THE public are to be given their say on how money collected from the sale of clothes given to recycling banks will be distributed.
Fareham Borough Council is to ask its officers to prepare a competitive tender for the exclusive rights to provide clothing and textile recycling banks on council-owned land within the borough.
The controversial plan has raised concerns from charities which have banks on council land, such as the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance and the Salvation Army, about what will happen to the money.
The council calculated that the 22 clothing recycling banks on council sites raised £41,800 last year by selling 152 tonnes of material at £275 a tonne.
But at last night’s meeting of the ruling executive, councillors defended the move, saying the money would be returned to good causes.
Cllr Leslie Keeble, in charge of streetscene matters for Fareham, said that currently some banks were run by businesses where ‘as little as 15 per cent of the money goes back to the charities.’
He added: ‘If we are in charge of the process it will give us greater transparency about what money we get from our banks and about where that money goes.
‘At this stage Fareham Borough Council has not made any decision on how it intends to spend this money, that will go out for the officers to provide further reports.’
And he said that the question would be raised at the borough’s regular community action team meetings about who the public would like to see have the money.
‘I think that would alleviate the concerns of the general public about where this money will be going,’ he added.
Council leader, Cllr Sean Woodward said: ‘There’s no desire for the council to trouser the cash or treat ourselves to perks or whatever.
‘The important thing is that there’s a source of funding for local charities. We will be able to guarantee absolutely that when we make a donation to a charity, 100 per cent of that money will go to the charity.’
There are a further 45 charity clothing banks on private land around the borough, which will continue to operate as they do now.