As reported in today's Barnsley Chronicle, following the twentieth anniversary of the first National Lottery draw, Michael has backed new plans which would force operator Camelot to reveal how many tickets are being bought in each part of the country.
There are fears that people in less well-off towns and cities are buying more tickets but getting handed far fewer grants. Studies have shown that some parts of Britain are missing out on millions of pounds of funding with former industrial areas like Barnsley East only receiving the equivalent of £86 per ahead or just 21 per cent of the national average.
The latest stats show that out of all 650 constituencies, Barnsley East has received only £42,406 from the Lottery this year – meaning it ranks fourth bottom out of all other constituencies. Closer analysis of the stats also reveals that between 2010-2014, Barnsley East received £2,334,887 placing it 46th out of 54 in the region and 547th overall.
Michael has backed plans to end the secrecy over Lottery tickets which would reveal whether ticket buyers and the places they live are getting a fair share of cash back. Shadow Culture Secretary Harriet Harman has announced that unless Camelot comes clean about their sales figures on a voluntary basis they will make it a contractual obligation when the deal comes up for renewal.
Commenting, Michael said, “I have raised concerns about this issue before and Camelot has failed to listen. Lottery grants for Barnsley East have dropped drastically from £808,316 in 2010 to a meagre £42,406 this year. It is incredibly important that lottery grants are available and distributed fairly.
We must have transparency. It’s not good enough just showing us how much money we get – although in Barnsley East it’s clearly not as much as most other parts of the country. We need to see exactly where the cash is being spent on tickets in the first place to see if there’s a gap and if Camelot won’t act we will.”