Council tax reward for volunteers

Alistair Bradley
Alistair Bradley
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Volunteers could receive a discount on their council tax bill as a reward for their hard work.

Chorley Council leaders are considering how they can recognise volunteers for the contribution they make to the borough.

Ideas include giving people a reduction on their council tax or vouchers to pay for their shopping.

Coun Alistair Bradley, council leader, said: “We are looking at the alternatives for how we reward people for volunteering in their area.

“Some people will say they volunteer because they want to volunteer, but we want to give some recognition.

“We might give people a direct reward for their volunteering.

“It could be a discount on their council tax, shopping vouchers or something else. We are considering all the different options.”

The rewards are initially being considered for people involved with the council’s meals-on-wheels scheme, which is being run as a pilot in the western parishes and could be rolled out further.

But people could be recognised for other kinds of volunteering, such as young people teaching pensioners how to use the internet or people setting up a youth club for teenagers who had been acting anti-socially.

It is hoped the difference made by the volunteers would help to save money for the council.

And Coun Bradley insists the scheme would not cost the council more money.

He said: “We have an amount of money to encourage and support volunteering and that money can be spent in whatever way. One way could be by rewarding these volunteers.

“We have to give them every incentive we can to get involved.”

The council wants to hear from any businesses wishing to get involved with the scheme, for example, supermarkets able to provide shopping vouchers as a reward.

Volunteers can already receive “time credits” for each hour they give to a community organisation, which can be spent on activities such as an adult learning course, museum visit or theatre show.

That scheme is run by Chorley Council, Lancashire County Council, Spice and the Young Foundation.