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
- Russell Brand challenged to meet Barrow Trident workers
- BAE boss bullish about yard's future
- New jobs as Cumbrian firm builds device to harness wave power
- Skills gap not down to salary concerns
- Live computer hacking to feature at conference
- £16m cash injection for Lakeland
- David Cameron: 'Cumbria leading the way'
- New event will showcase cutting-edge robotics tech
- Leisure firm merger means big plans for Cumbria
- Eamonn Holmes and Sky News broadcasting live from Carlisle
- Hotel's new owners to bring Chinese tourists to Cumbria
- John Lewis gets online sales boost
- New managing director for Penrith-based PFK
- Work to start next week on first phase of Ulverston drugs giant’s £350m development (4 comments)
- £3.5m grant for M-Sport after controversial plans approved (1 comment)
- New backer offers Carlisle United cash lifeline (13 comments)
- Elected mayor for Cumbria campaign launched
- Keith Lemon, escaped monkeys and speedy sheep: Cumbria's quirkiest news stories in 2014
- Stobart signs £110m biomass deal
- Carlisle hotel manager joins city racecourse
- Story Contracting recruits 400th employee
- Cumbrian firm's £50,000 mail processing order
- Cumbrian schools contest to find leaders of tomorrow
- Cumbrian appointed NW Institute of Directors chairman
- ‘Magnificent’ students earn surprise plaudits