Cambridgeshire County Council drops plan for its own lottery as they agree impact and benefit ‘would not have been significant enough’

PUBLISHED: 11:24 03 February 2020

Despite trailing it, Cambridgeshire County Council has abandoned plans for a lottery.

Despite trailing it, Cambridgeshire County Council has abandoned plans for a lottery.

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Plans for a new lottery for Cambridgeshire run by the county council have been scrapped.

Plans for a new lottery for Cambridgeshire run by the county council have been scrapped.

The idea was first put forward two years ago, but the council has decided it is simply not worthwhile.

A report by the commercial and investment committee concluded that "whilst there may be some financial benefit for charities" the positives were outweighed by the negatives.

These were summed up as the possible loss of support through "direct contributions and anxieties about control and financial burden.

"Resources will therefore be refocused to support other commercial initiatives."

Minutes from the meeting noted that councillors "welcomed the fact the proposed council lottery had been abandoned.

"The chairman explained that the lottery was assessed, and it was identified that the impact and benefit to the council would not have been significant enough."

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The committee was told that officers had undertaken considerable engagement with the voluntary sector and good causes in Cambridgeshire.

"While some were enthusiastic, others had concerns that a new lottery might actually reduce funding for them - at least in the short term," said a council report.

This, said the report, was because the "overall pool of people who donate to good causes wasn't likely to increase without a considerable amount of additional effort".

The report added: "The council has therefore thanked all those charities and good causes who gave their time and expertise in helping to consider the concept of the lottery idea over the past year and has refocused its efforts on developing and supporting other commercial initiatives."

The committee said organisations needed to be reminded about grants of between £2,000 and £50,000 that were available through its Innovate and Cultivate Fund.

When first announced the council had hoped that taxpayers' money could be saved by switching existing grants with money generated by the lottery.

Sales would have operated through a dedicated website with an expected return in year one of £165,000 of which £30,000 was expected to be used to offset existing grants.

Over a five- year period it was estimated the lottery could bring in over £300,000 to offset existing grants which does not include a further £1.7 million to support local good causes.

Council officials had predicted that one per cent of the population of Cambridgeshire would buy lottery tickets each week - a figure they described as 'conservative'.

At one point some 20 local council ran their own lotteries but latest figures are not available.


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