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Council lottery scheme set to be introduced in West Berkshire

Scheme will generate funds for cash-strapped authority and good causes 

Dan Cooper

Dan Cooper

dan.cooper@newburynews.co.uk

Contact:

01635 886632

West Berkshire Council logo

A COUNCIL lottery scheme is to be introduced in West Berkshire later this year.

Tickets will be priced at £1, with 50p going to a local good cause selected by the player.

Of the remainder, 10p will go straight to West Berkshire Council’s community fund, 20p to a prize fund and 20p to an external licensed manager, who is responsible for running the scheme.

The council hopes to roll out the scheme later this year, but it is not yet clear how the prize fund will work.

Players must be over the age of 16 and can only play online.

West Berkshire has a population of 125,226 eligible players and the council is predicting that around three per cent of them will be taking part in the lottery within five years.

In the first year of the scheme, the local authority believes that around one per cent – or 1,256 – people will buy one ticket a week, which will see £32,645 a year go to good causes and £6,529 paid directly to the council.

It predicts that player numbers will increase by 0.5 per cent year on year, meaning that by the end of the fifth and final year an estimated £97,934 will go towards good causes.

It is not yet clear where the money from the prize fund will go, or how it will be distributed.

The council said that there was a “potential for generating significant income to support local discretionary services”.

It will use £13,000 of the £2.8m of transformational funding it received from the Government to cover the one-off cost of setting up the lottery, with the ongoing running costs of around £10,000 covered by the income generated.

These £10,000 running costs will include West Berkshire Council officer time, calculated at one day per month (or £4,000 per annum), between £4,000 to £5,000 for marketing and the lottery licence (£600 to £900 per year).

The council got the idea for the lottery scheme from Aylesbury Vale District Council, which has run a similar successful initiative since 2015.

Representatives from Aylesbury came to give a presentation to West Berkshire Council officers recently and at last Thursday’s executive meeting, councillors were asked to give their backing to rollout the scheme here.

The set-up cost of £13,000 consists of Aylesbury Vale District Council’s £10,000 charge for the Lottery Implementation Service and a one-off cost of £3,000 for the operating platform.

Council documents say: “Officer time requirements are not expected to be excessive once established as the lottery is essentially run by an external licensed manager.

“The commissioning service will take the lead with responsible officers incorporating this into existing roles.”

At the meeting, West Berkshire Council executive member for finance, Anthony Chadley (Con, Birch Copse), described it as an “exciting project”.

He added: “This is a perfect example of a relatively small investment being used as a start-up.

“It demonstrates we can be new and innovative and bring the best ideas to West Berkshire.”

He also thanked a member of staff, Lee Hogan, for “bringing the idea forward”.

The ongoing operation will be managed by the council’s commissioning service.

Aylesbury Vale Lottery was created in 2015 by Aylesbury Vale District Council.

Since then, Aylesbury has rolled it out to Corby Borough Council, Wycombe District Council, Torbay Council and Broxbourne Council.

It is also working with South Hams West Devon Councils, Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council and South Oxfordshire District Council.

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Article comments

  • Basher

    15/08/2018 - 19:07

    surely, to put the lid on this and to make things equal for everyone (and to silence the whining faction) increase the council tax !!! Sounds quite simple

    Reply

  • WestMills

    09/08/2018 - 21:09

    Good for them trying new ways of raising funds given the enormous funding cuts they have had to absorb courtesy of our Conservative government.

    Reply

  • Basher

    09/08/2018 - 19:07

    Hmm - wonder if this is a quixotic scheme which could be dead in the water in the not too distant future. If not, it has the quoted "Potential for generating significant income to support local discretionary services" . One of those discretionary services is the emptying of our green bins for which we will shortly be charged £50 per annum. Could it be that the £50 charge will be scrapped? ..........,,............don't hold your breath!

    Reply

  • Maverick

    09/08/2018 - 13:01

    So 20% will go to the external management company, only 10% will go to the council, and we have to foot the £13k set up costs, which the councils own best-case projection says will take 2 years to break even. They say the house always wins, but given their recent form I am in no way surprised to see Newbury Council has found a way to lose out from running a gambling wracket, while enriching a third party at our expense.

    Reply

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