- Sellafield makes pledge on recruitment
- Barrow firm reveals dip in profits
- Cumbrian entrepreneur develops new social media software
- Proposed changes would be potentially "disastrous" for Sellafield
- Date set for phase one opening of Carlisle Airport
- Penrith firms combine for new website
- Cumbrian firm in liquidation
- Plans submitted for another major solar farm
- Windfarm attracts new investor
- Finalists revealed for Carlisle Living Awards
- Carlisle's enterprise zone bid set to go to Chancellor
- Carlisle airport flights shortlisted for subsidies
- Groundbreaking Cumbrian app could create 50 jobs
- Sainsbury's on look-out for small store sites across Cumbria
- Proposal to get gas from coal reserves under sea bed
- Sellafield signs up for the 5% Club campaign
- Sellafield workers in mass pay protest rally
- Six seminars at next B2B event at Carlisle Racecourse
- Persimmon eyes new workers as it steps up house-building programme
- Cumbrian phone app project set to create 50 jobs
- Stobart Air shortlisted for cash to set up services from Carlisle