Letter: The national lottery: charitable uses for the money

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The Independent Online
Sir: Commenting on the national lottery, your leading article ('A flutter for the nation', 18 December) enthuses about using the money for spectacular projects and says: 'It would be worst of all if it were frittered on minor projects.' Frittering aside - why? The Association of Charitable Foundations' Committee of Inquiry into the uses of the lottery, whose report has just been published, concludes that two-thirds of the 'charitable' part of the proceeds should go to local and regional causes, including small community groups. They also show how it could be done. This is the wisest thing that has been said about distribution. It should be applied to the other categories as well. The overwhelming majority of voluntary organisations are local and small and largely run by their unpaid members. The lottery money will be collected at local level - research suggests disproportionately from those on lower incomes - and should benefit localities in return. Local initiatives in the arts, sports and heritage are similarly extensive and often struggling to survive and grow. There is nothing more 'major' than the aggregate of 'minor' projects. I suggest you reconsider what ingredients are most likely to result in a fritter.

Yours faithfully,

GABRIEL CHANAN

Director of Research

Community Development

Foundation

London, N3

18 December

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