Car park charity row

A ROW has broken out after it emerged today that BBC Sport Relief would not benefit from income from a car park used by charity runners. Paul West, a member of Ipswich Borough Council, said runners were shocked to be charged £3 to park in Scrivener Drive before running a mile long circuit of Chantry Park for charity on Sunday.

A ROW has broken out after it emerged today that BBC Sport Relief would not benefit from income from a car park used by charity runners.

Paul West, a member of Ipswich Borough Council, said runners were shocked to be charged £3 to park in Scrivener Drive before running a mile long circuit of Chantry Park for charity on Sunday. He said the money raised should go to the charity.

The disagreement grew after a council spokesman said the car park cost £1,200 to administer and there was no money left over for a donation.

Cllr West said: "I think the borough has blundered here. I think it realised it was insensitive to charge for parking.


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"I think it is a bit much."

Mr West, the prospective Conservative parliamentary candidate for Ipswich, said he would ask the council for full detailed accounts of how the car park in Scrivener Drive cost £1,200 to administer.

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He said he strongly believed £1,200 was an excessive amount.

"I find it difficult to accept. Does it cost £1200 to put up a few signs and employ two or three guys to collect the money?

"I shall be tabling a question on Wednesday's council meeting which requires a detailed answer."

Mr West, councillor for the Stoke Park area of the town, said he had written to the council's chief executive about the car park revenue.

A spokesman for the council said the money covered the cost of signs, administration and staff.

He said: "There was no cost to the borough or the tax payer.

"There was no donation to charity as we did not make a profit and did not have any to give. We broke even."

Mr West, 35, ran the mile in 8 minutes raising about £20 for BBC Sport Relief.

"It was a bit of a slow time and £20 is not a great sum but it was a fun afternoon. There were thousands of people, the atmosphere was really good."

n Has the council blundered? Should it make a donation? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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