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Farron welcomes huge win over government funding for mountain rescue

August 22, 2011 1:42 PM

TF ruralAfter a long-running campaign, South Lakes MP Tim Farron is today welcoming the news that the government are to give mountain rescue teams across the country at least £200,000 in direct funding each year.

The announcement, made today by Lib Dem Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, will see each mountain rescue team in the Lake District receive approximately £2,500 towards the equipment they need to provide a mountain rescue service locally.

Speaking today, Tim said:

"I have always said that our mountain rescue services are our fourth emergency service. I have long campaigned with the teams to get government recognition for mountain rescue through some direct funding, especially to help offset the VAT the teams have to pay by EU law on their equipment - something which the other emergency services are exempt from.

"I was pleased to be able to secure a pledge in the section of the Liberal Democrats' manifesto I drafted as rural affairs spokesman in 2010 for government funding for mountain rescue, and am delighted that that pledge has come to fruition today. While the teams will obviously still depend on charitable donations for the majority of their income, I am hopeful that this funding will give them a significant boost.

"However, this is only a start. The figure of £200,000 will not quite cover all of the VAT the teams pay, and there is still an inequality on the part of the English teams who do not enjoy the same funding as the Scottish teams receive from the Scottish Government. I am hopeful that in future years, when the strain on the public finances eases, we can increase the funding available. Indeed Danny Alexander has said that the funding for future years will be at least £200,000, indicating the potential for increased funding in the future."