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Brighton and Hove councillors get priority for Olympic torch event
Elected councillors are being given four tickets each to a free event welcoming the Olympic flame to Brighton and Hove.
Up to 10,000 people are expected to attend and tickets are being given out on a first-come, first-served basis.
However, all 54 elected officials on Brighton and Hove City Council have been offered four tickets each before they go on general release.
That equates to about 2% of all tickets available.
The local authority said tickets have not been set aside for other council workers.
Brighton-based hip hop duo Rizzle Kicks are performing at the event at Sussex County Cricket Club in Eaton Road, Hove, on July 16.
The highlight of the celebration will be the arrival of the Olympic Torch Relay as the final torchbearer of the day reaches the stage to light a cauldron blazing the Olympic Flame.
Other entertainment will be provided by LOCOG and local groups.
The council said giving four tickets each will allow councillors to distribute them as “they see fit to the various local organisations they work with.”
However, one Green councillor has already refused the offer.
Green councillor Sven Rufus, who represents Hollingdean and Stanmer ward, rejected the offer in a group email to all elected members.
He said: “Hi, bit of a no brainer. Really not interested, please let someone who cares have them.”
Tickets are free to the public and will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis at 11am on June 13 at council offices and local authority-owned buildings across the city.
This is not during half-term and will make it difficult for those in paid work to pick up tickets.
The council said the release time was based on the business needs of venues and is similar to other local authority distribution times.
A council spokesman said the ticket allocation reflects the work councillors do in the community.
He said: “The allocation to councillors is the same as that for everyone else and is intended to recognise their role in the community as democratically elected representatives with links into many groups and organisations.
“We are also taking very active steps to get tickets to people who could miss out because they may be isolated, don’t have access to a computer or newspapers or perhaps because they have mobility problems.
“We’re really clear that this free event is for as many people in our city as possible within the space available to us.”
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