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Council's £7,000 charity ball raises just £2,500
A council spent £7,300 on a fundraising party which raised just £2,500 for charity.
Taxpayers footed the bill for waiters, gold, silver and bronze painted flowers, food and drink at the Mayor’s Ball in Crawley.
But only £2,671.08 was recouped through ticket sales for mayor Carol Eade’s chosen charities, 4Sight and Crawley Hospital League of Friends.
More than £5,993 was spent on catering, including food, drink, cutlery and waiters.
Another £1,202 was spent on flowers and £143 on printing invitations.
The mayor, Conservative councillor Carol Eade, declined to comment to The Argus on the costs or charitable contributions of the party, instead deferring to council leader Bob Lanzer.
Councillor Lanzer said the party had, in fact, been relatively cheap compared to even more lavish events in previous years.
He told The Argus: “The cost varies from year to year depending on whether we have sponsorship.
“The costs were paid from taxpayers’ money. I think we can always look at reducing the costs.
“In the last six years since my party has taken office, the costs have gone down.
“We have made quite a lot of changes.”
Coun Lanzer added that the event was about more than just fundraising and was a way to thank community organisations for the work they did voluntarily.
He added councillors had this year been asked to pay for their own tickets rather than being handed them for free as previously.
He added: “There is a difference between price and value.
“In value, we recognise the important contribution the voluntary sector provides.
“The civic ball is about celebrating the continued voluntary contribution in the community.
“If we didn’t do that it would be a lot more expensive if the council had to fund all these services at the tax payer’s expense.
“When you see glitzy charity events on TV, I doubt very much they raise more than they spend.”