MP & MEP to meet mountain rescue teams
Local MP Tim Farron will join with MEP Chris Davies this Friday to meet Mountain Rescue teams in Kendal to discuss their current situation and what Tim and Chris can do to help.
Tim recently thanked Cumbria's Mountain Rescue teams for their 'commitment, bravery and determination' after a busy 2012 for the service.
Tim as Vice Chair of All Party of the Parliamentary Group on Mountain Rescue Teams 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.
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.
The government tell me they want to do more to support our mountain rescue teams but they need to change EU rules. I am inviting Chris up to Cumbria to meet some of the teams and so we can find what else we can do to support them."
Chris Davies added: "As a fell runner I depend on the Mountain Rescue service for help if I get in trouble just as much as my constituents who might be on the fells for tourism or work.
The professionalism, dedication to duty and physical fitness of the Mountain Rescue teams is inspiring and I am happy to do my part to try and help make their funding stretch further."