Community raffle concerns over councillor’s reporting of Tarbert raffle to police

Argyll First Councillor, John McAlpine, hit the national news on Friday, 21st June, for reporting a community raffle in Tarbert to Police Scotland for using cloakroom tickets instead of official promoter’s tickets.

Disabled 63 year-old pensioner, Iris Kerr – a member of Tarbert and Skipness Community Council and District Commissioner for Girl Guides [and therefore a known member of the local underworld?] – was, as usual, selling raffle tickets for local charity in the Tarbert Co-op.

Councillor McAlpine did not report her to Police Scotland for any dishonesty but for a failure to use the raffle tickets required by Argyll and Bute Council, printed with the promoter’s name.

Since this appeared in the national press , we have had a series of phone calls and emails from concerned community organisations, including community councils, across Argyll who are now waiting for a knock on the door.

Very many community and church organisations run associated raffles as part of local fund raising events – and most of them traditionally use cloakroom tickets without a thought – because they are easily available and cheap – and the operation is entirely above board.

Everyone who goes regularly to local community events knows the form.  There is almost always a raffle. It contributes modest amounts but they accumulate over a year to a few hundreds of pounds which help to pay for the overheads of the events and contribute a bit more to other community events and church funds.

Prizes are routinely recycled – making winning one a lit like the experience of catch-and-release carp fishermen: ‘Oh look, it’s old Hector again’.

This is part of the normal texture of rural community life and while ‘the rules’ may require such organisations to pay to print specific promotional tickets – in the context of these small local events, a blind eye was always the appropriate stance.

Councillor McAlpine is usually an amiable chap and common-sensical chap. He must have been having a bad day and taken what is popularly called ‘the head staggers’- but he has given bad days to a lot of communities as well as to poor Iris Kerr.

We’re not asking him why he did what he did because any attempt to dig in and defend it can only make the situation worse.

Where do community events – and we’re talking  little weekly get togethers here, not just annual galas, go from here with their raffles?

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19 Responses to Community raffle concerns over councillor’s reporting of Tarbert raffle to police

  1. In any lottery, the aim is to make money for your organisation. The last think you want is to violate the law of the land or create trouble for your favorite charity or group. In the UK, we have some strict laws concerning lotteries and raffles, as per the Lotteries and Amusements Act 1976 and the National Lottery Act 1993. Large raffles are considered a form of gambling and therefore require a licence. There are three kinds of legal raffles.
    Small Raffle: If all your proceeds will go to charity and you intend to sell tickets only during the course of the event, a Small Raffle will suit your needs. Charge no more than one pound per ticket. You can give away any donated prizes, but may not have cash awards or spend over 250 pounds on prizes. You do not need a licence for this type of raffle.
    Private Raffle: If tickets will be offered only to a defined group, such as members of a club or employees of the same organisation, and the raffle will not be advertised or available outside this group, a Private Raffle will be appropriate. In this case, you will also not need a licence.
    Charity Raffle: If you want to sell raffle tickets amongst the general public over a period of days, you will have to declare a Charity Raffle. Charge no more than 2 pounds per ticket and keep strict financial records. You must obtain a licence from the gaming board or local authority for this.
    Therefore the Councillor is correct. Jings, the fact that the seller is a well known “buddy” with excellent credentials is irrelevant and it is wrong of ForArgyll to suggest obliquely that there can be a bending of the rules/law for certain persons of good character or good causes – that is subjective. In this case the rules protect us and are sensible, clear and well established.
    It is difficult to sort whimsical comment, news or editorial on this site – which devalues its services.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 15

    • Hands up – of course our take on this is ‘wrong’ in law. As well as using cloakroom tckets as raffle ‘strips’, selling home made cakes and preserves at village and parish fetes and sales is also ‘wrong’, as far as we know.
      But life at the periphery of risk and need is always a bit of a blurred issue.
      Our society, with health and safety and procedural regulations, is increasingly restrictive.
      The cement in rural community life is the series of low key, everyday, community events – and the more of a sheer nuisance these are made, the fewer of them there will be.
      These are tricky issues and one law doesn’t fit all contexts.
      At a gut level, what this particular woman was doing and what community groups, sports clubs and churches do all over the place here may be unlawful but does not seem ‘wrong’.
      What you say is very useful in clarifying the distinction between the types of raffle that are held. This should mean that the majority of the groups who have contacted us in some anxiety are in fact on the right side of the law as what they have been doing fits the ‘small raffle’ or ‘private raffle’ description which does not require a licence.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 6

      • Having a raffle using cloakroom strips is perfectly OK and reasonable to me. So too is jam and cake making – although there has been some controversy about the re-use of jam jars if preserves are produced and sold for charitable purposes on an infrequent basis. The suggestion is that somehow there is a difference between a church fair in rural Kent and one in Tarbert rural Argyll – I don’t know is there? Lets not hide behind the health and safety issue, We should be more concerned about our general hygiene and the state of British bogs than closing down the church garden fete or the shinty team’s shindig – that just doesn’t wash
        Flogging raffle tickets in the Co-op without the right blurb on the tickets is wrong. Not only that, it changes the supermarkets’ corporate mindset in that they are less likely to engage with the many charitable local appeals and settle for a central corporate deal, because they too need to be squeaky clean. So one person’s indignation and flouting of the law could knacker the whole process for all locals groups from Lands End to Muckle Flugga – not a good outcome.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7

