‘No compensation’ for Bute emergency helpers

Volunteer helpers at Rothesay Pavilion during the prolonged power cut of January 2012.
Volunteer helpers at Rothesay Pavilion during the prolonged power cut of January 2012.

Bute residents who volunteer to help during emergencies won’t receive compensation afterwards.

Bute Community Council members were told on Wednesday of advice that Argyll and Bute Council “cannot agree to provide costs” incurred by members of the public who, for example, might volunteer to drive around the island delivering hot food to vulnerable people during power cuts.

The query was raised during a discussion on the contents of an emergency plan for the island, in the light of several island residents having volunteered in just that way during the prolonged loss of power on the island following the storms of early January 2012.

BCC vice-chair Frank Baxter said: “We raised a query with the council regarding retrospective compensation for costs incurred as a result of the community’s response to an emergency.

“Argyll and Bute Council say they cannot agree to provide costs. They are saying that if you put a lot of money out you’re not going to get it back.”

Rothesay resident Dan Edgar, who drew up the draft on which BCC’s emergency plan for Bute is based, told BCC’s February meeting on Wednesday night: “I don’t think the council can get away with it as easily as that.”