Rent rises for youth organisations

NCVYS member the Scout Association has launched a campaign, Don’t raise our rents! The campaign, supported by Girlguiding UK, calls on local authorities to ensure any rent increases are “fair and affordable” and to continue to provide scouts with discretionary rate relief for scout-owned properties.

According to the BBC the Scout Association has said that at least 2,000 groups had been warned of rises that could lead them to cut activities, increase subscriptions or close down. Banstead District Scout Group is facing an increase in ground rent from £135 per annum to £10,500 by Surrey County Council, and the 12th Morley Group is facing closure as it can’t afford an increase of £6,500 to its rent bill for 2011. Local government minister Bob Neill has said ” It is unacceptable for councils to unilaterally hike charges on scout groups without consultation. This is a false economy, as without scout groups, local authorities and the police would end up spending more money on tackling anti-social behaviour and on paying for the services which Scouts provide for free.”

UPDATE: Patrick Butler’s Cuts Blog in the Guardian has further details of the campaign, and more examples of what the Scouts call rent-rise “horror stories”.


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