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End of charities’ water-rates relief ‘could close halls’

Vital services provided by charities face being scaled back because of plans to force them to pay for water.

Voluntary groups which run community centres, Scout huts and church halls may be hit with thousands of pounds in water charges from 2010. Campaigners say bills could be up to a third of the annual income of some small charities and halls may close.

Under the current Scottish Government scheme, charitable voluntary organisations with an income of less that £50,000 get 80 to 100 per cent exemptions from water charges.

This is set to end in two years and groups warn that even the smallest Scout hall with a single washbasin would face expensive bills.

• Full story at the Sunday Herald.

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