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Scope charity fights to keep on fighting to collect clothes in Bromley

PUBLISHED: 11:38 22 June 2012

Scope supporters hand in petition to the council  Alex Macaulay  Scope retail area manager, Cllr Colin Smith, Liz Sargent  Scope shop manager Beckenham, back: Andrew Adair Scope Director of Retail, front: Mary  -Scope shop volunteer, Frances Vagg  Scope Shop Volunteer, and Wendy Howden  Scope shop manager Bromley):

Scope supporters hand in petition to the council  Alex Macaulay  Scope retail area manager, Cllr Colin Smith, Liz Sargent  Scope shop manager Beckenham, back: Andrew Adair Scope Director of Retail, front: Mary -Scope shop volunteer, Frances Vagg  Scope Shop Volunteer, and Wendy Howden  Scope shop manager Bromley):

Scope

A charity which supports people with disabilities is calling for politicians to drop plans to run their own clothing collection scheme which will cost the charity millions of pounds a year.

Scope had clothing collection banks throughout Bromley but the council’s decision to bring in its own money-raising textile collection service means the charity’s collections are out in the cold.

The charity ran 34 clothing banks across Bromley for the last ten years and earned £360,000 from 213 tonnes of unwanted clothing last year alone.

The council has estimated that running its own collections could net it £75,000 to £135,000 annually.

An estimated 1,400 residents signed a petition calling for a rethink and the charity’s high profile supporter fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood lent the campaign her support.

The petition has been considered by the council and a representative from Scope will address the full council meeting on Monday June 25.

In a response to the petition, the portfolio holder for the environment Colin Smith said: “The reality of the council’s budgetary situation is that many hard and difficult decisions have been taken and decisions cannot be reversed without further impact on already stretched frontline services that serve all residents, including the most vulnerable.”

He added: “The council has never sought to infer that charitable giving is anything other than something to be encouraged. The council is supportive of the good work that Scope undertakes and remains happy to encourage residents to give unwanted clothing items directly to a charity shop st the choice of the individual.”

Richard Hawkes, chief executive of disability charity Scope, said: “We are absolutely delighted by the response we’ve had from the residents of Bromley who have signed-up on mass and called for the decision to evict charities from textile bank sites to be reversed.

“It’s time for the council to listen to its residents. They have made it clear that they are not happy with their donations going to a private company.

“Even at this late stage we’d urge Bromley council to think again before bringing in such and unpopular scheme, which will impact on the funds we can raise for our work with disabled people and their families.”

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