Rethink call on Legion charity cash

AN associate member of the Royal British Legion has lambasted town councillors for donating more than £2,500 of taxpayers money to the charity last year. And Leonie Switzer wants members of Letchworth Garden City Council to rethink its decision to use it

AN associate member of the Royal British Legion has lambasted town councillors for donating more than £2,500 of taxpayers' money to the charity last year.

And Leonie Switzer wants members of Letchworth Garden City Council to rethink its decision to use its budget to annually give 10p for every member of the electorate in the town, amounting to £2,656.10 last year.

At the town council's annual meeting last week, Mrs Switzer, of Baldock Road in Letchworth GC, accused the council of being "about to destroy the national charity".

Addressing the councillors, she said: "I'm a member of the British Legion but I'm outraged because people hate taxes and you are proposing to encourage a tax for the British Legion.

"Frankly I think you should not go through with this because we have already got people saying they will withdraw their subscriptions.

"It could affect us nationally if other councils start to do the same thing.

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"I think you need to be careful with what you are doing. I think you are about to destroy a national charity."

Speaking to The Comet, Mrs Switzer said it would be different if the town council nominated the British Legion as its charity of the year and organised fundraising events to support the cause.

"They shouldn't be using taxpayers' money", she said. "People like to choose their charities. Lots of people don't wish to contribute to the British Legion. I do, obviously, but I maintain that people should have a choice."

She added: "I'm sure the town council has done it with the best intentions but they have gone into it without going into the ramifications.

"People will stop buying poppies and that's a great tragedy because it's the children that want to come and buy the poppies and it's the next generation we need to teach. By just donating through tax doesn't make children learn."

Chairman of the council, Philip Ross, said: "I think it's right and proper that we make a good donation to the British Legion. We should wear our poppies with pride.

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