Decision on Uckfield charity crowdfunding idea postponed

An idea of establishing a crowd-sourced fund to distribute to hard-hit Uckfield charities has been put on hold for three months.

The idea was suggested by Town Mayor, Cllr Spike Mayhew, when he spoke at a full meeting of Uckfield Town Council.

Cllr Spike Mayhew

He envisaged money being raised through a crowdfunding page, such as JustGiving, with money distributed to charities which were suffering because of the coronavirus outbreak.

See our earlier report

The idea was discussed by members of the council’s purposes committee.

During the debate, one idea put forward was to consider organising an event for the town.

Cllr James Edwards said it was impossible to know what sort of events could be held later in the year and things were very much “up in the air”.

Cllr James Edwards

He felt any spare funding should be earmarked for projects involving particularly vulnerable people.

Cllr Ben Cox said: “From what I gather, social distancing will be going on for at least a year-and-a-half.

“It seems like this is all pie in the sky to have a massive event.

“It would look quite bad on the council if we were to host a massive event and people would come to the town, if we are still in a situation where people are social distancing.”

He believed there were better ways to support the High Street than to “just have a party”.

Town clerk, Holly Goring, pointed out there were already events in the pipeline for later in the year, including Late Night Shopping, which were similar in nature to what had been suggested.

Committee chairman, Cllr Chris Macve, said: “At the moment, it seems that not too many people in the immediate locality have been affected by the coronavirus.


Cllr Chris Macve

“We just don’t know how it is all going to pan out in the future; how many businesses will fail, how many people are going to be in severe financial difficulties.

“I think it is a bit early to consider something of this nature until we know how the final situation is going to end up.”

Cllr Diane Ward said there were people suffering financially and to ask them to give money for somebody else who may also be be suffering was possibly not the correct thing to do.

“I would not be wanting to put my name towards crowdfunding when people are having problems with finances.

“In principle, I like the idea but when you start think about people who maybe, or are, struggling I am slightly concerned about doing that,” she said.

Cllr Paul Sparks believed the idea put forward by the town mayor was to use the town council as a means of fund-raising for good causes in Uckfield and was not about putting on an event.

“Clearly at the moment, there is only so much money that people have to make charitable donations,” he said.

“I do know that a lot of the established charities are finding it very difficult at the moment.

Settled down

“If we did start up something of our own, would we be taking money away from what would be going to established charities?

“In a way, we would not be achieving a great deal at the end of the day.

“I think it is something we should come back to when things have settled down a bit.”


He could see a real benefit for the town council acting as a flagship to fundraise in the town and to allocate money to good causes and charitable organisations.”

Members decided to revisit the question in three months to evaluate the situation and make a decision.

See also:

In-depth analysis of how Uckfield fire service cuts could affect you

90 new homes plan opposed by town councillors

Uckfield Festival hopes for art and music events later in year

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