CALLS for a review into the borough council’s community lottery scheme have been rejected by the authority’s executive committee.
The lottery, launched to a fanfare in January, offered players the chance to scoop up to £25,000 in a ‘win-win’ offer where good causes would benefit, the town’s voluntary sector would benefit and, if successful in the draw, the player too.
Tickets cost £1 and players have a 1 in 50 chance of winning a prize – with 50p of the £1 stake going straight to the local charity or voluntary organisation of the player’s choice and 10p to the Borough Council’s community pot.
The rest would go on prize money and administration fees.
However, members of the authority’s overview and scrutiny meeting, made up of both Conservative and Labour councillors, recently unanimously called for a review of the lottery project.
The call was proposed by Coun Bill Hartnett (Lab, Church Hill) and seconded by Coun Greg Chance (Lab, Central) who emphasised he was speaking in the spirit of openness and democracy.
He said: “The recommendation from O&S does not ask to make a final decision but it’s useful to know what is going on with the lottery. as after all it is public money.”
But Coun Matt Dormer (Con, West) Leader of the authority, said it was way too early to make any judgement, particularly in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“All this is way too hasty,” he said.
“We will not get clear results about what is happening until we have considerable more time on trading.”
Coun David Thane (Con, West) whose portfolio covers finance, said the last thing a new initiative needed was interference.
“It’s too much, too early. It’s growing slowly, but it’s growing,” he said.