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Scouts descend upon Westminster to Stop the Rain Tax

Scouts from across the country have been contacting their MPs to seek support for the Stop the Rain Tax Campaign ahead of today’s first ever mass Scout lobby at Westminster.

Today, one hundred Cub Scouts aged between 8-10 will be attending parliament where they will meet with local MPs and Envirornment Minister Huw Irranca-Davies. There they will add their voices to the Stop the Rain Tax Campaign.

What is it all about?

The Stop the Rain Tax Campaign was launched in November 2008 to raise awareness of the threat posed to Scouting by new charges recommended by Ofwat, the water regulator, to be introduced by water companies for surface water drainage.

The changes could mean a minimum increase in water bills of £500 – approximately 25% of local Scout Groups' total income. Such charges will either lead to cuts in the activities provided to young people in their communities by Scout Groups or even some to close down.

The charges will also impact on other community and voluntary organisations including churches, sports clubs and village halls.

Substantial support

The Scouts' campaign has already received substantial support from MPs across the political spectrum. An Early Day Motion calling for the more preferable social tariff for water charges has been signed by over one hundred MPs and in May 2009 a ten minute rule bill was heard in parliament on the need for an exemption for community and voluntary groups.

As recently as yesterday, Mr Irranca-Davies pledged that action will be taken on surface water drainage charges.

Speaking at the Water ‘09 conference, Mr Irranca-Davies will said: ‘We all agree that something is clearly wrong if Scout Groups, churches and community organisations face huge hikes in their water bills.

‘I’m determined the Scouts and other organisations are not met with huge bills this year or next so I hope that water companies will come up an acceptable solution without the need for anything else.’

Follow today's events at Westminster online as they happen

There will also be videos posted throughout the day on The Scout Association’s Stop The Rain Tax Campaign youtube page.

Find out more about the Stop The Rain Tax Campaign.



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