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Mick Bates signs up to Scout Association 'Stop the Rain Tax' campaign

July 16, 2009 2:57 PM

Montgomeryshire AM Mick Bates is supporting The Scout Association> '> s > '> Stop the Rain Tax> '> campaign by opposing guidance from Ofwat which could lead to crippling increases in water bills for Scout Groups. Under the proposals put forward by water regulator Ofwat on how to charge for surface water run off, Scout Association properties, along with those used by community and voluntary groups and places of worship, will face huge increases in their water bills. Groups have reported an increase in water costs of between £60 and £600 a year. This represents between 1% and 25% of their overall budgets. Commenting Welsh Liberal Democrat Mick stated: "> I am deeply concerned by the Ofwat proposals to change the way water companies charge small charities and community groups for surface water run-off. The impact of the proposed charge would threaten the financial future of many such organisations which rely on fund-raising and members' subscriptions for income. "> The charges have already been introduced in some areas of England and Wales and have lead to increases in bills of over £500 per year for some groups. The Scout Association expects that the charges may cost £1.5million a year to the movement, which is clearly not affordable or realistic. "> The tax will threaten the existence of many small charities and community groups across the country. I have written to Ofwat to request clarification of the basis on which this tariff structure was approved. I have also written to the Minister for Heritage urging the Welsh Government to support the > '> Stop the Rain Tax> '> campaign. "> Groups like the Scouts play an important role in local communities, encouraging young people to be active and involved in the community and increasing social interaction. I hope that we will see swift action to bring an end to these proposals, to safeguard the future of the many charities and community groups that do such valuable work across Wales.> "