About six years ago I was the person that introduced ‘Litter Champions’, now called ‘Community Champions’, to the borough of Boston.
I am therefore interested in the Labour councillor’s proposal to explore the possibility of awarding Council tax discounts to those who give their time for voluntary work.
I agree we need to encourage even more volunteers to help the community, but is this the right way? The individuals who make up our small army of Community Champions tackle their job in many different ways.
Some choose to pick up litter as they walk the dog; others go out as an organised group once a week.
Some just go out when they can with their litter picker and bag when they have a moment to spare.
The last thing that these good folks want is to have to fill in a time sheet and complete a report on their week’s activities.
I worry that it would require an army of expensive bureaucrats to police the Labour councillor’s scheme and the possibilities of fraud are very obvious. Any council tax discount proposal would need to be thoroughly researched and trialled before it could even be considered.
We should be very proud of the great many who give their time freely to help the Boston community and do not expect recognition or pay. Life isn’t about being paid for everything you do. Let’s keep volunteering as just that.
Coun Richard Austin