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DOE SAYS NO GROUNDS FOR PLAYING LOTTERY

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Call it foolhardy or inspirational but Liberal Democrat member of Stratford-on-Avon DC Cyril Bennis has suggested t...
Call it foolhardy or inspirational but Liberal Democrat member of Stratford-on-Avon DC Cyril Bennis has suggested that his council spends £5 a week on national lottery tickets.

'The idea was borne out of frustration at the enormous financial pressures put on local government,' said Mr Bennis. 'The government has squeezed us so much the pips have fallen out.

'It is not unreasonable to spend £5 a week when you look at the benefits which could be achieved,' he said. 'I am not suggesting we should send the chief executive to the horses or a casino.'

Mr Bennis, who is an entertainer by profession, proposed the chief executive be given the power to choose the numbers.

Unfortunately for Mr Bennis his council has ruled out the idea on the grounds it has no statutory power to 'incur expenditure on matters of speculation or chance'.

The DoE confirmed councils had no power to gamble.

A spokesman said that in theory any winnings would either be subject to capping or treated as a windfall and used to reduce local council tax.

He is also looking at the possibility of establishing a voluntary lottery fund which would be under council control.

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