Get ready for the Harboro’ lottery

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Harborough councillors this week voted to set up a district council lottery.

The lottery would sell tickets to local people to, ultimately, raise money for local voluntary and community groups.

The lottery would, of course, also ease the burden on the council’s own voluntary section budget.

The big prize every week would be a maximum of £25,000.

Councillors on the district council’s executive voted unanimously in favour of the lottery at a meeting on Monday night.

Councillor Michael Rickman, the council’s portfolio holder responsible for wellbeing and localities, said: “I think it’s great.

“It’s a great opportunity for local people to support their own favourite charities as well as support the general fund.”

Harborough District Council would be one of the first councils to create its own lottery.

The first one in the UK, set up 18 months ago by Aylesbury Vale District Council in Buckinghamshire, now generates £60,000 a year for good causes.

Harborough district’s population is around half that of Aylesbury Vale, so a successful local lottery could generate £30,000 a year for local good causes.

The council would look to an outside body to run the lottery for them.

Cllr Jo Brodrick said the lottery would be a “great opportunity for smaller charities”.

And Conservative council leader Blake Pain added that the lottery was “another tool to enhance our contribution to the voluntary and community sector”.

Liberal Democrat opposition group leader Phil Knowles told the Mail: “Anything that supports good causes in this way is to be warmly welcomed.

“But we will need assurances that this is not being used somewhere down the line to prop up the council’s budget in other areas.”