'I agree with Bear', says Minister
Following the hugely sucessful launch of the Don’t Raise Our Rents! campaign, the Minister for Local Government Bob Neill yesterday met with our Chief Executive Derek Twine.
They discussed the campaign and the difficulties facing many Scout Groups as a result of vastly increased rents and rates.
Mr Neill, who is also Vice President of Bromley and District Scouts, expressed his concerns about the actions of some local authorities and vowed to work with us to persuade councils to consider the benefits that Scouting offers.
The Minister said: 'Scouts provide an immense contribution to local communities across Britain. It is a great way for young people to develop skills and learn about social responsibility.
'I agree with the Chief Scout, Bear Grylls. 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.'
Furthermore, Downing Street staff yesterday requested a briefing for the Prime Minister on this issue.
The campaign has attracted the attention and support of national government ministers. Not surprising, considering over 1,200 people have already signed our online petition.
In addition, many of you have featured in local media coverage, ensuring that Don't Raise Our Rents! is driven by Scouting volunteers on the ground.
We must now continue to work with local authorities to demonstrate the benefit of Scouting and prove that these increases are detrimental in the long-term to councils, communities and Scout groups.