    • Hamish I see you have quoted statute laws could you now produce the legal definition of “statute” at the same time you could give me the legal definition of “Act”

      I am glad to see you are a follower of the “legal” statute law in our corporation but are you sure you have not breached any of the 125 thousand statutes on the books?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  2. Get a life FFS, a good spirited member of the community get’s reported to Police Scotland for selling raffle tickets, why aren’t you out there photographing and reporting the scum who empty their dogs anywhere and everywhere, they should be lined up and shot with roasted balls of their pets produce. Must emphasise this refers to a very small minority of ignorant dog owners but their time is not far away!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 7

  3. For God’s sake a little old lady selling raffle tickets is now being criminalize by an Argyll councillor who of course is holier than God working for a council who lately have been up to all manner of dodgy things. People in glass houses spring to mind

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  4. ….what on earth would I want with a shovel? it’s not my sh*t, you and the roadrunner strike me as the type of people who would empty their dogs any where, based on your replys above!. In the last five to ten years one person has been fined (on Mull) for discharging their dog on a beach, why can’t the same efforts be applied to the mainland? I posted on here to highlight the petty mindlessness of some who would agree that the lady in question was doing wrong by selling raffle tickets (unlawfully) and move the subject matter onto something (vastly) more important and unlawfull, justify your pathetic attempts at replying. dog sh*t is poison and can cause blindness if ingested. Did you know that if you have a dog with you and can’t produce a a bag in preparation for lifting the sh*t you are breaking the law .Facts from a “dog warden”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

    • Yo no responden normalmente a las agresiones abusivas. Pero, ¿sería usted terminar más si me escribió en su blog acerca de caca de perro en español?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

    • Cat excrement is also poisonous. Currently dogs are supposed to be banned on Tobermory beach – this isn’t policed.

      And why pray for those organisations who do have gaming licences for raffles is A&B C not interested in the returns?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  5. “Where do community events – and we’re talking little weekly get togethers here, not just annual galas, go from here with their raffles?”

    Continue as they have done for years!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    • ““Where do community events – and we’re talking little weekly get togethers here, not just annual galas, go from here with their raffles?”
      Continue as they have done for years!”
      Yes, the Law makes provision for the above. The daft thing is that a lottery licence for a public Charity Raffle for selling to the general public is free to anyone that applies. The conditions of granting a Charity Raffle licence, are to makes sure that everything is “above board” and not a scam. According to the Scottish Sun, the person selling the unlicensed lottery at the Co-op knew what they were about and allegedly chose not to seek a licence. That’s OK for that person but it creates all sort of legal problems for the shop who are now complicit in breaking the law and for the receiving charity, who, unwittingly in receipt of moneys are in breach too and maybe liable to investigation by the Charity Commission. Far from me to suggest that this person was doing anything deceitful, but their alleged disregard for the law has brought heartache, tears and opened Pandora’s box, all for the want of 10 minutes simple paperwork, which would have legitimised and enhanced their work.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

      • ¿qué es usted en aproximadamente, es esta mujer pobre un objetivo para la Interpol? Trataba de divertir usted y clase yor del pequeño a preocupaciones(intereses) sociales más serias, conseguir una vida saddo get a life you saddo , just about sums it up, why the Spanish? Is it true that you’ve been approached to star in a remake with de niro and co. renamed “The old dear hunter” cloak room raffle tickets??? you ever been short changed a 1p? bet you park with the dividing lines up the centre of your motor, bet you feel and squeeze fruit and sandwiches in your local supermarket and then replace them, bet you do all the things that normal people find abhorrent! F.O.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7

        • Netiquette on the internet is as important as anywhere else, including work. Allowing the standards of politeness to slip simply because the medium used emboldens people who would usually not be so forthright in a face-to-face context is not acceptable.
          The language used is clearly abusive and/or derogatory. (A posting filled with foul language, or a suggestion as such, this is likely to be a breach of workplace policy, and it’s highly unprofessional. It can also be the cause for legal action depending on what is said, especially if it threatens, harasses, or slurs.)
          I am not against robust comment – and will “fight my corner” -but frankly if this “mail” was sent to me by post or at my place of work, I would have no other recourse than copy it to Security for their consideration. The fact that it has appeared at all suggests that ForArgyll perhaps condones or is prepared to accept abuse which would be totally out of place at home or in the work place – goodbye

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

          • Oh deary ,deary me, put your toys back in the pram and step back a bit, you’re the one agreeing that some community minded lady should be reported for selling cheap raffle tickets, then you post the above tripe, neither myself or the lady in question are a threat to national or anybody’s security, but I will stick by every suggestion I made in my posts and I would repeat face to face, still not explained the Spanish bit which seems to me to be bad Netiquette. You keep fighting your corner against disabled OAP’s pal!

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

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