July 17, 2019
It’s 25 years since Mystic Meg first enticed the nation to part with its hard earned cash in the hope of winning the National Lottery jackpot (current chance of winning Lotto – 45,057,474 to 1). The early assurances that Lottery funds would only ever be used to add value to mainstream public funding – and never to replace it – has long since been forgotten. There are so many lottery schemes on the go today that it’s hard to keep up with. Now plans are being laid to launch a local authority lottery scheme. Is there no end to it?
A community lottery for Scottish local government
For a number of months, the Improvement Service has been facilitating discussions with councils on the potential to establish a local authority lottery scheme.
This is possible within current council powers and has been successfully pioneered by a growing number of local authorities in England.
In summary, council lotteries offer the potential to generate income for distribution to ‘good causes’ – normally via local community and voluntary groups. This can link to existing local mechanisms such as participatory budgeting.
A number of Scottish councils are already well advanced in developing a lottery scheme and are keen to explore the potential benefits of a collaborative management approach across a number (and potentially all) Scottish local authorities. This would be within the context of developing discrete area-based lotteries which distribute benefits locally.
We will be sending further information around the next stage of this work to all council chief executives over the next few weeks.