I don’t normally respond to responses to our letters in your paper but a former leader of the council wrote a letter recently condemning the Labour councillors’ support for a national council tax discount for volunteers.
If he had read our letter correctly he would have understood that we were supporting the Local Government Association (LGA) for England and Wales who put forward the initial proposal for a council tax discount for volunteers which then received the support of all the groups who sit on the LGA. This just shows how out of touch some of our politicians in Boston are.
My colleagues and I will continue to lobby the next government to introduce this new initiative. We recognise that every local authority would have to adopt a procedure for doing this, which won’t be expensive and be simple and easy to implement. I am sure our partners within the voluntary sector would assist us to ensure that we have a robust scheme.
Before people start condemning things as being politically motivated they need to do their research and check the origins of this initiative. The reason it has been proposed by the LGA is to support the half-a-million people who gallantly give their time to serve their communities and volunteering is something that we need to promote. Some of our volunteers are on low incomes and this support towards a discount on council tax and free car parking while volunteering would be a welcome supplement to their low incomes. Many organisations in the town already support volunteer expenses towards parking etc and they would welcome the government and the local authority backing them with this initiative. We don’t need existing councillors showing their ignorance on this kind of issue.
Labour councillor and parliamentary candidate