Crawley MP’s praise for air ambulance

jpco-12-3-14 Crawley MP, Henry Smith, has branded the image of Queen's Square as not being good enough for the standard local consumers and shoppers visiting the town should expect. (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-141003-110032001
jpco-12-3-14 Crawley MP, Henry Smith, has branded the image of Queen's Square as not being good enough for the standard local consumers and shoppers visiting the town should expect. (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-141003-110032001

Crawley MP Henry Smith has praised the work of the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust after it was granted £1.5million by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

George Osborne granted the money to the Trust in his autumn statement.

In addition, he exempted all air ambulance charity expenditure from VAT – a decision which will see the Trust able to pump around £100,000 back into frontline services.

A spokesman said the money equated to more than 30 life-saving missions of the 1,800 undertaken annually.

Following the announcement, Henry said: “I was pleased to hear the Chancellor of the Exchequer announce that the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance will be awarded £1.5million.

“Everyone in our town knows of their great work, and I hope that this will go some way to their looking out for us in Crawley and beyond.

“It is also reassuring to see that all air ambulance charity expenditure will be exempt from VAT. I am pleased that the Chancellor has acted in the interest of this important local charity.”

The Trust celebrates its 25th anniversary next year, and became the first air ambulance service in the country to operate a 24 hour Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) last September.

In the first year of its night operations, crews have attended more than 430 patients, as well as about 1,400 patients by day.