Charity welcomes council u-turn

CHARITY workers say a council which originally refused them permission to raise vital cash for Asian earthquake victims has now “bent over backwards” to allow the collection to go ahead.

CHARITY workers say a council which originally refused them permission to raise vital cash for Asian earthquake victims has now “bent over backwards” to allow the collection to go ahead.

Members of the Sudbury Talbot Rotary Club last night said they were delighted consents had been granted by Babergh District Council which will permit the group to fundraise outside the town's Roys store, in Station Road, on Saturday.

The generous volunteers were left horrified at the weekend after plans to hold a collection in the Market Place had to be shelved.

Officials from the club had approached Babergh for permission on Friday, but were told they would need a licence - applications for which must normally be made four weeks in advance.


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Sue Bevan, the group's international committee chairman, said yesterday confusion between the two parties had now been ironed out, with the collection earmarked for this weekend.

“I have found out since that the council has actually been looking for somewhere for us to hold the collection,” she said. “They have bent over backwards to do something for us.

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“I think I just caught them at a bad time - they have given the club emergency permission before and were just understaffed on this occasion.

“The people of Sudbury have been absolutely brilliant when we have collected in the past, and gave £3,000 in one day alone for the tsunami appeal, and within a few weeks that had risen to £13,000.

“We do not expect to get the same level of response this time but I think we should do quite well.”

The group will spend the cash raised on boxes containing a tent, ten sleeping bags and other essential items, such as cooking equipment and water purification devices, to give shelter to disaster victims for a period of between six and nine months.

Rotary International has already delivered around 400 of the packs to areas affected by the disaster, which has claimed the lives of almost 40,000 people and left millions homeless.

Speaking yesterday, Kathryn Saward, solicitor to Babergh District Council, wished the club well with its collection, adding: “Applications for street collection licenses are required to be made at least four weeks in advance, unless there are special reasons such as global disasters.

“Once we received the application and were made aware of the urgency we were able to apply the exemption and were only too happy to issue a permit to the Sudbury Rotary Club.”

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