A LIFESAVING rescue organisation has been backed by South Lakeland District Council (SLDC).

The authority has agreed to award discretionary rate relief to Bay Search and Rescue on their rescue vehicle garage premises.

The 20 per cent rate relief awarded by SLDC will save the rescue team £499.26.

The decision was made at today’s (Thursday’s) SLDC Delegated Executive Decisions meeting.

A report to the meeting noted that council guidelines allow for 20 per cent discretionary rate relief to be awarded to organisations ‘whose activities may result directly in the saving of human life or lives’.

The relief is to be awarded retrospectively for the period April 1, 2013, to March 31, 2014, in respect of Bay Search and Rescue’s garage at Church Street, Milnthorpe.

The garage is used for the maintenance and storage of rescue vehicles.

This is intended to be a temporary home pending the completion of a new garage, control room and administration facilities at Beetham Road, Milnthorpe.

Bay Search and Rescue work in partnership with Cumbria and Lancashire fire and rescue services to provide specialist quicksand, snow and flood rescue support.

The group also assists the Coastguard, police, ambulance and first responders, working across Morecambe Bay, the Lake District and north Lancashire. They have vehicles stationed at Flookburgh, Milnthorpe, Levens, Bolton-le-Sands and Penrith.

Gary Parsons, station officer and chairman of Bay Search and Rescue, said: “We would like to thank South Lakeland District Council for agreeing to this and recognising the important work that the Bay Search and Rescue Team does.

“Any money that we can save will help that work and is a valuable contribution.’’

SLDC councillor, Sue Sanderson, said: “We are delighted to be able to award this rate relief to Bay Search and Rescue.

“The policy prioritises organisations that are dealing with saving lives and the Council is very pleased to be able to support Bay Search and Rescue in their important role by agreeing to offer them a discount on their rates.’’