Council approves new Community Lottery to support good causes in Harlow
Business / Tue 27th Jun 2023 at 12:37pm
HARLOW Council has approved a new fundraising initiative which will help raise money for good causes in the town.
A community lottery will be launched to provide local charities, voluntary organisations and other good causes with additional financial support, as well as give residents the chance to win a weekly cash prize.
Each week players will be given the opportunity to pay £1 per ticket and choose the cause they want to support.
A guaranteed 60% of ticket proceeds will be donated to good causes, with the remainder distributed between prizes and operating costs.
Gatherwell has been appointed as an External Lottery Manager to run the lottery on behalf of the council. The company has been identified as a specialist and leading provider of local authority lotteries in over 100 other areas across the UK.
Councillor Stacy Seales, portfolio holder for community, said: “At a time when many people are struggling with the cost of living and budget pressures are having an impact on funding available for good causes, we are delighted to be able to announce the setting-up of a new local lottery to help raise vital funds.
“There are many essential local voluntary and community organisations in Harlow that will benefit greatly from money raised through lottery ticket sales. As well as giving residents a choice as to which good cause their money goes towards and the opportunity for themselves to be in with a chance of winning prize money.”
So 40p in every £1 will NOT go to good causes. Surely it is more effective to offer residents the chance to make a donation through their council tax so that good causes get all the money. And perhaps we can be told why Gatherwell were apparently late in filing their 2022 accounts
The lottery is a game for mugs.
“At a time when many people are struggling with the cost of living and budget pressures" Cllr Seales gives residents a chance to spend money on a lottery?
A tricky one. There will always be a cost to administer a scheme like this. Whether 40% is high I don't know. I presume one could ask for information on late filing of accounts through the FOI act. Is lottery for mugs, well I don't play, but I may if my money is supporting local causes, and of course the choice is entirely mine. No-one is forcing me. All I am certain of is that our local charities, which it seems on the surface of it will benefit, will be very grateful.
Without wishing to seem too cynical -We know that the Council's budget is under considerable pressure due in no small part to the year on year cuts by the Conservatives in central Government grants. We also know that the Harlow Conservative Council deliberately froze the Council Tax and is explicitly seeking to become a "Low Tax Council" (whatever that means). So, are the Council intending to cut the support they provide to charities and the voluntary sector? And will they instead be using schemes such as this to raise funds? If so, yet again the burden for funding non statutory services will fall upon the poorest in our community as they are the group who are most likely to gamble on a lottery. It is also interesting to note that "administration fees" (which are paid to a private company) are 17% of ticket sales. So for every £1 ticket sold the company will take 17p. Gatherwell are owned by Jumbo Interactive (An Australian State Lottery Firm). The total remuneration paid to Gatherwells Executives in 2021/22 was £213,109 (according to Companies House Accounts). Arguably the support the voluntary sector needs is too important to be left to the vagaries of a lottery.
You are better off donating directly to local charities where all your money goes to charity. This is not really something the council should be involved in as they will have to pay someone to administer it where as local charities are run by unpaid volunteers. Also this idea of a lottery feeds gambling addiction.
Gambling is for fools.. ref: Motörhead.
Cllr Edwards and his Labour colleagues know that this community lottery initiative was announced over a year ago and that he and his colleagues raised no objections. Why would they? 120 local authorities, including neighbouring East Herts and Welwyn Hatfield operate Gatherwell community lotteries. He also knows that this is incremental and has nothing to do with funding our much loved discretionary services, which are fully funded. Sounds more like sour grapes from a former administration cloaked on failure.
Cllr Leppard, My point had nothing to do with the major Council run discretionary services, rather it related to the grants the council gives the voluntary sector - but as you raised it. it will be interesting to see how, with a diminishing revenue budget, you plan to maintain the major Council funded discretionary services in the future.
Stooping low for funds now, they're getting desperate!!!
Can we choose the good causes?
That should help recover the £11500 spent on private solicitors for a local Councilor. We are now waiting for the police to get the evidence or remove two officers from front line policing.
The Council are bigger fools than I thought. Guy F is perfectly correct. Far better to give direct to your chosen charity.
National Lottery is supposed to be for good causes too. Still no idea how renovations to the opera house was a "good cause". This lottery will be no different I bet !!