CHARITY volunteers claim takings have dropped since Bournemouth’s popular teddy bear stall was moved from its prime location.

A Bournemouth councillor has now called on the council to move the stall back to its old site, between the Gardens and Pier Approach, and said the council should be supporting, not discouraging charities.

But the council has said it is confident the fundraising tombola will do just as well in its new site near the mini-golf course, where it was relocated two years ago.

Cllr Anne Rey, (pictured) councillor for Throop and Muscliff, raised concerns after helping at the teddy bear stall to raise money for Chesthelp.

She said: “It was their first time in having the stall but several of our members are involved in other charities and groups including Bournemouth In Bloom and they all said over the last two years the takings weren’t as good.

“Many people came up to us asking why the stall had been moved as they had been looking for us. The new site is tucked out of the way and you miss hundreds of people coming from the BIC and Pavilion areas.

“We as a council should be supporting charities not discouraging them as times are hard enough. I went up to the site where the charity stall had been for many years and saw that nothing had been put in its place.”

Pauline May, chairman of Townsend Community Centre, has also expressed concern that takings at the stall have dropped.

But Michael Rowland, parks development manager at the council, said: “In agreement with the operators of the Teddy Bear kiosk and the Lower Gardens Trust the stall has been relocated, initially on a temporary basis.

“The previous location was relandscaped to allow for better and safer pedestrian access between the Gardens and Pier Approach. We value the great work that the kiosk does raising money for charity and believe that in its new location it will continue to flourish.”