Calls for Gosport councillors to give up cash to charity

HELPING HAND The Gafirs in action and, inset, Cllr Peter Chegwyn
HELPING HAND The Gafirs in action and, inset, Cllr Peter Chegwyn
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COUNCILLOR Peter Chegwyn has called on his town hall colleagues to use their allowances to help charities in need.

The leader of Gosport’s Lib Dems said he has donated £200 to the Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service (Gafirs) to help pay for new protective gear.

HELPING HAND Cllr Peter Chegwyn

HELPING HAND Cllr Peter Chegwyn

Now he wants other members of Gosport Borough Council to dip into their annual allowances to benefit local organisations.

As previously reported, the town’s councillors accepted an independent panel’s recommendation earlier this year to boost their basic allowance by £410 a year.

Cllr Chegwyn said: ‘I’m delighted to be able to spend the money on such a good cause.

‘I call on other councillors to do the same.

‘Every councillor got an allowance increase this year and in the present climate councillors shouldn’t be taking extra money.’

The council leader, Tory Cllr Mark Hook, labelled Cllr Chegwyn’s call a stunt.

But he added: ‘If he thinks that I should give half of my increase then I have no problem with that.

‘But he gets a budget from the county council for good causes.

‘Local councillors don’t have that so he would be in a better position to do that.

‘I’m aware of at least eight councillors who haven’t claimed the extra allowance.’

Thanks to generous readers of The News and a grant from NatWest bank’s community grant scheme, Gafirs volunteers now have enough to pay for a set of new suits to keep them safe and warm at sea.

The crew needs 24 new suits which cost around £200 each.

Cllr Hook said: ‘I’m delighted the public gave Gafirs their full backing to help them win their community grant.’

Coxswain Mike Allen added: ‘We had a great response from the appeal in the paper and we were then told we had won our application for the NatWest community grant.

‘I was absolutely ecstatic when I found out. We had a lot of support from the community voting for us and now we can put in the order for new suits.

‘Obviously we still need donations because there are other things we need to keep running.’

To donate, visit gafirs.org.uk.