The High Peak’s MP has hailed a victory in his campaign to secure financial support for the work of volunteer mountain rescue teams.
Andrew Bingham wrote to Chancellor George Osborne in the wake of the Budget announcement regarding the use of money obtained in fines levied on UK banks over the Libor scandal to support emergency services personnel.
In his letter, which was supported by a number of other colleagues, the MP requested the use of such money be extended to include members of the mountain rescue organisation.
The Chancellor responded by stating: “I can confirm that the sum of funding announced at Budget will be available to support mountain rescue personnel and their dependents who are injured, suffering ill-health, or bereaved, as a result of active service for the public.”
Mr Bingham said: “I’m absolutely over the moon that, following my letter, the Chancellor has agreed to extend this funding to mountain rescue personnel.
“They are all volunteers, and do amazing work to help people who get into difficulty in areas where the normal emergency services can’t reach.”
The UK’s mountain rescue teams operate as charities and are staffed by unpaid volunteers. Most teams need to raise around £35,000 each year to provide an effective emergency response.
Neil Carruthers, Team Leader of Buxton Mountain Rescue, welcomed the Chancellor’s announcement, adding: “Andrew Bingham has been an advocate and keen supporter of the work we and all the other teams do and we are grateful to him for his efforts in helping to secure any funding that helps us maintain the service for the local population and millions of people who visit and enjoy the Peak District every year.”