Fury at council's

By Danielle NuttallA COUNCIL was urged last night to hand over to charity the £1,200 it raised in parking charges from people taking part in a Sport Relief run.

By Danielle Nuttall

A COUNCIL was urged last night to hand over to charity the £1,200 it raised in parking charges from people taking part in a Sport Relief run.

Hundreds of fundraisers arrived in Ipswich on Saturdayto take part in a mile run held in Chantry Park in aid of the Sport Relief charity.

Traffic heading for the event was directed to land owned by Ipswich Borough Council on Scrivener Drive, where motorists were charged £3 to park their cars.

But the move has been criticised by Paul West, the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Ipswich, who urged the council to give the cash raised through parking to Sport Relief.

“As this was an event for charity with many thousands of people 'going the extra mile', it would be a disgrace if the borough intended to pocket all the car parking fees,” he said.

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“I have today written to the borough's chief executive asking him to confirm that all parking fees taken from Sports Relief participants will be given to the charity.”

A spokesman for Ipswich Borough Council said it had only just broken even with the funds raised through the parking.

“The situation is quite simple. We charged £3 per car to break even and we just broke even,” he added.

“We didn't make any money, so we were unable to give any to charity. It covered the cost for additional staff and signage.

“We certainly did not make any money. We raised enough money to make sure it did not cost the taxpayer anything, but there was none left over.

“We own the land, but there was an administration charge. We needed 400 cars to break even and according to the latest figures there were 402 cars.”

Council leader, Peter Gardiner, added: “Obviously there was a cost incurred by the council. I am sure it will be considered and we'll see what can be done.”

A spokeswoman for Sport Relief said it had advised people taking part in the charity mile to use the park-and-ride sites because of the lack of parking in Ipswich.

“Refreshment places were all able to sell food and make money and we did not ask any of those people to donate profits,” she added. “If they want to make a donation, that's great, otherwise it's absolutely fine.”

Sport Relief raised more than £11million for charity with tens of thousands of people joining fundraising events across the country on Saturday - including mile runs in Maldon and Thetford.


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