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MP thanks Cumbria's Mountain Rescue teams

January 8, 2013 9:57 AM

Tim is a proud supporter of our Mountain Rescue teamsLocal MP Tim Farron has thanked Cumbria's Mountain Rescue teams for their 'commitment, bravery and determination' after a busy 2012 for the service.

This comes after news that KendalMountain Rescue Team was called out 55 times during 2012 in what was the busiest year in its history.

The previous record was 52 incidents in 2004 with each of the intervening years seeing the team attend more than 40 call-outs. The team has 40 members providing a 24-hour service. Up to 20 volunteers respond to each call.

Tim as Vice Chair of All Party of the Parliamentary Group on Mountain Rescue Teams and he was a key player behind the government announcement that a tax refund would be given to volunteer mountain rescue teams.

The UK Government currently gives £200,000 to Mountain Rescue Teams across the UK as a way of covering VAT paid, but there are concerns that this does not cover the full amount spent. The rebate was put in place by the Coalition Government after a long running campaign by Westmorland MP Tim Farron. Chris Davies is now taking up the fight in Brussels on behalf of the much loved rescue service.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institute has a special VAT exemption from the EU and Chris Davies has called on the European Commission to expand the exemption to Mountain Rescue teams.

The South Lakes MP is working with North West MEP Chris Davies to take his case to the European Commission. Chris recently tabled a Parliamentary Question to the European Commission, asking the EU to consider granting Mountain Rescue Teams the same VAT exemption that sea based rescue organisations get.

Chris, who recently won the UK over 50 fell running championship said, "Mountain Rescue Teams deserve our help and support. When you are as active on the fells of the North West as I am, knowing such a professional organisation is there to help is hugely reassuring."

Tim said: "Our Mountain Rescue teams are real heroes and do wonderful work for people in need. I cannot praise them highly enough - their determination and bravery is amazing. They are there in any emergency situation, from the floods to helping someone off the fells - they are there all the year round. I am a massive supporter of our Mountain Rescue teams and I will continue to do everything I can to fight for a fair deal for them."