Julian has welcomed the announcement that there will be continued financial support for mountain rescue teams in 2015-2016.
The news, confirmed by the Transport Minister today, comes after Julian and other MPs lobbied the Government to continue to provide the grant that covers the cost of VAT on mountain rescue equipment and training for unpaid volunteers.
The Government will provide £250,000 of funding for Mountain Rescue in 2015 -2016. This is in addition to the £600,000 of funding already provided to the voluntary mountain rescue organisations.
“This is excellent news that will be of great help to The Cave Rescue Organisation and Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association in my constituency who provide invaluable support for both residents and visitors.
“The Government appreciates the work that these groups do, and the time and effort they give to supporting rural communities, and I will continue to do whatever I can to support these organisations in the future.”
Speaking in the Commons, the MP also invited the Transport Minister to join him down a cave in the Yorkshire Dales to see the work of the local organisations.
Text from Hansard:
Julian Smith (Skipton and Ripon) (Con):
It will be not just mountain rescue but cave rescue organisations in Grassington and Clapham in my constituency that benefit. The Transport Secretary has been on his bike in Skipton and Ripon. Will he now commit to coming down a cave with me in the near future?
The hon. Gentleman poses a very serious challenge to even the most vivid imagination in the House.
Transport Minister Stephen Hammond:
I really wonder whether I can answer the question better than Mr Speaker. I am loathed to commit my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State, but between us I am sure we will find someone who can join my hon. Friend the Member for Skipton and Ripon.